Complete Team Effort Helps Volleyball Derail Marshall, 3-1
Oct. 1, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Marshall (8-7, 2-1 C-USA) 34 13 21 20 Memphis (10-5, 1-2 C-USA) 32 25 25 25
Sophomores Marija Jovanovic and Altrese Hawkins led the Tigers offensive charge with a combination of 44 kills, while fellow sophomore Hajnalka Molnar set a match-best of 56 assists and added 13 digs as the Tigers cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Thundering Herd of Marshall in Conference USA play at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Friday evening. Memphis improved to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in league action. Marshall falls to 8-7, 2-1 in C-USA.
"We had a really good week of practice and I'm thrilled to pick up a win against Marshall," said third-year head coach April Jauregui. "They (Marshall) are a big foe in the conference and we only play them once this year. Battling back after losing set one 34-32 is really quite remarkable and my hat is off to the team for a great performance tonight."
The Tigers, who captured their first league win of the year, got a match-high 24 kills from Jovanovic and Hawkins downed 20 kills and hit .378.
Libero Christine Bach led all players a season-high 25 digs. Vesna Jelic picked up 16 digs for the Memphis defense. Freshman Katie Meyer put together her best match to-date, downing seven kills to go with six total blocks.
After dropping a thrilling 32-34 decision in the first set, the Tigers claimed each of the next three sets to take down the Thundering Herd.
"We even ran out of substitutions at the end of the first game, but obviously that was a great match," Jauregui stated. "I mean I don't know the last time I've seen a game go the distance like that. It was fun to watch and be a part of and I'm glad that we came back and won three-straight after that."
Memphis rebounded from the first-set loss by opening set two with a 7-1 lead, one that they would not surrender throughout the match. Behind the strong arms of Altrese Hawkins (11 kills) and Jovanovic (nine kills) the Tigers cruised to a 25-13 victory, holding Marshall's offense to a dismal -.103 hitting percentage.
"What I told them was that the way we played at the end of set one was the way we needed to play the entire match," said Jauregui. "We didn't start the game off very strong but we went to the service line in the second game and just took them completely out of what they were trying to do. Marshall is a very good team but they were unable to pass the ball tonight and so we were able to get double blocks up and have a lot of success with our offense."
Momentum would prove to be enough to carry the Tigers in the third set, as the Tigers' 69% side-out percentage and 17 kills led to a 25-21 victory.
The Tigers capped off the night by holding Marshall to a .089 hitting percentage in a 25-20 success that would complete the rally.
The Tigers now set their sights on Greenville, N.C. where they are set to take on the Pirates of East Carolina on Sun., Oct. 3. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m. CST.
"I think this win gives us a lot of momentum going to Sunday's competition," Jauregui said. "We have the opportunity to pick up a win Sunday and then we go to two and two in the conference and we are right back in the battle for this year's conference championship."