Volleyball finishes Wildcat Classic strong after rough start

Devi Kinkhabwala, Staff Reporter

Tulane women’s volleyball put together its most complete performance of the 2014 season this past Saturday, sweeping Coppin State 25-11, 25-22, and 25-15. 

The squad headed on the road to compete in the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, AZ this past weekend, where it took on Maryland, Baltimore County, Arizona and Coppin State.

After dropping the first two sets against UMBC 25-22 and 25-21, the team subbed sophomore Ally Frank in at the setter position, which boosted the Wave to a 25-13 win in the third set and 25-23 in the fourth. The Green Wave lost the fifth set, as UMBC came away with a 15-10 win.

The Wave took on tournament host Arizona, and were swept 25-10, 25-21, 25-18. Despite the disappointing outcome, the Green Wave showed flashes of greatness and continued to make strides with a change in line up.

Sophomore Miah Diirell started her first two collegiate matches at libero and lead the defense with 23 digs against UMBC and 15 against Arizona. Frank tallied a career high 33 assists against the Retrievers and another 28 against the Wildcats.

“Against Arizona, even though we lost, we played pretty well in the last two sets,” Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic said. “We just have to figure out what it takes to win. It starts with attitude. We need to take that much more seriously all the time, and only then can we push through to be on the winning side more consistently.”

After losing two straight matches to start the weekend, Tulane swept Coppin State in three matches. The Green Wave hit a collective season-high .406 with 47 kills and only 6 errors against the Eagles.

Freshman right-side hitter Sarah Ray led the offense with 18 kills, accompanied by sophomore outside hitter Tea Juric who had 9. Juric also served 3 of the team’s 8 service aces.

“We had the right approach from the start and did a good job today, which has been rare so far this season,” Momic said. “We were able to control the match against a pretty good Coppin State team that played some scrappy defense. Our attitude was more serious and we were more determined to get the job done.”

Tulane returns to action in its first American Athletic Conference match against Memphis 7 p.m Sept. 26 at Devlin Fieldhouse.