Volleyball seeks to build momentum, finish season strong

Susan Fanelli, Sports Editor [email protected]

Tulane volleyball (16-12, 8-8 American Athletic Conference) aims to continue its string of conference wins on the road against the University of Cincinnati (18-9, 13-3 AAC) and East Carolina University (14-12, 4-12 AAC).

Volleyball is coming off of a successful week at home after winning 3-0 against the University of Memphis on Nov. 11. After a challenging first set that the Green Wave won narrowly over Memphis 25-23, the team regrouped and returned to the court to complete the sweep with second and third set victories of 25-16 and 25-17.

“I was pretty confident on the team being able to stay focused through this,” freshman middle hitter Erika Hansel said. “That’s something we’ve been working on, just pushing and not letting up at all.”

Coupled with the sweep over the University of Houston (5-22, 0-16 AAC) on Nov. 9, it was the first time since 2013 that the volleyball team had completed two consecutive conference sweeps. The win against Memphis was its third in four matches after recovering from a three-game skid from Oct. 23-30. 

“It just shows how hard the girls are continuing to work and improve,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “We had some injuries, and so we had to battle with [an incomplete] roster, but we’ve got everybody healthy here for the last two weeks…it’s been great, and we’ve been getting better each day.”

Cincinnati is also coming off of a 2-0 weekend with back-to-back wins over Temple University and the University of Connecticut. ECU is currently on a six-game skid dating back to Oct. 27, losing over the weekend to UConn and Temple.

Barnes has had a successful first year as head coach of the Tulane volleyball team. The team has won six more games and has doubled its conference wins after ending last season at 10-22 overall and going 4-12 in conference play. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, Barnes hopes to finish strong.

“For us, we wish there was a lot more season left, because we have gotten better each and every month,” Barnes said. “The girls have really turned it around, and we hope to finish the year strong in these last four matches.”

Tulane will face Cincinnati at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will face ECU at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Greenville, North Carolina.

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