Volleyball: Bowers’ 33 assists not enough in Tulane’s loss to Cincinnati

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NEW ORLEANS – Senior setter Justine Bowers recorded nine kills to go along with her team-high 33 assists, but Tulane volleyball opened the weekend with a loss against Cincinnati, falling 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 15-25, 24-26). Tulane drops to 13-17 overall, 2-15 The American on the season.

Freshman middle hitter Markenzie Benoit led with a team-high five kills in the opening set to drive the Green Wave to a 25-21 win. Cincinnati opened the match on a 6-1 run, but Tulane responded defensively, limiting the Bearcats attack to a hitting percentage of .147. Bowers tacked on three kills (attack percentage of .571) and 11 assists, while sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh had her service stroke working, leading all players with two service aces to go along with six digs.

Cincinnati won the second set, 25-19, improving its attack percentage to .345 to tie the match at one. Ahead 7-6, the Bearcats put together an 8-0 run to break the set open and force the Green Wave to play catch-up. Tulane could not mount a comeback, however, as the team could not muster enough offense behind an attack percentage of .071. Bowers recorded six assists, while junior outside hitter Hannah Shaw led with two kills.

Cincinnati’s offensive attack grew even stronger in the third set, leading it to a 25-17 win. The Bearcats posted a hitting percentage of .500, as Tulane struggled to find a way to slow the momentum. Junior middle hitter Dayna Kern led with four kills (.800 attack percentage), but the Wave committed seven attack errors and saw their team attack percentage fall to .188.

Tulane showed tremendous heart in the fourth set after falling behind 20-16. A 6-2 run, spurred by Bowers’ two kills (.667 attack percentage), allowed the Green Wave tie the set at 22 and extend the possibility of a decisive fifth set. Tulane, however, could not finish the job, falling 26-24 to seal its defeat.

Sophomore middle hitter Erika Hansel finished with nine kills, while Kern recorded eight kills (.316 attack percentage). McHugh notched 14 digs and a match-high four service aces.

Up Next
The Green Wave makes their way back to Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse on Sunday to host ECU and celebrate Senior Day. Tulane will recognize Bowers and Sarah Ray, who played from 2014-16, before, during and after the match against ECU, which is coming off a 3-2 win at Houston.

Single-game tickets for the 2017 season remain on sale. 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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