UCF Spoils Career Nights from Petronijevic and Wesley, Tigers Lose 3-2
Nov. 27, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Aleksandra Petronijevic and Alexis Wesley both had career nights Wednesday as the Memphis volleyball team (14-17, 6-11 The American) dropped a 5-set battle to the UCF Knights (20-10, 11-6 The American). Petronijevic tallied 38 digs, breaking the individual record for most digs in a single game. The old record was held by Christine Bach who did it against IUPUI Sept. 5, 2008 putting up 37 digs in the match. Wesley put down a career-high 20 kills, besting her previous high of 14 from earlier this year.
"That was a tremendous volleyball match tonight," head coach April Jauregui said. "The only thing we didn't do was get the win. We showed tonight the type of team we can be. I am proud of the girls for their heart and fight. It is always a fun match against them, a chess match back and forth. Unfortunately they had the better moves at the end."
The Tigers took a hard-fought first set 25-22, hitting an impressive .419 in the set with 21 kills and only three errors in 43 attempts. Memphis and UCF battled for a lead early in the second set, but the Tigers would jump out to a 19-8 lead with the help of a 9-2 run. Despite a push late in the set from the Knights, the Tigers cruised to an easy 25-11 victory.
The Knights came out of the locker room rejuvenated as they jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the third set. The Tigers would battle back to within four points at 20-16, but the Knights were able to maintain their lead the rest of the way and take the set 25-18. The Knights jumped out to another early lead in the fourth set, the gap stretched to seven points at 14-7 before the Tigers roared back to tie the score at 21-21 and eventually take a 22-21 lead. The Knights were able to counter and take the hard fought fourth set 25-23.
The fifth set started as close as the previous, with the teams fighting for any sort of breathing room. Eventually the Knights were able to pull away and take a 14-6 lead after a 7-0 run. The Tigers pulled as close as 14-8, but the Knights would complete the comeback and take the match 3-2.
Wesley led all players with her 20 kills, followed closely by Lauren Hawkins with 17. Catlin Lilly had 14 and Viktorija Teivane rounded out the double-digit hitters for the Tigers with 10 kills. Veronica Zimmerman had a game-high 59 assists while adding four kills and five digs.
"When you look at the stat sheet you see what a great match it was," Jauregui said. "That was the best I have seen our team play all season. It is disappointing to not get the win, but as a coach I couldn't ask for more."
With her career night, Petronijevic passes the 600-dig plateau for the first time in her career, finishing the night with 622 digs, her previous season best came in 2012 when she finished the year with 543. The 2012 total ranked as the second best season in Memphis history at the time, but has been pushed to third with Petronijevic's current season. She'll have a chance to break the single season record on senior night, the current record is held by Christen Clayton, who totaled 641 digs during the 2006 season.
The Tigers finish up their 2013 season with a senior night match against USF Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.