Memphis Tigers volleyball (6-0) dominated their way to victory at last weekend’s Tiger Brawl, as they swept Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Gardner Webb and UT Martine.
Head Coach Sean Burdette is proud of his undefeated team but still has eyes for improvement. After the game Sunday, he talked about the level of play his team has shown so far this season.
“It’s a great feeling winning our home tournament, but we are back at zero heading into next weekend,” Burdette said.
Garner Webb Recap
The Tigers kicked off the Tiger Brawl with an early Friday morning match against the Bulldogs of Gardner Webb. The hosts won the game three sets to none by the scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-14.
Player of the game went to junior Hannah Flowers and sophomore Meredith Wallace as they both led the team in kills with eight.
The star from last week, Wallace, had a rough start. While she had her kills, the junior had five errors with a hit percentage of only 0.21%. The outside hitter (position) is still the team’s leader in kills and showed great poise toward the end of the match. Burdette talked about mistakes and how they found a way to bounce back to get the victory.
“We had a lot of errors in that second set but bounced back nice, but I would like to clean that up some before our next match against Alabama State later tonight,“ Burdette said.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Recap
Late Friday night was the second game of the Tigers double-header, and they did not slow down. The team ended up winning all three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-11 and 25-16.
Player of the match went to Wallace again, and although she did not have a great night statistically, the outside hitter recorded a match-high nine kills. Sophomore Sabrina Bianco had a match-high 26 assists. The setter (position) has led in that category for the Tigers every game so far this season.
UT Martin Recap
With the most anticipated matchup on the weekend’s docket, Memphis got their rematch with UT Martin and delivered a win to stay undefeated. They won convincingly as well, winning three sets to one Saturday by the scores of 25-17, 25-27, 25-18 and 25-22. Flowers and Wallace shared the player of the match as they both downed eight kills. Bianco had 37 assists in the match, which marks her fourth 30-plus assist match of the season. Burdette said she was thrilled with the win and the performance from the team but knows they must stay focused.
“It’s a great feeling winning our home tournament, but our goal is to stay focused on each weekend and win the tournament,” Burdette said. “We have been successful so far, but it gets tougher now.”
Up next on the schedule for the Tigers is the Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Illinois. Teams competing in that tournament are the home team Southern Illinois, Alabama State and Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI).
Flowers was recently named on the American Athletic Conference Volleyball Weekly Honor Roll. It is the second-consecutive week a Tiger was named on the list as Wallace made the cut last week. It was Flowers’ third career honor roll recognition, winning two last year. The Flowers, Wallace and Bianco tandem is becoming something special, and they would like to continue it next week when they go back on the road. They play Friday against Alabama State at 10 a.m. CDT.