The Tulsa volleyball squad ended the Golden Hurricane Classic with a 3-0 (22-25, 17-25, 19-25) loss to No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday.
Tulsa (7-7) will now turn its focus to Conference USA play as the Golden Hurricane faces SMU on Wednesday in its conference opener at the Reynolds Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m., and banners for TU's 2011 C-USA Championship and 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance will be unfurled.
Junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson earned all-tournament team accolades after earning her second double-double of the weekend with a 11 kill, 11 dig performance against Minnesota.
The sister tandem of Bailey and Jordan Calmpitt recorded 15 and 13 assists, respectively. Senior outside hitter Diana Silva paced the team with 13 digs, while Jessica Adams added 11 digs.
"I am very proud of our team," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "I thought it was our best team effort of the season. Our serve receive was outstanding. Kellie, Diana and Jessica did a outstanding job passing the ball, which kept all three of our hitters in play."
Freshman outside hitter Maura McGivern, in her first collegiate start, totaled eight kills on 16 attempts for a .500 attack clip. Fellow freshman Ashley Hooper added seven kills and two blocks.
"Ashley Hooper continued to play very well, and Maura hit .500 during the match, and had no hitting errors," McRoberts said. "I thought as a team for us to be right there with Minnesota in a couple of the sets was great, If we could take out one rotation in sets two and three where we let them go on a run, we are right there with Minnesota."
In the first stanza, Tulsa fought a 18-13 deficit to take a 19-18 lead over Minnesota. TU fell 25-22 in the frame as Culbertson tallied six of her 11 kills on the match.
The Hurricane and Gophers were tied at four apiece in the second set, but the Gophers scored six of the next eight points to take a 10-6 advantage en route to a 25-17 set victory.
TU was down 10-6 in the third, but rallied to take four of the next five points to make it a one point game. The Gophers countered with a 5-2 run to take a 16-12 lead they would never relinquish. Minnesota won the frame 25-19.
As a squad, Tulsa hit .174, while Minnesota, who leads the nation in attack percentage, hit .370.
The Hurricane will face three conference foes at home in SMU, Marshall and East Carolina next week. TU will face SMU in a 7 p.m. affair on Wednesday, September 19, Marshall on Friday, September 21 at 7 p.m. and ECU on Sunday, September 23 and 1 p.m.
"I think this weekend gives us a lot of momentum heading into Wednesday to play SMU," McRoberts stated. "The girls are ending the weekend 0-3, but seem really upbeat right now. I am really excited to see what the conference season is going to bring."