Aug. 20, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Green and White scrimmage was a chance for the Tulane volleyball team to get onto the court at Fogelman Arena for the first time as a full unit this season, a chance for the public to get a look at the team and for the coaching staff to watch - and play - with the group they have been working with for the past seven days.
The 16-person squad was split into two teams by the coaching staff and each team featured a good mix of rookies and returners. The Green squad was comprised of Azarri Badawi, Amber Bennett, Milena Dragovic, Liz Karnes, Nikki Osuna, Lilly Wolfe, Anna Wruck and volunteer assistant coach Justine Stremick. The White team featured Elysa Jackson, Milica Jovic, Mel Mandelbaum, Cori Martone, Madison Nieberlein, Chloe Tom, Olivia Utt, Grace Weaver and associate head coach Amy Williamson.
The match featured four sets of play, three of which were won by the White squad, and each one of them were competitive to the final point. The Green team held leads in each of the four sets, but the White roster was able to come back to win three of those and forced extra points in the finale of the scrimmage.
The second set belonged to the White team in the early going, with help from some tough serving to the tune of three service aces. They raced out to a 13-7 lead, but that lead didn't last long due to four White team missteps and a solid effort from Badawi and Stremick that pulled the Green squad even at 14-14. The Green jersey's rolled to a 20-17 advantage, but four of the final eight points were awarded to the opponent's side of the net because of self-inflicted errors and that led to a rally by the White team to the tune of a 25-23 victory.
Weaver took over for the White team in the third set, posting six kills with three digs to help her side to a 25-21 victory. The rookie scored three of her squad's first seven points to help the White team jump out to an early 7-3 lead. The Green's used a balanced attack to grab the momentum midway through the set, leading 15-12 after Dragovic and Wruck combined on a block. Weaver - two kills - and the White squad stepped up their game trailing by three and charged back to grab a 19-16 edge. They would not trail the rest of the match to post their third straight set win.
In the fourth set, the Green Team used a solid offensive attack, hitting .438 as a unit, and solid blocking to win their lone set. Another early lead disappeared on the Green side of the net, when they went from a 12-7 advantage to just a 15-14 edge at the tipping point of the match. They pushed their lead back to five points when a Martone attacking error made it 22-17, but a pair of service aces and three kills from the White team knotted the match at 22 points each. The Green side eventually captured the final set, 27-25, on a Wruck kill and a Dragovic service ace.
On the afternoon, Weaver posted a double-double of 13 kills and 15 digs and her teammate Mandelbaum added 30 assists, nine kills and five digs. Martone had nine kills for the White side, while Williamson led all players in the match with 19 kills, adding 12 digs. Badawi paced the Green attack with 14 kills, while Wolfe handed out 41 assists and Dragovic posted eight kills and ten digs.
We will continue to break down of the Green Wave roster throughout the next week, including a new "Getting to Know" feature on one of our players each day. To follow all of the releases leading up to the season opener visit the fall camp page by clicking here. Also, follow the Tulane volleyball on twitter @GreenWaveVB for updates and features throughout the season.
Tulane Volleyball season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.tulanegreenwave.com or by calling the Tulane Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.