For the the third week in a row, the Tulsa volleyball team swept the field at the tournament they played in, this time the Tulsa Invitational. This gives them a record of 11–1 going into conference play next week.
First up for the Golden Hurricane was crosstown rival Oral Roberts University. Tulsa continued their hot play from last week’s tournament and scored 9 straight points to start off the first set before ORU got a single point. The closest the Golden Eagles got to Tulsa was 14–6, as Tulsa took the first set by an astonishing 13-point advantage.
The second set started similarly, but ORU found their rhythm and tied the game at 15 points apiece. They kept it close throughout the rest of the set. Tied 23–23, Rebecca Reeve and Jaime Rahilly scored back-to-back kills for the 25–23 win and a 2–0 set lead.
The third set featured lead changes throughout and Tulsa had an 18–15 advantage, but the Golden Eagles rallied back four straight points and went on to take the third set 23–25. After the break the fourth set saw ORU lead for almost the entirety, but the Golden Hurricane took the lead back 23–22 late. ORU scored two straight and were playing for the set point, when Tulsa rattled off three points to take the set 26–24, and the match 3–1.
Seniors Erica Bohannon and Brooke Berryhill has 22 kills and 30 digs respectively.
“Their numbers were pretty ridiculous,” said Head Coach Ryan Wills. “That’s what you expect of your seniors. It’s a grind, you’re playing against your cross-town rival, you need them to step up and make big plays and they did. Their numbers were great, but on top of that they made some plays and critical times and found a way.”
The second match of the tournament was against Northwestern State and Tulsa again won three sets to one. Once again the Golden Hurricane dominated the early set on the strength of four service aces from freshman setter Mariah Pardo. Tulsa took the first set by 10 points, 25–15.
Tulsa was trailing for the majority of the second set before rallying back to take a 23–22 lead and sophomore outside hitter Rachel Moore finished the set off to give the Hurricane the 2–0 set advantage for the second straight day.
The Demons took the third set 22–25 after a 7–0 run midway through the set which Tulsa could not respond to. But the Golden Hurricane bounced back in the fourth and final set with another 25–15 dominating win.
In the finale of the tournament Tulsa took on old Conference-USA foe Louisiana Tech. The pattern held for the third straight set as Tulsa won the first two sets, dropped the third and dominated the fourth set for a 3–1 win and another perfect sweep of the tournament.
Three Golden Hurricane made the All-Tournament Team: Bohannon (MVP), Berryhill and Trinity Aluala. This was the third tournament title for the Golden Hurricane who also won the Creeds and Crests Classic and the A-State Invitational.
Wills talked about the first part of the team season after the win on Saturday night. “If you look at the whole non-conference picture, I’m just really proud of how we played. We played some really good teams. We were challenged, and every time this team was presented a challenge, they stepped up. We weren’t perfect, but we found a way to be successful most of the time, and more than anything, I’m just really proud of how hard they’re playing and how they fight right now.”
They begin conference play against Cincinnati on Thursday.