Ballioglu and Szulczewski Power Beavers Over Tulane
NEW ORLEANS – The combination of Nursena Ballioglu and Izzi Szulczewski were too much for Tulane to overcome, as the Oregon State volleyball team picked up a 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 27-25) victory to close nonconference action on Saturday morning at Fogelman Arena.
"Today, was a battle," said head coach Mark Barnard. "We didn't find any real rhythm, but we did find a way to win. Izzi and Kateryna [Tkachenko] led our attackers with Izzi having her second triple-double in three matches.
"We're excited to get back to Corvallis and get back to work for our PAC-12 opener on Wednesday."
The freshman Ballioglu recorded the first double-double of her young Beaver career, leading all student-athletes with a career-high 13 kills to go along with a career-best 16 digs in the match, while Szulczewski earned her second triple-double in three matches going for 22 assists, 13 digs and 12 kills to become just the sixth athlete at the Division I level with two or more triple-doubles so far this season.
For the fourth time this season, Oregon State had three student-athletes finish with 10 or more kills, as Kateryna Tkachenko joined the pair in double figures with 11 kills of her own.
Libero Ryan White led the way defensively for the Beavs with 22 digs, while Vivian White added four solo blocks to stuff the Green Wave at the net.
Back-to-back service aces from DiLara Unal saw Oregon State take their first lead of the match at 13-12, but the service line would come back to bite the Beavs, as five errors from beyond the line helped the Green Wave jump out to an early 1-0 set advantage in the match.
The defense for OSU locked in during the second set, allowing Tulane to hit just .091 in the stanza, as the Beavers collected 25 digs in the set and relied heavily on Ballioglu and Tkachenko on the offensive end to draw the match even at one set apiece.
The Beavs wasted no time in the third set, jumping out to a 5-1 advantage and never let go of the edge through the entirety of the set. The Green Wave were held to a minuscule .031 hitting percentage with the Beaver defense allowing just six kills in the frame.
The match looked destined for a fifth and final set with the Green Wave jumping out to an 8-3 lead early in the fourth, but a 6-0 run from the Beavers tied the set at 9-all. Back-to-back kills by Szulczewski to end the match was all she wrote, as Oregon State took the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Beavers return to Gill Coliseum to open PAC-12 play against in-state foe Oregon on Wednesday night. First serve is set for 7 p.m. PST with tickets available by clicking here.
Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).