Volleyball Comes Back to Down Charlotte, 3-2
Nov. 8, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis volleyball team (18-12, 3-7 C-USA) came back from a 2-1 deficit to win games four and five in a Conference USA match-up against Charlotte (14-13, 5-5 C-USA) in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Friday. Game scores for the night were 26-30, 30-24, 25-30, 30-25, and 15-9.
In a match that found momentum swaying back and forth throughout the first three games due to errors, Memphis was re-energized by what the Tigers felt was a controversial call in game four when they were down 20-18. The Tigers regrouped and rallied to tie that game at 20 apiece and kept the momentum from swaying back toward the 49ers side of the net, winning game four, 30-25.
"This was definitely not Tiger volleyball's best game," Head Coach Carrie Yerty said. "But for a young team, we showed a lot of character in coming back and staying aggressive in those last two games."
The Tigers stormed out of the gate in game five, never really letting Charlotte string together any points and winning 15-9.
"Nan Kimbrell (Lafayette, La./Episcopal School of Acadiana) had a huge game for us," Yerty said. Kimbrell, who entered the game in place of fellow freshman Nancy Nellans (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph), finished with 12 kills and just one error on 30 attacks. "That's what we've been looking for from her. She is so great in practice, that it was just a matter of her getting her confidence in a game situation."
Lauren Berg (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) led all players with 21 digs on the night. "Lauren played phenomenal on the back row. She played all three defensive positions for us back there tonight and did a great job," Yerty said. Berg also added a career-high five assists in the Tigers' win.
Junior captain Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) had another solid night on the outside, downing 21 kills in the match and hitting .262. Sophomore Tiara Gilkey (St. Louis, Mo./Pattonsville) added 15 kills, while Shella Neba (Aurora, Colo./St. Marys) rounded out the Tiger foursome in double-digit kills with 11.
"I think we definitely have better volleyball in us," Yerty said. "We will need it to sweep senior weekend tomorrow night against East Carolina."
Senior Courtney Burg led Charlotte with a match-high 22 kills, including seven in a 30-25 game three 49er win. Freshman Abbey Szlanfucht, who the Tigers could not stop early, finished with 17 kills, while Lisa Newell added 13 kills in the 49ers' fifth C-USA loss. Newell led all players with seven total blocks and three service aces.
Memphis will wrap up its home season against East Carolina University, Saturday night, at 7 p.m., while Charlotte travels to St. Louis to face the Saint Louis Billikens, also at 7 p.m. Both teams will then have two league matches remaining after this weekend.