Tiger Volleyball Dropped at Rice, 3-0
Oct. 21, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas. - The University of Memphis volleyball team (15-8; 4-6) dropped its second-straight Conference USA game as the Tigers fell 3-0 (19-25; 17-25; 14-25) to the Rice Owls (12-9; 7-3) Friday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Altrese Hawkins led the Memphis attack with 10 kills, while Vesna Jelic (11) and Aleksandra Petronijevic (13) each finished with double-digit digs. Marija Jovanovic registered seven kills, while Hajnalka Molnar finished with 28 assists and eight digs.
Each team came out fighting in the first set and kept it close for the first few points, but three-straight errors by the Tigers allowed the Owls to take a 10-6 advantage. Two more errors by Memphis and kill by Laurie McNamara pushed the Rice lead to 17-10, forcing Memphis to call a timeout. Back-to-back blocks capped a 4-0 run by Memphis that made it 21-16 and forced Rice to call a timeout, but the Owls responded out of the break and closed out the set 25-19.
Rice sprinted out to a 6-2 lead in the second set behind two kills by Nancy Cole and two service aces by McNamara. A service error by Vesna Jelic coupled with a solo block by Jillian Humphrey extended the Owls' lead to 10-5, forcing the Tigers to take a timeout. Rice came out of the timeout on a 7-1 run to take a commanding 17-10 lead and never looked back as the Owls closed the set, 25-17.
Cole and McNamara combined for four of Rice's first five points in the third set as the Owls jumped out to a 5-0 advantage and forced Memphis to take a timeout. A kill by Altrese Hawkins and an ace from Maja Kostic out of the timeout cut the Rice lead to 5-3, but the Owls responded with an 8-2 run to make it 13-5 and force the Tigers to call another timeout. The Tigers were unable to find their footing in the set, as the Owls finished the set out 25-14 and the match, 3-0.
Cole (12) and McNamara (9) led the Owls attack, while Mariah Riddlesprigger (11) and Megan White (15) anchored the back row defense with double digit digs. Setter Megan Murphy finished with a match-high 33 assists.
Memphis returns to the Bluff City as it hosts Houston Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The match is the Tigers' annual Dig Pink match, which supports the Side-out Foundation. All fans wearing pink will receive free admission, and the first 500 people in attendance will get a free pink rally towel.