Green Wave Volleyball wins Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic, finishes preseason with 12-3 record
NEW ORLEANS – Green Wave volleyball defeated Clemson in an intense five-set match (25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10) on Saturday afternoon, earning the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic championship title for their 3-0 weekend performance.
Sophomore outside hitter Lexie Douglas was named Tournament Most Valuable Player, recording 15 kills and a .387 attack percentage against Clemson while totaling 40 kills in three matches this weekend. Junior libero Kaylie McHugh earned Defensive Most Valuable Player honors, tallying 66 digs against the three opponents, with a current season total of 239.
“I’m so proud of all of our coaches and players. We didn’t play our best this weekend but we showed a lot of toughness and great teamwork to win the tournament against three outstanding teams,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “Kristen [Thompson] gave an MVP performance, and we are hoping for the best when she gets examined.”
Sophomore right side hitter Kristen Thompson and sophomore setter Jenna Ibieta both earned spots on the All-Tournament team for their performances against Little Rock, Villanova and Clemson. Thompson marked 26 kills in the weekend tournament, averaging a .384 hitting percentage in the three matches, despite leaving the final match early due to an injury. Ibieta finished the collegiate classic with 77 assists and 24 digs, hitting her first double-double of the season against Villanova on Friday night.
Three players posted double-digit kills in Saturday’s five-set thriller against Clemson, with Douglas adding 15, junior right side hitter Erika Hansel recording 13 and sophomore outside hitter Markenzie Benoit tallying ten. Senior middle hitter Dayna Kern had a standout performance in the final match of the weekend, adding nine kills and tying her career record with nine blocks for a strong offensive and defensive court presence.
With 21 tie scores and ten lead changes in Tulane’s final preseason match, the Green Wave and the Tigers battled it out until the end of the fifth set. The Olive and Blue took sets one and two, recording a team attack percentage of .333 and adding six blocks to hold Clemson to .097 hitting percentage the first set. Clemson’s eight blocks in the second were not enough to stop Tulane, with the Green Wave tallying 15 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. The Tigers took the next two sets in a close fight but the home team was able to take the win in set five, holding Clemson to a -.042 attack percentage and finishing it off with a kill from freshman outside hitter Yvette Burcescu.
With preseason competition underway, Tulane prepares for the start of conference play and will take on Wichita State and Tulsa on the road this Friday and Sunday, the team’s first American Athletic Conference opponents of the 2018 season.
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