Aug. 17, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - With a week of experience under their belts under the direction of a new coaching staff, the Tulane University volleyball team opened week two of the 2009 preseason with a double-session Monday at the Reily Student Recreation Center.
After focusing on technique and working themselves into game shape during the first six days of practice and enjoying a day off on Sunday, the Green Wave hit the court fast and furious on Monday as the season-opener against Illinois looms less than two weeks away.
"We started working more on our six-on-six and are beginning to figure out our line-ups and rotations," first-year head coach Sinisa Momic said. "At the same time, we're still going for pretty long periods of time. We're kind of stepping up the tactical part of our game while keeping the physical part and workouts still going. From there, we'll go into competitive mode next week as we get ready to start playing."
Among several new wrinkles the Tulane team will unveil in 2009 is a return to a 5-1 offense, moving away from the two-setter system the program used primarily over the last three seasons. Senior setter Rachel Lindelow is currently slated to play all six rotations after splitting time with Luna Rebrovic from 2006-08.
One obstacle the move, along with the graduation of Rebrovic, provides is finding the timing between Lindelow, the returning hitters who were not on the court with her last season, as well as the newcomers lining up on the front row. Last year, Lindelow shared court time with returners Ksenija Vlaskovic, Visnja Djurdjevic and Lindsey Shepard. She now has to find her timing with returning letterwinners Amaris Genemaras - who is pushing for a starting spot on the right side - and middle blocker Stephanie Stromath, as well as true freshmen Milica Jovic and Marija Milosavljevic.
In addition, the Green Wave spent a large portion of Monday's double session on its team defensive package and the passing of Vlaskovic, Djurdjevic, Genemaras and senior transfer Jaye Loyd. While the Tulane team will once again feature an up-tempo offense, it is entirely predicated on solid passing which Momic hopes will lead to better timing with the outside and right-side hitters as well as the middle blockers.
"We're trying to speed up our shoot sets to the outside because we have outsides who are able to terminate that kind of ball," Momic said. "In three rotations, we'll only have two hitters on the front row, so it's going to be more difficult to confuse the block. We've got to be able to speed it up and keep the defense guessing."
The Green Wave return to action with another double session on Tuesday at the Reily Center. The team will work with the Tulane strength and conditioning staff in the morning before holding individual drills in the latter half of the first session. In the afternoon, the team will continue to work on team drills, including plenty of time in six-on-six action.
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 Aug. 24 at a cost of $6 for adults and $4 for youths. The Tulane Athletics Ticket Office also offers a five-match pack for $20, and each fan can pick any five matches they wish to attend. In addition, single-match tickets can also be purchase on the date of competition at Fogelman Arena.