Nov. 21, 2008
A block assists by senior Bridget Wells and freshman Visnja Djurdjevic in the third set gave top seed Tulane a 25-18, 25-27 and 25-17 quarterfinals victory over No. 9 seed UCF in the 2008 Conference USA Volleyball Championship early Friday afternoon at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
The Green Wave ended the match hitting 82 percent (15K-1E-28TA) in the third set and 34.7 percent for the match. Tulane also racked up 10.5 team blocks to eliminate the Knights from tournament action. UCF completes its season at 15-17, while Tulane goes to 25-5 and will face the winner of the No. 4 Houston/No.5 Tulsa match on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Djurdjevic led the Green Wave with 12 kills and a .435 hitting percentage. Senior Sara Radosevic landed a match-high four service aces to claim the school record. She currently owns a career 185 aces in Green Wave history. She also had nine kills and a team-high nine digs.
Sophomore Janine Williams led all with a match-high 16 kills for the Knights. Teammate and senior Stephanie Serna also had double digits in kills with 12. Kathleen Curry led with a match-high 11 digs, while setter Lauren Rosenthal dished out a match-high 30 assists for UCF.
Tulane Head Coach Liz Kritza
Overall thoughts on the game
"The last time we played UCF we didn't play our cleanest match. I think they are one of the most improved teams in our conference this season. Credit goes out to Todd (Dagenais) and his bunch. We aren't tested like this often enough. We need to be in order to improve. UCF put together a really good match. They did a good job of matching up on us and they really made us make some adjustments in our game. There were moments tonight when I saw some really good things from our side of the net. But there were plenty where we had so much room for improvement, which I think is a good thing. We are still being able to pull out three set victories but we still have room to improve. These are improvements that I know these kids can make and I expect them to make. If anything, you don't want to be playing your best volleyball on the first day of a consecutive three day tournament."
On the Tulane offensive performance
"Credit goes out Visnja (Djurdjevic). She showed today why she is deserving of all of the freshman honors she is receiving. She has to be Sara's (Radosevic) counterpart. She has to score as high as Sara or even higher and she did that today. She tied Sara for points today. Jen (Linder) also came up big tonight with a .615 hitting percentage. She is usually error-free in her game and her performance today was a very linder-like performance. I think those are two balanced performances tonight and it takes a total performance. We need to make some adjustments to our defense and need our players to understand what their particular position is in the team's plan and we need to execute those changes."
On UCF's performance in the game
"In set one they had a lower side-out performance and we stopped blocking and playing defense against them. The teams that play against us, if they can keep from siding out, they have a much better chance of beating us. You have to keep this team away from you as far as side-out percentage. We are going to have to keep improving our blocking scheme and playing better defense. If we can score at a certain pace, if we allow team's to score at that pace with us, than we are going to get into trouble. UCF did get a job of staying with what was working for them. They really relied on their strength, Stephanie Serna, and when they got her going we had to make some adjustments and when we did they pushed the ball out to Janine Williams, who is probably their best player and their most-accomplished player, and led their team in points. Making those adjustments and keeping their side-out percentage down allowed us to win."
2008 C-USA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday, Nov. 20
(9) UCF 3, (8) SMU 1
(5) Tulsa 3, (12) East Carolina 1
(10) Marshall 3, (7) Southern Miss 0
(11) UTEP 3, (6) Memphis 2
Friday, Nov. 21
(1) Tulane 3, (9) UCF 0
(5) Tulsa vs. (4) Houston 2 p.m.
(10) Marshall vs. (2) UAB 5 p.m.
(11) UTEP vs. (3) Rice 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 22
(1) Tulane vs. winner Match 6 2 p.m.
winner of Match 7 vs. winner Match 8 4 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 23
winner of Match 9 vs. winner Match 10 2 p.m. (CBS College Sports)