Tiger Volleyball Upends Southern Miss, 3-1
Oct. 26, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Southern Miss (13-11; 3-8 C-USA) 20 11 25 20 Memphis (15-10; 6-5 C-USA) 25 25 22 25
Senior setter Laura Côté posted her second consecutive double-double with 46 assists and 14 digs and Memphis was solid on both sides of the net as it pushed past Southern Miss, 3-1, in C-USA action Sunday afternoon at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The win clinched a sweep of the weekend's action for the Tigers, who handed UCF a 3-2 loss on Friday night.
Côté had three efficient options in the contest, led by Emily Underwood. After connecting for a career-high 21 kills on Friday, the middle hitter struck for a match-best 15 kills, hit .414 and made four total blocks. She got offensive help from Tiger outsides Katlin Inglish and Lauren Thompson. Inglish fired away for 14 kills, while Thompson finished with 13.
When it wasn't the Tiger offense, it was the defense as Memphis out blocked Southern Miss 14-3. Freshman Casey Sines finished the day with a career-best 10 total blocks, while Rebekah Strickland made five block assists. Côté joined Underwood with four total rejections. Libero Christine Bach picked up a match-best 21 digs in the contest to help Memphis hold USM to .136 hitting.
Sines teamed up with Thompson, Côté and Strickland to land three block assists in the opening set to help Memphis battle through 15 ties and five lead changes. With the score knotted at 18-all, the Tigers got consecutive kills from Underwood and Thompson to take a 20-18 lead. A pair of USM hitting errors helped the U of M push its lead to 22-19 before Thompson finished the set off, 25-20, with a pair strikes.
Set two was never in doubt for the Tigers after a service ace by Bach ignited a five-point run that gave Memphis a commanding 11-5 advantage. Ahead 17-10, Côté toed the service line for a 7-0 run that included a pair of blocks by Sines and Strickland. The Tigers hit a scorching .458 on 12 kills and just one error in the second, while holding USM to -.033. Memphis put up side outs points at a 90% rate.
Game three was much hotly contested set, much like the opener. The two squads fought through 10 ties before a kill by the Golden Eagles made it 20-19 in their favor. A Tiger error made it 24-20 and USM closed the set out 25-22 to make it a 2-1 match.
Strickland downed a kill to break a 7-7 tie and put Memphis on 4-0 rally to give the Tigers control at 11-7. Southern Miss kept the set close, scoring on seven of the next 11 serves to make it a one-point game at 15-14. Côté and Strickland then put down consecutive kills and Thompson struck twice as part of a 4-1 push that saw Memphis take a 20-14 cushion. Memphis was then able to hold off Southern Miss to clinch the match with a 25-20 final.
Memphis will wrap up its six-match homestand next weekend with matches versus Marshall on Fri., Oct., 31 at 7 p.m., and a 1 p.m. tilt against East Carolina on Sun., Nov. 2.