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Tulsa Volleyball Falls to Tulane, 3-0, Friday

Boatwright led TU with seven blocks as Tulsa fell to Tulane 3-0 on Friday night
Boatwright led TU with seven blocks as Tulsa fell to Tulane 3-0 on Friday night
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Nov. 8, 2013

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TULSA, Okla. - Freshman libero Brooke Berryhill tallied 19 digs and senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson recorded nine kills and 10 digs as the University of Tulsa volleyball team fell to Tulane 3-0 (19-25, 23-25, 16-25) on Friday evening at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

The loss snapped a 13-match winning streak for the Golden Hurricane (21-5, 10-1 C-USA) and gave TU its first Conference USA loss of the year. Tulsa lost in straight sets for the first time this season, and was swept at home in C-USA play for the first time since 2008.

The Golden Hurricane plays host to Marshall at noon Sunday for Senior Day, and the final home match of the season. TU will honor its seniors Culbertson and Miriele Gobbo in a ceremony prior to the match.

"I felt like Tulane came in and just played a heck of a match," TU head coach Steven McRoberts said. "We definitely struggled on the offensive end. I think our passing was kind of a roller coaster tonight. When we were in system, we did OK. We hit well-below .100, and Tulane's defense had a lot to do with that. They had 80 digs. They hustled all night. They made hustle plays, and made those high-energy plays and just kept swinging and swinging and swinging.

"It just shows how hard it is, too, to win. We've done a really good job up until this point. We were 10-0. We've had probably a handful of matches in the conference that could have gone that way. Tonight, we started showing fight, but it was just way too late."

In the first set, the Hurricane scored three straight points to turn a 3-3 tie into a 6-3 lead. TU led 10-7, but Tulane scored four of the next five points to tie it at 11 apiece. With a 15-14 lead, Tulane scored the next four points to extend its advantage to 19-14. The Golden Hurricane came back to score the next four points to pull within 19-18, but Tulane put up six of the final seven points of the set to take a 1-0 match lead. El Houssine recorded seven digs and Berryhill added six digs as TU recorded 23 digs and three blocks in the frame.

Tulane took a 9-6 lead in the second stanza, and following a timeout, the Hurricane came back to score the next three points and tie the set at nine apiece. The Green Wave pushed its lead back to three points, 18-15, but the Golden Hurricane fought for four straight points, taking a 19-18 advantage. With the score tied at 23-all, the Green Wave scored the final two points to take a 2-0 match lead into the intermission. Culbertson led TU with four kills and TU recorded three blocks in the set.

The Hurricane battled from a 13-4 deficit in the third set to close the gap to 17-11, and then to 20-15, forcing a Tulane timeout. The Wave, however, scored five of the next six points to claim the match.

"It's definitely going to be something that we learn from," McRoberts said. "Here we are at the end of the season, so we'll see how we bounce back from adversity. We have a huge match on Sunday. We still hold our destiny in our own hands. We have three tough matches coming up. We all saw this coming, with the schedule and the way things were lining up. We just didn't handle this one very well tonight."

The Hurricane recorded nine blocks against the Green Wave (23-3, 9-2 C-USA) and has recorded 20 blocks in its last two matches. Tea Juric recorded 16 kills and Cori Martone added 14 kills to lead the Green Wave.

Junior outside hitter Valerie El Houssine recorded 10 digs, while freshman setter Genesis Viera added 11 assists and five digs. Junior middle blocker Carly Boatwright recorded seven blocks, while freshman outside hitter Erica Bohannon recorded four blocks.

"We're just going to have to come out tomorrow and have a more spirited practice, a more energized practice," McRoberts said. "We're going to have to get after it, so that our mentality coming into Sunday is more of an aggressive mentality. I'll take a lot of the responsibility. I don't think we had a good week of practice. That's my responsibility to have them more ready, mentally and physically as the match starts, and I just didn't do that this week. So, it's going to be my job tomorrow to make sure that we're coming out with an aggressive mentality."

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). Watch live video at http://bit.ly/1aTy05p.