The Golden Hurricane reigns over the Tigers

The University of Tulsa’s volleyball team met Memphis on Friday, Nov. 10 and secured a victory over the Tigers. Despite TU’s strong performances in the first two sets, some slip-ups led the battle to go to four sets.

TU had a rocky start and Memphis was able to bring the score 0-3 in its favor. Despite some vital kills from outside hitters Beth Bayless and Kayley Cassiday, The Golden Hurricane continued to trail the Tigers for the beginning of the set. Lauren Eitler was able to tie the score for TU 13-13 with a service ace. Kills continued to come from both sides, leading the score to tie two more times before TU was able to secure the lead on a 5-0 run. Not willing to just give up a set, the Tigers brought The Golden Hurricane into a fierce rally, neither side looking to have the advantage. A vital kill from Bayless brought TU to 25-21 to put it 1-0 in the competition.

The second set started off with a similar situation, Memphis securing the first three points of the set. With the offensive efforts from Bayless, TU was able to trail right behind Memphis who held the early lead. The Golden Hurricane caught a wind of momentum from this and were able to settle the second set quickly, securing a 2-0 lead after beating the Tigers 25-13. Eleven points from the set were from Cassaday and 12 of the offensive efforts were assisted by senior setter Avery Kalsu.

“Confidence after what we’ve accomplished so far this season carried over to tonight,” said Bayless. “I think we had a sense of urgency but also a calmness like we knew we could do it.”

The third set was the most competitive scene of the game having 19 score ties and 10 lead changes. The set saw long rallies between the two teams, the first two-point lead not arising until Memphis was able to pull ahead 10-8 after back-to-back attack errors from TU. The Golden Hurricane would take the lead three more times before allowing the Tigers to finish the set in a 3-0 run to take the set 23-25, bringing the game 2-1.

The fourth set saw a strong start from TU, three consecutive kills from Bayless bringing TU to put Memphis at a 10-4 deficit. TU’s streak would come to an end when they had a service error. Memphis’ freshman setter Jordan Heatherly capitalized on this moment, serving up two kills to The Golden Hurricane. Seemingly shaken, TU committed more attacking errors to bring Memphis 11-9.

The Tigers would continue to give The Golden Hurricane a hard time, and TU’s errors would prove detrimental when it gave Memphis another scoring streak to put it ahead 14-16. The Tigers would hold the lead near the end, but TU turned it around and began to close the gap. A kill from Bayless was all it took to put TU ahead 21-19. Memphis would earn one last point until a 4-0 scoring run let The Golden Hurricane take the final set 25-20.

The 3-1 win improved the Golden Hurricane’s record 14-14 overall and 7-9 in conference play. TU will now prepare to face Tulane in a two-game weekend starting on Friday, Nov. 17.