Volleyball Holds off UCF for 3-2 Win
Oct. 24, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
UCF (13-11; 5-5 C-USA) 23 12 25 25 6 Memphis (14-10; 5-5 C-USA) 25 25 16 21 15
Sophomore middle blocker Emily Underwood put down a career-high 21 kills and made eight block assists, while senior setter Laura Côté posted her first double-double of the year with 52 assists and 15 digs as Memphis held off a late rally by UCF to clinch a 3-2 win in C-USA action, Friday night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis improves to 14-10 on the year and 5-5 in league play.
"Emily Underwood played a fantastic match," said Tiger head coach April Jauregui. "Tonight she proved that if she is, if not one of the best, the best middle in our conference with her performance. Also Laura Côté set a really good match. Lauren Thompson did a good job coming through at the end of set four and put some balls down when we needed her the most. It wasn't the prettiest match, but we'll take a win when we can get it. Our kids fought and just gritted that ballgame out. We are excited to get a victory and we'll play a tough Southern Miss team on Sunday."
The Tigers squeaked out a 25-23 win in the opener and blew past the Knights 25-12 to take a 2-0 lead in the intermission. However UCF staged a furious rally in which they took both games three and four to knot the contest at 2-2.
But Memphis came out and set the tone in the deciding set, as Underwood teamed up with Lauren Thompson for assisted blocks and then the 6-3 middle connected for one of her four set-five kills to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. UCF came back to knot things at 4-4, but the U of M struck for the next two scores to make it 6-4. The Knights cut the Tigers lead to 6-5 with a kill by Jenny Heppert on the next serve, but a UCF error combined with another kill by Underwood made it 8-5. Leading 8-6, Rebekah Strickland downed a kill and Underwood followed suit as Memphis ended the match by scoring seven-straight for a 15-6 win.
In addition to the play of Underwood and Côté, Memphis got a strong performance from Thompson. The reserve outside hitter recorded 13 kills, including seven in the fourth set.
Defensively, Christine Bach led the way with a match-high 22 digs. In a blocking war, it was Memphis who emerged on top, out blocking UCF 17-14. Underwood and freshman middle Casey Sines both had eight block assists, while Strickland had six and Côté, five. UCF's Erin Campbell posted four solo rejects.
Memphis will take the momentum of this victory into its next contest on Sun., Oct. 26. The Tigers will square off against Southern Miss at 1 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.