Aug. 20, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - With the first match of the season just a week away, the Tulane volleyball program will end the preseason portion of their practice schedule and the roster breakdown has moved on to the offensive side of things.
The Olive and Blue will have a multitude of options when the season gets underway, with a pair of seniors leading to the way. Amaris Genemaras and Lindsey Shepard both return for their final season on the Uptown campus, while Milica Jovic will enter her sophomore season with the Green Wave. The newcomers are plentiful on this season's squad, with Azarri Badawi, Milena Dragovic, Izabela Grot, Cori Martone and Megan Peterson all primed for their first season at TU.
"We are leaning towards a six-two offense, right now," said head coach Sinisa Momic. "We are looking for a lot of production out of Milica Jovic and Izabela Grot, along with our middle hitters Lindsey (Shepard) and Cori (Martone). We are expecting Amaris, Azarri and Milena to contribute as well...we are thinking we will need a very balanced offense where everyone contributes (in every aspect)."
Genemaras has appeared in 54 matches during her time on campus and owns a .200 career hitting percentage. She has 141 kills, with 38 coming last season, and posted 71 digs in 2009 to give her 207 in her career. Shepard has been a constant in the middle for the Green Wave since arriving on campus, appearing in 91 matches and averaging 1.06 kill-per-set. She owns an attacking percentage of .274, 43 solo blocks and 287 total blocks in her career, all which rank among the top-11 in school history.
The freshman class features a quartet of skilled players that helped the Green Wave earn their first ever nationally-ranked recruiting class. Badawi comes to campus from Fresno's (Calif.) Bullard High School where she was a two-time First Team All-City Metro Athletic Conference selection and helped the Knights to an appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation Division I State Final Four and a 25-7 overall mark as a senior.
Dragovic adds to the long line to international student-athletes to join the Olive and Blue during head coach Sinisa Momic's tenure with the program. The six-foot-one, outside hitter played for three different club teams in her native Serbia and helped VC Red Star win the Gold Medal at the Serbian National Championships three straight seasons. Martone joins the program after a standout prep career at St. Joseph's Academy in Baton Rouge. A middle blocker and outside hitter, Martone earned Louisiana Division I 5A Miss Volleyball as a junior and senior, while earning All-American honors from PrepVolleyball.com during her final season at SJA. Peterson comes to New Orleans after earning All-Southwest Suburban Conference three straight seasons for Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Ill.
Season ticket packages are on sale now, priced $55 for adults and $35 for youth, and can be purchased online at www.tulanegreenwave.com or by calling the Tulane Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.
Check back on Wednesday, August 18 for the second position preview as we will look at the Green Wave's defensive specialist.