Comebacks, errors mark start of volleyball season

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

Tulane volleyball continued their young season with two more tournaments. In the six games played, Tulane split them right down the middle going 3-3. Tulane hosted the Green Wave Classic on Sept. 2-3 before traveling to Santa Clara, California for the Santa Clara Invitational on Sept. 9-11.

On Sept. 2, Tulane took down Howard University 3-1 in a hard fought match. Tulane pulled away 25-16 winners of the first set, but the second set saw Howard level the score with a tight 25-23 win. The third set again finished 25-23, but this time the Green Wave won. Tulane sealed the victory with a 25-16 fourth set.

Later that night, Tulane was blanked 3-0 by the University of Kansas City. The Green Wave did not manage a single block and committed 15 errors over the three sets, a worrying sign. Tulane’s hitting percentage of .164 was not great either, which included a paltry .071 in the third set.

The next day, Ohio University came out 3-1 winners over the hosts. The Green Wave cleaned up a lot of their game by improving the hitting percentage for the night to .256, decreasing errors and blocking Ohio eight to five.The visitors narrowly won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-21 before Tulane pulled one back, 25-20. However, a Green Wave collapse in the fourth set gave Ohio a 25-10 win as well as the match.

At the Santa Clara invitational on Sept. 9, Tulane rallied to win 3-1 over the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Green Wave started sluggishly by dropping the first set 25-20, a large part of this due to seven errors committed by Tulane. However, the Olive and Blue dug deep to 28-26 in the second set. The team completed the comeback with 25-18 and 25-17 set wins. 

Sept. 10, however, saw the Oklahoma Sooners pummel the Green Wave with a 3-0 sweep. The Sooners out-blocked Tulane nine to two and had seven aces on the day. Tulane’s errors were unacceptably high, with 19 committed throughout the three sets. The team’s hitting percentage was also poor, being just .042 on the day and -.03 on the first set.

The team rebounded from this performance with a hard fought 3-2 win over hosts Santa Clara University. Tulane won the first set 25-22 before dropping the next two 25-16 and 25-15. The Green Wave dug deep to force a fifth set with their 28-26 win. In set five, Tulane pulled away in the end 15-9 to take the match.

Still in her first season in Uptown New Orleans, head coach Jordana Price has a tall task ahead of her in order to continue building team chemistry and that defensive identity she was known for in her previous role at Florida State. The team needs to clean up the errors committed, as this theme is consistent in all of their losses. As a positive, the team has shown great mental toughness to comeback and win matches after losing the first set, and to finish out sets that go beyond 25 points.

Next, the Green Wave will host the Oregon State Beavers and LSU Tigers in the Tulane Invitational on Sept. 17. This will be the last tournament for a while, as the team will begin single match conference play on Sept. 21 when they host the Houston Cougars. All home matches are held at the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse which is located on Tulane’s Uptown Campus.

Leave a Comment