Sophomore Jackie Wegner shares a high-five with teammate Tea Juric during the Green Wave Saturday split at the Battle on the Bayou.
April 19, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. - Green Wave freshmen Tea Juric and Hannah Holmes, along with sophomore Jackie Wegner, each enjoyed a pair of victories as the Tulane University sand volleyball team went 1-1 on Saturday in the Battle on the Bayou at the Mango's Beach Volleyball Complex.
The Wave dropped a 3-2 decision to UAB to open the day but bounced back with a 3-2 win over host LSU. With the split, Tulane is now 6-6 on the year with one weekend left to the 2014 regular season.
"It was a good weekend," first-year Tulane head coach Wayne Holly said. "We seem to be splitting a lot of weekends and hope to improve on that in the future. To more from good to great, we will continue to work on developing consistency in our execution. We have one more week of practice and three duals next weekend to further refine our performance."
Tulane's top team of Juric and Wegner downed UAB's Kiri Hirini and Bethanie Thomas by scores of 21-19 and 21-17 before defeating LSU's Katie Lindelow and Meghan Mannari 2-18, 21-17. Holmes, meanwhile, followed suit in No. 3 action - teaming with junior Anna Wruck for a 23-21, 21-19 win over the Blazers' Rachel Fairbanks and Sara Rishel before joining forces with junior Grace Weaver to sweep the Lady Tigers' Victoria Boraski and Khourtni Fears, 21-13, 21-12.
The difference in the opening match win and the afternoon win over LSU came on Court 4 where sophomore Courtney Liddle and junior Olivia Utt bounced rebounded from a 21-15, 22-20 loss to UAB's Gabby Deshotel and Becca Howard with a three-set, 19-21, 21-13, 15-9 win over LSU's Mimi Eugene and Briana Holman.
"Winning the season series against such a great in-state rival as LSU was both motivating and rewarding," Holly said. "Even though they are a young program, they are very athletic, well coached and building an excellent foundation. We respect them and will enjoy the win.
"I thought our volleyball was much cleaner than we played earlier in the day against UAB. The match was later in the day and it wasn't as hot. I don't know if that mattered to the players but it definitely looked like we were a little bit better executing our fundamentals and game plans."
Tulane had a chance to earn at least one more point in the match against the Lady Tigers as the Green Wave's No. 2 tam of freshman Annie Shurtz and Wruck came back from a 21-13 opening-set loss to Helen Boyle and Kaitlin Hatcher with a 21-14 win in the second set. In the third frame, however, the LSU pair came away with a 15-11 win. LSU's other point came at No. 5 where Malorie Pardo and Laura Whalen defeated freshmen Miah Diirell and Sarah Strasner 24-22, 21-13.
The Green Wave also had chances to score the match-deciding third point on each of the three courts they fell. At No. 2, Shurtz and Wruck fell two points shy each time as Sam Serley and Alison Woods posted back-to-back 21-19 wins. At No. 4, Liddle and Utt snapped back from a 21-15 opening-set loss to Gabby Deshotel and Becca Howard to keep things close in the second set before falling, 22-20. On Court 5, Diirell and Strasner fell to Ally Slaughter and Amber Treace in the first set, 21-15, tied things up with a 21-14 decision in the second stanza and ultimately fell in the third frame, 15-12.
"The dual against UAB was tough competition and a tough loss," Holly said. "We struggled a bit in the heat and I think that got the best of us on a couple of the courts. I credit UAB for playing in the same conditions and getting the better of us today. In a 3-2 dual with some flights going into a third set, it just goes to show that after months of training, results can still come down to execution on a very small number of plays. Consistent execution of fundamentals will nearly always win."
The Green Wave will close out the 2014 regular season next weekend when Tulane travels to Birmingham, Ala., for three last dual matches. The Wave open the weekend on Saturday, April 26, with a 1 p.m. showdown against Georgia State before squaring off against both ULM and host UAB at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
UAB BLAZERS (4-7) DEFEATS TULANE GREEN WAVE (5-6): 3-2
No. 1: Tea Juric / Jackie Wegner (TLN) def. Kiri Hirini / Bethanie Thomas (UAB) - 21-19, 21-17
No. 2: Sam Serley / Alison Woods (UAB) def. Annie Shurtz / Grace Weaver (TLN) - 21-19, 21-19
No. 3: Hannah Holmes / Anna Wruck (TLN) def. Rachel Fairbanks / Sara Rishel (UAB) - 23-21, 21-19
No. 4: Gabby Deshotel / Becca Howard (UAB) def. Courtney Liddle / Olivia Utt (TLN) - 21-15, 22-20
No. 5: Ally Slaughter / Amber Treace (UAB) def. Miah Diirell / Sarah Strasner (TLN) - 21-15, 14-21, 15-12
TULANE GREEN WAVE (6-6) DEFEATS LSU LADY TIGERS (6-10): 3-2
No. 1: Tea Juric / Jackie Wegner (TLN) def. Katie Lindelow / Meghan Mannari (LSU) - 21-18, 21-17
No. 2: Helen Boyle / Kaitlin Hatcher (LSU) def. Annie Shurtz / Anna Wruck (TLN) - 21-13, 14-21, 15-11
No. 3: Hannah Holmes / Grace Weaver (TLN) def. Victoria Boraski / Khourtni Fears (LSU) - 21-13, 21-12
No. 4: Courtney Liddle / Olivia Utt (TLN) def. Mimi Eugene / Briana Holman (LSU) - 19-21, 21-13, 15-9
No. 5: Malorie Pardo / Laura Whalen (LSU) def. Miah Diirell / Sarah Strasner (TLN) - 24-22, 21-13