Aug 30, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane volleyball opened up the 2013 campaign in strong fashion, defeating Mississippi Valley State in three straight sets at Devlin Fieldhouse on Friday night at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament.
The Green Wave got stellar performances from their returning players, as well as the future of the program, as three true freshmen made their collegiate debuts during the match.
"We came out hot, and it's a win, so this is a good start," said Tulane director of volleyball Sinisa Momic. "We have a lot of new players on the team, so some things were not as stable during game two. We will have to work out the problems, but we have a lot of potential. We have to make sure that we aren't falling into unforced errors, where we become our worst enemies and give up five or six or seven points."
The Green Wave posted an impressive 25-10 victory in the first set, led by senior Cori Martone and freshman Annie Shurtz. Martone posted four kills in the set, and Shurtz doubled that total in her first collegiate volleyball match. Junior Anna Wruck and freshman Sarah Strasner both added kills, while senior Mel Mandelbaum (two) and junior Grace Weaver (one) notched service aces against the Devilettes.
However, the Devilettes made things interesting in the second set, only trailing by the largest margin of three before tying the set at 20. However, Strasner recorded a kill before she teamed up with Martone on a block. Martone then notched two kills before an attack error by MVSU ended the set, 25-22. Martone paced that set with five kills, while both Strasner and Shurtz notched four apiece.
"Sarah (Strasner) and Annie (Shurtz) had great hitting percentages, and then Cori (Martone) stepped up in the end (of set two)," added Momic.
The third set saw MVSU hold their first lead of the contest when they went up 10-9 early in the action. Freshman Tea Juric - who started the set - caught fire by recording five kills to lead the Green Wave. A block party then ensued as Strasner posted three block assists, while Shurtz, Martone, Mandelbaum Wruck and junior Olivia Utt notched block assists of their own. Tulane eventually put MVSU away, 25-15, for the sweep.
On the evening, Shurtz led the team in kills with 15, while Martone was close behind with 13. Junior Grace Weaver and Mandelbaum had two service aces each, while Martone and Strasner each had one. Strasner led the team in block assists with six.
Earlier in the day, Nicholls State defeated MVSU in three straight sets, while Rider swept Nicholls State in the afternoon contest.
The Green Wave will face two foes tomorrow, as they play Rider at 10am CT and Nicholls State at 7pm CT at Devlin Fieldhouse. Live stats and streaming video will be available for both contests on TulaneGreenWave.com, with the streaming video only available to All-Access subscribers.
In addition to the two Green Wave matches, Rider and MVSU will play the middle game of the tournament tomorrow, beginning at 4:30pm CT.
Single game tickets will be available for $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children.
For Friday's matches, fans are encouraged to park in the Rosen Lot before 5pm CT, as the Loyola lot will not be available until then. Fans may park in the Loyola lot for Saturday's matches.
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.