Volleyball Handed 3-1 Setback at ECU
Nov. 11, 2005
GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Memphis (16-14; 7-6 C-USA) 26 31 25 17 East Carolina (17-10; 8-6 C-USA) 30 29 30 30
The University of Memphis volleyball squad dropped a 3-1 decision to ECU Friday evening at Minges Coliseum. Senior Nancy Nellans posted a double-double of 17 kills and 13 digs to lead Memphis. Sophomores Ashley Liford and Shelby Burton also finished with double figures in kills, with 16 and 10, respectively. Freshman Laura Côtè posted 48 assists and added 10 digs, while libero Christen Clayton led all players with 22 digs.
The Tigers claimed a 12-10 lead early, but ECU used a 12-3 run to grab a 20-14 advantage in the opening frame. A 4-1 push by the Pirates put the game out of reach and gave them a seven-point cushion at 28-21 late in the set. Memphis cut the deficit to three points with a four-point run, but ECU was able to hold on to take game one 30-26. Burton downed five kills and hit .667 in the first game, while libero Christen Clayton made 10 digs. Led by Pam Ferris' six kills, the Pirates hit a blistering .357 to open the match.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the second game, but again saw an ECU rally take the lead out the their hands. Ahead 15-14, the U of M gave up four-straight points as the Pirates took an 18-15 lead. ECU led by as many as five points, 21-16 before Memphis finished the game off with a strong run. Reserve middle hitter Sarah Bury provided a spark for the Tigers as they made an 8-2 push to take a 24-23 lead late in the game. Bury led the charge with a pair of kills and an assisted block. However, ECU again retaliated, scoring the next three points to regain the lead at 26-24. Consecutive kills by Burton and Liford put Memphis ahead 28-27. Memphis then denied ECU on a game-point serve on Liford's sixth kill of the set. Liford downed her seventh kill of the frame to complete the comeback and tied the match at 1-1.
ECU scored the first six points of game three and led 9-3 before Memphis clawed back into the contest with 3-0 rally. Burton downed a kill and then recorded a solo block to pull the Tigers to within three points at 9-6. The Tigers continued to push points and managed to close the ECU lead to 17-15. The Pirates regained control of the game with a 4-0 run to take a 21-15 cushion. That control was short-lived as Liford and reserve Colette Ramirez led a 6-1 push to knot the set at 24-24. Ramirez ignited the rally with a kill and then followed a service ace by Liford with another kill. From there on it was all ECU, as the Pirates scored six of the final seven points for a 30-25 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The Pirates took command of the final game early, and put up a 7-1 run to maintain a 12-4 lead. ECU extended its lead to 17-8 before Memphis four-straight to make it 17-12. The Pirates increased their cushion to 27-13 on the strength of a 9-0 run.
Memphis will now set its sights on the final match of the regular season when the Tigers take on Marshall on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Thundering Herd, who clinched the regular-season title last weekend, has lost just one match in C-USA play--a 3-2 loss to Memphis on October 16.