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Volleyball Wins Five Set Thriller Over Northern Colorado

Freshman Ashley Hooper had a career high 15 kills in a victory against Northern Colorado
Freshman Ashley Hooper had a career high 15 kills in a victory against Northern Colorado
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GREELEY, Colo. - Box Score | Tulsa vs UNC BoxGet Acrobat Reader

GREELEY, Colo. - he Tulsa volleyball squad handed Northern Colorado its first loss of the season as the Golden Hurricane won a five set thriller (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 17-25, 21-19) at the Northern Colorado Classic at Butler Hancock Sports Pavilion on Friday night.

The Hurricane (6-3) held a 2-0 lead heading into the third set, but the Bears forced a fifth set. UNC (6-1) had three match point opportunities in the fifth set, but TU fought back to win the final stanza 21-19 as the Hurricane also had three match point chances in the frame. This marks the second straight five-set road victory for Tulsa, as it defeated Oral Roberts in five sets on Tuesday night.

"It was a great volleyball match," Head Coach Steven McRoberts stated. "It was a rowdy crowd and a great feeling to get a victory. It was like a roller coaster as at one point in the fifth set Northern Colorado stormed the court thinking they won, and the whistle blows and there is a blocking error called on the Bears. We defeated a good team that beat Oklahoma last week. For us to come in and beat them on their home floor will be something that will go a long ways to helping us during the season."

Senior outside hitter Tyler Henderson led the squad with 23 kills and added three service aces on the evening. Freshman middle blocker Ashley Hooper set a career high with 15 kills on the night. Senior outside hitter Diana Silva added 11 kills and 12 digs, while junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson tallied 10 kills and 19 digs. Senior libero Jessica Adams paced the squad with 21 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Carly Boatwright, playing in her home state, recorded seven kills.

"We got a lot of production from our middles tonight as Carly Boatwright and Ashley Hooper did a great job," McRoberts said. "That is going to be one of the keys for us this year."

Sophomore setter Bailey Clampitt totaled 32 assists after replacing her sister Jordan in the second frame.

"I'm very proud of Bailey and how she competed after Jordan had to come out of the game due to an injury," McRoberts said. "Bailey led us to a great victory against a quality squad on their home court."

In the first set, the Bears jumped out to a 13-7 lead. The Hurricane stormed back scoring nine of the next 12 points to tie things up at 16. TU then scored five straight points thanks to two kills by Culbertson to make the score 21-16. Tulsa won the first stanza 25-20 as the Hurricane hit .368 with 20 kills.

Tulsa jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the second frame, but Northern Colorado came back to take a 13-12 advantage. Once again though TU showed its resiliency as it took a 16-13 lead it would never relinquish en route to a 25-20 set victory. TU hit .286 during the second set with 17 kills.

Northern Colorado took an early 12-7 lead, but Tulsa countered taking six of the next nine points to tie the score at 14 apiece. After TU took a 20-18 lead, UNC scored the next five points to take a 23-20 lead as the Bears would take the third set 25-22.

The fourth set again went back and forth as there were four lead changes and 7 ties. UNC won the frame 25-17 as Tulsa hit -.024 as a squad.

The final set saw 11 ties and five lead changes, as each squad had three chances for match point. TU was down 8-4 in the set but after a timeout the Hurricane stormed back to knot things up at 10. UNC had a 19-18 lead and match point, but Henderson rattled off three straight kills to turn the tables and give Tulsa the win. In the final frame, Tulsa hit ..188 and held UNC to an attack clip of .031.

"I think it was our best night at the net," McRoberts commented. "We took some great swings that they blocked because they are a great team. We are going to have to go back to the hotel and get some rest aa we have another good team we have to play tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Creighton."

The Hurricane plays tomorrow against Creighton at 11 a.m. and Ball State at 6 p.m. to round out the Northern Colorado Classic.

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).