Volleyball Races to Three Game Win Over Middle Tennessee
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Oct. 26, 2004

Box Score

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -

MIDDLE TENNESSEE (12-11)	23	20	27
MEMPHIS (21-7)			30	30	30

Memphis volleyball returned to the winner's circle with a sweep of in-state opponent Middle Tennessee (30-23, 30-20, 30-27) Tuesday in non-conference action at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Nancy Nellans led the Tigers, who improve to 21-7, with 13 kills and 14 digs. Middle Tennessee falls to 12-11 with the loss.

Game one saw Memphis get off to a slow start, falling behind 14-7. A pair of service aces by Christen Clayton powered a 7-1 run that put the Tigers ahead for good 15-14. A 6-0 Memphis run, fueled by four consecutive Blue Raiders attack errors gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 28-21. Memphis outscored Middle Tennessee 23-9 after the 14-7 start.

Memphis maintained the momentum in the second frame, controlling play with a six point lead just more than halfway through the game. A service ace by Tiara Gilkey capped a 5-0 Tiger surge that put the game out of reach at 29-17. Gilkey put down five of her 11 kills in the second game as Memphis down 18 kills and hit .407 to take command of the match.

Memphis took control of the third and final game with a 6-1 run that gave them a 15-12 cushion. The Tigers never led by more than four the entire match before closing the win out with a 30-27 triumph.

Ashley Liford put down 12 kills for Memphis, while fellow freshman Shelby Burton had seven kills and hit .455. Heather Watts posted a match-high 41 assists. The Tigers finished with 10 aces

The Tiger defense showed its improvement with seven blocks, led by Melissa Nance's four block assists. Christen Clayton had eight digs to compliment Nellans' match-high 14.

"We did a good job of regaining control in the first game," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "Christen Clayton brought us back into the game with her serving and we continued to serve aggressively all night. We did a good job of following our game plan. Shelby (Burton) and Nancy (Nellans) did great jobs at helping stabilizing our offense and we played solid defense. It was just a solid all around performance for us tonight."

Memphis will now prepare for an important C-USA battle for third place with Marquette on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The Tigers will then host DePaul on Saturday, also at 7 p.m.



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