Volleyball Sweeps Past ECU For first C-USA Win
Oct. 9, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
East Carolina (8-10, 1-5 C-USA) 25 21 16 20 Memphis (4-16, 1-5 C-USA) 20 25 25 25
The University of Memphis volleyball team hit a season-best .400 with 42 kills en route to a sweep of East Carolina in Conference USA action Friday night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The win was the second-straight and first in conference action for the Tigers, who improve to 4-16 overall and 1-5 in the league.
Memphis was paced by setter Christine Bach and right side hitter Maja Jovanovic. Bach dished out a match-high 39 assists, while Jovanovic connected for 13 kills to lead all players. Bach also served up four aces. Every Memphis attacker that recorded a kill hit at least .320. Lauren Thompson posted eight kills and led the team with a .571 percentage.
Defensively, Memphis posted a plus-10 advantage (29-19) in the digs category. Defensive specialist Rachel Theard picked up a match-best 10 digs.
The Tigers got on the board first with a five-point victory in the opener. Memphis hit .323 in the set and converted on 66 percent of its side-out chances. Trailing 8-5, the Tigers used the strong serve from Carolyn Baker to post a four-point run for a 9-8 lead. The two teams then battled through eight ties before ECU committed a service error and Casey Sines and Jovanovic connected for kills on successive rallies. That surge was all Memphis needed to claim the first set.
The Memphis defense limited ECU to just .036 hitting in the second. Meanwhile, it connected for a .500 attack percentage of its own. The Tigers opened the set with a 5-1 lead, but the Pirates responded with six of the next eight points to knot the set at 7-7. A kill by Thompson set Memphis onto a 10-point surge that gave the Tigers their largest lead at 23-12. Becky Shaffer served nine-straight points and recorded two service aces in the streak. Memphis finished the set off with a kill by Baker for a 25-14 win and a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The final set Memphis broke open a 12-11 set with a 6-1 push to make it 18-12. Bach served up an ace to give the Tigers a seven-point cushion at 21-14. The U of M held on to that lead en route a 25-18 win. The Tiger offense dominated the final set, hitting .407 on 14 kills and winning the side-out point on 16-of its 18 opportunities.
Jovanovic was helped by strong hitting nights from Altrese Hawkins and Baker. Both downed seven kills in the contest. Baker hit .385, while Hawkins hit .353. Sines hit .444 with six kills.
Memphis will look to stretch its current win streak to three matches on Sun., Oct. 11, when it hosts Marshall. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.