Aug 31, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Strong attacks and a stellar day serving the ball helped the Tulane volleyball team earn their second victory of the young season, defeating Rider in three straight sets on Saturday morning at the Devlin Fieldhouse.
Tulane's second match of the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament was a lot smoother, as the squad used a different look to work against the hard-hitting team from Rider. Despite a close second set that went in favor of the Green Wave, 25-20, Tulane had no trouble with the first and third sets, as they won 25-14 in both.
"We tried a system with two setters, and I think we were solid," said Tulane director of volleyball Sinisa Momic. "We played solid and we didn't make too many mistakes. At the same time, we served well, and when Rider couldn't pass, we converted well. I still don't think we are playing our best, but for the second match of the year, it's not bad."
Freshman Annie Shurtz led the Green Wave in kills for the second straight match, posting 15 on 24 attempts for a hitting percentage of .583. Senior Cori Martone recorded eight kills, while junior Olivia Utt and freshman Tea Juric had six each.
Redshirt senior Elysa Jackson posted a double-double on the day, with 12 assists and 10 digs, while junior Grace Weaver led the team in digs with 13. At the net, junior Anna Wruck paved the way with three block assists, while Utt and Martone added two apiece.
Tulane came out of the gate hot again, taking an early lead and never letting up in the first set. With the score tied at seven in the first set, Tulane rattled off three straight points before Juric recorded a service error. However, the Green Wave scored four straight - three on kills by Shurtz - to put themselves ahead 16-9. Freshman Sarah Strasner capped off the set with a service ace. Shurtz led the team in kills during the set with six.
"Annie was solid, just like yesterday," added Momic. "She definitely stood out."
Tulane scored six straight to open the second set, thanks in part to two kills from Juric and one from Martone. Weaver notched three-straight service aces to go up 17-5 before the Green Wave allowed Rider to creep back into the set. With the score at 22-16, freshman Ally Frank set up Shurtz for back-to-back kills before a service error by Rider ended the set in favor of Tulane.
"Grace did her job controlling passes, and that was important," stated Momic. "Our serving worked really well today, too."
Rider made things interesting in the third set, leading early by a score of 6-4. However, Tulane attacked the net, recording a slew of kills, while Rider posted a few errors to add points to the board for the Green Wave. Utt came up big towards the end of the set, notching kills for the 21st and 22nd points of the set before Shurtz rattled off two of her own. A bad set by a Rider athlete ended the match. Utt notched four kills in the third set while Shurtz added five.
Tulane will close out the tournament against Nicholls State tonight at 7pm CT at Devlin Fieldhouse. Live stats and streaming video will be available on TulaneGreenWave.com, with the streaming video only available to All-Access subscribers.
In addition to Tulane's 7pm match, Rider and MVSU will play at 4:30pm CT.
Single game tickets will be available for $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children.
Season tickets for Tulane volleyball are $55 for adults and $35 for youth, ages three to 14. For single-game ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Group discounts are available when ten or more tickets are purchased.
The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Fans can follow the Green Wave volleyball program on Twitter (GreenWaveVB) or on Facebook at facebook.com/GreenWaveVolleyball.