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5A Grice Collects 10 Blocks in Opening Weekend Finale, Named All-Tournament

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Kaitlyn+Grice+and+Kyra+Hunter+reach+for+a+block+against+Murray+State%E2%80%99s+Rachel+Giustino+during+the+University+of+New+Orleans+Invitational.
Kaitlyn Grice and Kyra Hunter reach for a block against Murray State’s Rachel Giustino during the University of New Orleans Invitational.

Kaitlyn Grice and Kyra Hunter reach for a block against Murray State’s Rachel Giustino during the University of New Orleans Invitational.

Kaitlyn Grice and Kyra Hunter reach for a block against Murray State’s Rachel Giustino during the University of New Orleans Invitational.

NEW ORLEANS – Kaitlyn Grice finished with a career-high 10 blocks and hit .438 (eight kills) in the season-opening University of New Orleans (1-2) Invitational Saturday afternoon in the Human Performance Center, but the Privateers fell to Murray State University (2-1) 25-22, 25-22, 25-18.

Grice’s previous career-high was eight and the All-Southland Conference Preseason selection received all-tournament honors. UNO garnered 11.5 total blocks with Brianna Vega adding five. Blessing Dunn had eight kills and 10 digs as she approaches 1,000 for her career. Maxine Walsh made her indoor debut after redshirting 2017. Sarah Thomas and Nela Grau teamed for 30 assists.

SET ONE

Despite hitting .323 in the opening set, New Orleans trailed 23-18 before Grice’s block cut into the Racers lead. However, Murray State picked up the win 25-22 on Rachel Giustino’s kill. In the set, Grice had one solo block and three assisted swats. She and Dunn recorded three kills apiece and Samantha Uline had five digs.

SET TWO

Much like the first set, New Orleans mounted a late comeback but MSU extended its lead with the 25-22 win. After the Racers posted the set’s first three points, UNO went on a 7-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back service aces by Vega.

The Racers knotted the set and the clubs traded points before the set No. 2 win.

Grice tallied four kills and three blocks, and Vega added two aces, two kills, two blocks and four digs.

SET THREE

The Racers were able to escape the HPC with a straight set win, taking set No. 3 25-18, behind a .303 hitting percentage. In the set, UNO collected three team blocks and Ehize Omoghibo shined with five kills on nine attempts. Thomas assisted seven times and Grice and Vega combined for five blocks.

NEXT UP

New Orleans visits Devlin Fieldhouse Tuesday in a battle of the Big Easy between the Privateers and Tulane University at 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available.

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5A Grice Collects 10 Blocks in Opening Weekend Finale, Named All-Tournament