Tulane volleyball bounces back against Houston after Cincinnati defeat

Dara Tucker, Staff Reporter

Tulane volleyball (3-12, 1-2, American Athletic Conference) dropped its second consecutive match Sunday at Devlin Fieldhouse, falling 3-1 to Cincinnati (10-4, 2-0 AAC). The Wave rebounded on Wednesday, however, defeating Houston (9-6, 1-2, AAC) by a score of 3-1.

While Tulane got off to a strong start against Cincinnati, managing to tie the first set at 9-all through 18 serves, the Green Wave could not maintain a lead and dropped the set. The Wave trailed throughout the second set as well as Cincinnati dominated on the attack, hitting over .275 in each of the first two sets. Tulane struggled, however, hitting only .096 on the day. 

“Our outsides should hit .200 or more, but none of them are,” Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic said. “We’re getting dug on crucial points or we’re committing errors.” 

Still, Tulane took the third set, 25-20, but it was not enough. The Bearcats jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the fourth set and never looked back, clinching the set and the match victory.

The Green Wave was able to turn it around on Wednesday against Houston. Momic made some lineup changes, such as moving freshman Sarah Ray from the right to the outside, which made a difference in the game.

“[Ray] came up with some crucial kills and a lot of digs,” Momic said. “We were just trying to change up some things and it was pretty steady.”

Tulane took a 7-4 lead to start off the first set, but the Cougars refused to fold. Houston scored six straight points to clinch the first set.

The Wave bounced back in the second set, though, matching Houston for nearly every point before pulling away. Houston made a crucial service error that gave the Wave the victory.

The next two sets were more of the same. Tulane capitalized on Cougar miscues and while Houston managed to keep it close, Tulane was relentless when finishing, especially on the defensive end. For the match, the Green Wave held Houston to a .165 hitting percentage.

“We told [the players] that it’s just a matter of time when it would all come together and that we just all have to relax, stay together and let the game come to them,” Momic said. “This is a great example of what can happen if you do that.”