Oct. 11, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane defense slammed the door on UCF Sunday as the Green Wave swept the Knights, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23) in a Conference USA volleyball match at Fogelman Arena. Tulane held UCF to a .036 hitting percentage and racked up 11 blocks to improve to 10-6 overall, 5-2 in C-USA.
"Our block was important today," head coach Sinisa Momic said. "They were attacking from the left side primarily...and our middles had time to close the block. We did that, most of the time.
"It was a team effort today. We improved on some of the things that plagued us against Southern Miss late in the match, and we didn't let this one get away."
Sophomore outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic paced Tulane offensively with 18 kills and a .282 hitting percentage to go along with 11 digs. Freshman Marija Milosavjevic connected at a .600 clip with seven kills on 10 swings and a team-high six block assists. Freshman Milica Jovic and junior Lindsey Shepard each posted five assisted blocks, while Jovic added five kills on a .455 hitting percentage.
Djurdjevic and senior setter Rachel Lindelow and anchored Tulane's backline with 11 digs each, while senior libero Jenn Miller chipped in nine digs. Lindelow added 34 assists on Tulane's 40 kills as the Wave hit .214 for the match.
Leading two sets to none, Tulane struggled to gain control of set three early. Tulane led 15-13, but UCF tied the set at 16-16 on an attack error by the Wave and a kill from Kristin Fisher. Fisher tied the set again, at 17-all, with a kill, and the Knights surged ahead, 20-17 on a pair of kills from Erin Campbell.
Tulane had rolled through the first two sets, holding UCF to a .000 hitting percentage. In set one, the Green Wave held UCF to a -.086 hitting percentage, picking up four blocks. Tied 9-9, Tulane reeled off a 10-3 run to seize control of the set and Djurdjevic put the set away with back-to-back kills.
Set two was more of the same as Tulane used a 9-4 run, capped by a Lindelow's kill off a flip, to turn a 10-10 tie into a 19-14 lead. UCF trimmed the margin to 20-17 on an attack error by the Wave, but Tulane reeled off four straight points to set up set point, and won 25-18 when the Green Wave front line forced an attack wide. Tulane went the entire match without a receiving error as Djurdjevic handled 24 chances and Vlaskovic 18 without a miscue.
Campbell paced the Knights with 14 kills, hitting a team-high .171, while also lead the team in digs with 11 and sporting two solo blocks. Fisher chipped in nine kills on 37 attempts, while Andee Youngblood added nine digs and 19 assists for UCF. The Knights fall to 10-10 overall and 2-5 in Conference USA.
At 5-2 in C-USA, the Green Wave sit tied for second with Rice after Sunday's action, a half game behind 6-1 Southern Miss.
"We have a schedule ahead of us, where if we do our best, we can make a lot of things happen for us and stay within the first three teams," Momic continued. "Starting today, we have to stop being so inconsistent and work on our blocking on the right side. I think we showed improvement today, not all the time, but in general. It was a good 3-0 win for us."
Tulane will embark on a road trip to Huntington, W.Va, for a Friday matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd at 6 p.m. CT, and continue to Greenville, N.C. to take on East Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 18 at noon.