Houston Overcomes 2-0 Deficit to Down Memphis Volleyball 3-2
Oct. 11, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Despite being down two games to zero, the Houston Cougars (11-4, 2-0 C-USA) rallied back to down Memphis (13-7, 0-2 C-USA), 3-2, in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Friday.
The Cougars were led by junior Jane Anne Karasek with 22 kills, while Jenny Tanneberger and Loure Dews each added 12. The Cougar blocking game, which tallied five total blocks in game one alone and then just three in games two and three, finished with 18 total blocks, outblocking Memphis 18-4.
Game one was dominated by Memphis freshman outside hitter Nancy Nellans (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph's). Nellans, who tied a career-high with 26 kills in the loss, had seven kills in game one, hitting .545 on 11 attempts to spark the Tiger offense to a 30-25 game one win. Timely Tiger serving also kept Memphis ahead as Memphis aced the Cougars five times in game one, with a pair of aces coming from Nellans and junior Shella Neba.
The Cougars tried attacking with their blocking game, putting up 10 total blocks, led by five block assists from Dews in game one alone, but seven hitting errors on 41 attacks versus 12 kills stymied the Cougar offense and let Memphis keep the game-opening momentum.
Game two was a drastic change as the Tigers had the Cougars guessing and rendered their blocking game ineffective. Both teams hit over .300 in the second game, with Nellans downing another seven kills in game two while setter Heather Watts jumped into the attack mode with four kills of her own in the second. The Tigers struggled trying to find someone to play the outside as sophomore outside Tiara Gilkey tried playing with a 100 degree fever, but was 0-for-6 with five hitting errors for a -.833 hitting percentage through the first two games when Carrie Yerty removed her from the line-up shortly into the second game. Memphis got two kills from Ashley Green (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf) and one from Nan Kimbrell (Lafayette, La./Episcopal School of Acadiana) in the search for offense from the outside during the second game, but as the match wore on, the loss of Gilkey was too much for the Tiger offense, allowing the Cougar blockers to go after Nellans and Brittany Barnett.
And go after the other hitters they did, as the Cougar defense and blocking game stepped up to force a Memphis team that had hit .340 in the second game to hit .159, .000 and -.176 in the last three games, while the Cougar offense hit .324, .250 and a game-high .417 in the fifth and deciding game.
The 26 kills from Nellans ties a career high that she set in a 3-2 win over UT-Martin, Oct. 1st. Barnett added 18 kills to stretch her double-digit kill streak to 11 consecutive matches. Nellans and Watts led the defense with 16 digs apieces, while Barnett and Berg added 14 and 13, respectively in the Tigers' third consecutive loss, their longest losing streak of the season.
Memphis will not have much time to dwell on the C-USA loss, as TCU comes into the Elma Roane Fieldhouse for a Saturday match-up beginning at 7 p.m. TCU lost at Saint Louis, Friday, in C-USA play, 23-30, 33-35 and 26-30. The Horned Frogs are 8-11 overall and 0-3 in C-USA.
Houston travels to Saint Louis to wrap up the weekend. The Cougars were led by Jaci Gonzalez, with 23 digs in the Memphis win, while Karasek and Donna Sellen added 15 and 13, digs respectively in Houston's second C-USA win. Dews fell just four digs shy of a triple double, with 12 kills, 11 total blocks and six digs.