March 30, 2013
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Tulane University sand volleyball team posted a pair of victories, including a 4-1 win over host and sixth-ranked Florida International, in day two of the Doctors Hospital FIU Surf & Turf Tournament on Saturday at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale.
In addition to claiming the program's first-ever win over a nationally-ranked team, Tulane also posted a 4-1 victory over Georgia State while falling to No. 1 Pepperdine, 5-0. By going 2-1 on Saturday, the Green Wave improve to 7-2 on the season.
"The girls played great," Tulane head coach Alan Segal said. "They battled and they played really well. We won two of the three matches and the Pepperdine match was in between. We wanted to play decent against them, but that wasn't our focus. Our focus was to beat the teams in our region, which is Florida International and Georgia State.
"We played well against Pepperdine, but we played great against FIU. It was a great match. Everybody played great. It was a great team win today. They had fun, they cheered for each other and they had fun playing against a really good team. We played at a high level and that's what we needed to do"
In the win over the Panthers, Tulane posted straight-set wins at No. 3 and 4 while rallying from set-one defeats to win in three at both No. 1 and No. 5 action. Junior Azarri Badawi and freshman Jackie Wegner scored the Green Wave's first point with a 21-15, 21-6 victory over FIU's Jessica Gehrke and Camila Rosado while the sophomore tandem of Grace Weaver and Anna Wruck won back-to-back 21-13 contests over Maria Coukoulis and Laura Duffy on Court 3.
All four of Tulane's wins over Georgia State came in straight sets. Asprey and Martone rolled past Jansen Button and Sara Olivova in No. 1 play, 21-19 and 21-17, Weaver and Wruck posted a 21-17, 21-16 win over Alexis Elmurr and Molly Smestad on Court 3, Badawi and Wegner downed Karlee Kavanaugh and Kaitlynn Hufstetler at No. 4, 21-16 and 21-13, and Moore and Utt rolled past Nikki Senopoulos and Alexis Townsend at No. 5, 21-16 and 21-8.
"It says a lot about the girls," Segal said of his team's performance. "They decided that they wanted to have fun and they're enjoying the game. They're willing to learn and willing to listen. They've grown each week and we're getting better. We're getting better every time we play. It all goes back to their hard work, how much they want to win and how hard they want to push themselves. The only thing you can do is push yourself, and they've done that."
The five-team tournament concludes on Sunday with five participating teams taking part in a pairs tournament. Each team's tandems will be paired up with their counterparts from other programs and a single-elimination tournament will begin at 7 a.m. (CDT).
After the conclusion of the Doctors Hospital FIU Surf & Turf Tournament, the Green Wave will head to Atlanta for the Georgia State Sand Invitational from April 6-7. Tulane will conclude the regular season at the Fiesta at Siesta Tournament from April 12-14 in Siesta Key, Fla.
TULANE GREEN WAVE DEFEATS No. 7 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL PANTHERS: 4-1
No. 1: Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) def. Kate Stepanova / Ksenia Sukhareva (FIU) - 18-21, 21-18, 15-13
No. 2: Maryna Samoday / Jessica Mendoza (FIU) def. Courtney Liddle / Milica Jovic (TLN) - 21-13, 21-17
No. 3: Grace Weaver / Anna Wruck (TLN) def. Maria Coukoulis / Laura Duffy (FIU) - 21-13, 21-13
No. 4: Azarri Badawi / Jackie Wegner (TLN) def. Jessica Gehrke / Camila Rosado (FIU) - 21-15, 21-16
No. 5: Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) def. Eimily Podschweit / Tina Toghiyani (FIU) - 15-21, 23-21, 17-15
No. 1 PEPPERDINE WAVES DEFEAT TULANE GREEN WAVE: 5-0
No. 1: Lilla Frederick / Kim Hill (PEP) def. Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) - 21-17, 21-11
No. 2: Lara Dykstra / Caitlin Racich (PEP) def. Grace Weaver / Anna Wruck (TLN) - 21-9, 21-13
No. 3: Kelley Larsen / Kellie Woolever (PEP) def. Courtney Liddle / Milica Jovic (TLN) - 21-8, 21-12
No. 4: Victoria Adelhelm / Taylor Racich (PEP) def. Azarri Badawi / Jackie Wegner (TLN) - 21-17, 21-17
No. 5: Emily Cook / Katie Messing (PEP) def. Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) - 21-18, 21-11
TULANE GREEN WAVE DEFEATS GEORGIA STATE PANTHERS: 4-1
No. 1: Sophie Asprey / Cori Martone (TLN) def. Jansen Button / Sara Olivova (GSU) - 21-19, 21-17
No. 2: Lane Carico / Milani Pickering (GSU) def. Elysa Jackson / Courtney Liddle (TLN) - 21-9, 21-11
No. 3: Grace Weaver / Anna Wruck (TLN) def. Alexis Elmurr / Molly Smestad (GSU) - 21-17, 21-16
No. 4: Azarri Badawi / Jackie Wegner (TLN) def. Karlee Kavanaugh / Kaitlynn Hufstetler (GSU) - 21-16, 21-13
No. 5: Mackenzie Moore / Olivia Utt (TLN) def. Nikki Senopoulos / Alexis Townsend (GSU) - 21-16, 21-8