Volleyball’s first invitational appearance results in victory

Maggie O'Rear, Staff Reporter

This past weekend, the Tulane Women’s Volleyball team competed in the 27th Annual Bearkat Invitational in Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum at Sam Houston State.

The Green Wave competed in its first game of the season against Montana State early Friday. Montana State won the first two sets while Tulane took the third. The final set was close, 26-24, but Montana State came out triumphant.

Junior setter Ally Frank beat her personal record by achieving 56 assists. The dynamic duo of junior outside hitter Tea Juric and sophomore right-side hitter Sarah Ray both recorded double-doubles, 16 digs each and 17 and 19 kills, respectively. Junior middle blocker Sarah Strasner also reached a double-digit kill total with 13. Junior libero Miah Diirell kept the defense going with 23 digs while Strasner and freshman middle blocker Dayna Kern both marked two blocks.

Later on Friday, Tulane took on Sam Houston State University, with SHSU coming out on top and winning all three sets. Freshman right-side hitter Audrey Folk made her debut and achieved the team-best kill total with 10 plus two digs and a block. Fellow freshman Lisa Mordell had 10 digs and three assists. Frank also stood out with 24 of the Wave’s 28 assists.

The Wave played in its third game of the tournament on Saturday morning, and Tulane performed strongly, taking down Prairie View A&M 3-0 in only 62 minutes. The Green Wave had 41 kills and only 10 errors in 79 attacks. Ray and Juric both led the offense with 13 and 11 kills. Mordell steered the defense with 14 digs while Strasner protected the front-line with three blocks. Frank kept the pace with 36 of the team’s 37 assists.

The Wave’s final game matched it against the undefeated University of Texas at San Antonio who subsequently went on to win the tournament after beating Tulane 3-0. Mordell had a match-high 19 digs while Juric and Ray both tallied the team-high of nine kills. Folk was right behind them with eight kills and three blocks. Frank again had a team-high of 26 out of the 27 assists while Strasner tallied three blocks.

“[The] energy was much better [Saturday],” head coach Sinisa Momic said. “We have potential … [and] have to get to the level that we are able to reach and there’s a lot of room for improvement for this team.”

The team is just getting started with a fairly young group of athletes with talents that will hopefully translate onto the scoreboard next time they take the court.

Tulane will next host the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at the Devlin Fieldhouse.

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