Tigers Hold on to Defeat Southern Miss 3-2
Oct. 13, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -The University of Memphis volleyball team snapped a modest four-game losing streak on Saturday night with a win over Southern Miss. However, it wasn't easy for the Tigers as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to see the Golden Eagles come storming back to take the next two sets. The Tiger ended the match with an emphatic 15-5 fifth set victory behind five hitters reaching double figures in kills.
The first set was close, as it was played within a four point spread the entire way. Memphis (7-15, 2-6 C-USA) controlled the first set, quickly jumping out to a 9-5 lead. The Tigers held a 23-19 lead before Southern Miss went on a quick spurt, scoring three straight points to cut the deficit to one. However, Viktorija Teivane ended the run with one of her three kills in the set. A Southern Miss attack error gave the Tigers the 25-23 first set victory.
The Tiger offense was just getting warmed up, however, as they came out on fire in the second set. Memphis scored six straight points behind the serve of Aleksandra Petronijevic before Southern Miss called for a timeout. The run ended at 7-0, Marija Jovanovic, Altrese Hawkins and Lauren Hawkins all recoded kills on the run. Memphis stretched their lead to 19-7 following a Katie Meyer kill, and earned their largest lead of the set, 14 points twice down the stretch. Memphis took the set 25-13 behind an attack percentage of .333, registering 13 kills against four errors on 27 attempts. Coming out of the 10 minute intermission, Southern Miss (6-14, 2-6 C-USA) proved they wouldn't go away easily, scoring the first three points of the set. The Tigers fought back and evened the score at 12 before the Golden Eagles went on another 3-0 run. This time Southern Miss held the lead, taking the set 25-19. The Golden Eagles came out on the offensive again the fourth set, gaining a 12-8 advantage. The Tigers again dug their way out of the hole and evened the set at 14 on one of Veronica Zimmerman's two kills on the night. The set was again tied a 19 before the Golden Eagles gained a slight advantage. Jasmine Crowell registered a kill to give Southern Miss the narrow 25-23 victory and force a fifth set. Southern Miss hit .350 (17-3-40) in the set while the Tigers posted a .333 attack percentage (18-5-39). Memphis wasn't going to let the match get away from them, as they scored the first three points of the fifth set behind the service of Teivane. Meyer and Jovanovic teamed up for back-to-back blocks to put the Tigers up 7-3 and get the crowd behind them. The Tigers extended their lead to 14-4 before the Golden Eagles scored a point. Teivane then ended the match with her 10th kill, giving Memphis the 15-5 victory. Memphis hit a blistering .462 in the final set, recording seven kills against one error on 13 attempts while holding Southern Miss to a -.111 attack percentage in the frame. Memphis had five players reach double figures in kills, and were led by Jovanovic's 13 kills. Altrese Hawkins and Lauren Hawkins followed with 12 kills apiece while Meyer set a career-high with 11 kills. Meyer also hit .471, and Lauren Hawkins hit .409 in the match. Teivane rounded out this group with 10 kills to go along with 14 digs for her first career double-double. Petronijevic led the Tigers with 22 digs, and Altrese Hawkins also reached double figures in digs with 10 for the double-double. Memphis will take to the road on Tuesday when the travel to Nashville for a non-conference affair with Tennessee State. The match is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. central time.