TU Golden Hurricane continues to win game after game in a strong season.
This week was the beginning of conference play for TU’s volleyball team. Coach Ryan Willis said, “When people work hard, things tend to work out the right way.” Tulsa proved that this week as we swept two matches against Memphis and Tulane.
In the match against Memphis, Tulsa was ready for battle. They dominated the first set 25-12. Leading the march was Rachel Moore, who had seven kills and a .438 hitting percentage. As if second in command, Taylor Horsfall followed with six digs. Memphis put up a good fight in the second frame, rallying back-and-forth until Tulsa’s ultimate victory 25-21. The warhorse for the set was Sophomore Maggie Hembree, who had four kills. In the same confident fashion as the first set, Tulsa started the first rally of the third to go up 6-0. From then on it was a battle to the end, with Emily Thorson and Moore accumulating three kills each to clinch the match, 25-21. Thorson, Horsfall and Maddie Flora all recorded double-digit digs in the victory.
“We played them late in the season in the Reynolds Center last year, it wasn’t a pretty match,” Coach Willis admits. “So it’s really nice to get that one back a bit. We played aggressive, we played solid in our serve pass game and we defended. So it’s nice to keep winning at home, without a doubt. More important, I am just happy with the way we competed tonight.”
The win against Tulane allowed Tulsa to have the best home start for the program under head coach Ryan Willis’s tenure since 2010, 5-0. Tulane was a fierce opponent. Every set was a series of back-and-forth rallies. Tulsa took the first set, 25-20, with help from Emily Thorson who had six kills and a service ace. “As the match unfolded we got better defensively,” said Willis.
Maggie Hembree continued her hot streak, tallying four kills on a lofty .800 hitting percentage. Mariah Pardo recorded 11 assists in the set. TU clinched the frame, 25-22. Rachel Moore proved to be the deciding factor in the third set, leading Tulsa in the frame with five kills.Thorson and Hembree were not too far behind, both earning four kills. The match ended on a Tulane attacking error, 26-24.
Tulsa will have two more home conference games in the next week in the Reynolds Center. September 26 at 5:30 p.m., Tulsa will face North Texas, and on the Sept. 29, Tulsa will face Wichita State at 6.