Volleyball Handles Southern Miss, 3-1
Oct. 5, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Southern Miss (10-11; 1-4 C-USA) 18 21 30 21 Memphis (14-7; 3-2) 30 30 25 30
Ashley Liford slammed down 19 kills and hit .400 for the Memphis offense, but it was the Tiger defense that shined on Friday in a 3-1 win over Southern Miss. The UofM frontline made 11 blocks, while the backrow had six players record 10 or more digs en route to a season-high 81 defensive stops. Memphis improves to 14-7 overall and climbs above .500 in C-USA play at 3-2. Southern Miss fall to 10-11, 1-4 in league action.
Côté set the tone for the match by making a pair of solo blocks to help Memphis score the first four points of the match. The Tigers never relinquished that advantage as Côté pushed the lead out to 18-10 with one of her five kills on the night. The Tigers maintained the eight-point cushion until Liford ignited a 4-0 game-ending run with a kill. She also capped the spurt and finished the game off with a kill.
Game two saw a similar beginning as the opening frame. A pair of strikes by Liford got Memphis out to a 4-0 lead and the Tigers never looked back. Southern Miss cut the advantage to 11-7 before an offensive error gave Memphis the serve. Lauren Thompson went to the service line. Nine serves and two aces later, the Tigers were safely in control of the game 20-8. USM shaved Memphis' lead to 10 points at 28-18, on the strength of an eight-point push. A block by Kelsey Labrum and Emily Underwood broke the Golden Eagles' momentum as the Tigers earned a 30-21 win to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission. The Tigers held USM to .000 hitting and just eight kills in the second period.
Southern Miss took advantage of lethargic play by Memphis in game three. After fighting through 10 ties and four lead changes, the Golden Eagles put together a six-point run to take control, 21-16. Two kills each from Tiger seniors Shelby Burton and Liford helped the Tigers claw their way back into the contest with a 25-25 tie. That is when USM's Ashley Petrinec took over, slamming three kills and making a game-clinching block to force a fourth game.
Memphis used a 6-0 run to snap a 4-4 tie and never allowed Southern Miss any closer. The lead was extended to 19-10 on Labrum's sixth kill of the evening, and the Tigers cruised to the 30-21 win. Labrum finished the night with seven kills to go with three blocks.
Sarah Bury made a team-high 16 digs to go with 12 kills in a double-double performance. Liford and Thompson also posted double-doubles with 12 digs each. Christine Bach and libero Becky Shaffer made 14 and 12 digs, respectively. Burton and Côté led the Tigers' blocking effort with six rejections a piece.
Burton added 10 kills and Côté set 51 assists for the UofM offense.
Memphis will battle the Knights of UCF on Sun., Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.