The Golden Hurricane women’s volleyball team ended their season over Thanksgiving break, splitting their final four games and finishing with a 10–10 record in conference play and an overall record of 15–17. This ended their 10-year streak of 20 or more wins a season.
The Golden Hurricane started their final stretch on the road at Temple, followed by a match against UConn. In their first games against these teams back in early October, Tulsa beat the Huskies, then fell to the Owls.
This time around history was repeated, as the Owls swept TU while finishing second in the conference. Tulsa responded two days later, by beating the Huskies three sets to one after losing the first set of that match.
Returning home just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Tulsa was looking for the season sweep of both of the Florida teams, having beat both UCF and USF on the road in October. First up were the UCF Knights.
After losing the first set 18–25, Tulsa came out with an early lead in the second set, and held on after the Knights’ rally to tie the match at one apiece going into the intermission. Both ties battled throughout the third set, with it tied as late as 18–18, before UCF pushed ahead, taking the set 25–21 and going ahead two to one for the match. The fourth set was very similar to the third, with the score tied late before the Knights pulled ahead and won the match three sets to one.
Erica Bohannon led with 17 kills, junior libero Brooke Berryhill picked up 20 digs in the losing effort.
The Golden Hurricane finished the season off strong with a sweep of the USF Bulls. Tulsa won the first two sets 25–18, and the final set 25–21 to complete the season sweep of the Bulls. Bohannon and Rebecca Reeve recorded 14 and 13 kills respectively and Berryhill once again led the Hurricane in digs.
Bohannon and senior Ashley Hooper earned First-Team All-Conference Honors this season. Bohannon is the only athlete to earn first-team all-conference accolades in back-to-back seasons since Tulsa joined the American Athletic Conference. Tulsa was only one of four teams to have multiple athletes on the list.
Bohannon recorded 515 kills and ranked 13th in the nation. She also ranked 44th nationally in kills per set with an average of 4.06. After this season she ranks third in Tulsa history for kills with 1,275 total kills in three years.
Hooper led the Golden Hurricane this season with a .320 hitting percentage, and is fourth in total blocks in Tulsa’s history.
Now that the season has come to an end, Tulsa will look towards next season. Tulsa has four athletes who will be graduating this season—Ashley Hooper, Kelsey Parks, Paige Panfil and Nicole Newton.
On the other side, Tulsa signed two players to national letters-of-intent back in November; Haley Coulter and Taylor Horsfall. Coulter was the 2014 Florida Class A Player of the Year, and Horsfall is one of the top ranked liberos in the country.
Coach Ryan Willis said of the two, “We are excited to add Taylor and Haley to our team next year. When we began recruiting the 2016 class we wanted to make sure of two things; that they are winners, and that they are passionate about the sport of volleyball. Without a doubt our staff did a great job recruiting this class.”