Balanced Blazer Effort Tames Tigers In Five

Sam Skinner connected for a career-high 16 kills in the victory

Oct. 5, 2012

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. ---- Sam Skinner connected for a career-high 16 kills to lead a balanced effort as the UAB volleyball team outlasted Memphis on Friday night, 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 25-15, 16-25, 15-11) at Elma Roane Field House.

The Blazers and Tigers will square off again, this time at Bartow Arena on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT.

For UAB (8-11, 2-3 C-USA) it marked the fourth time in five league games that a match has gone five sets, as the Blazers are 2-2 in those contests.   

The loss drops Memphis to 6-13 overall and 1-4 in conference action.

"I thought we really served well, which caused Memphis' passing and offense to break down and give us some momentum," head coach Kerry Messersmith said. "Overall we played much better defensively than last weekend and we had a good week of practice.  Our kids had a great attitude and hopefully we can get back on track and get things rolling."

Skinner's 16 kills led a quartet of Blazers that reached double digit put-aways as Kirsten Gallagher, Kate Morrell and Michele Simmons all posted 10 kills each.

Morrell added 13 digs for a double-double, while setter Alison Woods dished out a season-high 47 assists.  Woods also posted a double-double with 13 digs of her own for the Blazers in the win.

"Alison did a great job distributing the ball tonight as we switched to a 5-1 on offense," Messersmith said.  "It was great to see us bounce back tonight after struggling last weekend."

UAB totaled 89 digs on the night, led by libero Rachel Fairbanks who posted 28 in the back row.  It marked the fourth contest this season she has recorded 25 or more digs.

In addition, Sam Serley added eight kills, five digs and four blocks to the box score.

After dropping the first set, 25-21, the Blazers came roaring back against the Tigers, evening up the match behind a 25-17 second stanza victory.  In the second frame, UAB rebounded by hitting .265 for the set as Skinner nailed down five kills on seven swings in the frame.

The Blazers and Tigers traded the third and fourth sets, sending the game to an all important deciding stanza. 

Leading 13-11, UAB received a solo block from Morrell, followed by a combo swat from Serley and Simmons to give the Blazers the five-set victory.