Volleyball team slays Lady Tigers 3-0

The Sugar Bears volleyball team swept the Memphis Tigers 3-0 for the first time Sept. 17 in the Prince Center.
During the first set, Sugar Bears freshman middle blocker Jessica Nagy’s kill earned the Sugar Bears’ first point where the team then pushed ahead 3-0 over the Lady Tigers.
After a few kills by the Lady Tigers and a few missed shots from the Sugar Bears freshman outside hitter Karlie Giesler blocked a Lady Tigers’ hit, tying up the score 6-6. The Sugar Bears took back the lead after Sugar Bears sophomore middle blocker Taylor Hammonds got a kill to make the score 8-7. The Sugar Bears continued on a point streak, earning four points to lengthen their lead to 12-7.
The Sugar Bears won the first set 25-19.
Sugar Bears freshman setter Marissa Collins aced the first serve, putting the Sugar Bears in the lead for the second set 1-0. Giesler hit the ball out of bounds tying the score 1-1, but Sugar Bears junior outside hitter Jessica Hays blocked at the net, tying the score back up at 2-2.
With the Sugar Bears leading 7-3, the Bears scored the next point, but Lady Tigers freshman middle blocker Katie Meyer slipped on the wet floor during the play. After the spot was wiped up, the game continued but no point was given.
Halfway into the second set, Lady Tigers sophomore outside hitter Altrese Hawkins got a kill, but the Sugar Bears still dominated the scoreboard with a 12-6 lead. The Sugar Bears took the seconod set 25-12.
In the third set, Nagy killed and the Sugar Bears once again took the lead with 1-0.
Nagy and Sugar Bears senior right side hitter Chloe Smith blocked Memphis’ kill attempt, making the score 2-0, but Collins served out of bounds, and Lady Tigers sophomore setter Hajnalka Molnar and freshman middle blocker Katie Meyer blocked a Sugar Bears’ kill attempt, tying the score 2-2.
With Sugar Bears behind one point, they earned the next four points, missed a point, then earned the next three points, bringing the score to 9-4. The Lady Tigers kicked it into gear about halfway through, tying the score 15-15. Intensity hung thick as each team took turns making a point, consistently tying up the score board. The score was 22-23 until the Lady Tigers hit the ball out of bounds, once again tying the score 23-23.
Hammonds had 12 kills throughout the game, giving her the most kills for the game and putting the Sugar Bears in the lead with a kill making the score 24-23. Hawkins hit the ball out of bounds, ending the game with the Sugar Bears victory of 3-0.
Hammonds said she and the team were excited to finally overthrow Memphis after a long losing streak to the Lady Tigers.
“We got so close to beating [Memphis] last year,” Hammonds said. “It feels good to finally beat them and get to do it in our home court.”
Coach Steven McRoberts said he’s proud of his girls for coming together as a team, finally allowing them to check Memphis off the list.
“They’ve had our number ever since we moved into first division. That was a great win,” McRoberts said. “It was rewarding to watch them play as well as they did.”
Now 2-0 in the tournament, McRoberts said the more wins the team earns, the more confidence they’ll have.
“The crowds the last two nights were unbelievably great for us. Our level of play has gone up,” McRoberts said. “If we keep up with a crowd like this, we’ll keep winning.”

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