Sophomore Olivia Utt (pictured) combined with Mackenzie Moore to post a 22-20, 21-17 win in No. 5 play during Tulane's 3-2 win over UAB.
March 16, 2013
KENNER, La. - One day after seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate, the Tulane University sand volleyball team made sure history did not repeat itself as the Green Wave posted a 3-2 win over UAB in day two of the Tulane Pelican Classic on Saturday afternoon at Coconut Beach.
With the score tied at 2-2 following the completion of the first four matches, the team victory hung in the balance on the performance of the teams' top tandems. Freshman Sophie Asprey and junior Cori Martone responded in a big way, posting a 27-25, 21-17 sweep of the Blazers' Kiriana Hirini and Bethanie Thomas to clinch the victory.
The win was the second of the season for Tulane over UAB this season as the Green Wave improve to 3-1. UAB, meanwhile, fell to 1-3 for the year.
"I thought Cori and Sophie played well and anchored the team well today," Tulane head sand volleyball coach Alan Segal said. "It was a good win. It was a good team effort. We mixed the teams up a little, they did a lot of good work and they'll get better. We're just trying to find the best combination of players to get solid all the way through."
Tulane once again got solid performance from the bottom of its line-up as the No. 5 unit of freshman Mackenzie Moore and sophomore Olivia Utt defeated UAB's Becca Howard and Kate Morrell by scores of 22-20 and 21-17, while junior Azarri Badawi and freshman Jackie Wegner followed suit with a 21-18, 21-13 sweep of Kirsten Gallagher and Ally Slaughter to stake the Green Wave to a 2-0 lead.
The Blazers, however, refused to go away quietly as Rachel Fairbanks and Sara Rishell defeated sophomores Grace Weaver and Anna Wruck in No. 2 play, 21-16 and 21-17, while Sam Serley and Alison Woods joined forces to down senior Milica Jovic and freshman Courtney Liddle in No. 3 action - 21-17, 21-14 - to set up Asprey and Martone's match-deciding win.
"I think the indoor girls are learning to play the game better," Segal said. "It's helped having the four beach girls and they're teaching the indoor girls how to play the game. I wasn't here last year, but winning three games already as opposed to the one we won last year is obviously good. We're just at the beginning of the season so hopefully we can win some more matches as the season goes on."
The Green Wave close out play in the Tulane Pelican Classic on Sunday when they square off against Stetson at 11 a.m. From there, Tulane will enjoy a week off before returning to action on Saturday, March 30, when it opens play in the FIU Surf & Turf Tournament in Miami, Fla., where the Wave will face Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Pepperdine and host FIU.
TULANE GREEN WAVE (3-1) DEFEATS UAB BLAZERS (1-3): 3-2
No. 1: Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) def. Kiriana Hirini / Bethanie Thomas (UAB) - 27-25, 21-17
No. 2: Rachel Fairbanks / Sara Rishell (UAB) def. Grace Weaver / Anna Wruck (TLN) - 21-16, 21-17
No. 3: Sam Serley / Alison Woods (UAB) def. Milica Jovic / Courtney Liddle (TLN) - 21-17, 21-14
No. 4: Azarri Badawi / Jackie Wegner (TLN) def. Kirsten Gallagher / Ally Slaughter (UAB) - 21-18, 21-13
No. 5: Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) def. Becca Howard / Kate Morrell (UAB) - 22-20, 21-17