Redhawks Post 3-2 Comeback Win Over Memphis At Home
Sept. 27, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Junior outside hitter Aubrey Dondlinger (Palos Heights, Ill./Parkland CC) and sophomore right side hitter Karleigh DeLong (Corona, Calif./Santiago) contributed double-doubles as Southeast Missouri State volleyball rebounded from a 2-1 deficit to post a 3-2 (30-32, 30-18, 20-30, 30-26, 15-12) non-conference victory over visiting Memphis tonight at Houck Fieldhouse. The Redhawks improve to 7-8 with the win and the Tigers drop to 12-6 on the season.
Dondlinger posted a career-best 21 kills with 13 digs, while DeLong contributed 20 kills, 11 digs and equaled a career high with four service aces for Southeast. Junior setter Alyssa Aston (Franklin, Tenn./Franklin) recorded a double-double with a career-best 60 assists and 12 digs. Freshman outside hitter Claire Keaton (St. Louis, Mo./Incarnate Word) tallied 10 kills and sophomore libero Molly Davis (Muncie, Ind./Burris) recorded a match high-tying 15 digs. Junior middle blocker Kim Unnerstall (Washington, Mo./St. Francis Borgia) also posted a career-best eight kills with five block assists.
Southeast opened the first game by breaking an early 11-11 tie with an 8-2 scoring drive to capture a 21-13 lead, culminated by back-to-back DeLong kills. The Redhawks later increased their advantage to 24-15 on a service ace from freshman defensive specialist Kelly Benacka (Algonquin, Ill./Jacobs) before a 15-6 run helped Memphis come back to tie the score at 29-29. The Tigers scored the final two points on a kill from freshman Kelsey Labrum and a sophomore Christine Bach service ace to gain a 1-0 lead.
Three straight kills from DeLong gave the home team a 10-6 lead in the second stanza. Back-to-back Dondlinger kills later gave Southeast a commanding 20-10 advantage, but the Tigers sliced their deficit to 24-17 thanks to a quick 7-4 run behind three kills from Labrum. The Redhawks evened the match at one game apiece heading into intermission after scoring six of the final seven points thanks to three kills from Keaton.
"We worked on taking care of the ball and comeback situations in practice so this worked to our advantage in this match," DeLong stated.
The Tigers regrouped in the third game by outhitting Southeast, .306-.079, en route to claiming a 2-1 lead in the match. Senior Ashley Liford led Memphis in the stanza with six kills, while three players each recorded three block assists. Unnerstall posted three kills early in the fourth game to give Southeast an early 8-3 advantage and a kill from Aston later hiked the home team's lead to 15-11. The visitors bounced back with a 12-6 run, which included four kills from junior Sarah Bury, to gain a 23-21 leading margin. The Redhawks came back with a game-closing 9-3 run to send the match into a deciding fifth game and held on in the fifth game to win by holding Memphis to an .080 hitting percentage.
"I am very proud of how well the girls played tonight. They gave everything they could on the court tonight and took care of business," third-year Redhawks head coach Renata Nowacki said. "We reduced our errors and kept fighting throughout the match."
Liford notched a career-high 29 kills to earn top match honors for Memphis, while Bury finished with a double-double of 17 kills and 15 digs. Junior Laura Côté posted 58 assists, senior Shelby Labrum added 10 kills and redshirt freshman Christine Bach contributed 14 digs.
Southeast opens an Ohio Valley Conference weekend home doubleheader Friday night against Morehead State with the first serve set for 7 p.m.