Bowers, Douglas help Tulane Volleyball to thrilling comeback win over ECU

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NEW ORLEANS – Senior setter Justine Bowers’ double-double lifted Tulane volleyball to a thrilling come from behind 3-2 (23-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-9, 15-9) win against ECU Sunday afternoon at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. Bowers powered the Green Wave with 52 assists and 13 digs, celebrating her Senior Day with her fourth double-double effort of the season.

ECU dominated the first two sets of play, holding the Green Wave to attack percentages of .194 and .000 in the first and second, respectively. Tulane committed 17 attack errors across the two sets, failing to mount a serious run that could combat ECU’s offensive attack. Tulane entered the break trailing 2-0, facing a big deficit to overcome.

The Green Wave got the comeback started in the third, winning the set 25-17. Sophomore middle hitter Erika Hansel hit her stride in the set, leading all players with five kills (.444 attack percentage), to ignite Tulane’s offense. Bowers added 14 assists as the Green Wave recorded a team attack percentage of .278.

Freshman outside hitter Lexie Douglas took her game to a new level in the fourth set, recording 10 kills with an attack percentage of .643. Junior outside hitter Hannah Shaw put together a perfect set with an attack percentage of 1.000 (six kills), and Douglas’ outburst led Tulane to a 25-19 win, forcing the decisive fifth set.

Rolling with momentum, Tulane did not give ECU a chance in the fifth. Junior middle hitter Dayna Kern’s four kills were a set-high, as she drove the Green Wave to a team hitting percentage of .500 and the 15-9 set win. Bowers’ eight assists in the set pushed her match total to 52, in addition to her seven kills across five sets.

Four Tulane players notched double-digit kills, including Douglas, who finished with a career-high and match-high 18 kills. Shaw notched 14 kills (.571 attack percentage), Hansel posted 14 kills and Kern recorded 10 kills. Sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh reached 21 digs, and three other Tulane players – Bowers, freshman libero Mia Primavera and junior libero Lisa Mordell – reached double-digit digs.

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“I’m proud of the team and proud of the ladies for stepping up to play well and play hard for Justine on her Senior Day,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “Justine played tremendously, and she was a big leader in turning it around today. It was a good three sets in a row that we put together, and we showed what we’re capable of. We’re a young team, but I’m proud of the way we fought back.”

Up Next
There are two matches left for the Green Wave to make their final push for a postseason tournament bid. Tulane travels to Houston for a 1 p.m., Wednesday match before hosting Houston in New Orleans at 1 p.m. on Friday.

Single-game tickets for the 2017 season remain on sale. Tickets may be purchased by calling 504-861-WAVE(9283), logging onto TulaneTix.com or visiting the ticket office at the James W. Wilson Jr. Center.

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