Errors Plague Tiger Volleyball in 3-1 Loss to Rice
Oct. 17, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Rice (12-9, 7-2 C-USA) 23 25 25 25 Memphis (12-8, 3-5 C-USA) 25 22 22 19
Memphis used a late-set comeback to win set one, but Rice rebounded to win the next three sets and hand the Tigers a 3-1 defeat in Conference USA action at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon. Memphis falls to 12-8 overall and 3-5 in league play. Rice improves to 12-9, 7-2 in the conference.
The Tigers got a match-high 16 kills from Altrese Hawkins and Marija Jovanovic connected for 13 kills, but the Memphis offense hit under .200 in all four sets and was held to .107 for the day. The U of M recorded 11 service aces on the day. However, 19 Tiger's service errors combined with 17 total blocks by the Rice defense was too much to overcome.
Memphis opened the day on a positive note, winning the opening set. The Tiger fell behind 6-1 early, but chipped away at the deficit and evened the slate at 17-17 on a kill by Vesna Jelic. The Owls responded with three-straight points to go ahead 20-17, but Memphis again clawed back and a strike by Hawkins made it 22-22. Memphis took its first lead of the set, 24-23, on a service ace by Jelic and Hajnalka Molnar's block completed the comeback with a 25-23 victory.
Just like the opener, set two was a closely-contested affair with Rice taking a four-point lead early on. The Owls maintained the lead until Memphis took advantage of Rice errors to put together a 5-1 run that tied the set 21-all. This time the Tigers could not complete and comeback as Rice finished strong to even the contest at 1-1.
The two clubs see-sawed through 10 ties, before the Owls got a kill, a block and a Memphis serving error to jump to a 16-14 lead. A Tiger attacking miscue extended the Rice lead to 21-16. Trailing 23-19, Memphis got a kill by Hawkins and Rice followed with an offensive error to make it a two-point tilt. However, Memphis's serving woes continued and an error snapped the rally to give Rice the set-point serve. Molnar recorded a kill to hold off one set-point serve, but the Tigers were unable to come closer than two points in a 25-22 loss.
The fourth set was a close one until Rice strung together eight straight points to cruise to a 25-19 final.
Memphis will now hit the road for a long weekend of C-USA action at UTEP and UCF on October 22 and October 24, respectively. The Tigers will travel to El Paso to take on the Miners at 7 p.m. on Fri., the 24th. They will then head to sunny Orlando for a 1 p.m. contest versus the Knights on Sun., Oct. 24.