Tulsa Volleyball Looks to Extend its Six Match-Winning Streak in Florida this Weekend
Oct. 9, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa volleyball team travels to Florida this weekend to play Florida Atlantic on Friday at 6 p.m. and Florida International on Sunday at noon.
The Hurricane (14-4, 3-0 C-USA) looks to build on its six match-winning streak, which ties the longest winning streak of the season. TU is coming off last weekend going 2-0 with a 3-0 sweep of Rice on Friday night and a 3-1 win over North Texas on Sunday afternoon.
Freshman libero Brooke Berryhill leads TU with 4.50 digs per set and was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. It was her second award this season (Sept. 23). Berryhill averaged 6.71 digs per set and recorded 27 digs against Rice and 20 digs against North Texas.
The Waco, Texas native had no reception errors in 44 attempts and has recorded 20-plus digs in five of her last six matches. Berryhill leads C-USA with 6.33 digs per set in league matches and is sixth overall with 4.50 digs per set.
Tulsa has three players averaging more than 3.90 digs per set - Berryhill (4.50), senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson (4.35) and junior outside hitter Valerie El Houssine (3.91). As a team, TU leads C-USA and the NCAA with 19.43 digs per set and leads C-USA with 23.58 digs per set in conference matches.
"It's exciting because that's one thing we had to rely on is our defense," TU head coach Steven McRoberts said. "Brooke's really stepped up her game from a digging stand point. She's getting in the right position 90 percent of the time and her dig numbers are flying through the roof right now. Kellie, she's done it for the four years that she's been here and will continue to do it. She has a really good volleyball IQ. Val, same thing, averaging high three's in digs.
"The combination of those three and you add everyone else playing their rolls and over 19 digs a game. We've had to play that way. We need every one of them to win these matches."
Culbertson leads the Golden Hurricane with 3.43 kills per set and needs 21 kills to reach her 1,000th career kill. Culbertson has recorded 979 career kills and will be the seventh TU player to reach 1,000-career kill milestone.
The Long Beach, Calif., native leads TU and C-USA with 0.56 service aces per set and ranks eighth in the NCAA. Culbertson ranks third in school history with 146 service aces and needs two service aces to tie second place.
This will be the first matchup between Florida Atlantic (9-8, 1-3 C-USA) and the Golden Hurricane.
The Owls (9-8, 1-3 C-USA) are led by Al Pizzoccheri with 2.52 kills per set, Jelen Jovanovic with 8.92 assists per set and Nicole Unger with 3.68 digs per set.
Florida International (7-9, 1-3 C-USA) holds an 1-0 advantage over the Hurricane as the Golden Panthers won 3-2 in 2001.
Florida International is led by Kimberly Smith with 3.09 kills per set, Ashlee Hodgskin with 5.20 assists per set and Jessica Mendoza with 3.22 digs per set.
The Golden Hurricane continues on the road traveling to Charlotte, N.C. to play the 49ers on Friday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. and returns home Sunday, Oct. 20 at noon to face East Carolina.
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).
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