Tulsa Sweeps SMU To Advance to Semifinals of C-USA Volleyball Championship
Nov. 16, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - Led by the 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year Tyler Henderson, the Tulsa volleyball team swept SMU (25-23, 25-19, 25-18) to advance to the semifinals of the Conference USA Volleyball Championship at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Friday, November 16.
Henderson, a senior outside hitter who became only the second player in C-USA history to be named first-team all-conference four straight years and player of the year three consecutive seasons, tallied 23 kills on 30 swings and hit .700 in the match. Henderson tied a season high of four aces and had two blocks.
"I kind of realized it toward the end and it kind of sunk in when the match was done that I was hitting pretty well," Henderson said. "I have to thank Jordan Clampitt, my setter. She was really putting the ball in the right position for me to hit."
The Golden Hurricane (22-9) hit .318 (49-14-110) while holding the Mustangs (10-19) to a .230 attack clip (38-14-100). Tulsa tallied 41 digs compared to SMU's 38, and had 49 assists compared to SMU's 37.
"I kind of felt like our nerves were getting the best of us early," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "We had I think five serving errors in the first set. Then in the next I think we had only one or two and a maybe four aces. I'm definitely proud of the girls that we stayed aggressive in our serving. I felt like that was going to control the game; the serve and pass part of it and that ended up happening as the match went on. We passed really well in sets two and three. That always allowed our hitters to have multiple option and our setters to have multiple options. Our hitting percentage went way up and I think it stressed their defense a lot."
The first set went back and forth with 12 ties and six lead changes. Tulsa was down 22-21 late in the set before charging back to take a 24-22 advantage. After the Mustangs made it a one-point set, Henderson slammed home her sixth kill of the set to claim the set, 25-23.
The Hurricane stormed out of the gates in the second to take a 7-1 lead over the Mustangs. TU won the set 25-19 as Henderson had three service aces in the frame. Both teams hit well as Tulsa hit .375 while SMU held an attack percentage of .368.
TU took a 14-7 advantage in the third frame en route to claiming the set 25-18. Henderson had 10 kills in the frame and an attack percentage of .909.
The Golden Hurricane will face UAB tomorrow in a 3 p.m. tilt in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship. Fans attending TU's 11 a.m. football game against UCF will receive free admission into tomorrow's contest.
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