Tulane Volleyball finishes as runner-up at Bulldog Invitational
STARKVILLE, MISS. – Tulane volleyball opened its final match at the Bulldog Invitational on Saturday afternoon with an assertive win in the first set against Stephen F. Austin, but ultimately dropped the contest, 3-1. The loss snaps the Green Wave’s five match win streak, as well as its streak of three consecutive match sweeps.
The Green Wave exchanged blows with SFA in the first set, before earning the 25-22 win, highlighted by sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh’s set-winning service ace. Tulane posted an overall team attack percentage of .237 in the first set, led by junior middle hitter Dayna Kern’s .500 percentage.
Tulane battled in the second set, falling behind 11-5 before head coach Jim Barnes called a timeout. The Green Wave fought back to cut the deficit to two points (13-11), but ultimately dropped the set, 25-18. Tulane’s overall team attack percentage fell to .053 in the second set, slowing the Green Wave’s roll.
The Green Wave responded in the third set, as sophomore middle hitter Erika Hansel added a much-needed spark. Hansel converted five kills, good for an attack percentage of .833, in the second set. SFA, however, jumped out to a 7-0 lead to begin the set, putting the Green Wave on its heels early. Tulane, behind Hansel’s offense, cut its deficit to as close as three points, but dropped the set, 25-20, as it struggled to contend against SFA’s .345 team attack percentage.
Tulane struggles continued in the fourth set, as SFA controlled the play offensively and defensively. Freshman outside hitter Lexie Douglas’ four kills were not enough firepower to spur the Green Wave to a set win, as it lost 25-16, sealing its defeat.
McHugh finished with a match-high 27 digs, while Douglas tallied a match-high 13 kills. Tulane’s record now stands at 5-2 overall, 0-0 American. McHugh was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Libero, while Kern and sophomore right side hitter Alexis Silver earned spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Tulane returns home to New Orleans next weekend for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic. The Green Wave will play Southern Miss at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, before facing Nicholls State and Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, respectively.
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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