Tulane Rallies Past ECU In New Orleans

Published: Nov. 19, 2017 at 8:50 PM EST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. – Despite winning the first two sets Sunday, the ECU volleyball team was unable to finish the job as Tulane rallied all the way back to capture a 3-2 (23-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-9) American Athletic Conference victory inside Devlin Fieldhouse.

Team Records: ECU (20-11, 11-7 AAC) | Tulane (14-17, 3-15 AAC)

Senior outside hitters Lael Ceriani and Ashton Mares paced the offense with 13 and 12 kills while Ceriani completed a double-double with 13 digs. Senior middle hitter Natalie Montini added 11 kills and three blocks. On the defensive end, senior defensive specialist Alex Jessett and sophomore libero Brandee Markwith recorded 13 digs apiece. Lexie Douglas led the Green Wave with 18 kills.

Tulane recorded more kills (70-52) and total blocks (11.0-8.0) as well as out-hitting ECU .256 to .185. The Green Wave and Pirates each tallied three aces and combined for 14 errors from the service line.

Set One: The teams traded the lead back and forth until a solo block by Osuegbu gave ECU a 12-10 lead and forced Tulane to take a timeout. The Pirates were ahead by as many as five points, 20-15, but the Green Wave rallied within 24-23 late before a Tulane missed serve sealed the set for ECU.

Set Two: The Green Wave attempted to establish the upper hand to begin the second, leading 3-0, but the Pirates shook it off and were able to push ahead 7-5 on a kill by Ceriani. A serving error kept Tulane close at 12-10. However, two-straight ECU points made it 14-10 and prompted a Green Wave timeout. With the Purple and Gold leading 18-14 later in the frame, the Pirates blitzed Tulane with a 7-1 run to win the set by 10 and take a 2-0 match lead into the intermission.

Set Three: Looking to sweep the match, ECU jumped out to a 7-4 lead. However, the Green Wave would score the next five points to take a two-point edge. The Pirates could not catch up from there as Tulane ended up claiming the stanza by an eight-point margin.

Set Four: With the score tied at 14 in the fourth, the Green Wave secured two-straight points to establish some breathing room. Tulane did not relinquish the lead, sending the match to the decisive set.

Set Five: The Green Wave scored six of the first seven points of the set and eventually took a 10-4 lead. The teams split the last 10 rallies as Tulane completed the comeback victory.

News and Notes

ECU dropped to 2-5 in five-set matches this season.

The Pirates and Green Wave split the season series with both teams winning five-set matches at home.

Mares moved within 10 kills of becoming the fifth player in program history to notch 1,000 kills and digs in a career.

ECU fell to 7-5 in road matches in 2017.

Up Next: ECU plays its last road match of the 2017 season Wednesday, facing off against Cincinnati at 1 p.m.