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.
"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