Volleyball Upsets Marshall, 3-2
Oct. 16, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Marshall (14-5; 6-1 C-USA) 18 30 30 27 17 Memphis (13-9; 5-1 C-USA) 30 27 27 30 19
Memphis overcame three match-points serves by Marshall to claim a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Thundering Herd Sunday afternoon in Conference USA action. The Tigers, who trailed 2-1 going into the fourth game, got a team-high 21 kills from sophomore Ashley Liford, while libero Christen Clayton led all performers with 21 digs. The loss was Marshall's first league loss of the season after running off six straight to open the Conference schedule.
After forcing a fifth game, Memphis came away with an 8-7 lead midway through the final frame. But after switching sides of the court, Marshall reeled off four straight points to take hold of an 11-8 lead. The Thundering Herd led 13-9, before a Melissa Nance kills ignited a three-point Memphis rally. Nance came up big with a kill on Marshall's first match-point, and then teamed up with freshman Sarah Bury on an assisted block to tie the set at 14. An attack error by Marshall helped Memphis regain the lead, 15-14 and the two teams battled back and forth until Liford put the match away, 19-17 with her 21st kill of the afternoon.
"This was a total team effort," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "I'm so proud of the girls. They never gave up even when things weren't going our way. We got a big block from Sarah Bury and Melissa Nance also came up big for us in the final game."
The Tigers sent the match to its maximum with a tough game-four win in which they nailed 24 kills and hit .345. The two squads battled through nine ties for control of the game until a blocking error by the Thundering Herd defense gave Memphis the lead for good at 22-21. The Tigers put up a 5-2 run that gave them a 27-23 lead. They were then able to hold Marshall off for a 30-27 win.
"Five-game matches are always tough, but we when we fell behind, we continued to play hard," Liford said. "We had faith in each other's ability to get the job done and I'm just glad that I was able to come through when we needed it."
The U of M came out of the gates fast in the opening frame and used three service aces to fuel a 12-2 push that put them ahead 14-5. Marshall closed the gap to six points, but Memphis pushed the next four points to extend its lead to 10, at 21-11. The Tigers again responded to a late Herd run with a five-point rally to put the match away in a convincing 30-18 opening game win.
Marshall turned up the intensity in the next two games, hitting .351 and .340 in games two and three, respectively. C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Kelly-Anne Billingy, who finished the contest with 38 kills and a .419 attack percentage, nailed eight kills in the second game to even the score. Billingy downed 10 kills in the third, as Marshall broke a 27-27 tie with three straight points for a 2-1 lead.
Three Tigers posted double-doubles in the match, led by Nancy Nellans (19 kills, 13 digs). Nance added 14 kills and 10 digs, while Laura Côté handed out 63 assist and made 16 digs. Colette Ramirez notched double figures in kills for the third consecutive match, with 10.
Behind Billigny's 38 kills, Marshall got 18 kills from Stephanie Cahill, 11 from Amber Sims and 10 by setter Katie Stein. Stein put up a triple-double of 10 kills, 67 assists and 11 digs.
Memphis will return to action on Friday, when it travels to Tulsa for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Golden Hurricane.