Houston Comes Back to Top Memphis 3-1
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The University Memphis volleyball team tried to rebound from the Conference USA opening loss on Friday night when the faced Houston on Sunday afternoon. It looked as though the Tigers would do that, taking the first set 25-19 and holding a commanding 21-14 lead in the second set. However, the Cougars came storming back to take the second set 28-26 and the final two sets 25-23 and 25-22.
The teams traded points early in the first set until an Altrese Hawkins kill evened the score at 10 and started a quick 3-0 spurt. Hawkins followed the kill with an ace before a Cougar attack error gave Memphis (5-11, 0-2 CUSA) a 12-10 lead. The Tigers gradually extended their lead and Viktorija Teivane recorded back-to-back kills to give Memphis the first set 25-19.
With Memphis leading 12-9 in the second set, a Lauren Hawkins kills followed by a Maja Kostic ace put the Tigers up 14-9. Following a Houston (2-11, 1-2 CUSA) point, the Tigers scored three straight points, started by a Teivane kill. Altrese Hawkins ended the spurt with a kill. Memphis extended their lead and Marija Jovanovic gave the Tigers a commanding 21-14 lead.
However, the Cougar offense was just getting warmed up, scoring three straight points to force a Tiger timeout. Houston scored two more points before Jovanovic pounded home back-to-back kills to put Memphis up 23-19. The Tigers then held a 24-21 lead following a block by Jovanovic and Katie Meyer. Nevertheless, the Cougars then scored two straight points before Natalie Keck evened the score at 24 with an ace. The teams then traded points before Houston scored consecutive points to take the set 28-26.
Memphis scored the first three points of the third set before Houston scored six unanswered points, forcing a Memphis timeout. Houston extended their lead to 15-9 before Memphis gradually worked their way back into the set. A Meyer kill made the score 18-15 and forced a Cougar timeout. Jovanovic scored the first point out of the timeout with a kill before Houston recorded a point. Memphis then scored four of the next five points before a Houston attack error evened the score at 20. Jovanovic then served up an ace to put Memphis ahead 21-20. The score was again tied at 22 and 23 before Houston scored the final two points to take the set 25-23.
The teams again traded points to start the fourth set before Memphis scored three straight points, capped by a Lauren Hawkins and Veronica Zimmerman block, putting Memphis up 14-12. However, Houston scored three straight points to regain the lead. The teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the set, and were tied at 22 before the Cougars scored three straight points to take the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.
Jovanovic led the Tigers with 15 kills, and she moved into 16th place on the Memphis all-time kills list. Altrese Hawkins followed Jovanovic with 13 kills and tied for the team lead with 15 digs. Hawkins moved in to sole possession of third place on the all-time kills list and now has 1,581 kills. Teivane and Aleksandra Petronijevic also recorded 15 digs for the Tigers.
Memphis will try and rebound on Friday when the take to the road to face Tulane University. The match will start at 7:00 p.m. The Tigers will then travel to UTEP on Sunday.