Tiger Volleyball Falls to USF, 3-2
Nov. 7, 2004
TAMPA, Fla. -
Memphis (24-8; 8-3 C-USA) 30 30 23 26 8 USF (8-16; 5-6 C-USA) 21 26 30 30 15
Memphis won the first two games, but was unable to hold on the USF Bulls took a 3-2 come-from-behind win Saturday in Conference USA action. Tiara Gilkey became the ninth Memphis volleyball player ever to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career in the contest.
USF claimed the four of the first five points of the final set and held an 8-5 lead as the teams switched sides. USF went up 11-6 on a Memphis service error and held on held on to win 15-8. The loss was the Tiger's third straight five-game loss on the road as they slip to 24-7 overall and 8-3 in C-USA action.
Memphis came out of the gates with more intensity than they did a night ago, jumping out to a quick 7-1 lead in game one, behind a pair of kills by Melissa Nance. From there the Bulls would get no closer than three points before an 8-2 run gave the Tigers a commanding 20-12 cushion. Memphis led by as many as 10 before claiming the opening set 30-21. The Memphis attack hit a scorching .344 in game one as Nance and Gilkey each downed four kills. The U of M defense contained USF to a .176 attack percentage and also got help from five service errors by the Bulls.
Both teams battled to take control in the early goings of the second frame, but it was the Bulls that grabbed the early lead at 12-8. Memphis chipped away at the lead and used a 6-2 swing to tie the contest at 14. Memphis used its momentum to go on a 10-3 run that gave the Tigers their largest lead at 24-17. USF scored four of the final six points, but it was too little too late as Memphis took a 2-0 lead with a 30-26 win in game two.
USF took hold of a see-saw battle in the third set with a 10-3 push that put them ahead 23-17. Memphis trailed by as many as seven, but was unable to make up the deficit, falling 30-23. The Bulls hit .316 while Memphis sunk to a .151 percentage in the game as USF managed to salvage a win.
A 7-1 USF run powered the Bulls to an 12-9 lead and increased it to as many as six. Memphis countered with a 5-1 run the cut the lead to 23-21. A pair of kills by Ashley Liford made it a one-point contest at 26-27, but USF scored the final three points to claim a 30-26 win and send the match to a fifth and deciding game. The Bulls held Memphis to .160 hitting and had 22 digs. Memphis outblocked USF 4-2, but got out played in every other category.
Memphis had four players post double figures in kills, but hit .162 as a team. Nellans led the attack with her fifth consecutive double-double of 14 kills and 19 digs. Gilkey also registered a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. Fehi Tuivai and Nance downed 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Defensively, Heather Watts had 13 digs, while Christen Clayton and Emily Steckel had 11 and 10 each. Tuivai also had seven assisted blocks.
Memphis will now head home for its final two regular season matches against TCU and Houston on Thursday and Saturday.