TU women’s volleyball beats Power 5 team

TU volleyball starts the season off strong with a major win, says sports writer Joe McCurdy.

Tulsa Women’s Volleyball secured its
first Power 5 win since 2016 in their first
match-up of the regular season, defeating
the Spartans of Michigan State in an in-
tense 3-1 victory.
It was a match of a lot of firsts for this
TU squad including seeing the inaugural
victory for first-year Head Coach Lau-
ren Ramatowski. Ramatowski previously
coached at Arkansas and Kansas State be-
fore being hired as the head coach at TU,
her first-ever head coaching position. What
a great way to start one’s tenure at TU,
quenching the 7-year drought and filling
the absence of a Power 5 win.
Going on the road, the Golden Hurri-
cane opened its 2023 season at the Home
of the Hogs in Fayetteville, Arkansas fac-
ing Michigan State and #25 Arkansas.
Even though there is a new coaching staff
in place, not a single player transferred
out of the program, meaning TU is com-
ing in with the same squad they ended
the year with last season, while adding on
three new transfers and a freshman. With
so many returners, the starting lineup saw
a lot of familiar faces including fifth-year
Outside Hitter Kayley Cassaday, Senior
Setter Avery Kalsu and Sophomore Middle
Blocker Arianna Mongare. The Hurricanes
also saw some new players step onto the
court with Oklahoma University transfer
Beth Bayless (Outside Hitter) and Lamar
Transfer Tytiana Johnson making their first
career starts as the newest members of the
Golden Hurricane.
Michigan State was the first matchup of
the weekend, and TU was all but ready to
face the Spartans. After overcoming mul-
tiple major point deficits in the first set,
Tulsa rallied late and pushed past MSU
winning the first set 27 to 25. Things didn’t
quite go TU’s way in the second, however,
suffering from a poor passing performance
with three early service aces on the side of
Michigan State. TU was lucky to see dou-
ble digits in the second set, getting outper-
formed by the Spartan offense, dropping
the second set 25 to 10. That was quickly
shaken off however as TU came back to
take the third and fourth sets driven behind
a 17-kill performance from Cassaday, qui-
eting the MSU crowd and securing their
first victory of the season and their first vic-
tory over a Power 5 school since winning
against Alabama back in August of 2016.
While only going one for two on their
trip to Fayetteville Arkansas, losing to the
25th-ranked Razorbacks 3-0, Tulsa brought
some excitement back to the program af-
ter a streak of below-average seasons. The
support was prominent on social media
seeing fellow TU coaches Eric Konkol and
Kevin Wilson voice their support of the
team. Being the first year for Ramatowski,
it’s good to see so many Tulsa figures show
their support. Let’s hope that early support
translates in home attendance when Tulsa
plays its first home game in two weeks.
On to this week, Tulsa will face a trio of
opponents as they travel to the West Coast
visiting the great state of Washington, fac-
ing Drake, Northeastern State and the host
team #17 Washington State.

Post Author: Joe McCurdy