Tulane Volleyball Starts Strong at Opening Tournament

Jeremy Rosen, Sports Editor

(Parker Waters)

Tulane Volleyball officially kicked off their 2022 season by traveling to Beaumont, Texas and competing in the Katrinka Crawford Invitational. The team dropped their first match against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, but redeemed themselves with a dominating win over Prairie View A&M. They capped off the tournament with an exciting win over Lamar University.

The Green Wave’s match against Southeastern started out well.The first set was a close contest, as the team continuously changed leads. The team out killed their opponent 17-10, and had a.167 hitting percentage in the set to give them the win. 

However, it was all downhill from there. The second set was also extremely close, and Tulane had pulled ahead at 21-18. Then, the team went on to lose eight of the next 11 points to choke the lead away. Tulane performed very sloppily in the third set. The team only had a .065 hitting percentage, and made eight errors to lose the set 16-25. 

They regained some composure in the final set, but lost the close set and dropped the first game of the season. This unfortunately breaks Tulane’s four-year win streak of season openers.

The Green Wave redeemed themselves with the second match against Prairie View A&M, efficiently sweeping the team in just three sets. Tulane had an incredibly strong .36 hitting percentage throughout the match, and the Panthers couldn’t keep up with the explosive offense. Melissa Kolurbasi led the team with 11 kills, and three other players got at least seven kills throughout the game. Senior Kate Van Houton did a great job of setting up her teammates for strong hits with 27 assists. Liberos Sophia Ervanian and Jillian Dits secured the defense with 11 and eight digs apiece.

The Green Wave went on to win their second match of the day against Lamar University on their homecourt. It was an incredibly close contest, as the game went five whole sets and two of them were decided by just two points. Tulane lost a nail biter in the third set to go down 2-1, but rallied back in the fourth set to force a final deciding set. They went on to win the final set 15-11 to complete the comeback. 

The driving force behind the win was outside hitter Mackenzie Martin. She led the whole team with 29 kills, the 12th highest in program history. Martin led the final push in the fifth set with three straight kills to put the team over the top. She also contributed greatly on defense with 13 digs, the second most on the team. Ervanian kept the team in the game with her strong defense, earning 26 digs along with seven assists. 

Tulane volleyball will hold their home opener this weekend with the Green Wave Classic against Howard University.

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