Junior Anna Wruck and the Tulane sand volleyball team return to action over the weekend when they will face Arizona Christian, Arizona State and host Arizona in the Wildcat Spring Challenge.
March 13, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University sand volleyball team will participate in its second tournament in as many weekends when the Green Wave travel to Tucson, Ariz., to face Arizona Christian, Arizona State and host Arizona in the Wildcat Spring Challenge.
The Green Wave will open the event on Friday with a 1 p.m. (CDT) contest against Arizona Christian before playing Arizona State at 5 p.m. Tulane will close out the tournament on Saturday with a 1 p.m. showdown with Arizona. Other matches slated for the weekend are an Arizona/Arizona Christian showdown on Friday at 3 p.m. and an Arizona State/Arizona Christian contest on Saturday at 11 a.m. All three of the Green Wave's opponents are in their first season of varsity competition.
"We're facing three teams that we've never face before," first-year Tulane head coach Wayne Holly said. "While Arizona and ASU are new programs this season, they are not new to high-level competition. Both schools have very strong indoor programs and terrific coaching staffs. They have a lot of size on their rosters and I expect them to be strong offensively. Hopefully we have an edge in our experience but we will have to see how that plays out. I am looking forward to playing against such strong athletic programs on the road. The challenge will improve us in the long run."
Tulane, which is in the midst of its third season of competition, head to Arizona 1-1 in dual-match play after dropping a season-opening 4-1 decision to Stetson before posting a 3-2 win over Florida Gulf Coast last weekend at the Stetson Spring Break Duals in DeLand, Fla.
In addition, the Green Wave posted a combined 9-6 mark in pairs play. Highlighting last week's pairs tournament was the performance of sophomore Jackie Wegner and freshman Tea Juric, who went 5-1 and rallied out of the losers' bracket to win the Uppers Pairs Division Bracket.
"We expect to be an improved team from last weekend's season opening competition in Florida," Holly said. "Since then, we've been able to break down a lot of statistics and view video of every one of our matches. To improve this weekend, we need to be more aggressive offensively. That is our No. 1 priority. We have also practiced several different tactics in our side-out game so that the players are better equipped to run different style offenses for the opponents we are facing this weekend.
"I also expect to compete a little more confidently than last weekend now that we have the first week of competition under our belt for the season. Our players, like most great athletes, will perform better as their confidence grows and they can relax out there."
All three of the Green Wave's weekend opponents have all faced each other before as the trio participated in last week's Arizona Invitational in Tucson. In that event, Arizona posted a 3-0 record with a 5-0 sweep of Arizona Christian, a 4-1 win over Arizona State and 3-2 victory over Grand Canyon.
Arizona State added a 5-0 win over Arizona Christian, and the ACU Firestorm rounded out an 0-3 performance with a 5-0 loss to Grand Canyon.
Following the trip to Arizona, the Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, March 29, when Tulane plays host to in-state rival and first-year program LSU at 2 p.m. at Coconut Beach in Kenner, La. Admission to all home sand volleyball contests is free.