Volleyball Holds Off UNC-Greensboro Surge to Claim 3-1 Win
Sept. 25, 2004
GREENSBORO, NC - Memphis was able to hold off a strong UNC-Greensboro surge to win 3-1 (30-17, 30-13, 28-30, 30-24) and take home the UNCG Invitational Tournament title. The Tigers improve to 15-4 with their eight consecutive win and second straight tournament championship. Senior setter Heather Watts received the Tournament's MVP honors, while fellow senior outside hitter Tiara Gilkey garnered all-tournament accolades.
Memphis dominated play in both of the first two games, holding the Spartans to 17 and 13 points, respectively. UNCG hit just .120 in the first game and an even lower -.120 in game two.
The Tigers jumped on the Spartans early, putting up a 4-0 run to go ahead 14-10 halfway through the game. Three service aces by Christen Clayton highlighted a 7-0 surge by the Tigers that gave them a 10 point lead. Memphis ended the game by scoring 14 of the final 18 points for a 30-17 win. The U of M hit .500 in the first frame.
Game two was much like the first as the Tigers finished the game on a 19-5 run. A 7-0 run pushed Memphis to a 19-7 advantage, before a 10-3 outburst closed the contest out at 30-13.
UNCG would not be swept at home, however, as they battled to a win in game three. The Spartans rebounded to hit .436 in the tilt. The game saw 12 ties, with the last, coming at 26-2 before UNCG's momentum carried them to victory.
Memphis' strength came through in the fourth game as they battled the UNCG momentum that powered them to an early 11-7 lead. Memphis erased that four point advantage with a 5-0 run that was capped by a Shelby Burton kill. Memphis led until the Spartans made a 6-2 run to knot the game at 23. Memphis then got a pair of kills from Nancy Nellans and Watts added another to close the match out with a 30-24 win of the fourth game.
Tiara Gilkey led the Tigers with a double-double performance of 17 kills and 14 digs. Fehi Tuivai and Burton each added 10 kills each, while Watts had a team-high 16 digs. Memphis hit .356 as a team, marking the second consecutive game in which the Tigers have hit over .350.
Memphis will now prepare for Conference USA action as they will host Saint Louis in its next match. The Tigers and Billikens will face off on Fri., Oct.1 at 7 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.