Volleyball Grinds Out Five Set Win Over Marshall

Junior Libero Nikki Osuna had 15 Digs Versus Marshall on Saturday Night

Junior Libero Nikki Osuna had 15 Digs Versus Marshall on Saturday Night

Oct. 23, 2010

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NEW ORLEANS - After falling behind 2-1 against Marshall on Saturday evening at Fogelman Arena, the Tulane Volleyball team rallied to grab a five set victory by scores of 19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 15-9. The Olive and Blue won their second straight match behind a solid night from Izabela Grot and an outstanding defensive effort by the team.

"It was a very important win for us tonight in a very tough match," said Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic. "Milica really struggled at the beginning of the match, but really stepped up late and that was a positive thing for us. Our team came together at the end and figured out that they were going to have to earn every point to get this win. We pulled it out when it mattered tonight and, with Azarri out due to injury, Cori and Amaris really stepped up and filled their spots."

The Green Wave took an early 2-0 lead to open the match, but Marshall responded and built an 8-5 advantage early on. The home team tied things up at 9-9 and traded points with the Herd, before MU would take the lead for good on a kill from Elizabeth Herman that made it 13-12. Tulane would get no closer than two points the rest of the way and Marshall won the opening set 25-19.

In the second set, Marshall took the early lead, only to watch Tulane grab it away and lead 6-3 early on. The Olive and Blue never looked back from that point, leading the remainder of the match, with Marshall drawing within one point just once the remainder of the set. Tulane had four blocks in the second set, while Izabela Grot had five kills and Lindsey Shepard chipped in three to help Tulane draw even with the 25-21 set win.

Marshall built an early 8-4 advantage in the third set, but Tulane would rally to tie things up at 13-13. However, two of Marshall's next three service rotations last five serves each and the Thundering Herd would grab momentum with the 25-15 win.

The fourth set looked to be all Tulane early on, with the Green Wave racing out to a 6-2 lead in the early going. Marshall would battle back and knot things up at 8-8 and the two teams would trade points until the score was deadlocked at 10-10. Tulane broke the tie and took a 12-11 lead, when the Green Wave offense came alive during a Milica Jovic service rotation. Jovic served six straight rotations and pushed the home team ahead, 18-11. The two teams traded points from there on and the match was even at two sets apiece with the 25-19 win by TU.

Tulane and Marshal traded the lead early on in the final set, but after Cori Martone gave TU a 2-1 lead with a kill, it was all Wave. Marshall tied it at 2-2, but after the Olive and Blue scored five of the next seven points, Marshall didn't get within striking distance the remainder of the set. Jovic had four kills in the finale and Martone finished things off with her second kill of the set to give Tulane the 15-9 set win and the match.

The team that grabbed the second lead won four of the five sets, while Marshall out-hit the Green Wave .204-.163 in the match, but MU had seven blocking errors and Tulane added nine blocks in the victory. Grot led the way with 17 kills for Tulane, while Jovic added 12 kills and 12 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Martone added ten kills from the middle and Mel Mandelbaum had 33 assists in the victory.

Tulane improves to 7-16 overall in 2010 and are now 4-7 in Conference USA play with their five-set victory. The Olive and Blue will hit the road and look to continue their winning streak at UAB on Friday, October 29 and at Memphis on October 31.