Volleyball Falls 3-2 to Southern Miss
Nov. 14, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Southern Miss (26-5, 10-2 C-USA) scored eight unanswered points on junior setter Amy Truong's serve in the fifth game to eliminate a 7-6 Memphis lead and grab a 15-7 game five win in a 3-2 victory over the host Tigers (27-5, 8-4 C-USA) in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Friday. The win prevented a Tiger comeback from 2-0 down, and gave USM sole possession of third place in the C-USA standings following Cincinnati and Louisville wins earlier in the evening. Memphis now falls behind Tulane for the fourth and final first-round bye. The Green Wave and the Tigers will square off Saturday, at 7 p.m. in a winner takes all match.
"We just made too many mistakes tonight," Tiger Head Coach Carrie Yerty said. "We had more kills than them, more blocks and out-dug them, but errors made the difference. Against the top teams in this conference you cannot come out and expect to win when you commit that many errors."
Memphis downed 77 kills, 11 blocks and 88 digs in the loss, while USM had 63 kills, seven blocks and 64 digs. But Memphis committed 41 attack errors against just 24 Golden Eagle miscues, hitting below .100 in the first two games, both losses.
Senior Brittany Barnett (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) was a consistent force for the Tigers all night, leading all players with 23 kills and adding 17 digs and two blocks. Tiara Gilkey and Nancy Nellans overcame slow starts to down 18 and 15 kills, respectively, while Shella Neba (Aurora, Colo./St. Mary's) added 10 kills and led the Tiger with six blocks.
Gilkey led the defense with 20 digs against the team coached by her former junior volleyball coach, while freshman Christen Clayton (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake) added 19.
With the loss, Memphis drops behind Cincinnati, Louisville, Southern Miss and Tulane in the league standings. The Green Wave and the Tigers will square off Saturday. The winner of that match will receive a first-round bye and will not start playing until the quarterfinals next Saturday. If the Tigers lose to the Green Wave, who are hosting the league tournament this year, they would fall into a tie with Marquette, a team Memphis beat 3-2 in Milwaukee earlier this year.