Sept. 19, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - In a match that featured about everything a sports fan could ask for, the Tulane volleyball team dropped a five set decision to FIU to close out the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic at Fogelman Arena on Saturday (Sept. 18) evening. The first five-setter of the season for Tulane featured a pair of blowout sets, 24 ties and ten lead changes, before the Green Wave eventually dropped the match by scores of 23-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-11, 15-17 to the Panthers.
Tulane led nearly the entire first set and held an edge of 20-17 when Azarri Badawi and Izabela Grot combined on a block. The advantage was cut to 23-21 on a service error by Badawi and the Panthers used a trio of kills to close out the opening set at 25-23. Martone led the squad with three kills in the opening set, but could muster only nine kills to 15 for FIU in the set.
The Olive and Blue trailed for most of the second set, but a pair of stellar service sessions from Milica Jovic and Cori Martone pulled them back into it. Tulane trailed 19-14 before Jovic took over the serve and strung together five points to bring the match even at 19. A service error gave FIU a brief 20-19 edge, but Martone collected a kill and the followed that with four straight points on her service, before Grot closed the set win out with a kill on an assist from Mel Mandelbaum.
The third set belonged to the Panthers, who only 1-0 before eventually taking a 20-9 lead. In the third set, Tulane hit .194, but the Panthers hit .267 with five service aces and benefitted from three service errors by Tulane. Lindsey Shepard and Jovic each had four kills in the set, but Tulane fell behind 2-1 heading into the fourth set.
The fifth set was tied nine times and neither team held a lead of more than three points. Tulane grabbed an 8-5 lead midway through the set when Mandelbaum and Shepard combined on a block, but FIU stormed back to tie things up at 8-8. The two teams traded points, before FIU opened up a 13-10 lead, but kills from Badawi and Grot, followed by an attacking error from the Panthers knotted things up at 13. The Panthers would score the final two points of the match a little while later to post the 17-15 set win and take the match.
Jovic tied her career-high with 17 kills - which was set on Friday versus Sam Houston State - while adding four blocks and four service aces in the match. Martone posted a double-double of ten kills and 13 digs and Amaris Genemaras had a match-high 22 digs. Shepard posted ten kills, seven blocks and six digs, while not committing an attacking error in 242 swings.
Tulane had 12 blocks to just four for the Panthers, but the Olive and Blue committed 11 service errors and had 11 return errors in the loss.
Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic All-Tournament Team
Amaris Genemaras, Tulane
Uma Trkulja, FIU
Natalia Valentin, FIU
Heather Meyers, Oregon
Ariana Williams, Oregon
Alaina Bergsma, Oregon (MVP)
The Green Wave are now 3-9 overall and will head into Conference USA play next weekend when they entertain Houston at Fogelman Arena. Tulane and the Cougars will begin a two-game set starting on Saturday, September 25 and concluding on Sunday, September 26.