Senior Nikki Osuna Had 14 Digs Against Tulsa on Sunday Afternoon
Nov. 6, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane volleyball team dropped their second straight match to Tulsa on Sunday, November 6, falling by scores of 17-25, 20-25, 14-25. Tulane was held to a .133 attacking percentage, while Tulsa posted a .283 hitting clip in the three-set match.
"I think (Tulsa) showed why they've been the conference leader for the last three years," said Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic. "They overpower you on offense and on top of that they don't make mistakes. They know how to play. (Tulsa) was doing a much better job passing and digging the ball, so we really had to take our best swings to score, and even then they did a good job just playing all around good team defense. To beat a team like that, you really have to have quality players and be very consistent, but we were outmatched."
Tulsa (23-5, 14-1 C-USA) pushed out to an early 9-5 advantage, but the Green Wave rallied to knot the match at nine points on a Nikki Osuna service rotation. The Green Wave took their lone lead of the match at 11-10 on a block by Milica Jovic and Olivia Utt, but Tulsa would grab 11 of the next 13 points to take control of the opening set, 20-13. The two teams sided out the rest of the set to take the opener 25-17.
In the second set, the two teams were separated by less than four points for most of the match, with Tulane (9-17, 4-11 C-USA) grabbing the lead at the midway point, again. A kill from Cori Martone gave the Olive and Blue a 12-11 edge, but Tulsa scored four straight points - including two errors from Tulane - and held that lead the rest of the frame. A kill from Miriele Gobbo finally ended the second stanza by a score of 25-20 in favor of the Golden Hurricane.
Tulsa led throughout the third set and built a 12-3 led on a Bailey Clampitt service ace. The Green Wave closed that gap to 17-11 on a kill from Izabela Grot, but Tulsa tallied eight of the final 11 points to close out the set and the match.
"We're still adjusting (to the five-one system)," said Momic. "We are hoping that (Mel) can run the offense and know what to do when she only has two hitters front row. The main goal is to be ready to play both systems and get our middles and setters to know how to run both offenses. We're kind of still adjusting to that. I definitely want to see both of our freshmen middles get more sets and develop this year."
Grot paced the Green Wave attack with 12 kills, attacking a .440 clip (12K-1E-25TA), and Martone grabbed eight successful attacks to rank second on the squad. Mel Mandelbaum posted her third straight double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs, while Osuna had 14 digs to lead the Olive and Blue. Tulane posted ten team blocks, led by seven from Utt, compared to five for the Golden Hurricane.
Tulane will take their final weekend road trip of the season, starting on Friday, November 11 with a match at Memphis. After taking on the Tigers, the Green Wave will head to Birmingham, Ala. to face UAB on Sunday, November 13.
Single game tickets for the remainder of the 2011 home slate are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting the Tulane Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or visiting the Tulane Team Shop inside the James Wilson, Jr. Center between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.