Nancy Nellans Downs 1,000th Kill in Sweep of Charlotte
Oct. 16, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
CHARLOTTE (15-8; 2-4 C-USA) 22 28 25 MEMPHIS (20-4; 5-0 C-USA) 30 30 30
Junior Nancy Nellans downed a match-high 14 kills and became the 17th player in Memphis volleyball history to eclipse the 1,000-career kill mark as the Tigers improved to 20-4 with a sweep of Charlotte Saturday evening at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis has now won 13 consecutive matches and is off to a 5-0 start in Conference USA action, its best start as a member of the league.
Nellans, who needed just four kills to reach 1,000, did not take long to accomplish the feat that only three other Memphis juniors have. The South Bend, Ind. native connected for kills on four of her first five swings to claim the milestone.
"I am so proud of how we are playing," said Memphis head coach Carrie Yerty. "Every time we step on the floor we get more confident. Heather (Watts) was phenomenal running our offense and our liberos Christen Clayton and Emily Steckel were solid at stabilizing our offense by passing well."
Trailing 10-9, Memphis used a 12-2 run to take a nine-point lead in the first game. Charlotte responded with a 5-2 run that closed the deficit to 26-22, but the 49ers never got any closer as the U of M scored the final four points to close the game out at 30-22. Memphis picked up where it left off the previous night, hitting .357 in the game, while holding Charlotte's offense to a .179 percentage. The two teams combined for 19 service errors in the game.
The second frame was perhaps the most interesting as Memphis claimed 30-28 win. After an illegal substitution penalty by Memphis, the Tigers won the point for what was thought to have been a 30-27 win. However, a protest by Charlotte forced the two teams back to the floor to replay the point. Charlotte won the next point to make the score 29-27, but Memphis held firm and Nellans downed the game-winner for the Tigers.
Game three saw Memphis wrap up the match with a .414 hitting percentage. Memphis was spotted a 3-0 lead and never trailed as they extended the lead to as much as six, at 17-11. Charlotte never got closer than three points as Memphis claimed a 30-25 win.
Memphis finished its third consecutive sweep hitting .343. Tiara Gilkey hit .476 and had just two errors with her 12 kills. Ashley Liford also had a solid night, downing 10 kills and hitting .368. Melissa Nance hit a match-high .538 with seven kills and no errors. Sophomore libero Christen Clayton served up four aces for the fourth straight contest. Setter Heather Watts again posted a double-double for the Tigers, with 42 assists and a team-high 10 digs.
Charlotte was led by Lisa Newell's 12 kills offensively, and Molly Kreyling's 12 defensive digs. Molly McDonald posted a match-high 43 assists in a losing effort.
Memphis will now prepare for a three-match road trip that includes matches against Ole Miss on Tues., Oct., 19 at 7 p.m., followed by face-offs with C-USA powers Louisville and Cincinnati on consecutive nights on Oct., 22nd and 23rd.