Volleyball Nets Five-Set Comeback Win Over Houston
Oct. 15, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Houston (11-9, 5-3 C-USA) 25 22 25 24 15 Memphis (12-7, 3-4 C-USA) 16 25 18 26 17
After dropping two of the first three sets, the University of Memphis volleyball team staged a furious rally to win each of the final two sets to complete a 3-2 win against Houston in C-USA action, Friday evening at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Altrese Hawkins downed a team-high 16 kills and hit .406 to lead the Tiger's offense. The sophomore also led Memphis's blocking efforts with five total blocks (one block solo, four block assists). Memphis, who improves to 12-7 overall and 3-4 in Conference USA play, was held under .200 hitting in each of the first three sets, but came alive with a combined 21 kills in the fourth and fifth. The win was Memphis's first against Houston since 2007.
Hawkins dominated the finale, connecting for seven kills. She downed three early kills as Memphis jumped out to a 5-3 advantage. However, Houston came back with scores on seven of the next nine serves for a 10-7 lead. It looked as if the Tiger's comeback would fall short after a Houston termination made it 14-11. But the determined Tigers fought back, holding the Cougars off on three match-point serves to tie the period at 14-14. Consecutive strikes by Hawkins gave Memphis a 16-15 and the sophomore teamed up with Hajnalka Molnar for an assisted block to complete with comeback, 17-15.
Trailing 2-1 and facing its third-straight league loss, a determined Memphis squad fought back to even the slate at 2-all. The Tigers chased a four-point Cougar's led late in the set after a UH kill. Memphis then turned up its intensity and got a pair of kills from Inglish and single strikes from Jovanovic and Vesna Jelic as part of a 7-3 rally that knotted the set at 21. Memphis threatened to take the lead, but was denied by a Houston block. Hawkins answered with a solo rejection and Jelic followed with a kill to tie the set at 23-23. The clubs traded points and Memphis forced Houston into an attacking error to take its first lead of the set, 25-24. Hawkins then came up with a stuff-block to clinch the win and force the deciding set.
Memphis dropped the opening set and fell behind 9-1 to open the second. However, the Tigers put up an 11-3 push, with Cassidy Hawkins downing one of her two kills to even the score at 12-12. The two clubs battled through four ties before Altrese Hawkins struck for consecutive kills to put the Tiger on top for good, at 20-18. Houston kept the set close, using a kill to make it 23-22. But Memphis responded with a kill by Jovanovic and an ace by Christine Bach to finishe the set off and tie the match at 1-1.
Memphis will look to hold on to its momentum on Sun., Oct. 17, when it hosts Rice at 1 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Sunday's match is the Tiger's "Dig Pink" match and all fans wearing pink will receive free admission to the match. Fans will also be given Breast Cancer Awareness ribbons and the first 100 fans will get a pink stress reliever. Pink pom-poms and blue and pink cups will be given away at the U of M marketing table. Memphis Tigers Dig Pink® event t-shirts will also be thrown out throughout the course of the match.