Shelby Burton and Christen Clayton Have Career Nights, Volleyball Upends Houston 3-1
Sept. 22, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Houston (9-7; 0-1 C-USA) 26 30 28 22 Memphis (14-2; 1-1 C-USA) 30 20 30 30
Memphis middle blocker Shelby Burton hammered home a career-high 24 kills, and libero Christen Clayton made a career-best 28 digs as the Tigers evened their Conference USA mark with a 3-1 win over Houston Friday evening at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Burton's career night was highlighted by a dominant game four performance in which she downed eight kills without an error to guide Memphis to a strong finish, 30-22. Clayton did her part in providing a defensive presence for the Tigers, averaging seven digs per game. The senior co-captain made an astounding 11 digs in game three alone.
Memphis got off to a solid start in the game one behind the strength of seven kills from Sarah Bury and five from Burton. The Tigers hit .385 in the opening frame that showcased eight ties and six lead changes before Memphis pulled ahead 19-16 on consecutive kills by Bury. Bury finished with her second consecutive double-double and the sixth of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs. Memphis led by as much as five points before Colette Ramirez wrapped the set up with one of her seven kills.
The Tigers were unable to maintain the momentum in game two as its outside hitters were held to just three kills and the team combined to hit just .038 on 11 kills. Houston used a 9-2 run to take control of the game 17-10. Memphis was never able to recover as the Cougars tied the match 1-1.
Memphis hit just .193, but the Clayton-led defense limited Houston to a .184 clip. Clayton's serve proved tough for the Cougars as Burton benefited from the strong serve with three-straight kills in a 6-0 Memphis push. Houston pulled even at 17-17, but another Memphis surge put Memphis up for good. The Cougars made a late rally to cut a five-point Memphis lead to just one, at 29-28 before Ramirez again provided the game-winning kill for a 30-28 tally.
The U of M finished the contest off with a fourth frame in which it hit .326 behind Burton's eight kills. Successive kills by Laura Côté, Ashley Liford and Burton put Memphis ahead 14-9. The Tigers never let the Cougars back into the contest, using a trio of three-point spurts to fuel a 30-22 final.
Côté doled out a match-best 58 assists to go with 13 digs for her second-straight double-double. Liford downed 15 kills for the Memphis offense. The Tigers outdueled the Cougars 69-63 in kills.
Defensively, Burton and Ramirez made three blocks each, while Kori Smith recorded nine digs.
Sunshine Misa-Uli led the Houston offense with 20 kills. Justine Farmer and Becca Sartori added 16 and 14 kills each. Four UH players reached double-figures in digs, paced by Millicent Martin's 18.
Memphis will travel to Houston for a Sunday afternoon matchup with Rice. First serve is slated for 1 p.m.