Tulane beats Oklahoma, claims Allstate Sugar Bowl Volleyball Classic Championship

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NEW ORLEANS – Tulane volleyball defended its home court at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse in a big way on Saturday night, defeating Oklahoma, 3-1, to claim the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic championship.

Sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh earned the tournament’s MVP award, as well as Defensive Player of the Tournament recognition, while right side hitter Alexis Silver and junior middle hitter Hannah Shaw were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Match One
Tulane opened the final day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic in dominating fashion, sweeping Nicholls, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17). The Green Wave’s offensive attack was on full display throughout the match, as Tulane posted attack percentages of .367, .341 and .320 in the first, second, and third set, respectively.

Junior middle hitter Dayna Kern posted five kills (.556 attack percentage) in the first set to go along with freshman right side hitter Kristen Thompson’s five first set kills (.714 attack percentage), allowing the Green Wave to set the tone early. Kern finished the match with seven kills (attack percentage of .412), while Thompson recorded 11 overall kills (attack percentage of .500), as Tulane posted an overall team attack percentage of .344. McHugh tallied a team-high 10 digs, and freshman setter Jenna Ibieta notched a team-high 16 assists.

Match Two
The Green Wave’s showdown against Oklahoma on Saturday night at Fogelman in Devlin was a battle of heavyweights, as both teams entered the match undefeated through their first two matches of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic. In front of an energized crowd, Tulane defeated Oklahoma, 3-1, and was crowned as tournament champion.

In the first set, Oklahoma built an 18-10 lead on the back of its .256 attack percentage, forcing Tulane into an early deficit. The Green Wave attacked to a clip of just .087 percent, as it could not muster a consistent offensive attack, ultimately dropping the set, 25-17.

Tulane showed new life in the second set, led by Silver’s five kills (.375 attack percentage. Tulane won the set, 25-18, to tie the match at one apiece, giving more energy to an already animated crowd. The Green Wave attacked to the tune of .250 percent with 14 kills, while forcing Oklahoma into eight attack errors (attack percentage of -.061).

The Green Wave kept rolling in the third set, taking down the Sooners in a closely contested exchange, 25-21. Shaw powered Tulane with five kills, good for an attack percentage of .33, while McHugh continued to show her defensive prowess, recording four digs.

With the crowd in Fogelman in Devlin rocking, Tulane delivered a spirited effort in the fourth set, stomping the court after every kill, as it won, 25-16, to seal the match victory and win the championship. McHugh finished with 23 total digs, and Shaw provided 12 overall kills (.370 attack percentage).

“It was a great tournament for us,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “Obviously, Oklahoma is a great opponent, and it was a great championship atmosphere here with a nice crowd. The team really responded to it. It was great to see young players step up when it’s game time and really compete at a different level. That’s what you want to see when it’s the big match; you want players that pick their game, and everybody did tonight. It was a great team effort.”

Up Next
Tulane improves to 8-2 overall, 0-0 American with today’s two wins. The Green Wave will stay put in New Orleans next weekend, as it hosts the Tulane Invitational. Tulane welcomes Northwestern State, Alabama State and North Florida to Fogelman in Devlin, playing three matches over the two day tournament.

Season ticket packages for the 2017 season are on sale now. 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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MVP and Defensive Player of Tournament – Tulane libero Kaylie McHugh

All-Tourney Team:
Tulane – outside hitter Hannah Shaw
Tulane – right side hitter Alexis Silver
OU – outside hitter Alyssa Enneking
OU – defensive specialist Emma Kelly
USM – setter Sarah Bell
Nicholls – middle hitter Emily Weimer

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