Freshman Annie Shurtz had a solid scrimmage for the Green Wave on Saturday
Aug 24, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's volleyball team held a four-set scrimmage on Saturday morning at the Devlin Fieldhouse that allowed the squad to work in a game-like setting on their home court for the first time this year.
With their first match of the 2013 season looming, the team arrived to the Devlin Fieldhouse bright and early, and they went through their pre-match rituals and warm-ups before going at one another in a match that lasted almost two hours.
The lineups changed early and often - with some players even playing on both sides of the net during a particular set - as director of volleyball Sinisa Momic wanted to get looks at different rotations, especially with eight new players to the team this season.
"I think the overall level of play was very good," said Momic. "The mix of the class coming in really raised the level of the team. Everybody has to step it up. I was trying to notice the level of individual players, and there was a lot more control in their game. It was good for the coaching staff to see the level of individual players before we get to game-mode next week where we will have to create a lineup. It was just good overall to see what all the players are capable of."
Many of the team's seasoned veterans showed off their talents for the first time together since their last match in November of last year. Seniors Cori Martone, Mel Mandelbaum and Azarri Badawi all played well, while juniors Anna Wruck, Grace Weaver and Olivia Utt also had strong performances.
During the first set, Utt led the returnees with five kills for her team, but freshman Annie Shurtz also posted six of her own. Redshirt sophomore Amy Lanski and Martone both had two kills while Wruck notched four for the opposing side.
Badawi played well in the second set with three kills and two digs, while Shurtz recorded two kills and a service ace on the other side of the net.
Shurtz picked things up in the third set, when she recorded six kills on 11 total attempts. Her overall performance of the day truly impressed Momic and his staff.
"I really liked what Annie was doing," added Momic. "She was just steady. Whatever you are doing, you just have to be steady. You need to play like that to win in a scoring system. I think it's important to see players who are going to give you positives, and she certainly stood out."
Overall, Shurtz paved the way with 18 kills. Badawi (11) and Wruck (10) were also in double digits, while Shurtz's classmate Sarah Strasner posted eight.
Tulane will open their season at home, as they play host to the Kathy Trosclair Memorial on Aug. 30 and 31 at Devlin Fieldhouse. The Greenies will square off against Mississippi Valley State at 7pm CT on Aug. 30 before playing a doubleheader the following day against Rider (10am CT) and Nicholls State (7pm CT).
Season tickets for Tulane volleyball are $55 for adults and $35 for youth, ages three to 14. For single-game ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Group discounts are available when ten or more tickets are purchased.
The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Fans can follow the Green Wave volleyball program on Twitter (GreenWaveVB) or on Facebook at facebook.com/GreenWaveVolleyball.