UAB Seniors Spearhead Sweep Of Tulane

Thais Soares rocketed a team-high 11 kills on Senior Day.

Nov. 13, 2011

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Seniors Thais Soares and Heather Thomas led the UAB volleyball team in a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-15) sweep of the Tulane Green Wave on Sunday afternoon at Bartow Arena.

UAB (21-8, 11-6 C-USA) hit .255 as a club, connecting for 41 kills on 106 attacks.  The home defense was equally if not more impressive, showcasing why it holds the lowest opponent’s hitting percentage in Conference USA.  Tulane (9-19, 4-13 C-USA) managed just a .081 (26K-18E-99) attacking clip, including being blanked in the final stanza, .000 (6K-6E-29 TA). 

Soares and Kate Morrell paced the offensive surge, recording 11 and 10 kills, respectively.  Soares hit .292 for the match and added eight digs, while Morrell registered a .333 attacking mark with six digs, three aces and three block assists.

 In the back row, Thomas led UAB in digs with 11 and now has tallied 2,070 during her career in Green and Gold.  She needs just five digs to move into fourth place on C-USA’s all-time list.  The Madison, Ala. native also scorched a pair of aces in the contest, as UAB tallied nine as a team for the match.

The nine aces marked the most by the Blazers in a C-USA match this season and the second most in a contest all year.  UAB recorded season-high 10 aces versus Kennesaw State on Sept. 10.

“I think a key to the victory today was our girls did a nice job serving and keeping Tulane out of system,” head coach Kerry Messersmith said. 

Another individual that stood out offensively was Ashley Ricks.  The New Washington, Ind. product hit .600 on the day, smoking nine kills on 15 attempts with zero miscues.

At the setter slot in the lineup, Alison punched in a well balanced effort into the box score.  The junior dished out 22 assists, added seven digs along with a match-high four aces in the victory.

“It is always nice to send the seniors off with a win because it is such an emotional time for them,” Messersmith said.  “Sometimes it’s tough to get up and play because of the all the emotions going on, but both seniors did a nice job for us.”

Tulane was paced by Cori Martone’s 14 kills, while libero Nikki Osuna topped the Green Wave in digs with 13.

UAB is on the road next weekend with a trip to East Carolina on Friday, Nov.  18 for a 6 p.m. CT match.  The Blazers will follow that up with a contest at Marshall, starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday.