Volleyball Wraps up the 2013 Season
Dec. 24, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - For the first time in four seasons, the University of Tulsa volleyball team did not make the NCAA Tournament after it fell in the Conference USA semifinal round.
After the C-USA Tournament, Tulsa (24-7, 12-2 C-USA) had to sit around for the NCAA selection show to see if the Golden Hurricane would receive a bid into the "Big Dance" for its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth overall.
Even though the Hurricane was ranked No. 37 in the RPI ratings, TU failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Tulsa had an 11-4 nonconference record, including a 10-2 record in four tournaments. The Golden Hurricane won the Baylor Classic and Nike Invitational by going 3-0 in each tournament, including a win over NCAA participant and ranked No. 51 in the RPI ratings Miami, Fla., 3-0 in the Nike Invitational. The Golden Hurricane tied for the most wins in the other two tournaments with a 2-1 record at the Dayton Invitational and the Golden Hurricane Classic.
The Hurricane started the C-USA schedule at UAB and recorded 125 digs, the second most in school history and tied for the third most in C-USA history in league matches.
Senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson and junior outside hitter Valerie El Houssine became the first teammates to record 20-plus kills and 20-plus digs in the same match since 1994 against the Blazers. Culbertson recorded 20 kills and 23 digs, while El Houssine recorded 20 kills and 25 digs.
The Golden Hurricane won nine matches after the UAB match giving the Hurricane a 10-0 conference record and riding a 13-match winning streak before Tulane defeated TU 3-0 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. That was the first sweep against Tulsa in conference play since the 2008 season.
The Hurricane won the next two matches for a showdown for the regular season crown as UTSA and Tulsa entered the final regular season match at 12-1 in conference play. UTSA won the match and received a No. 1 seed in the C-USA Tournament, while TU fell to the No. 3 seed for the C-USA Tournament.
Tulsa went 1-1 in the C-USA Tournament and fell to Tulane in the semifinals to end the season.
Culbertson led TU with 3.57 kills per set, which ranked ninth in the C-USA and with 0.50 service aces per set, which led the C-USA and ranked eighth in the NCAA. Culbertson recorded 3.96 kills per set, which ranks seventh in C-USA and 0.40 service aces per set, which ranks third in C-USA in league matches.
The Long Beach, Calif., native set a school record recording 167 career service aces passing Vanessa Thon, who recorded 162 service aces from 2001-04. Culbertson also set a single season school record with 61 service aces this season passing Nicole Boyle, who recorded 60 service aces in 2007.
Culbertson was named on the C-USA First Team and was named on the American Volleyball Coaches Association Southwest Team. A week later, Culbertson was named as an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American.
Culbertson finished second in school history with 1,654 digs and third with 1,164 kills. Culbertson became the second player in school history to record 400-plus kills (432 kills) and 400-plus digs (477 digs) in the same season as Kassiana Urnau recorded 487 kills and 433 digs.
Freshman libero Brooke Berryhill led TU with 4.67 digs per set, which ranked fifth in the C-USA, and with 5.31 digs per set in league matches, which ranked second in the C-USA. The Waco, Texas was named on the C-USA Second Team and on C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Berryhill ranked fifth in school history with 565 digs in a season, the second most by a freshman. She recorded a school-record 41 digs at UTEP in the final regular season weekend, which is the fifth most in C-USA history.
As a team, the Golden Hurricane led C-USA and the NCAA with 18.33 digs per set and recorded 2,218 digs, the third most in school history. TU had three players who recorded at least 3.60 digs per set and 400-plus digs as Berryhill had 565 digs (4.67 digs per set), Culbertson recorded 477 digs (3.94 digs per set) and El Houssine added 400 digs (3.64 digs per set).
Junior setter Bailey Clampitt led TU with 7.02 assists per set and became the sixth player in school history to record 2,000-plus career assists. The Plano, Texas native recorded 10 double-doubles this season and was fourth on the team with a 2.27 digs per set average.
Junior middle blocker Carly Boatwright led TU with 0.84 blocks per set overall and with 1.03 blocks per set in league matches, which ranked ninth in the C-USA. Boatwright, who was named on the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second year in a row, has recorded 60 solo blocks in her career, which ranks her fourth in school history.
The Golden Hurricane set a C-USA record with seven different players win the Player of the Week award and tied a C-USA record with three different offensive players and with three different defensive players to win the weekly award. TU won nine weekly awards as Berryhill received three weekly awards.
In its final season in the Conference USA, the Hurricane posted 20-plus wins in each of the nine seasons and posted 10-plus conference wins in eight of the nine seasons while being a member of C-USA. Tulsa enters the American Athletic Conference next season.
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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