TU Claims Five Set Thriller over Oral Roberts
Sep 3, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Erica Bohannon tallied 17 kills while Kellie Culbertson and Valerie El Houssine recorded double-doubles to lead the University of Tulsa volleyball team as it defeated cross-town rival Oral Roberts 3-2 (25-14, 25-9, 23-25, 21-25, 16-14) Tuesday evening at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Culbertson finished with 16 kills and 21 digs and El Houssine had 11 kills and 26 digs. Bohannon led the Golden Hurricane (3-1) with a .231 attack percentage.
Tulsa stormed out to a 2-0 lead winning the first team sets by a combined 27 points.
"I really liked the mentality that we had when we came out," TU head coach Steven McRoberts said. "Those were two of the better sets that we've played, maybe the two best sets we've played all season. We felt really confident, we were aggressive, it seemed like we were attacking well from every position, and putting a lot of pressure on their defense.
"We were serving tough, we were passing well, and we were defending balls that they were hitting time. Eight blocks after two sets is just out of this world for us."
But the Golden Eagles (3-1) won the next two sets by a combined six points.
"It seemed like after the 10-minute break we lost a lot of momentum and came out as a different team," McRoberts said. "I know that ORU did not play very good volleyball those first two sets and gave us a lot of help. But then they just stopped doing that. They stopped making errors, started putting a lot of pressure on our defense and we didn't respond well. Their serving ramped up and they were serving a lot tougher. It seemed like every call was going their way, every bounce was going their way."
The Golden Hurricane held on in the fifth set and defeated ORU 16-14. Tulsa led 8-6 in the frame, but found itself behind 13-12. That was when Bohannon slammed her 17th kill of the match to tie the score, and the Hurricane followed by winning three of the final four points to take the match.
"I feel like one of the huge turning points, was when we went back down by one (in the fifth set), and then Erica Bohannon had a huge kill out of the right side," McRoberts said. "I think it just reenergized the team, it reenergized the crowd, and it kind of helped us finish there at the end. She had a great match for us." Junior setter Bailey Clampitt recorded her second consecutive double-double with 39 assists and 13 digs Freshman libero Brooke Berryhill recorded a career-high 19 digs.
Junior middle blocker Carly Boatwright had seven blocks, including four solo blocks, and five kills.
The Golden Eagles were led by McKenna Qualls with nine kills, Laura Taylor with 26 assists and Bruna Silva with 20 digs. Taylor completed a double-double adding 12 digs. Kylie Johnson added 12 digs while Sthephanie Mab had 11 digs.
"The bottom line, and I told our team this when I walked in the locker room, was, `Hey we won,'" McRoberts said. "When you can win ugly, you feel OK about it. But it also keeps us grounded to know that we have a lot of things we can work on when we come to practice the next couple of days. We just need to get better. We're going to have some rollercoaster matches this year. I'm just proud of the girls that they were able to fight through a lot of adversity tonight. When it came down to it, I thought we handled the last two points really well and got the win."
The Golden Hurricane heads back on the road to play in the Baylor Classic this weekend in Waco, Texas. TU faces host Baylor on Friday at 7 p.m. followed by Mississippi State at 10 a.m. and then Texas-Arlington at 4:30 p.m.
For all Tulsa volleyball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane. Follow Tulsa Volleyball on Twitter (www.twitter.com/TulsaVolleyball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/TulsaVolleyball).
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE