Senior outside hitter Lindsey Norman had a match-best 21 kills and hit a team-high .310 Friday night against No. 22 Louisville.
Oct. 29, 2004
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Senior outside hitter Lindsey Norman posted a match-high 15 kills, and junior libero Kelli Dickson led all players with 21 digs, but it was not enough as the Tulane University volleyball team fell to No. 22 Louisville, 3-0, Friday night in Conference USA action at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane hung tough early in the first two games before falling 30-23 and 30-20, respectively, but the Cardinals dominated the third stanza to clinch the match with a 30-15 victory. With the loss, the Green Wave falls to 13-6 on the year and 4-4 in C-USA play. Louisville, meanwhile, improves to 19-2 overall and 9-0 in league action.
"Lindsey was outstanding for us tonight, but we need to have at least three players do what she did tonight against a team like this," head coach Betsy Becker said. "They're a legitimate Top 25 team, and this is the best team they've had in my six year's a Tulane. They're tall, they're powerful, and I see them going much further (in the NCAAs) than they've ever gone."
Norman hit .310 on the evening with just six miscues in 29 swings, but she would be the only Green Wave player to hit better than .220 as Tulane hit just .101 as a team. Louisville, on the other hand, hit .371 for the match, including six players who hit at least .300. The difference in the game at the net as the Cardinals posted 13 team blocks defensively while committing just five errors on the attack.
In her first career start, freshman Brittany Esser had 39 assists while posting four digs and a kill. With Esser running the show, the Green Wave had just three fewer kills than Louisville (45-42). Norman was the player to post double-digit kill totals, but senior middle blocker Deva Fowler and freshman outside/right-side hitter Sarah Weiland each had eight. Fowler led the Green Wave with three blocks.
"Brittany ran the offense exceptionally well, and Kelli dug everything for us tonight," Becker said. "If we can sustain our level of play in games one and two, we will have a different outcome tomorrow night."
In game one, Tulane played well early on as the two teams battled to an 8-8 tie early on. After trading the next two points, Louisville rattled off four consecutive points and continued to stretch its lead throughout the rest of the stanza to win the initial contest.
Game two followed a similar script as the score was 11-all after 22 serves. Tulane actually held a 16-13 lead midway through the contest, but the Cardinals would go on a 17-4 run from that point on to take a two-games-to-none lead into the locker room at the break. From there, it was all Louisville as the Cardinals scored two-for-one throughout game three en route to the straight-games win.
Junior outside hitter Lena Ustemenko paced Louisville with 11 kills and no errors in 28 swings, and while she was the only Cardinal player to post 10-plus kills, the visitors had five players tally at least five kills. Libero Candace Cogan led the Cards with 11 digs, and Ustemenko was close behind with 10.
The Green Wave returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 30 as the nightcap of a Tulane triple-header. The action-packed day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the swimming and diving team takes on cross-town foe UNO and nationally-ranked Arkansas at the Reily Student Recreation Center. From there, the women's soccer team closes out its regular season against C-USA rival Southern Miss at 1 p.m. at the Westfeldt Facility, and the volleyball team caps off the day with a showdown vs. league foe Cincinnati at 7 p.m. in Fogelman Arena.
For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE. Volleyball fans that can not make it to Fogelman Arena on Saturday can follow all the action live on the internet via GameTracker at the official website of Tulane Athletics - www.tulanegreenwave.com.