Volleyball Drops Five Game Heartbreaker at Cincinnati
Oct. 23, 2004
CINCINNATI, OHIO -
MEMPHIS (20-5; 5-0 C-USA) 17 30 30 22 15 CINCINNATI (15-7; 5-1 C-USA) 30 22 28 30 17
Ashley Liford led Memphis (20-6; 5-1 C-USA) with a career-high 18 kills and Tiara Gilkey added a double-double of 18 kills and 19 digs, but the Tigers bid to remain undefeated in Conference USA play and snap Cincinnati's 22-match home winning fell short in a 3-2 loss.
Cincinnati used a 8-1 run to overcome a three-point deficit midway through the deciding game. Down 14-12, Memphis thwarted a pair of of match points chances for the Bearcats to tie the game at 14. The Tigers took a 15-14 lead and had a chance to win, but was unable to convert to end the match. Cincinnati then produced the final two points to win the match.
"This was a great match," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "I am proud of the way we competed tonight. We had opportunities to win, but couldn't convert. Melissa Nance and Heather Watts played great. They played with alot of intesity and provided solid leadership on the floor."
The Bearcats pummelled the Tigers in the first game, using a 16-5 run to finish the contest off 30-17. Memphis was held to a .000 hitting percentage on just nine kills in the game, while Cincinnati's offense pounded 19 kills en route to a .389 attacking clip. Memphis' 17 point total was the its lowest of the season in a single game, tying a 17-point output in a 3-0 loss to BYU in early September.
Game two saw a different Memphis team come to the floor as they rebounded to hit a strong .356 with 22 kills, 11 more kills than Cincinnati. Liford and Nancy Nellans led the Tiger offense, downing six kills each. Memphis broke a 2-2 tie on a kill by Melissa Nance and never trailed the rest of the game. A 5-1 run gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead. Nellans capped a 6-2 spurt that put Memphis ahead 17-10. The U of M went on to win the game with its largest lead of the game, 30-22.
Memphis played perhaps its best game of the year in the third frame, snatching a tough 30-28 come-from-behind win from the Bearcats. Trailing 25-19, the Tigers closed the match out with an 11-3 run. A spike by Gilkey followed by two kills from Nance gave Memphis a 27-26 advantage. The set saw two more ties before Memphis earned the win.
The Bearcats controlled the fourth game and used a pair of 4-0 runs and a 3-0 run to take a 20-12 lead. They were able to ride the eight point advantage to a 30-22 triumph, sending the match into the fifth and deciding game.
Memphis hit just .184 on the night, but had four player down double figures in kills. Nance and Nellans each put down 14 kills. Watts posted a double-double with 58 assists and 12 digs. Liberos Emily Steckel and Christen Clayton had 17 and 11 digs, respectively.
2003 C-USA Player of the Year Julie DuPont put down a match-high 25 kills to lead Cincinnati, while Rachel Torblaa also posted 20 kills.
Memphis will now travel to Louisville to take on the C-USA leading Cardinals. Louisville is the reigning C-USA Tournament champs. Match time is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.