Aug. 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane volleyball team began practice for the 2008 season for first time Saturday morning, one of two practices on the day. The Green Wave, the preseason favorite to win Conference USA in the preseason forecast of the league's coaches, were put through six-hours worth of practice in preparation for the upcoming season.
"It is great to finally be back on the court, preparing for this season," head coach Liz Kritza said. "We are all excited to get the season underway."
The first practice begins at 9 a.m. and will focus on positional skills, and ball control. After breaking at noon, the team will reconvene for another three-hour practice at 4 p.m., which will be focused on team skills.
"We will start getting a feel for the ball again, working on first contact, ball control and passing. Then work on individual skills for each position. In the afternoon session, combine all of that with some six-on-six,"
Every player is back from last season's 28-6 squad, which was picked first in the Conference USA preseason forecast. The team will feature three returning All-Americans, five returning All-Conference USA players, and four members of the Green Wave which were named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team.
Three-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honoree Sara Radosevic was named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year. The senior from Zagreb, Croatia, was a unanimous pick for the team after she ranked 16th in the NCAA in kills per game with 5.01 and 15th in service aces per game, averaging 0.60 last season.
Joining Radosevic on the Preseason All C-USA Team were senior outside hitter Bridget Wells, junior outside hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic, and junior libero Jenn Miller.
Wells, an opposite side hitter from Raleigh, N.C., also earned AVCA All-America honorable mention and First Team AVCA All-Midwest Region honors. The First Team All-Conference USA selection turned in a breakout performance in her junior season, improving her hitting percentage by almost .200 points to finish in the top 10 in Conference USA at .323.
2007 C-USA Libero of the Year Jenn Miller, another AVCA All-America honorable mention selection, was also named Preseason All-Conference. The junior from San Pedro, Calif., finished second in C-USA in digs per game with 5.30 last season and also earned Second Team All-Conference USA honors as she once again set a new single-season record for digs in a season. After becoming the first Tulane player in history with 500 digs in 2007 (with 507), she became the first Wave player to hit 600, with 609 in 2007. She sits fifth all-time at Tulane in digs with 1,116.
Tulane opens its season on August 29 against Missouri in Utah, at the BYU Molten Classic. Tulane will also face BYU and Utah State before the home opener on Monday, September 1 at Fogelman Arena against MEAC Champion Florida A&M.