Hawkins' 23 Kills Not Enough For Tigers
Nov. 3, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In the first of four straight home matches for the Tigers, the Memphis women's volleyball team dropped a four-set (24-26, 18-25, 25-22, 20-25) decision to UCF Thursday night in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Despite a match-high 23 kills from Altrese Hawkins and a double-double from Hajnalka Molnar, the Tigers (15-12, 4-10 C-USA) could not overcome 15 Knight blocks and 21 kills from Angelica Crump.
Hawkins was joined in double-digit kills by Marija Jovanovic with 11 and Lauren Hawkins with 10. Molnar tallied 50 assists and 11 digs on the night while Aleksandra Petronijevic paced the Tigers with 16 digs. Katie Meyer contributed six blocks for the Tigers, who hit .205 for the match.
The Tigers used an early 6-2 spurt in set one to gain a two-point advantage thanks in part to solid offensive play from Altrese Hawkins and Jovanovic. But Memphis service errors allowed the Knights to climb back in it with four straight points to go up 11-9. A timeout got the Tigers back on track as they regained the lead at 13-12 with a block from Jovanovic and Meyer. From there the two teams battled it out with the lead constantly changing hands. With the score knotted at 22, UCF's Evija Vilde found an opening with two straight kills to give the Knights two set points. Hawkins saved the first one with a kill, and Memphis stayed alive with a block on the second one. But it was a UCF block that sealed the set for the Knights two points later at 26-24. Both teams hit over .350 for the set with Hawkins posting six kills with a .750 efficiency.
UCF tallied the first three points of set two before Vesna Jelic got the Tigers on the board with a kill. But the Knights quickly ran out to an 11-6 lead, prompting a Memphis timeout. The Tigers fought back out of the break with four straight scores to earn a chance to tie but couldn't quite complete the comeback as the Knights put together a 7-1 run to go up 18-11. The deficit proved too much for Memphis to handle as the Tigers came within no less than five points while dropping the set 25-18. The Knights posted eight blocks in the set and held Memphis to -.056 hitting.
Memphis came out firing in the third set to tally a 4-1 lead. But a 6-0 run the other way quickly had the Tigers staring into an 8-4 hole. A service ace from Jovanovic halted the run and sparked another 4-1 Tiger spurt to get within one point at 9-8. Back-to-back hitting errors then allowed Memphis to regain the lead at 12-11. The Tigers kept their foot on the gas and eventually built a 17-11 cushion. The Knights responded with a 6-1 run to get within one point, but timely kills from Hawkins kept UCF at bay and pushed the Memphis lead back to 22-18. The Tigers finally closed out the set 25-22 on another kill from Hawkins, her eighth of the set.
After watching victory slip through their fingers in the third set, the Knights were determined to end the night in the fourth, jumping out to an early 6-2 lead. The advantage grew to 12-5 midway through the set after four straight UCF points. A strong front line kept the Knight momentum going as kills were plentiful for the road team. Memphis climbed back to within four at 19-15 after a kill from Hawkins and back-to-back UCF hitting errors, but it was too little too late. UCF held on to win the set and the match, 25-20.
The two teams will be back in action Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.