Nov. 14, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - In their final regular season home match, the Tulane volleyball seniors won the 88th game of their careers Saturday with a 3-0 sweep of UTEP at Fogelman Arena. Senior outside hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic led the Green Wave with 15 kills, hitting .303, while senior setter Rachel Lindelow handed out 36 assists with five service aces. Fellow senior Jenn Miller paced Tulane with 13 digs out of the libero position.
"I'm pleased that we finished with a 3-0 win for our seniors today on senior day. I think it gives us momentum going into the conference tournament, to finish with a good win against a tough opponent," head coach Sinisa Momic said. "It was a good job by all five seniors."
Tulane improves to 17-8 overall, 12-4 in Conference USA. The Green Wave await the score of tonight's Tulsa-SMU match to find out the seeding and matchups for the Conference USA Tournament next Friday through Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas. At 4-12 in C-USA, 11-18 overall, UTEP's season comes to an end as only the top eight make the C-USA Tournament.
The Green Wave racked up 13 service aces, a feat only topped 13 times in program history, as Lindelow led with five followed by Vlaskovic and sophomore Visnja Djurdjevic with three each.
"They were steady, especially Ksenija," Momic commented. "Her offense was pretty steady as well as controlling her serve receive. Rachel did a good job spreading the ball around and Jenn Miller looked inspired today. She came up with some important digs, especially in game three when things got rough a little bit."
Set one was all Tulane, as the Wave rolled 25-12, hitting .565 with six aces. UTEP picked up back-to-back points only once in the set as Tulane posted a side out percentage of .920 (12-for-13). In set two, the Green Wave hit .382, with Vlaskovic leading the way with six kills on 10 swings as the Wave pulled away for a 25-18 win.
The Miners rallied in set three, opening up to a 4-3 advantage before an ace and two kills from Vlaskovic. Tied at 13-13, the Wave surged ahead 18-15, but the Miners answered with 7-4 run to knot the set at 22-each. Vlaskovic set up match point at 24-23, but UTEP's Aidan Mooney responded with a kill out of a time out. However Djurdjevic nailed home a set from Lindelow and Miller delivered an ace to seal at 26-24 victory.
The Miners were led by nine kills from Amy Sanders and six from Mooney. Libero Jennifer Nolasco paced UTEP with 12 digs, while setter Patty Jarmoc added five kills on six swings with 21 assists. UTEP hit .305 for the match, but the Green Wave collectively hit .321. Tulane established itself on the serve, owning a 13-1 advantage in service aces.
Tulane will defend its Conference USA championship Friday in Houston in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship.
"The team is really gelling right now and we're going into the Conference tournament on an upswing, with a lot of fight in us," Lindelow said. "We really want to get these next three matches and make the NCAA tournament. That's been our ultimate goal this season."