Memphis Sweeps UTEP on Senior Day
Nov. 21, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
UTEP (12-19; 4-14 C-USA) 19 19 20 Memphis (16-14; 7-11 C-USA) 25 25 25
Memphis setter Hajnalka Molnar posted her team-leading eight double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs, and the Tigers served up 11 aces to cruise to a sweep of UTEP on Senior Day, Sunday afternoon at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Memphis snapped a four-game slide with the win and improve to 16-14 overall and 7-11 in C-USA play. UTEP suffered its 12th-straight loss to fall to 12-19, 4-14 in league action.
Christine Bach joined Molnar with a match-high 10 digs for the Tigers, who earned their first C-USA sweep of the year.
For the second consecutive match, the Tigers got off to a slow start in the opening set and fell behind 7-1. But Memphis weather UTEP's initial surge and put together a five-point rally on the strength of kills by Cassidy Hawkins, Jovanovic and two from Kostic to get back into the set, 11-9. A service error stopped the run, but didn't slow the Tigers momentum as they strung together a four-point push to claim a 13-12 lead. One of seven first-set kills by Jovanovic evened the score at 12-all and an attack error by UTEP turned the lead over to the Tigers, 13-12. Behind the strong serve of Altrese Hawkins, the Tigers took control of the set by scoring seven-straight to go up 24-17. UTEP held off two set-point serves, but could not deny the Tigers a third shot at closing the set out as Molnar dumped in a kill to clinch the 25-19. Memphis hit a scorching .433 on 16 kills in the first. Jovanovic hit .545 with seven kills, WHILE Molnar set 13 assists.
In a closely contested second set, Memphis again used the serve of Altrese Hawkins to gain control of the set. A Miners ball-handling error broke a 13-13 tie and set the Tigers on a 6-0 run. Hawkins had three of her five aces in the rally that saw the U of M take a 19-13 advantage. That was all they needed en route to a 25-19 victory and a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Memphis took early control of the finale, jumping out to an 11-5 lead. However, UTEP responded with an 8-1 surge to take a one-point lead, 13-12. The Miners extended their cushion to 17-13 and threatened extending the match to a fourth set. But the Tigers answered by scoring on the next seven serves to turn the four-point deficit to a one-point advantage. Memphis got aces from Jovanovic and Katlin Inglish on its way to taking the lead. Altrese Hawkins broke a 19-19 tie with a kill that ignited the Tiger's final push to clinch the sweep. She followed with an ace and a back row kill to put Memphis up 22-19. UTEP landed a kill to trim the Tiger lead to 22-20, but consecutive aces by Molnar salted the match away.
The Tigers will wrap up the 2010 season with a pair of matches versus UAB, Nov. 24 and 27. Memphis will make the short trip to Birmingham to take on the Blazers on Wed., Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The two teams will then end the season with a 7 p.m. showdown in Memphis on Sat., Nov. 27.