Volleyball Wins 14th Straight Match
Oct. 5, 2003
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The University of Memphis volleyball team (17-1, 1-0 C-USA) won its 14th straight match, 3-1, in a non-conference tilt at Southeast Missouri State, Sunday. The win improves the Tigers' record to 17-1 overall following its C-USA opening win at Saint Louis, Friday. Memphis will resume C-USA play in Texas this weekend, with matches at TCU, Friday, and Houston, Saturday.
"(SEMO) played really well," Head Coach Carrie Yerty said. "We didn't pass particularly well, but we got some big swings from Brittany (Barnett) and Nancy (Nellans) and Tiara (Gilkey) and Shella (Neba) came through again."
The Tigers won game one, 30-28, in an opening game that Yerty said her Tigers dominated, despite the close score. Memphis won game two, 30-26, but lost focus in game three, allowing Southeast to steal game three, 30-25.
"We lost focus a bit in game three, but we came out in game four and dominated again," Yerty said. Memphis won game four 30-27.
Senior Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) led the Tigers with 19 kills and hit .300, while junior Tiara Gilkey (Creve Coeur, Mo./Pattonsville) added 13 kills and hit .297. Sophomore Nancy Nellans (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph) added 12 kills, and for the second straight match, led Memphis in digs, this time with 16. Setter Heather Watts added 45 assists and 15 digs to go with three service aces, while Gilkey had 12 digs and three blocks and freshman Christen Clayton had 11 digs.
But it was a big-time blocking affair for both teams, as both teams combined for 30 total blocks, including 14 from the Tigers. Senior Shella Neba (Aurora, Colo./St. Mary's) had the sixth-best single match performance with nine total blocks in the Tiger win. Neba's eight block assists also ties the third-highest single match mark, a mark she has set four previous times in her career.
The win is the Tigers' 14th straight win, and the Tigers face stiff competition next weekend back in Conference USA play beginning at TCU, Friday.
"We had a good opening weekend," Yerty said. "Now we need to get ready for the trip next weekend and be well-prepared."
Suzanne Gundlach led SEMO with 13 kills, while Sarah Frost added 10. Four Otahkians added double-digit kills, led by 14 from Emily Scannell.
In all, Memphis aced SEMO 13 times, with Nellans, Watts and freshman Hristina Slancheva each having three aces in the win.
Memphis does not return home until Oct. 14th, for a non-conference clash with cross-town rival Christian Brothers.