Sept. 17, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - In front of a great crowd in Fogelman Arena, the Tulane volleyball team pushed #16 Oregon to the limits in their three set loss against the Ducks. The Green Wave dropped the match by scores of 23-25, 21-25 and 17-25, but held late leads in each of the final two sets in the day one finale of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic.
"The goal today was to match their physicality offensively and especially in blocking because they have so many weapons, front and back row," said Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic. "We tried to make sure we were focused on blocking and stopping them because they are really hard to dig. On and off (tonight), we started matching them physically. We had some rallies, our hitters were getting kills, we were able to stop them and then when it counted, we didn't come up with big points. I think that was the difference when playing a team that's older, more experienced, and a high quality team. I think we got better overall today."
In the opening frame, Tulane never trailed by more than three points at any time in the set, and were tied five times, but couldn't take the lead from the visitors. An Azarri Badawi kill knotted the set at 17-17, but three quick points by Oregon allowed them to retake the lead and eventually the set to take the early lead. Cori Martone and Badawi each had three kills in the first set, while Mel Mandelbaum handed out eight assists and collected a service ace.
Martone carried the Green Wave offense in set two with five kills and the Green Wave jumped out to an early 11-7 advantage. Oregon got off to a quick start and held a 7-2 lead before Badawi grabbed a kill and took over the serve for the Tulane. The freshman rattled off eight straight points during her service, with four points coming on Oregon attacking errors, and pushed Tulane in front 11-7. The Olive and Blue eventually led 16-9, but the Ducks roared back and knotted things up at 19-all and scored six of the final eight points to claim the set.
Tulane led early on in the third set, before Oregon drew even at 9-9, but the Green Wave jumped ahead again thanks to a pair of Badawi kills and an attack error from Oregon. At 12-10, the Ducks rallied to tie the set again and take the lead for good with five straight points. Tulane pulled within two late in the set, but nationally-ranked Oregon used a tough service to extend the lead down the stretch and close out the match.
Badawi didn't commit a hitting error in the nightcap, collecting eight kills in 13 attacks, while Martone converted ten of her 32 swings on the night. Martone chipped in nine digs, as well, while Mandelbaum handed out 25 assists and collected nine digs. Amaris Genemaras led the team with 13 digs, but Oregon's Haley Jacob tallied 17 for the match-high.
The Ducks (10-0) were led by 12 kills from both Heather Meyers and Katherine Fischer, while setter Lauren Plum added 37 assists.
Tulane is now 3-8 will host FIU on Saturday evening starting at 8:00 at Fogelman Arena. Check out complete results and recaps of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic by clicking here.