Volleyball Drops Season Opener, 3-1
Aug. 30, 2002
STATESBORO, Ga. - - Hitting errors forced The University of Memphis (0-1) volleyball team to drop its season opener against Atlantic Sun conference regular season champ Georgia State, 3-1, in the second game of the Georgia Southern tournament, Friday.
The Tigers, who are without middle hitter Shella Neba, got a career-high 19 kills from outside hitter Brittany Barnett. Barnett also tied for the team lead with 13 digs to post her first double-double of the season.
Sophomore Tiara Gilkey was the only other Tiger to down double-digit kills, posting a career-high 11 kills in the loss. Gilkey added one service ace, two block assists and four digs.
The match was tight from the opening game, with Georgia State edging Memphis, 30-28 before Memphis came back to win game two, 30-26. But the trio of Randi Van Dam, Lisa Lykins and Molly Sapp was too much for a young Memphis team to overcome, as Georgia State took games three and four, 30-21 and 30-27. Randi Van Dam led the Panthers with 16 kills, while Lisa Lykins added 15. Molly Sapp rounded out the double-digit kill leaders with 13 and posted a game-high 14 digs.
Memphis hit just .022 in game one, regrouping to hit a game-high .250 in the game two win. But a .027 hitting percentage in game three and a .179 game four hitting percentage hurt the Tigers as Georgia State hit under .200 in just the opening game.
The Tigers' freshman class had an impressive outing, led by six block assists from middle hitter Kristen Hardee and nine kills from outside Nancy Nellans. Freshman Nan Kimbrell tied with Barnett with 13 digs for the match, while Lauren Berg and Heather Watts each added 10 digs. Watts, Barnett and Kimbrell each added two service aces, while Watts led the team with 43 assists.
The Tigers will face Charleston Southern at 5 p.m. (EDT), Friday, before squaring off against two-time Sun Belt East Division champion Western Kentucky at 9 a.m. (EDT), Saturday. The Tigers will wrap up their season-opening tournament against host Georgia Southern at 3 p.m. (EDT), Saturday.