Junior Cori Martone (pictured) teamed with freshman Sophie Asprey to post a three-set win in No. 1 play in helping the Green Wave post a 4-1 season-opening win over Mercer.
March 9, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Tulane University sand volleyball program opened the 2013 season in fine fashion as the Green Wave posted a 4-1 win over Mercer on Saturday afternoon at the UAB Sand Volleyball Courts.
The team posted straight-set wins on Courts 3, 4 and 5, and the No. 1 team of freshman Sophie Asprey and junior Cori Martone posted a three-set decision en route to the team victory. The win gives the Green Wave (1-0) a winning record for the first time in the second-year's program history as last season's team finished the inaugural campaign 1-10.
"I thought we played really well," Tulane head coach Alan Segal said. "They were a little nervous at the beginning, but other than that they played well. It's a learning experience. As the match went on, they got better and did a lot of nice things. We just need to keep focusing on the little things like siding out and making really good first contacts in serve-receive. We'll get better. It was a good start to the season."
Asprey and Martone won their opening set against the Bears' Madison Petsos and Jamie Duffy, 21-4, only to have the Mercer squad bounce back with a 26-24 decision in the second. The Tulane pair, however, came away with key points late in the final frame to come away with a 15-13 win.
Freshman Courtney Liddle and senior Milica Jovic posted a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Mercer's Charlayna Braxton and Emily Brett in No. 3 action, junior Azarri Badawi and sophomore Grace Weaver followed suit with a 21-11, 21-14 decision over Codi Schepp and Zoe Becton in No. 4 play, and freshman Mackenzie Moore and sophomore Olivia Utt teamed for a 21-16, 21-11 win over Caroline Carlton and Emily Rochefort at No. 5.
The lone blemish on the day for the Green Wave came on Court 2 where freshman Jackie Wegner and sophomore Anna Wruck rebounded from a 21-14 opening-set loss with a 23-21 set-two win before falling in the final stanza, 15-12.
"I think we're going to be good everywhere," Segal said. "Anna and Jackie, even though they lost, they won the first the first game 21-14 and were up 20-17 in the second game and just couldn't finish. They were up 12-10 in the third game and didn't finish. They had a lot of chances to win that match. Cori and Sophie won their first game easy, lost a real close second game and they had a tough third game and fought it out to win the big points. I think we're going to be good 1-5."
The Green Wave return to action on Sunday when they take on host UAB at 1 p.m. From there, the Wave will host the Tulane Pelican Classic from March 15-17 at Coconut Beach in Kenner, La.
"We saw UAB today and they're very good," Segal added. "They've got some talented players and I think tomorrow's match is going to be a tough one. It's one day at a time. For this being our first day and not playing at all, the first competition was good. It was really good."
TULANE GREEN WAVE (1-0) DEFEATS MERCER BEARS (0-1): 4-1
No. 1: Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) def. Madison Petsos / Jamie Duffy (MU) - 21-14, 24-26, 15-13
No. 2: Jennifer Katona / Molly Locke (MU) def. Jackie Wegner / Anna Wruck (TLN) - 21-14, 21-23, 15-12
No. 3: Courtney Liddle / Milica Jovic (TLN) def. Charlayna Braxton / Emily Brett (MU) - 21-15, 21-13
No. 4: Azarri Badawi / Grace Weaver (TLN) def. Codi Schepp / Zoe Becton (MU) - 21-11, 21-14
No. 5: Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) def. Caroline Carlton / Emily Rochefort (MU) - 21-16, 21-11