Volleyball Extends Winning Streak to Five with Sweep of Rice
Oct. 4, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 13 digs to lead The University of Tulsa volleyball team to a sweep of Rice (25-23, 25-23, 25-17) Friday evening at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Freshman libero Brooke Berryhill led the Golden Hurricane with 27 digs. Freshman setter Genesis Viera led the Golden Hurricane (13-4, 2-0 C-USA) with 22 assists and added six digs and two kills, while junior setter Bailey Clampitt added 10 assists. Junior outside hitter Valerie El Houssine added 14 digs and four total blocks.
"I'm proud of the team," Tulsa Head Coach Steven McRoberts said. "Once again, I'm proud of the defense. We had 70 digs. In the two conference matches that we've played, we're averaging well over 20 digs a set. That's going to be who we are. We're going to have to extend rallies. We're going to have to make other teams earn points. We just don't have the big hitters that it can be one pass, set and crank it. We have moments where we can get in a rhythm like that, but our biggest thing is going to be extending the match, and it paid off for us tonight."
The first set was close the whole way, with 20 ties and 11 lead changes, and neither team led by more than three points. With the scored tied at 22, TU scored three of the final four points to win the set.
Tulsa was down 19-11 in the second stanza, and found itself trailing 21-14, but scored seven consecutive points to tie the set at 21-21. With the score knotted at 23 apiece, the Golden Hurricane scored the final two points to win the set and lead the match 2-0.
After the intermission, the Hurricane scored six of the first eight points. TU would increase its lead to eight, 21-13, but the Owls cut the lead to 22-17. The Hurricane scored the final three points to win the match and to extend its winning streak to five matches.
Noelle Whitlock recorded a double-double for the Owls (4-13, 1-2 C-USA) with 12 kills and 12 digs. Megan Murphy led Rice with 25 assists and Daniela Arenas added 26 digs. Kimberly Vaio added 12 digs and Jillian Humphrey recorded 10 kills.
Tulsa totaled seven blocks, while Rice finished with three blocks. The Hurricane recorded 70 digs, averaging 23.33 digs per set, and is averaging 24.38 digs per set in two conference matches.
Down 18-11 in the second set, McRoberts reminded his team of a long run they had given up in their previous match at UAB on Sunday.
"Kind of out of blind faith I said that in our second timeout, 'We can have an eight-point run on us just like UAB did. We have to be confident in that.'," McRoberts said. "Next thing you know, we flip the score on them in the 20s and win the set, 25-23. We brought that energy into the third set, and just overall played solid."
Berryhill has recorded 25-plus digs in five of her last six matches, including 29 against UAB and 27 tonight.
"It's unbelievable. She had two or three incredible digs tonight, where one of their middles will go up and just tomahawk one," said McRoberts. "She's just getting more confident and better and better every match. She's off to a really good start in the conference. It's a lot of fun to see a freshman grow like she has this season."
The Golden Hurricane returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. when it plays host to North Texas at the Reynolds Center.
For all Tulsa volleyball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter atwww.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).
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