Aug. 22, 2002
NEW ORLEANS, La. - As preseason practice continued to roll on for the Tulane University volleyball team, the Green Wave took the court with a different attitude Thursday afternoon at Fogelman Arena as the squad scrimmaged for the first time in 2002.
With 11 returning letterwinners, including five starters, head coach Betsy Becker said she was pleased with the team's progress so far. But what stood out to her was her team's effort and desire to improve.
"I thought we mixed it up well and competed hard," Becker said. "We were cognizant of the score and prevented runs, and that is a key to winning and being successful. A lot of our players were really into the game and fighting to get better. They showed a lot of spirit, and the team really displayed a strong desire to define what we need to work on and simply get better."
Among the returning players are a pair of All-Conference USA honorees from a year ago in outside hitters Britney Hurst and Anastasia Kenon. Hurst is once again expected to be the Green Wave's go-to player in 2002 as she brings a power-hitting aspect to the Tulane attack. While expected to play another significant role this season, Kenon has been limited in the preseason after having offseason knee surgery.
Players that continued to catch Becker's attention were junior libero Karlyn Daly and sophomore middle hitter Deva Fowler. Daly, who has played through injuries during her first two years at Tulane, has been a standout defensively and has taken more of a leadership role entering her third collegiate season. Fowler, meanwhile, is building on the momentum of a solid rookie campaign, and is looking to add power to the offensive attack as well as a big blocking presence on defense.
"I think the girls were all looking forward to finally scrimmaging and getting out of practice mode a little," Becker said. "In two or three days, we're probably going to be sick of playing each other, but right now, it's good to break the monotony of team drills."
Friday's two-a-day practice will mark the one-week warning for the Green Wave as Tulane opens its 2002 season on Aug. 30 on the West Coast when the squad travels to San Diego, Calif., to participate in the San Diego State Invitational. The Green Wave will open with the host Aztecs on Friday before taking on Florida International and Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Tulane opens its home schedule on Sept. 3 when the Green Wave takes on Prairie View A&M and Jackson State in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. at Fogelman Arena. For season ticket and single match information, contact the Tulane Athletic Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.