Tulane fends off Southern Miss to win opening match of Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic
NEW ORLEANS – Tulane volleyball wasted no time getting back to its winning ways, as it opened the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic with a 3-1 victory against Southern Miss on Friday night at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. The Green Wave improved to 6-2 overall, 0-0 American with the win.
The Green Wave dropped the first set, 25-20, as Southern Miss came out on the offensive. Southern Miss recorded 14 kills (attack percentage of .286), proving to be too much for Tulane to handle. Trailing 20-13, junior outside hitter Hannah Shaw and sophomore middle hitter Erika Hansel paced the Wave with 3 (.429 attack percentage) and 2 kills (.333 attack percentage), respectively, to cut the deficit to four points. Tulane, however, couldn’t complete the comeback, as it was hindered by its seven attack errors and an overall attack percentage of .172 in the first set.
Tulane brought a different energy in the second set, battling and exchanging leads with Southern Miss throughout. The Green Wave opened a 21-17 lead on the back of freshman right side hitter Kristen Thompson’s four second set kills (.286 attack percentage), before sealing the set victory, 25-19. Freshman setter Jenna Ibieta and senior setter Justine Bowers combined for 14 assists in the set, as Tulane recorded a team attack percentage of .321.
The Green Wave continued rolling in the third set, dominating Southern Miss offensively by attacking to the tune of .323 percent. Freshman outside hitter Lexie Douglas delivered three kills (.500 attack percentage), helping to extend Tulane’s lead to as big as nine before winning the set, 25-16, on sophomore right side hitter Alexis Silver’s ninth kill of the night.
Tulane sealed the match victory in the fourth set, winning 25-17, to take down Southern Miss. Silver finished with a team-high 12 kills, while sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh added a match-high 12 digs. Thompson posted a match-high .462 attack percentage.
“It was a good turnaround for our team,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “Southern Miss came out and played really well in the first set, and for us to turn the momentum around is huge for us. Southern Miss is a good team that’s going to win a lot of matches this year. Our young players really stepped up to eliminate our errors, put pressure on them, and follow our game plan. That was a big win for us against a really good team.”
The Green Wave is set to play Nicholls and Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. tomorrow, the final day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at Fogelman in Devlin.
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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