Tiger Volleyball Sweeps DePaul, Advances to Second Round of C-USA Tournament
Nov. 19, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
#12 DePaul (12-18; 5-8 C-USA) 23 28 26 #5 MEMPHIS (25-9; 9-4 C-USA) 30 30 30Tiara Gilkey hit .571 with 14 kills and Nancy Nellans added a double-double of 14 kills and 11 digs as Memphis cruised to a 3-0 win over DePaul in the first round of the 2004 ChevronTexaco Conference USA Tournament. The Tigers advance to the second round and a rematch with TCU on Sat., Nov. 20. Match time is set for 3 p.m. EST
"This was a great performance for us," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "Our team came out in the first round focused and ready to play. I am pleased with the overall team performance. Now we will get ready for a battle with TCU tomorrow."
Memphis got out of the gates quickly, opening the contest with a 7-1 run. DePaul regained its composure and climbed back into the game with a 4-0 run of its own. Three consecutive kills by Gilkey put Memphis ahead 22-16. The Blue Demons never came closer than six points the rest of the game. Memphis got seven first-game kills from Gilkey and 20 assists from Heather Watts as the Tigers hit .405 in the first set.
DePaul regrouped and came out strong in the second game and held an early 7-3 advantage. However, Memphis got assisted blocks from Ashley Liford and Fehi Tuivai, and two Liford kills sandwiched a service ace by Emily Steckel to tie the set at 7-7. The two squads battled hard before Memphis took its first lead of the game at 12-11 on a spike by Nellans. The Tigers broke a 17-all tie with a 5-0 run to take a commanding 22-17 lead, but DePaul responded with a 6-1 run to tie the match again at 23. The U of M claimed the 24-23 lead and was able to hold on for the 30-28 win.
The match clinching third set saw the Tigers jump out to a 6-0 lead. DePaul was never able to recover from the slow start and could not close the gap any closer than four points. Memphis led by as much as nine, at 19-10 in the game.
The Tigers put four in double figures in kills in the contest. While Gilkey and Nellans each had 14, Tuivai and Melissa Nance each downed 10 kills. Memphis held a 58-37 advantage in the kills category and .302-.196 in hitting percentage. Watts quarterbacked the offense with 48 assists in the three-game set. Watts is now just 54 assists shy of breaking the C-USA all-time assists record of 1,792 assists, a mark she set in 2003. Memphis served up nine aces, led by four from defensive specialist Steckel.
Defensively, Steckel paced the Tigers with a match-high 12 digs. Libero Christen Clayton also reached double figures in digs with 10 as Memphis out dug the DePaul by 18.
"Our liberos had a great match," Yerty stated. "They served extremely well and their passing is the foundation for our offense."
The Tigers have now advanced to the C-USA quarterfinal round for the second straight year.