Aug. 18, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - With less than two weeks remaining before the season opener, the Tulane University volleyball team garnered some national attention as the Green Wave received 21 votes in the 2009 AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Tuesday.
The Tulane team sits 35th among the 48 teams to appear on two or more ballots and are one of two teams from Conference USA to make the list as Rice claimed a trio of votes in the preseason poll. In addition, the Green Wave were one of two teams from the state of Louisiana to claim votes as LSU earned 19 votes to sit two spots behind Tulane.
"I think a lot of it is based on what we've done over the last three years," first-year Tulane head volleyball coach Sinisa Momic said. "We had pretty good records each of those years and have built a bit of a reputation. Even with losing so many people and changes to the coaching staff to some extent, they're still voting for us. That shows they're expecting the same thing from us that we are expecting from us, and that is to stay a good, strong program.
"Now, it's up to us to keep this team - even though we have new players and we'll be playing in a new system - to put it all together and prove to everyone that we belong there and that we're going to stay a long time among the elite teams in the country."
The Green Wave will have several opportunities to prove the preseason prognosticators correct, and even move up in the polls, throughout the 2009 season as the schedule is peppered with teams both ranked and receiving votes.
Tulane begins the year on Aug. 28 with preseason No. 10 Illinois in the opening contest of the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha, Neb., and will face No. 3 Nebraska one week later at the Tiger Invitational in Baton Rouge, La. In the third week of the season, the Wave will face preseason No. 23 Long Beach State on Sept. 12 in day two of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at Fogelman Arena.
While the good news rolled in for the Green Wave, practice continued as the team held another double session on Tuesday at the Reily Student Recreation Center. The Tulane squad held a conditioning session and worked on ball control in the morning before working individual sessions based on position and moving on to some six-on-six work in the afternoon. Momic said he was pleased with some aspects of the Green Wave's game so far, but was quick to point out that there is they have a long way to go to get prepared for the first match of 2009.
"Our outsides will carry a load and they have been doing it every day in practice," Momic said. "But we need to focus our offense more on our middles. We tried to do that today and it was on and off. That's our focus now and it will stay our focus throughout the season. We need to rely on our first-tempo offense, not just on the outside."
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.
AVCA DIVISION I COACHES TOP 25 PRESEASON POLL
Total 2008 2008 Rank School (1st-place votes) Points Record Final Rank 1. Penn State (52) 1487 38-0 1 2. Texas (6) 1405 29-4 4 3. Nebraska 1345 31-3 3 4. Washington (2) 1330 27-5 5 5. Stanford 1283 31-4 2 6. California 1215 26-7 6 7. Hawai'i 1036 31-4 7 8. Florida 1020 27-4 10 9. UCLA 961 22-11 8 10. Illinois 919 26-8 11 11. Minnesota 904 27-7 14 12. Southern California 852 17-12 13 13. Iowa State 786 22-13 12 14. Oregon 727 25-9 9 15. San Diego 554 23-5 19 16. Michigan 530 26-9 17 17. Utah 505 26-6 16 18. Wichita State 402 30-2 18 19. Purdue 386 26-9 15 20. Saint Louis 354 29-5 21 21. Kentucky 288 26-6 22 22. Kansas State 213 24-8 20 23. Long Beach State 190 26-6 23 24. Colorado State 170 23-7 24 25. Santa Clara 102 18-10 25Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Pepperdine 75; Duke 53; Texas A&M 45; Wisconsin 43; Western Michigan 37; New Mexico State 28; Wright State 24; St. Mary's (Ca.) 23; UC Irvine 22; Tulane 21; Ohio 20; LSU 19; Arizona 18; Cal Poly 18; Tennessee 16; Louisville 15; Michigan State 9; San Francisco 8; Baylor 5; Missouri State 5; Oklahoma 5; Middle Tennessee 4; Rice 3.