Aug. 25, 2012
WACO, Texas - It was a weekend that saw the Tulane volleyball team compete with every team they stepped on the floor with, but the results all landed in the loss column. In the finale of the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic the Green Wave fell 3-1 to tournament host Baylor, dropping it by scores of 21-25, 26-24, 18-25, 16-25.
Grace Weaver posted a pair of double-double efforts on the weekend and ended with 34 kills, three service aces, three blocks and 27 digs to earn All-Tournament honors.
"I think Grace played well all around," said Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic, "and passed very well while in the back row. She figured out ways to score all three matches and was our best player. Overall, she played really well. Anna (Wruck) had a good weekend for us, as well. She was better offensively and showed improvement all around from last year. Mel (Mandelbaum) and Lilly (Wolfe) also had solid weekends for us."
On the opening weekend many players found themselves in different spots on the court and in the finale it was Azarri Badawi filling the libero role and setting a career-high with 20 digs, which was also a match-high. Cori Martone and Weaver each collected their second double-double efforts of the weekend. It was a 12 kill/15 dig effort for Martone and Weaver chipped in 11 kills and 12 digs.
"This was by far our best performance of the weekend," said Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic. "If we played like this early in the weekend, we could have had a different outcome. If we can control how many mistakes we make it would have been a much different weekend. We had a lot of hitting errors early on, but when we limit those (errors), we can play with anyone. We played well the last match and we can build on that moving forward. At moments, we looked really good this weekend but we have to play basic fundamental volleyball and limit the points we give away to be successful."
The second set was a flip of the script as Tulane raced out to the early lead and led 12-7 before in the early going. The home standing Bears came right back to knot things at 13 apiece and eventually pushed their lead to four points at 18-14 on a kill from Nora. The two teams would trade points but kills from Izabela Grot, Martone and Olivia Utt pulled the match even at 22-22. The match was tied at 24-24 when a Baylor service error gave TU a one point lead and Weaver closed out the match with a kill, 26-24.
Baylor would trail during the third set and lead by as many as eight points at 16-8 when Alyssa Dibbern logged her fourth kill of the set. Tulane would close the gap to five points at 23-18, but a Baylor kill and block would push the home team to the third set victory.
Utt gave the Olive and Blue an early 3-2 lead in the fourth set, but the Bears would score five straight points and never look back to post a perfect 3-0 record in the season opening tournament. Tulane would log 11 kills in the set, but Baylor would collect 20 - seven coming from Dibbern - to close out the set and the match victory at 25-16.
In the match, Tulane posted 51 kills and a hitting percentage of .213, their best hitting percentage since posting a .252 clip at Marshall on October 30, 2011. It was errors that hampered the Green Wave, with eight service errors, five service return errors and 19 attacking errors in the match. Baylor had 20 attacking errors, but logged 15 more kills - 66 total -held a 71-63 edge in digs and posted a 9-6 edge in blocks.
Along with the double-double efforts from Martone and Weaver, Anna Wruck collected ten kills, while Milica Jovic and Utt each tallied six. Lilly Wolfe and Mel Mandelbaum split time running the offense, with Wolfe ended things with 23 assists and Mandelbaum producing 20 assists.
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The next action for the Olive and Blue will come on Friday, August 31 when they take on Louisiana Tech at 4:30 p.m. at the Lamar Invitational.