Aug. 12, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - Just three-days into preseason practice, a pair of Tulane University volleyball standouts have already picked up preseason honors as Visnja Djurdjevic and Jenn Miller were named to the 2009 Conference USA Preseason Volleyball Team, the league announced Wednesday.
Djurdjevic - a sophomore outside hitter from Zitiste, Serbia - and Miller - a senior libero from San Pedro, Calif. - are two of 12 student-athletes from around the league to earn preseason All C-USA honors as voted on by conference head coaches.
"I think it is an obvious choice for the coaches in our conference to pick the two of them," first-year Tulane volleyball coach Sinisa Momic said. "They've done a lot for us over the last three years - finishing third, second and then winning the championship last year. This just goes along with what we think they can do this year, which is be the best players on our team and be the best players at their positions overall in the conference."
As a freshman in 2008, Djurdjevic was named AVCA Midwest Region, C-USA and Louisiana Freshman of the Year, honorable mention AVCA All-Midwest Region, first-team All-Louisiana, second-team All C-USA and a CVU.com Rising Star. She finished third on the team in kills (305), kills per set (2.42), digs (300), digs per set (2.38) and points (365.5), while finishing fourth in service aces (25), and sixth in both blocks (49) and blocks per set (0.39).
Djurdjevic claimed a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team after posting 2.69 kills, 2.23 digs and 0.46 blocks per set in helping lead Tulane to the championship. She posted 16 double-digit kill performances, including a career-best 17 in a 3-1 win at Tulsa on Oct. 10. She also tallied 14 double-digit dig outings, including a season-high 16 ups at UAB on Oct. 5 and at Rice on Oct. 24.
Miller, meanwhile, enters senior season already holding the Tulane career digs record with 1,580, surpassing the former mark of 1,366 set by Karlyn Daly from 2000-03. She holds three of the top four single-season dig marks in Green Wave history, including the No. 1 spot with 609 digs as a sophomore in 2007.
As a junior last season, Miller was named second-team All-Conference USA after leading the team in digs (464) and digs per set (3.90) while finishing sixth in aces (20). She tallied double-digit dig totals in 25 matches, including a season-high 29 against Houston in the C-USA Championship Semifinals on Nov. 22
"I, of course, appreciate the head nod," Miller said. "But like I said last year, I don't want to let anything that happens outside of my team influence anything that happens. I would rather have my team say, `You're going to be great, Jenn,' rather than have other people tell me that. I believe in my team more."
While the preseason honors rolled in for Djurdjevic and Miller, Momic had his team back on the practice floor on Wednesday morning. While the team continues to come together, Momic said he is pleased with the progress they have made over the course of five practice sessions.
"There is an obvious difference between the veterans and the newcomers physically," Momic said. "The veterans were here during the summer working out so you can see the difference there physically. Technically, with the newcomers, they're still working on raw talent. Our primary goal is for them to catch up with this group of veterans.
"So far, it looks good. They're all working hard. We're trying to work through some soreness. They had this afternoon off, and tomorrow we're going to step it up and practice longer."
Season tickets for the 2009 Tulane volleyball season are currently on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at a cost of $55 for adults and $35 for youths. In addition, all Tulane faculty and staff may purchase tickets for half price.
Tickets may be purchase in person on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr., Center, over the phone at (504) 861-WAVE (9283), or online at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. Single-match tickets will go on sale beginning on Monday, Aug. 24, and can also be purchase on the date of competition at Fogelman Arena.
2009 CONFERENCE USA PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Lucy Charuk* Houston MB 6-2 Jr. Tswwassen, British Columbia Elizabeth Fleming Marshall S 5-10 Jr. South Bend, Ind. Emily Underwood Memphis MB 6-3 Jr. Port Elgin, Ontario Natalie Bogan Rice MB 5-11 Sr. Oakland, Calif. Tracey Lam Rice L 5-6 Jr. San Francisco, Calif. Ashleigh McCord Rice OH 6-2 So. Wylie, Texas Meredith Shamun* Rice S 5-11 Jr. Murrieta, Calif. Visnja Djurdjevic Tulane OH 6-1 So. Zitiste, Serbia Jenn Miller Tulane L 5-9 Sr. San Pedro, Calif. Jennifer Eichler Tulsa RS 6-0 Sr. Rapid City, N.D. Erin Campbell UCF OH 5-11 Sr. Kansas City, Mo. Amy Sanders UTEP OH 6-1 Jr. El Paso, Texas *C-USA Preseason Players of the Year