May 13, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University sand volleyball program added two more freshmen for the 2015 campaign in Manhattan Beach, Calif., native Lan Nguyen and Christina McAfee of Kennedale,Texas, Green Wave head coach Wayne Holly announced on Tuesday.
The pair join Madeline Mertz, who signed a National Letter of Intent with Tulane back in November, to bring Holly's first signing class to three. The newcomers, who will each have four years of eligibility starting in Fall 2014, and bring their talents to a team expected to return nine letterwinners for the 2015 campaign.
"This 2014 class of outstanding beach volleyball student-athletes moves us another significant step forward in the process of building an elite sand volleyball program at one of the finest academic universities in the country," Holly said. "I am proud that Lan, Christina and Maddy will bring us their impressive records of achievement in the classroom and on the beach. They will be an excellent fit with the accomplished student-athletes who will be returning for us."
Nguyen comes to Tulane via Mira Costa High School where she played both indoor and sand volleyball. Under the direction of coach Eric Fonoimoana - a Beach Volleyball Hall of Famer and 2000 Olympic gold medalist - on the dunes, she claimed the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball league (IBVL) Pairs Championship in 2013 and helped lead the team to an IBVL title each of the last two seasons to go with a runner-up showing as a sophomore.
In addition to her league championship, Nguyen also finished first at the U16 California/Los Angeles Open and the AAU Tachikara Classic while claiming the gold medal at the AAU Los Angelese Regional Finals in 2012, the U16 AAU Spring Classic in 2011, both the U14 California Regional and U16 AAU Regional Championship in 2010, and the AAU Junior National Beach Volleyball Championship in the U12 division in 2008.
"Lan is a highly-skilled and experienced beach volleyball athlete who will have an immediate positive impact on our program," Holly said. "She comes to us as an exceptionally well-coached student-athlete who has already enjoyed great success in the sport for many years. We're excited that Lan has chosen Tulane for her academic and athletic college career."
With the indoor team, McAfee was a four-year letterwinner for coach Alicia DeLay, and was named TAPPS second-team All-District while claiming Fort Worth PIT All-Tournament honors as a senior. She also lettered in softball and track and field.
A standout in the classroom as well as the realm of athletics, McAfee is a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and President's Honor Roll. In addition, she earned the school's Outstanding Student Award in geometry, world history, pre-calculus, physics, AP calculus and British literature, claimed the Student-Athlete Award as both a junior and senior, and a member of Youth and Government where she helped the organization earn back-to-back state championships in Judicial Trial Court.
"Christina comes to us with a wealth of beach tournament playing experience developed throughout Texas and California," Holly said. "As a product of a premier beach volleyball club and of USA Beach camps, Christina's knowledge of the game will make an immediate, positive impact on our team.
"I am very excited to have Christina coming to Tulane to play sand volleyball for us. She is an excellent student and has a positive growth mindset that will make her an excellent student-athlete and teammate."
In their first year under Holly, the Green Wave posted its second consecutive winning season, capping an 8-7 season with back-to-back 3-2 wins over ULM and UAB on April 27 in Birmingham, Ala. In addition the tandem of sophomore Jackie Wegner and freshman Tea Juric earned an invitation to the AVCA College Sand Volleyball National Championship.