Sept. 20, 2002
MADISON, Wisc. - Four Green Wave players tallied double-digit kill totals and four posted 10-plus digs, but it was not enough as the Tulane University volleyball team dropped a hard-fought, four-game match to Illinois-Chicago Friday afternoon in the opening match of the Badger Invitational at the University Wisconsin Field House.
After dropping the first two games of the match by a combined seven points - 30-25, 30-28 - Tulane came back to win the third stanza 30-28 before falling 30-27 in game four. With the loss, Tulane falls to 7-6 on the year while UIC improves to 10-2.
"First off, we've got to give credit to UIC," head coach Betsy Becker said. "Their record is indeed indicative of how good they really are. They're going to beat a lot of teams this year.
"We had two problems tonight. No. 1, I think we tried to play more of their game then ours. They're a team that doesn't play with a lot of emotion and silently creates opportunities to score. We're a team that plays with animation and excitement, and that was missing tonight. No. 2, we only had two effective hitters tonight in Britney Hurst and Deva Fowler. We needed one more person to step up offensively, and it didn't happen."
Hurst led all players with 22 kills and Karlyn Daly posted a team-best 17 digs in the Green Wave loss. Fowler finished second on the team with 18 kills, and Kim Swafford finished with 11. Defensively, Hurst finished with 14 digs, followed by Lindsey Norman with 12 and Kelli Dickson with 11.
At the net, Swafford posted eight blocks, including four solo. Dickson, meanwhile, tallied her first career double-double with 51 assists to go with her dig total, and finished with a career-high four service aces.
Game two followed a similar theme, but this time, Tulane came out and staked claim to a 10-6 lead. UIC came back to tie it up with a 4-0 run, and the teams went on to tie the game six occasions. Knotted at 17, however, Tulane went on a run and appeared to have control of the game with a 22-18 lead. The Flames had other ideas and fought back to tie it up at 23 before taking a 25-23 lead. From there, Tulane and UIC battled to two more ties before the Flames capitalized on a kill and a Green Wave error to win 30-28.
The Green Wave rolled out to a 5-0 lead in game three and held an 11-5 lead in the early goings. UIC had an answer, tough and came back to tie it up at 13-all. Tulane pushed the lead back to five at 20-15, but after a timeout by the Flames went on an 11-5 run to take a 26-25 lead. Tulane was able to battle back and tie the score on three occasions before taking the stanza 30-28.
It was UIC which claimed the early lead in game four, jumping out to a 4-2 advantage, but Tulane responded with a 5-1 rally to take a 7-5 advantage. From there, UIC took control of the match as the Flames took went on a 10-3 run for a 15-10 lead and pushed their advantage to as many as seven at 25-18. Tulane would not go away, though, as the Green Wave cut the lead to three on a pair of occasions and slide the UIC advantage to two at 29-27. The Flames' lead proved too much to overcome, however, as UIC held on to win the game 30-27.
Teaha Shepperd led the UIC offense with 17 kills while Lara Clarkson and Lindsey Filkins each totaled 12. Defensively, Clarkson paced five flames with double-digit dig totals with 19, followed by Shepperd with 15, Filkins with 12 while Meghan Keck and Julie Popp had 11 each.
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday when they take on host Wisconsin and Bowling Green in day two of the Badger Invitational at noon and 4:30, respectively.