Cincinnati's Rally Falls Short vs. Memphis|
Sept. 29, 2013
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati volleyball team mounted a furious comeback in the fourth game to force a decisive fifth set, but the rally fell short as it lost 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 29-27, 27-29, 15-8) to the University of Memphis on Sunday afternoon in Fifth Third Arena. Freshman Breanna Barksdale collected her first career double-double with a career-high 15 kills and a career-high 10 blocks.
Barksdale recorded her best performance to date to lead the Bearcats offensive effort with a .448 hitting percentage. She also tallied a career-high five digs on defense.
Freshman Ciara Hill (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) had 14 kills for Cincinnati while freshman Mallory Blauser (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock Christian Academy) collected 10. Freshman Kristin Conor (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch) had 47 assists while freshman Shelby Green collected a team-high 16 digs.
As a team, the Bearcats hit .138 on 51 kills with only 28 errors. They out-blocked the Tigers 15-10 and had six different players record at least one block on the afternoon.
Cincinnati found itself on the brink of elimination in the fourth game with Memphis serving for the match at 24-20 before it put together a strong run to tie the game at 24-24 after four straight attack errors by the Tigers. The Bearcats dug deep and spoiled three more match points before using a block by juniors Madi Lang (Commerce Township, Mich./Florida Atlantic) and Me’Ashah Nicholson (Shiloh, Ill./Belleville Althoff) and two UM errors to win the set 29-27.
The set victory pushed a match into the fifth set for only the second time this season for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats mounted a furious comeback to win the first game and take a 1-0 lead in the match. The tigers rolled to a 6-point lead at 19-13 but UC scored five of the next six points, including two kills by Hill, to begin the fight back. Cincinnati tied the score at 21-21 following three-straight points on kills from Hill and sophomore Morgan Allred (Carrolton, Texas/Hebron) and a service ace from Conor and forced Memphis into its second timeout of the game. UC closed the match on its second set-point opportunity when an emphatic kill by Barksdale gave her team the 25-23 victory. It marked the first first-set win for the Bearcats this season. Barksdale led all players with five kills in the game while Conor added 11 assists and three kills.
The teams traded points to open the second set until four straight UM points gave the Tigers a 12-9 lead. The Bearcats made a late surge, scoring four straight points to get the score to within 21-19 and force a Tigers timeout, but UM rallied with a mini-run of their own and finished out the set 25-20. The win for Memphis tied the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission. Green collected a game-high six digs for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati dropped the third game in heartbreaking fashion, falling 29-27 and going down 2-1 in the match. The Bearcats held a one or two point lead throughout the majority of the match, but could not convert on two consecutive set-points as the Tigers tied the score at 24-24. Each team has two set-point chances during the closing of the game, but neither could put it away until a Memphis kill gave the Tigers the 29-27 victory. UC hit a match-high .361 in the game with 17 kills and only four errors. Barksdale and Hill each led the team with five kills.
The Bearcats will be back in action next Weekend, Oct. 4 and 6 when they travel to the Lone Star State. UC will face the University of Houston at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 4 and will travel to Dallas to play SMU at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 6.