Volleyball Opens C-USA Play with Sweep of Southern Miss
Sept. 30, 2005
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Memphis (9-7; 1-0 C-USA) 30 30 30 Southern Miss (4-5; 0-2 C-USA) 25 23 25
Sophomore Shelby Burton downed 12 kills, hit .348 and posted eight total blocks to lead Memphis to a convincing sweep of Southern Miss in the Tigers' Conference USA opener Friday evening at the Payne Center. Senior Nancy Nellans also logged 15 kills and 12 digs for Memphis, who has now won three-straight C-USA openers.
Memphis dominated the match from its outset, using a 5-0 run to control a 6-1 advantage early in the first frame. USM battled back with a six-point push midway through the game to take its first lead 18-17. The Golden Eagles led by as much as three points, 22-19, before Memphis took charge of the game for good. A kill by Burton capped a 4-0 run the put the U of M on top 26-24. USM would score just once more as the Tigers closed the game out by scoring the final four points.
USM posted a 3-1 advantage to begin game two, but could not hold Memphis fought back to even the slate at 8-8 before taking the lead for good after an attack error by Southern Miss. The Tigers stretched the cushion to 17-10 on a kill by Nellans. The Golden Eagles closed the U of M lead to four points on four occasions, but that was as close as they could get as Memphis again finished off the game strong for a 30-23 win.
The final set saw Memphis take command when Burton hammered down a kill to break a 4-4 tie. Despite a 3-0 surge by USM to knot the score at 11-11, Memphis never lost control of the game. The Tigers scored eight of the next 11 points to take a five-point lead at 19-14 as they cruised to victory in the third game.
Along with Burton and Nellans, freshman setter Laura Côtè had a solid performance of 42 assists and 11 digs, while libero Christen Clayton dug a match-high 15 Southern Miss attempts. Côtè and Melissa Nance were also had strong blocking nights for Memphis, who outblocked USM 13.0-9.0. Côtè had four assisted blocks, while Nance added two block solos and three block assists.
Jazzmien Stephens and Stevi Cherry led USM with nine kills each. Memphis held the Golden Eagles to a .140 hitting clip with no player reaching the double-digit mark in kills. Kaitlyn Deutsch led Southern Miss with 10 digs.
Memphis will now prepare for a Sunday afternoon matchup with C-USA newcomer UCF. Match time is slated for 1 p.m. EST.