Tulsa Volleyball Falls To No. 15 Florida, 3-0
Dec. 1, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (TU Media Relations) - The Tulsa volleyball team, making its third straight NCAA appearance, fell to No. 15-ranked Florida 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-21) to see its season draw to a close at the O'Connell Center on Friday during the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Tulsa (26-10) was led by senior outside hitter Tyler Henderson, who tallied 17 kills after recording zero in the first frame. Henderson, with 2,525 kills graduates Tulsa as the NCAA all-time leader in kills during the 25-point rally-scoring era.
"I cannot say enough about my team's fight and their courage," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "I felt like your worst nightmare as a coach is what happened (to us) in the first set. These ladies, just like they have their whole careers, were fighters and competitors. They were not going to go out that way. I am just really proud of my team again and how we fought the way we did.
The Hurricane hit .102 (34-22-118) while the Gators (26-4) hit .317 (43-11-101) during the contest.
Senior libero Jessica Adams tallied a team leading 15 digs as she will leave TU as the all-time digs leader with 2,437, which ranks second in C-USA history.
Junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson had six kills and eight digs, while sophomore Bailey Clampitt had 12 assists and eight digs.
In the first set, Florida jumped out to a 9-1 lead as it took the frame 25-9. Tulsa hit -.250 in the frame while Florida held an attack percentage of .417.
Tulsa tied the set at 8-8 in the second frame thanks to a kill from Henderson. UF rattled off a 12-6 run to take a 20-14 advantage en route to a 25-21 game victory. Henderson hit .538 in the set, with eight kills.
The Golden Hurricane tied the match at 11, but UF scored five of the next six points to open up a 16-12 advantage. A Henderson kill made it a 21-19 ballgame, but Florida took the set 25-21 to claim the match in front of 1,832 fans.
This loss marked the end of the careers for Tulsa's most decorated senior class in Henderson, Adams, Jordan Clampitt. Diana Silva and Shelbi Pitcher, who won 111 games during their career. The class became the first class to advance to three NCAA Championships and the first class to win an NCAA Championship match.
"I am really proud of our team," McRoberts said." I love this team. I love our seniors; Jessica Adams, Tyler Henderson, Shelbi Pitcher, and Jordan Clampitt have done such an amazing job in their four years with the program; three conference championships, three trips to the NCAA Tournament, a couple of wins in the NCAA Tournament. The first set, we came out a little tentative. It was probably the environment. I think we gave a couple of players from Florida the confidence they needed early. It was tough to slow them down the rest of the way. I am really proud of the way we bounced back after the first set. If we got rid of a couple runs in the second and third sets, we are right there. One of the things that we talked a lot about before the match was we had to play aggressive and be low-error. Kind of our M.O. for the year when we play teams like Florida - is that was not the case. We still did a great job this season of getting kills, but we just gave up points at critical times and it came back to bite us tonight."