Jan. 13, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - A home-and-home matchup with LSU and the Second Annual Tulane Pelican Classic at Coconut Beach highlight a 15 dual-meet slate for the upcoming campaign as first-year head coach Wayne Holly announced the Tulane University sand volleyball program's 2014 schedule on Monday.
Entering its third season of intercollegiate competition and coming off a 2013 campaign which saw the Green Wave finish 10th in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll, the Green Wave will play the most outside competition in program history. Last season, Tulane finished with a 9-4 overall record, and picked up its first victory over a nationally-ranked program when the Wave defeated then-No. 6 Florida International, 4-1, on March 30 in Miami.
"Our 2014 schedule is a reflection of Tulane University's continued commitment to building an elite sand volleyball program capable of achieving sustained competitive excellence at the national level," Holly said. "This year, we've expanded the number of competitions over previous years and committed our program to more extensive travel than ever before, including a trip out west to compete against both Arizona and Arizona State. We've also added an additional home event so our fans in New Orleans have more opportunities to see us compete at Coconut Beach.
"Also new this season, we are playing a home-and-home series against LSU, which should be the beginning of a great rivalry and provide our fans with additional opportunities to see us compete close to home."
The Green Wave open the 2014 season with the Stetson Spring Break Duals from March 7-8 when Tulane will face host Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast in dual-match action before participating in a pairs tournament. From there, the Wave head to Tucson, Ariz., for the Wildcat Spring Challenge where they will face Arizona Christian and Arizona State on March 14 before squaring off against host Arizona on March 15.
The Green Wave's second match against LSU is slated for April 16 when they will face the Lady Tigers and UAB in Baton Rouge, La., before closing out the regular season with a trip to Birmingham, Ala., where Tulane will face Georgia State on April 26 and both ULM and UAB on April 27.
The 2014 sand volleyball season concludes nationally at the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships, which are slated to take place from May 2-4 in Gulf Shores, Ala. The AVCA will select six programs for the team championship and 16 two-person teams to for the individual title.
"These are exciting times for Tulane sand volleyball," Holly added. "Our new schedule, our recruiting class and the depth of our returning players position us very well for a season full of success and growth into the future. I am very proud of what we are assembling here."
The Green Wave return eight of 12 letterwinners from a year ago, including two-year participants Azarri Badawi, Amber Bennett, Cori Martone, Olivia Utt, Grace Weaver and Anna Wruck. Also back for the 2014 season are sophomores Courtney Liddle and Jackie Wegner. Joining the team for the 2014 season are freshmen Tea Juric, Annie Schurtz and Sarah Strasner - who helped Tulane's indoor team finish 28-4 and advance to the title game of the Conference USA Championship during the fall - as well as sand-only rookie Hannah Holmes.
Coconut Beach is located at 100 Coconut Beach Court in Kenner, La., and admission to all Tulane home sand volleyball competitions is free.