Ole Miss Snaps Volleyball's Win Streak in 3-2 Decision
Oct. 20, 2004
OXFORD, Miss. - Memphis outdueled Ole Miss in every category except the one that counted-- the score-- as the Tigers fell to the Rebels, 3-2 in non-conference action Tuesday. The loss ends the Tiger's winning streak at 13 matches, the second longest under head coach Carrie Yerty.
The U of M outhit Ole Miss .252 to .208 with a 69-61 advantage in kills. The Memphis offense maintained a 62-52 lead in assists while serving up 11 aces to the Rebel's four. Defensively, Memphis posted three more digs than Ole Miss. The Tiger's 17 service errors proved to be one of the matches deciding factors.
The deciding game saw the two teams battle to four ties before a 5-1 run by Ole Miss put them ahead, 9-5. From there, the Rebels never trailed in the final game as Memphis cut the lead to 14-13 before losing the match.
Memphis forced the fifth game with a .341 performance in a 30-21 victory. Memphis opened the game with an 11-3 run. A Melissa Nance kill, followed by a block from Shelby Burton and Nancy Nellans and an ace from Watts pushed the lead to 12 at 25-13.
Game one was a preview of the match as Memphis (20-5) outplayed Ole Miss (10-11) in every category. That did not translate into a win as the Rebels never trailed after jumping out to a 7-2 lead. The Tigers clawed their way back into the game, tying the contest five times before Ole Miss put on a 5-0 run to take control 28-22. The Tigers outhit the Rebels .333 to .278 and posted one more kill, dig and four more assists.
Memphis rebounded in game two and used a 16-4 run to take command of the contest 19-6. The Tigers held the Rebels to a dismal .029 attack percentage in the game on their way to a 30-19 win. Nance put down four kills and hit .571 in the set, while Tiara Gilkey (three kills) and Burton (two kills) hit 1.000.
A .139 hitting percentage and 11 attack errors doomed Memphis to a 30-26 loss in game three. Memphis again put up stronger numbers than Ole Miss, holding a 16-9 advantage in assists and a 15-7 cushion in digs. But it was the errors at crucial times that helped keep the Rebels in the lead. A 5-1 spurt gave the Rebels a six point lead from which Memphis could never recover. Ole Miss led by as much as eight at 28-20 before taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
Memphis had three players finish with a match-high 16 kills in Gilkey, Nance and Nellans. Gilkey, along with libero Emily Steckel posted a team-high 13 digs. Heather Watts had 10 digs to go with a match-high 58 assists.
The Tigers return to the court on Friday, Oct. 22 when the travel to Louisville to take on the 21st ranked Cardinals in the first of a pair of C-USA matches on the weekend.