Dec. 3, 2010

Courtesy of Tulsa Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. -
Sophomore outside hitter Tyler Henderson slammed 26 kills to lead The University of Tulsa volleyball team to a, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18), upset of 13th-seeded LSU in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening at Howard McCasland Fieldhouse.

The Golden Hurricane (31-2) earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, and advances to the Second Round, where it will face Oklahoma Saturday at 2 p.m. TU won its 30th-straight match and set a school and Conference USA record with its 31st win of the season.

It was also Tulsa's first win over a ranked opponent in school history. Tulsa is ranked No. 22 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, while LSU (25-5) was ranked No. 15 in the poll.

"I'm really pleased with how our team played offensively and defensively," Tulsa Head Coach Ed Allen said. "We felt like our style of play matched up very favorably with LSU, if we were able to serve the ball tough, transition attack and continue to apply pressure on the transitional attack. That's exactly how it unfolded for us."

Tulsa fought off a first set in which it hit .194, to compile a .298 attack percentage for the match, by hitting .350 in the second set, and .342 in the third set. TU totaled more kills (50-32), assists (47-30) and service aces (4-2) than LSU, although the Tigers out-blocked the Hurricane, 8.0-5.0.

Sophomore libero Jessica Adams tallied 18 digs and sophomore outside hitter Diana Silva added 11 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kellie Culbertson and sophomore setter Jordan Clampitt contributed nine and eight digs, respectively, to anchor the Hurricane defense that dug 52 attacks, converted on a 70-percent sideout ratio, and held LSU to a .151 hitting percentage.

"It was definitely a really good match defensively and offensively," Adams said. "Our blockers touched a lot of balls and made it easier for us in the backcourt. I felt like Kellie (Culbertson) and Diana (Silva) stepped up their game. They picked up balls that were pretty tough. It felt like a balanced effort."

Clampitt totaled 38 assists to pace the offensive effort, and Silva and junior outside hitter Kelsey Hancock each tallied nine kills, while Hancock hit .412 for the match. Senior middle blocker Hannah Stout hit .400 with five kills. TU converted on 70-percent of its sideout opportunities, including 12-of-15 in the second set.

Desiree Elliot and Michele Williams led LSU with nine and eight kills, respectively, and Lauren Waclawczyk tallied 12 digs. Elliot added five blocks, and setter Brittney Johnson recorded 26 assists, six digs and four blocks for the Tigers.

Henderson tallied nine kills in each of the first two sets, and averaged 8.67 for the match. Adams averaged 6.0 digs per set in the match.

"I think our defense was really key in that match," Stout said. "They got a lot of good touches on blocks and our defense behind us picked it up. It all started at the service line. We had some really hard serves and didn't give up easy points."

Tulsa broke a, 13-13, tie in the first set with two straight points to force the official timeout. LSU, however, came back with two points to tie at 15 apiece, and the set, which featured 16 ties and six lead changes, continued to go back and forth. The Hurricane finally broke away when down, 20-19, it scored the final six points to win the set, 25-20. Henderson had three kills in that final run, and a Clampitt ace sealed the frame.

The Golden Hurricane led, 5-3, in the second set, but fell behind, 10-8. A kill by Henderson and an ace by Adams pulled TU into a, 10-10, tie, and Henderson got two more kills to put TU ahead, 12-10. The Hurricane put together an 11-1 run to move ahead to a, 19-11, lead. From there, Tulsa cruised to a, 25-15, win.

Much like in the second set, Tulsa found itself down in the middle of the third frame, trailing, 11-8, when TU called a timeout. The Golden Hurricane then scored the next four points to take a, 12-8, lead, forcing an LSU timeout. The damage was done, however, and TU never relinquished its lead. The spread stayed within two-to-three points until Tulsa led, 18-16, and scored seven of the final nine points to win the third set, 25-18.

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