Volleyball Secures Another 20-Win Season
Oct. 17, 2003
The University of Memphis volleyball team (20-2, 3-1 C-USA) used a 3-0 sweep of UAB (9-13, 2-3 C-USA) to secure its second 20-win season under Head Coach Carrie Yerty, surpassing last year's win total with 11 regular season matches remaining. The Tigers' only other 20-win season was a 22-10 effort in 2001. Memphis fell one shy of the 20-win mark last year at 19-15.
The Tigers came out of the blocks inspired thanks to a loud crowd at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. In game one alone, Memphis out-hit UAB .423 to .208, notching five service aces en route a 30-20 game one win.
Game two was just more Tigers, as five different players hit over .500 while the team hit .538, never allowing UAB to generate any offense. UAB hit .000 in the second game, getting just nine kills compared to 15 for Memphis, who got four kills apiece from Tiara Gilkey, Nancy Nellans and Brittany Barnett. Memphis added two more service aces to take a 30-18 game two win.
Following the break between games two and three, UAB came out of the locker room and kept Memphis on its heels, as Karen Boyd stepped up to down four kills, while Lindsay Carnohan added three as the Tiger defense focused on Martina Shields. Shields took 10 swings in the third game alone, in one rally swinging at three straight balls only to watch Nellans lasso three spectacular digs to keep the ball in play. The defense of Nellans took a bit of win out of the Blazers' sails after the long rally, allowing Memphis to catch up and then break a 25-25 tie, and finish out the game on a 7-0 run for a 30-25 victory. UAB out-blocked the Tiger 6-3 in the third game, but it wasn't enough, as Memphis got five kills from Nellans and four apiece from Gilkey and Barnett. Tiger setter Heather Watts took a UAB over-passed ball off a scramble to cover a Tiger tip and tipped it deep to the baseline to seal the match.
"I'm really proud of this team tonight," Yerty said. "This was a total team effort and playing in this environment in the Fieldhouse is amazing. This crowd tonight, having the band here, the players really got excited because all the fans were so excited. Thanks to all of the fans for this tonight."
Gilkey led the Tigers with 12 kills and four total blocks for 15 points, while Barnett finished with 13.5 points off a 10-kill, three service ace, one block effort. Nellans added 12 points with 11 kills and one service ace. Watts finished with three kills, 35 assists, two service aces and eight digs.
Boyd led the Blazers with nine kills and a .467 hitting percentage, while Lindsay Carnohan added seven kills and a block. Cassi Ociesa led the team with three total blocks, but hit negative for the night. Pre-season all-conference honoree Martina Shields finished with six kills and an .045 attack percentage.
Memphis remains at home and will host USF at 7 p.m., Saturday. UAB travels to Saint Louis to face the Billikens, also at 7 p.m. Memphis will wrap its four-match home stand, Tuesday, in a non-conference tilt against Ole Miss. All youth volleyball players who wear a team jersey to the Tigers' Saturday game against USF will receive free admission.