Error filled volleyball dominated in recent play

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

tulane volleyball
Courtesy of Parker Waters

Tulane volleyball’s season limped along with three more shutout losses before finally winning in five sets. The team now sits 7-14 overall but just 2-8 in conference play. The Green Wave are second to the bottom in the American Athletic Conference standings, only better than South Florida.

After being shut out against the Central Florida Knights, Tulane hoped to rebound with a road trip against the Memphis Tigers on Oct. 14. Instead, the Green Wave continued to struggle with a 3-0 shutout — 25-21, 25-21, 25-19. In those three sets, Tulane committed 18 total attacking errors. The third set was particularly egregious as the team committed nine errors. 

Two days later, Tulane traveled to Dallas to take on Southern Methodist University. Again, the Green Wave was swept 3-0 — 25-15, 25-16, 25-17. The Mustangs completely dominated Tulane and led the visitors in every statistical category. Alarmingly, SMU led Tulane in blocks 12-2. Again, it was another error filled night for the Wave as they committed 21 in the three sets. The visitors did not have a single player register over ten kills during the course of the game.

The Green Wave returned to New Orleans to host the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on Oct. 21. However, the results were the same as Tulane was swept yet again 3-0 — 25-17, 25-23, 25-20. Tulane were able to cut down on the turnovers this game — just 11 for the night — however the visitors were able to outhit the hosts. Tulsa ended the night with a .322 hitting percentage compared to Tulane’s .246.

Tulane got a positive result at the end of Homecoming Weekend, however. Tulane hosted the Wichita State Shockers on Oct. 23, with the Green Wave coming away with a 3-2 victory — 25-17, 19-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-4. The errors told the story for Tulane. In sets one and four, the Green Wave committed three and four errors respectively which is an acceptable number. In the two sets they lost, Tulane committed five and seven errors.

Tulane had a perfect final set, making no errors in the decider.

Tulane volleyball has endured a difficult season. In four matches between Oct. 9 and Oct. 21, the Green Wave failed to win a single set. Errors remain an issue with the team, and there is a huge link between the chance the Green Wave win a set and the amount of errors they commit. Between three and four errors is acceptable, anything higher than that is not.

Another issue is blocking. Tulane needs to be better on the net to block shots while ensuring that their spikes are not getting stopped. Finally, the last issue Tulane navingates is an intangible one, and has to do with being able to finish off close sets. This season, Tulane is often able to play teams close in sets, but ultimately falters right at the end. However, changing this pattern may take the whole season or potentially multiple seasons to fix.

Tulane is back in action at home on Friday Oct. 28 and on Sunday Oct. 30. The Green Wave will host the East Carolina Pirates and the Temple Owls.

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