Freshman Olivia Utt and the Tulane sand volleyball program return to action on Friday when they take on UAB in Birmingham, Ala.
April 5, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University sand volleyball program will return to action on Friday, April 6, when the Green Wave travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take on UAB at 4 p.m. at the UAB Sand Volleyball Courts.
The contest against the Blazers is the second of the year against UAB as the Green Wave dropped the initial meeting 5-0 back on March 10 at The Dock of Slidell. It also marks the team's first action since splitting a double-header at Stetson back on March 14.
"The time off came at a good time for us," Tulane acting head coach Jaye Loyd said. "We had a series of intense matches and then were able to rest a bit. Since the girls were not used to the large amounts of sand play, they were exhausted after the Spring Break trip. They have had time to recharge and are now ready to go again.
"The girls have been working hard to improve their offense. They have been experimenting with different strategies and plays to make themselves more of an offensive threat."
The last time out, Tulane capped a twinbill against the Hatters with a 3-2 win. In that match, the tandem of Cori Martone and Grace Weaver posted a three-set victory in No. 1 play, Shefali Arora and Amber Bennett followed suit at the No. 5 position, and the No. 3 pair of Lilly Wolfe and Anna Wruck earned a straight-sets decision to give the Tulane team its first-ever win.
The Blazers, meanwhile, enter the weekend 3-3 on the year and fresh off a solid showing last week at the UNF Invitational. In addition to its win over Tulane, UAB also has a pair of wins over Mercer while losing to Florida State, Pepperdine and North Florida.
"Our girls have come a long way since we played UAB the first time," Loyd said. "They feel and look much more comfortable in the sand. They are excited for the re-match. I think the win against Stetson helped the girls gain confidence. They have proven to themselves that they are capable of constructing a win. The win has also made them hungry for another."
Friday's match at UAB will be the first of three for Tulane over the weekend as the Green Wave will head to Macon, Ga., where they will square off against College of Charleston and host Macon on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
"Needless to say, we will be playing a lot of volleyball this weekend," Loyd added. "Although playing back-to-back matches is strenuous physically, the girls have been participating in sand conditioning to increase their stamina to ensure they last through the long days."