Henderson’s 45 Kills Lead Tulsa Volleyball in Thrilling 3-2 Win at SMU

DALLAS – Tyler Henderson’s epic 45-kill performance, which shattered the school record and tied the Conference record, led The University of Tulsa volleyball team to a thrilling 3-2 (25-27, 26-24, 25-15, 23-25, 15-9) victory over Conference rival Wednesday evening at Moody Coliseum.

The Golden Hurricane (14-2, 5-0 C-) and Mustangs (12-4, 4-1 C-), both unbeaten in league play entering Wednesday, provided exactly the type of heavyweight battle that was expected. The first two sets needed more than the standard 25 points – 25-27 and 26-24 – to decide the winner. Just when it seemed as though Tulsa had taken control with a 25-15 set-three win, came back with a two-point, 25-23, in the fourth, forcing the deciding set, which TU won, 15-9.

Henderson’s 45 kills are the ninth-most in history and most since volleyball scoring shifted to 25-point sets in 2008. She is only the third player to reach 45 kills since the began rally-scoring in 2001.

“I think that was the single best offensive performance from an individual player that I have ever seen in my years of coaching,” Tulsa Head Coach Ed Allen said.

Henderson’s was not the only standard-setting performance for Tulsa Wednesday. Diana Silva recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and a career-high 24 digs. Jordan Clampitt totaled a career-high 70 assists. Henderson also hit .470 for the match (46k-6e-83ta), and nearly recorded her own double-double with nine digs, and added four blocks.

The match was only TU’s second of the season to go the distance to all five sets, and just the fifth to extend more than three sets. With the victory, the Hurricane extended its win streak to 13 matches.

The previous school kills record was 38, set by Kristen Van Lierop against Morehead State in 2000.

“We’re pleased that we are back atop the conference, and even more pleased that we play at home this weekend,” Allen said.

Three Tulsa players averaged more than 3.50 digs per set for the match: Silva, Jessica Adams, who recorded 22 digs, and Kellie Culbertson, who added 18 digs. Offensively, Kelsey Hancock and Hannah Stout tallied nine and eight kills, respectively, for the Hurricane.

“We weren’t pleased with our defensive consistency,” said Allen. “SMU is very talented. They have a very balanced outside attack that forced us into mistakes defensively. We wish we could’ve been better defensively, but we feel our offensive performance more than made up for our lack of defensive consistency. That said, Jessica Adams once again proves to be one of the best liberos in this league, coming up with huge digs in some very key spots.”

Tulsa hit .341 as a team (78-16-182) with 78 kills, 73 assists, four service aces, 88 digs and 5.0 blocks. hit .276 (63-16-170) with 63 kills, 59 assists, eight aces, 80 digs and 7.0 blocks.

Updated 10-07-2010

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