Tulsa Takes Down SMU In Four Sets
Sept. 19, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - The Tulsa women's volleyball team defeated SMU 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 25-23, 25-8) to win its Conference USA opener on Wednesday, September 19 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Golden Hurricane (8-7, 1-0 C-USA) hit .219 during the match while holding the Mustangs (3-10, 0-1 C-USA) to a .122 clip. Before the match, the 2011 Conference USA Championship and 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance banners were revealed.
"First of all, we're really glad to get our first win in the conference," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "After losing to them twice last year, I know the team is excited to get this win. It was a fun night, we were able to unveil the banners, and we had a good crowd here. I really feel like our first four home matches, we've had some engaging crowds, which is very encouraging."
Senior libero Jessica Adams tied a career high in digs with 31 to pace the Hurricane defense. That marked the fourth time that Adams totaled more than 30 digs in a match during her career, and she also became the first TU player to accumulate more than 2,000 digs during her career as the 2011 C-USA Libero of the Year now has 2,021.
"I'm very proud of her for tying her career high with 31 digs," McRoberts said. "I felt like she did a very good job with her positioning, and had a huge night. That's almost eight digs per set."
Junior middle blocker Miriele Gobbo set a career high with 12 kills on the match, and tied for the team lead in blocks with four.
Junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson set a season high in digs with 18, while adding seven kills, six assists and three service aces.
"We had a lot of players play well tonight, which we of course need on a nightly basis," McRoberts said. "Diana had a double-double. Kellie came on as the match went along. One thing I think is kind of hidden in her stats is how many points she had on serve. She had a ton. Miri had a great match setting a career high in kills. Tyler had a very consistent match for us offensively. I felt like Jordan set a good match for us. We had a lot of assists and a lot of runs when her rotations were in."
TU scored 25 points throughout the match on Culbertson serves, including seven in the second set and eight in the third.
In the first frame, Tulsa hit a season high .421 to cruise to a 25-15 set victory. Henderson had eight of her 18 kills in the initial stanza as TU led the entire set.
Tulsa jumped out to a 17-14 advantage in the second set, but SMU went on a 6-0 run to take the lead. The Hurricane countered scoring four of the next five points to tie the match at 21, but the Mustangs ultimately took the frame 26-24. The second set saw eight ties and three lead changes.
The third set once again was competitive as it consisted of five ties and three lead changes. Neither side hit for a good clip as SMU hit .098 and TU hit .100. After being down 13-9, the Hurricane stormed back with a 7-0 run to take a 16-13 advantage. TU took the set 25-23 after Gobbo slammed the door shut on a SMU rally with a set-clinching kill.
In the fourth frame, TU hit .290 while holding SMU to a -.194 attack clip en route to a 25-8 set victory to win the match. Gobbo had four of her 12 kills in the final set. After leading 12-5, the Hurricane went on a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 19-5.
Tulsa out blocked SMU 8.0-7.0, which marked the first time TU has out blocked an opponent this season. The Hurricane tallied 81 digs compared to the Mustangs 67, and had 58 assists compared to SMU's 39.
"We hope that we can build off of this with our confidence and get some momentum as we continue in through our conference schedule," McRoberts stated.
The Hurricane will face the Thundering Herd of Marshall in a 7 p.m. tilt at the Reynolds Center on Friday, September 21. The Herd enters the match with a 11-4 ledger including a 1-0 mark in conference play.
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 at www.Twitter.com/TulsaVolleyball and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaVolleyball.
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE