Aug. 25, 2017
OXFORD, Miss. – The Louisiana Tech women’s volleyball team opened its season Friday with a 1-1 split at the newly renovated Gillom Sports Complex on the campus of Ole Miss. The Techsters dropped a tightly contested match to the host Rebels, 3-2, but came together for an impressive 3-2 victory against Florida A&M.
Coach Adriano de Souza
“I liked the team’s effort throughout the day,” head coach Adriano de Souza said. They really played with a very good mindset, always pushing the other team in every set they played today. Its’ important that we remember the way we scored today and repeat it. And on the flip side it’s important to remember the times that we didn’t score to avoid repeating that.”
Senior Marta Monne
“It felt good to get that first win, senior outside hitter Marta Monne said. “We needed it emotionally. We just had that motivation to push through and finish. It’s good to learn from both wins and losses, but winning sticks more. I think we could’ve closed faster against Florida A&M, but getting used to winning helps with that. We had to fight through it and find ways to win today.”
“I think I learned a lot from the scrimmage before the season. I went in more motivated. I tried to fix things that block me mentally sometimes. I want to win and I’ve been motivated to be mentally stronger. Today I was just trying to help my teammates finish the points as quickly as possible, whether I was digging in the back or blocking up front.”
Florida A&M Match
Tech rallied nicely from the tough defeat earlier in the day and recorded its first win of 2017. The first two sets were won with relative ease, but the Rattlers put up a fight in both the ensuing third and fourth, sending the match to a do-or-die frame.
The Techsters came out hot in frame one, notching 17 kills while hitting .318 en route to a fairly simple 25-17 triumph. The second set saw much of the same as the lead changed just three times as Tech staked a similar 25-19 win.
Things got a little dicey in the third and fourth sets however, as Florida A&M was the team to be reckoned with. The Rattlers held Tech to a .070 hitting percentage in the third and a -0.24 mark in the fourth, taking both to draw even heading to a fifth set.
In the final frame, Tech limited the mistakes and played efficient volleyball, staking a 15-13 triumph
“We had a fresh mindset after losing two sets in a row,” de Souza added. “We demonstrated that we can be focused and get back to our game. That’s a great thing for us to take with us into upcoming matches this season.”
Kills – 14, Gina Cortesi
Assists – 41, Brooke Short
Digs – 18, Brooke Short
Blocks – 6, Marie-Helene Verlinden
Ole Miss Match
Ole Miss took the first set, before the Techsters rattled off wins in sets two and three to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Rebels would rally, however, staking a 25-16 win in the fourth and eventually pulling away for a 15-10 triumph in the do-or-die fifth set.
Offensively, Marta Monne and Madeline Davis paced the Techster attack with 11 kills each, while freshman Gina Cortesi stepped up big in her first collegiate action, registering 10 kills, nine digs and seven blocks.
Monne and Brooke Short each registered double-doubles in the narrow defeat, with Monne tying a career high with 20 digs and Short contributing 12 digs along with 35 assists.
Newcomer Marie-Helene Verlinden also made a solid contribution with a match-best four service aces. Unforced errors played a big role in the outcome, as the Tech drummed up 14 service errors while Ole Miss only contributed seven.
Kills – 11, Madeline Davis and Marta Monne
Assists – 35, Brooke Short
Digs – 20, Marta Monne
Blocks – 9, Madeline Davis