PLAYER OF THE GAME
Martone posted her 5th double-double of the year with 25 kills & 13 digs, totaling 31.5 points to set the 2nd highest ASBCC total.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
9 Blocks by Oliva Utt in the five-set loss, which sets a career high.
31.5Career-high points total for Cori Martone, a total that ranks second in tournament history and are the most by a Green Wave player since Sept. 27, 2009 when Visnja Djurdjevic totaled 32.5 versus SMU.
1,809The number of career assists for Mel Mandelbaum, making her only the seventh player in school history to top the 1,800-assist plateau.
NEW ORLEANS - It wasn't the outcome that the Green Wave wanted in their first home match of the season, but the Tulane volleyball team battled until the end in their five set loss to Mississippi State in the final match of day one at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic. The Hertz Center was seeing its first official NCAA competition, but the Green Wave dropped the classic by scores of 25-20, 22-25, 16-25, 25-22, 10-15 to the Bulldogs.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic record books were assaulted in the final match of the opening day, with five players writing their names into the 12-year old document. Tulane's Cori Martone totaled 31.5 points in the match to move into second on the points charts and her five service aces are tied for the most in history, while Olivia Utt's nine blocks - three solo and six assists - are tied for the top mark at the tournament.
Tulane used a trio of service runs to come away with the opening sets, as Utt grabbed the first kill of the match and followed that with four straight service points to open up a 6-1 lead for the home squad. The match was eventually tied at nine points, but Tulane never relinquished the lead in the opening stanza. A pair of Martone service aces helped build a five point TU lead at 15-10, but in true Bulldog fashion MSU bullied their way back to a 19-19 tie. Mel Mandelbaum then raddled off three straight service points and an attacking error capped the 25-22 win.
The second set featured ten ties and three lead changes, included ties at 18, 19 and 20 points. Taylor Scott and Lainey Wyman got their nights started in the second set and helped the Bulldogs close out things with three of the final five points for the MSU in their 25-22 win.
Mississippi State dominated the third set with a .486 hitting percentage - 19 kills on 35 attacks with just two errors - and added 15 digs in the stanza. Martone's opened the set with a kill, but that was the only lead for the Olive and Blue and MSU eventually led 7-2. Tulane would pull within three points at 16-13 on a kill from Milica Jovic, but the visitors would tally nine of the final 12 points to close out the third set and take a 2-1 lead to the fourth set.
After falling behind 3-0 to start the fourth set, Tulane used kills from Jovic and Utt, followed by a service ace by Martone to knot things in the early goings. On the next rotation, Martone connected on one of her match-high 25 kills and Tulane didn't look back. The Green Wave used a .351 attaching clip, along with 15 digs - eight coming from Azarri Badawi - to race out to a seven points lead and never let MSU within striking distance in the 25-22 set win to send things to a key fifth set.
It was back and forth in the early going, but Tulane was unable to keep the momentum after a Jovic kill made it 4-3 in favor of Mississippi State. The Bulldogs used a 6-2 run to gain control of the set and Tulane would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.
Martone posted a career-high 31.5 points as the junior collected 25 kills, five service aces and three blocking assists on the evening. The Baton Rouge, La. native added 13 digs to grab her fifth double-double of the year and she has reached the ten-kill mark in all seven matches. Utt tied the ASBCC tournament record with a career-high nine blocks and added five kills. Grace Weaver posted her fourth double of the season with 12 kills and 15 digs, while Badawi ended the night with 24 digs.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic continues at the Hertz Center on Saturday, Sept. 8 with Tulane hosting Pittsburgh at 10:00 a.m. to kick off day two. Mississippi State follows at 4:30 versus the Panthers, while Sam Houston State and the Green Wave square off to close the tournament out at 7:00.
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