Memphis Swept at Houston
Nov. 7, 2010
Memphis (15-11, 6-8 C-USA) 16 18 24 Houston (17-10, 11-4 C-USA) 25 25 26
The University of Memphis volleyball team's quest for a third-straight C-USA victory fell short today, as the Tigers were handed a straight-set loss by Houston, Sunday afternoon at the UH Athletics/Alumni Center. Memphis falls to 15-11 on the year and 6-8 in C-USA action, while the Cougars improve to 17-10, 11-4 in league play.
Despite the loss, Memphis earned its fourth consecutive C-USA weekend split, having defeated Rice, 3-2, on Friday night.
The Tigers were unable to slow a streaking Houston club that has now won five consecutive matches. The Cougars hit a stout .326 for the match. They posted a .312 average on 16 kills, in the opening set and a .650 clip on 13 kills and no errors in set two for a 2-0 lead.
The U of M got a match-high 12 kills from Vesna Jelic and libero Christine Bach led all players with 12 digs. However, the duo was the only two to record double-figures in kills or digs for the Tigers.
Memphis struggled from the outset, falling behind early in the opener. Houston used a six-point run to take a commanding 13-6 lead and the Tigers never threatened. The Cougars used three Memphis errors and added a service ace as part of a 4-0 rally later in the set to make it 17-9.
Set two was more of the same for the Tigers. With the score tied a 2-all, UH rattled off the next four points on three kills and a Memphis ball-handling error. Trailing 10-6, Memphis staged its own rally. A kill by Cassidy Hawkins ignited the surge and the Tigers scored on eight of the next 12 serves to pull even at 14-14. Houston answered by scoring the next three points to a 17-14 game. Memphis managed to keep the set close and Altrese Hawkins' kill made it a two-point game, mistakes cost the Tigers in the final stretch of the set as Houston closed out the set with the last five points.
Down 2-0, Memphis came out and played its most competitive set in the third. The Tigers used an ace by Jelic and a kill by Altrese Hawkins for an early 3-1 lead. In a set the featured 20 ties, Houston responded with the next three scores to make it 4-3. Two strikes by Jelic helped the Tiger regain the lead, but UH again came back to tied the set a 7-7. From there the two club's fought through five ties before Hajnalka Molnar and Marija Jovanovic knocked down kills on consecutive serves to give Memphis a 14-12 cushion. But again the lead was short-lived as Houston battled to knot the contest at 14-all. After eight ties, Jelic again connected for a kill to give Memphis the set-point advantage, 24-23. The Tigers faltered over the final moments of the set, giving up three-straight points to end the match.
Memphis will look to return to the winner's circle next weekend, when it wraps up a four-match C-USA road swing at Tulane, on Fri., Nov. 12 and at Southern Miss, Sun., Nov. 14.