Volleyball Drops First C-USA Match of the Year, 3-1, to Tulane
Sept. 23, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Tulane (13-3; 3-0 C-USA) 30 30 26 30 Memphis (12-5; 2-1 C-USA) 28 22 30 27
Tulane neutralized Memphis' offense with a strong serving game that included 12 aces, and had three hitters hammer down at least 19 kills as the Green Wave snapped a six-match losing streak to the Tigers with a 3-1 win this afternoon at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Tulane stays undefeated in C-USA play at 3-0, while Memphis falls to 2-1 after its first league loss of the year.
Memphis got a team-high 18 kills from Ashley Liford, and fellow senior Shelby Burton added 16 kills and eight blocks in a losing effort. Setter Laura Côté had a career day defensively, making a personal-best 20 digs.
Tulane's All-American outside hitter Sara Radosevic posted a double-double performance with 19 kills and 18 digs, but it was her serve that gave Memphis trouble all afternoon. The junior's strong serve resulted in five aces and limited Memphis offensive production. With the Tigers threatening a deciding game with a 21-17 lead in game four, Tulane put up an 8-1 run that put them comfortably ahead late in the game. Of those eight points, four came from the serve of Radosevic as the Green Wave clinched the contest with a 30-27 win in the fourth. After trailing 3-1 early in the final set, Memphis battled back to tie the contest at 13-all. The Tigers claimed a 16-13 lead on an ace by Becky Shaffer and an attacking error by Tulane. An assisted bock by Burton and Côté gave Memphis the 21-17 lead, before the eventual match-clinching run by Tulane.
The match started out in similar fashion, as for the second consecutive outing, the Tigers struggled to get out of the gates. A Green Wave block made it 9-5 in favor of TU early on. Memphis regrouped and a kill by Kelsey Labrum trimmed its deficit to one point, at 16-15. The U of M defense then turned up its level of play behind consecutive block assists by Burton and Sara Bury to take its first lead, 23-22. A kill by Bury gave Memphis a 27-26 advantage, but that the Tigers would then stall as the Green Wave scored on four of the final five rallies to win 30-28.
Memphis struggled to handle the Tulane serve in game two. The Green Wave forced the Tigers into four reception errors and put up a 20-11 advantage in kills en route to a 30-22 win. After nine ties a five lead changes, Tulane emerged on top with a 16-15 lead. They extended to eight points, 28-20, on an ace by Ksenija Vlaskovic late in the contest.
Down 2-0, the Tigers offense came alive for the third set. One of eight kills on the day by Lauren Thompson highlighted a 5-0 run, and broke the game's 13th tie to gave Memphis a 19-18 lead. With a 22-18 cushion, expanded the lead to 27-21 after a kill by Liford and the Tigers went on to make it 2-1 with a 30-22 victory.
Côté ran the offense with 44 assists to complete a double-double outing. She also made four blocks. Bury added five blocks.
Memphis will jump out of C-USA action for its next competition as they will travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to take on the Southeast Missouri Redhawks on Wed., Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.