March 10, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Two matches into the 2013 sand volleyball season, the Tulane squad already has more team victories than it had during its inaugural campaign as the Green Wave defeated UAB, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at the UAB Sand Volleyball Courts.
With the contest tied at 2-2, the Green Wave's No. 2 team of freshman Jackie Wegner and sophomore Anna Wruck bounced back from a 21-19 opening set loss to the Blazers' Kirsten Gallagher and Rachel Fairbanks to win the second frame 21-16. As the team victory lay in the balance of the third and final set, the two teams battled toe-to-toe and Tulane won a marathon, 21-19. With the win, the Green Wave improved to 2-0 on the year. UAB, meanwhile, fell to 1-1.
"We played really well today," Tulane head coach Alan Segal said. "All of the girls played well and it was a good, team effort. Like I said yesterday, if we play better, we work at every point and do the small things, I think we're going to be really good. I thought we did that today and did it better today. We still could have done it a lot better and there's a lot of room for improvement, but the girls are trusting each other as partners and they're working hard. Our hard work paid off today."
Tulane scored the first point of the ballgame in No. 4 play where junior Azarri Badawi and sophomore Grace Weaver posted a 23-21, 19-21, 15-12 win over Becca Howard and Kate Morrell. UAB evened the event in No. 5 action where Ally Slaughter and Sam Skinner posted a three-set win against freshman Mackenzie Moore and sophomore Olivia Utt (11-21, 22-20, 15-13), but the Green Wave responded at the top of the line-up where freshman Sophie Asprey and junior Cori Martone recorded a 21-11, 21-12 sweep of Sam Serley and Alison Woods.
"It was back and forth, back and forth," Segal said of his team's performance on Sunday. "They battled and found a way to win. It was awesome to watch."
The Green Wave return to action next weekend when they host the Tulane Pelican Classic from March 15-17 at Coconut Beach in Kenner, La. Tulane will open the tournament with a 4 p.m. match against ULM on Friday and Saturday will feature three matches as ULM takes on Stetson at 10 a.m., Tulane takes on UAB at 1 p.m., and Stetson squares off against UAB at 4 p.m. The Wave close out the event on Sunday when they play Stetson at 11 a.m.
"I think it's going to be fun to play at home," Segal added. "Hopefully we'll get some fans out to watch us play. I know the girls are excited to play at home. I know a lot of the parents will be there, so that will be nice. The team has worked really hard to play against good teams. We've started off well and I think they're excited to play at home."
TULANE GREEN WAVE (2-0) DEFEATS UAB BLAZERS (1-1): 3-2
No. 1: Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) def. Sam Serley / Alison Woods (UAB) - 21-11, 21-12
No. 2: Jackie Wegner / Anna Wruck (TLN) def. Kirsten Gallagher / Rachel Fairbanks (UAB) - 19-21, 21-16, 21-19
No. 3: Kiriana Hirini / Bethanie Thomas (UAB) def. Milica Jovic / Courtney Liddle (TLN) - 21-11, 21-15
No. 4: Azarri Badawi / Grace Weaver (TLN) def. Becca Howard / Kate Morrell (UAB) - 23-21, 19-21, 15-12
No. 5: Ally Slaughter / Sam Skinner (UAB) def. Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) - 11-21, 22-20, 15-13