Freshman Tea Juric earned MVP honors of the Radford University Highlander Classic on Saturday
Sept. 21, 2013
RADFORD, Va.- Tulane volleyball picked up another two wins on Saturday to move their season record to 13-1 with victories over Savannah State and Radford, giving Tulane the championship at the Radford University Highlander Classic in Radford, Va.
Tulane scored their 12th win of the season against Savannah State in three sets Saturday morning, 25-10, 25-8 and 25-16. Against Radford later in the day, Tulane dropped the first set 18-25 before winning the next three, 25-21, 25-22 and 25-23 for their 13th victory in 2013.
For their efforts over the weekend, freshman Tea Juric and senior Cori Martone were named to the All-Tournament Team, with Juric earning MVP honors. Against Radford on Saturday evening, Martone led the way with 18 kills, while Juric chipped in 15. They both also notched double-digits in digs, with Martone leading the team with 19 while Juric tied for the second most on the team with 10.
Radford presented a challenge to Tulane for the second time in as many days before Tulane managed to come back for the win. The Green Wave played strong out of the gate, but fell behind by four at 19-15. However, the Highlanders put the Green Wave away by outscoring Tulane 6-3 the rest of the way.
Like Friday night's match, Tulane came back in the second set to tie things before the match's intermission. After jumping ahead of the Highlanders at 7-6 on a kill by freshman Annie Shurtz, Tulane maintained the lead throughout the remainder of the game, sans ties at 10 and 11. Junior Anna Wruck posted a set-high five kills, while Martone, Juric and Shurtz added four each. Juric also managed two service aces in the set.
Tulane hit .406 and .370 in the third and fourth sets, respectively, while playing huge at the net in the third set with four of the team's eight blocks coming during the game.
"(The match against Radford) was a very similar match to last night's match against them," stated Tulane director of volleyball Sinisa Momic. "We started off slow again in game one, and then we figured out a way to adjust and work hard. Certain players had certain moments where they picked up their game. We controlled the match better at the end. It was a good thing that we played a tough team like Radford twice."
Earlier in the day, Tulane defeated Savannah State behind the Green Wave's largest margin of victory of the season in the second set by defeating the Tigers by 17 points. Despite the large margin of victory in the second set, Tulane only led by one point at 9-8. However, the Green Wave managed to hold the Tigers scoreless throughout the rest of the set.
"This was just a match where we were just a better team," added Momic. "We worked on some things, and we had a chance to let more players play. We had to have another good match against Radford (later in the day), so we rested some of our players (against Savannah State.)"
The Green Wave hit .300 (34 kills, 10 errors, 80 total attempts) as a team, and held Savannah State to an opponent season-low of -.110 (17 kills, 26 errors, 82 total attempts). In the aforementioned second set, Tulane hit .429 compared to the -.300 average hit by the Tigers.
Martone did not play against Savannah State, allowing the Green Wave to play a plethora of student-athletes during the contest. Senior Azarri Badawi played in two sets for the first time since playing three sets against Youngstown State earlier in the month. On Saturday, the Fresno, Calif., native notched a service ace and a dig.
Freshman Ally Frank saw action in two sets against Savannah State, marking just the second time this season she has played in multiple sets in one match. The Saskatoon, Canada, native posted a career-high 10 assists while also recording a dig.
Redshirt sophomore Amy Lanski made her season debut - and her first action in a Tulane uniform - against Savannah State. Lanski posted a kill and a service ace, playing for the first time since she notched a kill and a block assist for DePaul against Chicago State on Sept. 15, 2012.
Juric led the team in kills against Savannah State with nine, while senior Elysa Jackson paced the team in assists with 14. Freshman Makenzie Frieden had a match-high nine digs, while Strasner was the team leader in service aces with four and blocks with six (two solo).
Tulane will return to the court on Friday when they open Conference USA play against UTSA on Friday at Devlin Fieldhouse at 7pm CT. On Sunday, the Green Wave will host UTEP for their second C-USA match of the season.
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.