Volleyball Defeats FIU 3-2 in C-USA Quarterfinals
Nov. 22, 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson recorded four service aces to set a school-record in service aces as the University of Tulsa volleyball team defeated FIU 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 15-5) on Thursday night at Alumni Memorial Gym.
Culbertson has recorded 165 career service aces breaking the previous school record of 162 service aces by Vanessa Thon from 2001-04. Culbertson has recorded 59 service aces on the season, needing two service aces to set the single season school record.
"Kellie became the school's all-time ace leader tonight," TU head coach Steven McRoberts said. "She needed two to do that. That has probably been a dark cloud that has been hanging over her head for about a month. She got her jump serve going back tonight, which was great to see. I think it was about a month ago when she started struggling with it. She got her confidence back in that."
The Long Beach, Calif., native recorded 20 kills, her fifth match with 20-plus kills, and added seven digs, while sophomore outside hitter Ashley Hooper recorded a career-high 16 kills, a .433 hitting percentage, and added six digs. Freshman outside hitter Erica Bohannon added eight kills and four blocks, while junior middle blocker Carly Boatwright recorded six blocks.
Senior middle blocker Miriele Gobbo tied a season-high with 11 kills, one shy off her career high, and had a .529 hitting percentage.
"We're happy to be playing another day that's for sure," McRoberts said. "After watching FIU last night and of course playing against them today, they are playing as well as they have all season. That's what you are trying to achieve as your coach, playing your best at the end. They did a great job pushing us tonight and could've easily won that match. I am really proud of our team."
The Golden Hurricane (24-6) faces No. 2 seed Tulane (27-3) at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinals. The Green Wave defeated the Hurricane 3-0 in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Nov. 8.
"We're going to have to stay low error and stay aggressive," McRoberts said. "Either opponent is going to be tough. We won 17-15 at UAB after being down 2-0. We played Tulane a couple of weeks ago and they just absolutely killed us. We know that either opponent is going to come in motivated, just like we are."
After an opening kill from Gobbo to start the match, FIU (13-17) scored six straight points to take a 6-1 lead. The Panthers increased its lead to 13-6 lead, but after a Tulsa timeout, TU scored five straight points to cut the lead to two, 13-11.
After an FIU point, the Golden Hurricane scored four of the next five points to tie it at 15. After a Panthers point for a 16-15 lead, TU took its first lead since 1-0 after scoring the next two points for a 17-16 lead. FIU took the lead at 23-21 and scored two of the final three points to take a 1-0 match lead. Culbertson led TU with four kills, while Berryhill added seven digs.
After Tulsa two points to begin the second frame, FIU scored four straight points to take a 4-2 lead. The Golden Hurricane scored four of the next five points to take a 6-5 lead. With FIU leading 7-6, TU scored seven straight points to take a 13-7 lead. Tulsa pushed its lead up to nine, 20-11, but FIU scored nine of the next 12 points to pull within three points, 23-20.
TU scored two of the final three points to tie the match at one. Culbertson and Hooper led TU with five kills each as Hooper added a .833 hitting percentage. El Houssine recorded nine digs and Berryhill added eight digs as TU recorded 29 digs.
After an FIU point to start the third stanza, the Golden Hurricane scored the next four points to take a 4-1 lead. The Panthers battled back to pull within one, 5-4, but TU scored six of the next eight points to take an 11-6 lead. With TU leading 16-12, FIU scored six of the next eight points to take a point lead, 18-17.
TU tied it at 18 from a kill from Gobbo and the rest of the set remained close as neither team had a lead of more than a point until the Golden Hurricane scored the final two points of the set from a 24 tie to take a match lead 2-1. Culbertson, Bohannon and Hooper recorded four kills each as TU converted 63 percent of its sideout opportunities and had three total blocks.
After a tie at 11 in the fourth set, FIU scored three straight points to led 14-11. The Golden Hurricane scored four of the next five points to tie the set at 15. With the score tied at 19, FIU six of the final 10 points to even the match at two. Gobbo led TU with four kills and Berryhill added seven digs.
The Golden Hurricane started the fifth set on fire as it scored 10 of the first 11 points in the fifth frame, including scoring nine straight points after a tie at one. FIU scored the next two points and TU scored three straight points to take a 13-3 lead. The Panthers scored the next two points to cut the TU's lead to 13-5, but the Hurricane scored the final two points to win the match. Culbertson led TU with three kills and TU converted 66 percent of its sideout opportunities.
TU recorded 93 digs and has recorded 2,159 digs on the season, which ranks third in school history, added eight blocks and six service aces.
FIU was led by Lucia Castro with 19 kills, Jessica Egan with 50 assists and Carolyn Fouts with 21 digs. Castro added 17 digs for a double-double, while Martyna Gluchowicz added 15 digs. Gloria Levorin added 16 kills, while Kimberly Smith added 13 kills and 10 blocks.
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