Memphis Captures 3-1 Win at East Carolina
Oct. 3, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Memphis (11-5, 2-2 C-USA) 25 21 25 25 East Carolina (1-15, 0-4 C-USA) 18 25 22 13
Altrese Hawkins hit .529 with 21 kills and Memphis withstood determined effort by East Carolina to come away with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at ECU's Minges Coliseum. The Tigers, who hit a robust .336 for the match, improve to 11-5 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA play with their second-straight league victory. ECU falls to 1-15 on the year and 0-4 in C-USA action.
"Today we were lacking intensity at the beginning of the match," said Memphis head coach April Jauregui. "ECU started off slow and so we were playing at their speed and level. ECU took advantage of our drop in play and intensity to pick up set-two. We were down in set-three and what changed that set was our emotion. That is a part of the game you cannot win without. When the team generated that emotion our level of play increased. Altrese (Hawkins) and Marija (Jovanovic) were, yet again, our offensive power. In a match like today we used their swing to put the game out of reach. I am happy to be 2-2 in the Conference. We will spend this week improving and focused on the upcoming weekend matches versus SMU."
Memphis put together its second team effort in as many contest. The Tigers recorded a 59-36 advantage in kills, a 55-32 cushion in assists and 43-30 lead in digs. Marija Jovanovic and Vesna Jelic complimented Altrese Hawkins' performance with 16 and 13 kills, respectively. In all, the Tiger's offense got a combined 50 kills from the Tiger trio. Jovanovic added three service aces. Setter Hajnalka Molnar set a match-best 47 assists, while libero Christine Bach picked up a match-high 14 digs in the Memphis back row.
With the match tied a 1-1, Memphis fell behind 7-3 early in the third. Looking for its first league win of the year, ECU used a kill and a Memphis attacking error to extend its lead to 15-9. With the Pirates threatening to take a 2-1 lead, the Tigers began chipping away and cut the deficit to two points after Jovanovic connected for a kill. ECU converted on the side-out opportunity to take a 20-17. The Tigers then seized momentum of the contest with a pivotal run. Powered by two kills from Jovanovic, block assists from Jovanovic and Katie Meyer and a kill by Hawkins, the U of M scored five-straight points to take a 22-20 lead. The Pirates came back with score, but Hawkins and Jovanovic struck for two more kills to help Memphis to the 25-22 come-from-behind victory. Memphis hit a stout .382 with 19 kills in the third.
Riding the momentum of a morale-boosting set-three win, Memphis cruised to a 25-13 match-clinching decision in the fourth and final frame. The Tigers scored the first six points of the period and used kills by Cassidy Hawkins, Jelic, Molnar and Hawkins to extend the lead to 17-4. Memphis, who hit .500 on 15 kills and just one error, never looked back. The Tiger defense held ECU to -.042 hitting with just five kills.
Memphis opened the contest with a solid team effort, hitting .292 on 12 kills in the opening set. After falling behind 4-1 early-on, the Tigers got three service aces from Marija Jovanovic as part of an 8-0 run to storm ahead 9-4. Assisted blocks by Jovanovic and Meyer, combined with kills from Hawkins and Jovanovic to fuel a five-point push as Memphis took a 16-8 advantage late in the set. A rare kill by defensive specialist Becky Shaffer gave the U of M its largest lead at 21-11. The Pirates, who hit .174 on eight kills in the first set, made a push late in the game, but the Memphis lead was too much in a 25-18 win.
ECU again got out quickly in the second set, scoring on four of the first five serves. Memphis closed the gap to one point, but the Pirates responded with a 4-0 run to stretch the Tiger's deficit to five points at 8-3. The U of M stayed within striking distance until ECU got consecutive kills from Jackie Varnum and Hannah Allgood to go ahead 22-17. An ECU kill, followed by a ball-handling error by Memphis helped ECU to a 25-21 decision, sending both teams into the intermission tied at 1-1.