Aug. 24, 2012
WACO, Texas - It looked to be the Green Wave's evening when they were just two points away from closing out a four-set victory over Nevada, but the Wolfpack rallied to win the fourth set and claimed the fifth set in decisive fashion to hand the Tulane volleyball team the loss in the season opener. The two teams went back and forth with Tulane falling by scores of 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-27, 9-15 to open the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic at the Farrell Center.
Three players produced double-doubles for the Olive and Blue and Grace Weaver added a career-high 17 kills, but it wasn't enough for the Olive and Blue in the season opener.
The Green Wave (0-1) already leading 2-1 in the match looked to have the fourth set in hand with a 23-20 lead. Nevada (1-0) used a pair of service aces and benefitted from four Tulane attacking errors down the stretch to knot the match at 2-2 with a 27-25 set victory and sent the match to a fifth set. The early going of the fifth set was controlled by the Wolfpack. They raced out to a 7-3 lead, but two kills from Cori Martone and a service ace by Weaver helped Tulane cut it to a one-point set at 9-8. Nevada would score six of the final seven points of the set to rally and grab the tightly contest season opening match.
The first set went the way of the Wave, but Nevada controlled the early going and led 10-4 after a kill by Janelle Batista. Seventeen of the next 25 points were scored by Tulane - with five different players collecting kills - and it that made it a 21-18 lead in their favor. The Wolfpack would cut the match to a one-point affair, twice, but each time Weaver would come through with a kill, including the final successful attack of the match.
Weaver led the Green Wave attack with a career-high 17 kills and added ten digs for her second career double-double. Mel Mandelbaum handed out 49 assists and collected 14 digs for her 21st career double-double, while Martone's 16 kill/15 dig effort gives her 11 such efforts in her career. Olivia Utt added a career-high eight digs, while Dragovic set a new personal-best with 15 digs.
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Tulane's stay at the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic will continue with a pair of matches on Saturday, August 25, starting at 10:00 a.m. versus Texas A&M Corpus-Christi (0-1). The Green Wave will then play in the tournament finale versus host Baylor (1-0) at 7:00 p.m.