Hansel tallies career-best 16 kills in Tulane Volleyball’s loss to Houston

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NEW ORLEANS – Sophomore middle hitter Erika Hansel notched a career-high 16 kills and three Green Wave players recorded double-doubles, but Tulane volleyball dropped the final match of the season, losing 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 25-19, 12-15) to Houston Friday afternoon at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. The Green Wave finish the 2017 season with a record of 14-19 overall, 3-17 The American.

Hansel and freshman outside hitter Lexie Douglas powered the Green Wave to a 25-19 win in the first set with four kills each. Tulane attacked to an overall percentage of .341, tallying 18 kills while only committing four errors, and took control of the set. Senior setter Justine Bowers led with a set-high 17 assists.

Houston responded in the second set to tie the match at one. The Green Wave’s attack slumped, falling to a percentage of .079 and struggling to provide the ammunition for a comeback. Junior middle hitter Dayna Kern and freshman right side hitter Markenzie Benoit each had three kills, but Houston won the set 25-19.

Hansel’s four kills (.500 attack percentage) in the third were not enough to carry the Green Wave to a set win. Douglas and Benoit combined for 19 attack attempts but could only convert five for kills as Tulane’s attack percentage sat at .167. Houston’s consistent attack prevented a Tulane comeback as the Green Wave fell 25-20.

Tulane’s attack took off in the fourth thanks to a .410 hitting percentage. Kern recorded a set-high five kills, while Benoit and Hansel each added four to lead the Green Wave to a 25-19 win and force a decisive fifth set. Bowers added 14 more assists in the set.

Houston opened a 3-0 lead to start the final set and never looked back, winning 15-12 to seal the match victory. Douglas and Shaw each tabbed double-doubles in kills and digs, and Bowers tallied a season-high 59 assists en route to her fifth double-double of the season with 59 assists and 15 digs.

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