Women's Volleyball
2008 Notables
 
Tulane won the Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships en route to earning the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.
 
Tulane won the Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships en route to earning the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.
 
 

Tulane Becames Title Town

With a 3-0 win at UTEP on Nov. 16 the Tulane Green Wave clinched the 2008 Conference USA regular-season championship, the first-ever league title in the 33-year history of the volleyball program.

From there, the Wave went to Memphis, Tenn., for the C-USA Tournament with a chance to earn the program's first-ever trip to the NCAAs. Tulane swept UCF in straight sets, rallied back from an 0-2 deficit to down Houston in the semifinals, and fought off a fourth-set comeback by UAB to defeat the Blazers, 3-2, in the championship match to earn the tourney title and claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Tulane claimed the No. 16 national seed by the NCAA Division I Volleyball Selection Committee and was shipped to Dayton, Ohio. The Green Wave won their opening-round match against Tennessee Tech, but the season ended with a 3-2 loss to Western Michigan in round two.

For the second consecutive season, Tulane finished with a 28-6 record.

What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been

The past four years have been sort of like a roller coaster ride for the Green Wave volleyball program.

In 2005, seven freshmen joined a solid corps of veterans for head coach Liz Kritza's first season. The rookie class, however, had a rough year as Hurricane Katrina disrupted their season and forced the team to relocate to College Station, Texas.

Despite posting just three wins during the regular season, the team's mettle was unleashed in that year's C-USA Tournament when the Wave posted a pair of wins to advance to the semifinals for the first time in nearly a decade. As sophomores, they enjoyed a 10-win improvement in 2006 to finish the year 15-11, and were even better as juniors when Tulane finished 28-6.

As seniors, however, they entered the year with their eye on claiming the first conference championship in Tulane volleyball history, and did so thanks to a 15-1 C-USA record.

 

 

Tulane Claims C-USA Honors

The Tulane University volleyball team swept Conference USA Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year honors, and the Green Wave placed five players on the All C-USA team for the second consecutive year in 2008.

Senior outside hitter Sara Radosevic claimed C-USA Player of the Year honors, becoming the first player in Tulane history to earn such a distinction. Rookie Visnja Djurdjevic was tabbed Freshman of the Year to become the third Green Wave student-athlete to claim the title since 2005, and fourth-year head coach Liz Kritza was named Co-Coach of the Year for the second straight year.

Radosevic and senior right-side hitter Bridget Wells were named to the All C-USA first team while Djurdjevic, senior middle blocker Jen Linder and junior libero Jenn Miller claimed second-team All C-USA recognition. Djurdjevic was also named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team as well, becoming the ninth individual in program history to claim the honor.

The Call It The Streak

While Ray Stevens did not singing his 1974 hit on Tulane's campus and no one in the Green Wave program interrupted a Snoop Dogg concert to align the masses for a naked jog down through the quad and into the gymnasium "Old School" style, the Tulane volleyball team did a little streaking of its own during the 2008 season.

With 3-1 win over Tennessee Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 4 in Dayton, Ohio, the Wave ran their winning streak to a school-record 17 in a row.

The win streak surpassed the former mark of 15 originally set from Oct. 14-Nov. 5, 1977 and matched from Oct. 23, 1986 through Sept. 5, 1987.

The Green Wave also had a 10-match winning streak from Sept. 12 through Oct. 3, which ranks seventh in the Tulane record books.

The Streak, Part II

With a trio of victories in the final two weeks of the regular season at Fogelman Arena, the Tulane volleyball team extended its school-record, home-court win streak to 24.

The Green Wave broke the previous home winning streak of 17 set from Sept. 9, 2003 to Oct. 8, 2004 with a 3-1 Conference USA win over Rice on Sept. 29. Tulane's current home winning streak began with a 3-1 win over UTEP in the final regular-season match of the 2006 season, and the Green Wave posted a perfect 12-0 record at Fogelman Arena last year.

In 2008, Tulane was 11-0 at home, marking the second consecutive season that the Wave were perfect at home.

A four-time AVCA All-American during her career, Sara Radosevic became the first player in Tulane history to earn Conference USA Player of the Year honors in 2008.


Tulane & 1,000 Kills

At the beginning of the 2008 season, the Tulane roster featured one player with 1,000 career kills - Sara Radosevic. Fifteen matches into the year, the Green Wave had three.

Junior right-side hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic became the 12th player in Tulane history to surpass the 1,000-kill career barrier, doing so on Sept. 26 against Houston. Then, on Oct. 3 in Memphis, senior right-side hitter Bridget Wells followed suit to become No. 13.

Miller Sets Digs Mark

With a match-high 11 digs in Oct. 14's 3-0 win over UNO at Fogelman Arena, junior libero Jenn Miller brought her career total to 1,369 to become Tulane's career dig's leader. Miller broke the former mark of 1,366 set by Karlyn Daly from 2000-03. Since then, Miller added 211 digs in the last 11 matches to give her 1,580 digs in 93 matches.

Miller has the luxury of being just the second player in Tulane history to play the libero position throughout her career (the position was added to college volleyball in 2002) and is actually the first to play the position excluseivley. Daly played the position her final two collegiate seasons while Kelli Dickson flip-flopped between libero and setter from 2002-05.

Miller's career 4.76 digs-per-set average also ranks No. 1 in Tulane history, which is nearly a dig and a half better than second-placed Kim Sentmore (3.37 d/s from 1997-2000).

Radosevic Makes History As Well

Not to be outdone in the record-breaking hunt, senior outside hitter Sara Radosevic took a turn as the native of Zagreb, Croatia, became just the fifth player in Tulane history to post 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.

With 14 kills and nine digs against East Carolina on Oct. 17, Radosevic joined Jill Fayard (1995-98), Britney Hurst (1999-2002), Anastasia Kenon (2001-04) and Kim Sentmore (1997-2000) in the 1,000/1,000 club.

For her career, Radosevic finished 1,925 kills and 1,135 digs, which ranks second and sixth in Green Wave history, respectively.

Radosevic Does It Again

Senior outside hitter Sara Radosevic added to her already impressive career in the Conference USA Tournament by becoming the Green Wave's career service ace leader.

With a combined eight aces in the Tulane's run to the C-USA Tourney title, and another six in a pair of NCAA Tournament matches, Radosevic finished her career with 197 aces to surpass the former record of 186 set by Gina Vaccaro from 1990-93.

Liz Kritza concluded her four-year stint as Tulane's head coach by earning Conference USA, Louisiana and AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in both 2007 and 2008.


Linder Sets Pair Of Percentage Marks

Senior middle blocker Jen Linder was a key ingredient for the Green Wave defensively throughout ther career, but left a pair of lasting imprints on the Tulane record book for attack percentage.

On Oct. 12 at SMU, she stamped her name atop the Tulane single-match attack percentage categroy as the native of Austin, Texas, hit .909 in a straight-sets victory over the Mustangs. Linder tallied 10 kills and no errors in 11 swings to post the record-setting attack mark to surpass the former Green Wave mark of .818 set by Angie Smith against Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 12, 1992. Linder's .909 attack percentage also ranks third in C-USA history as well.

Then, on Oct. 26, she was at it again with 12 kills and no errors in 16 swings to post a .750 attack percentage in the Wave's five-set win at Houston. Linder's attack percentage against the Cougars ranks tied for second in school history and is the top mark for a five-set match. She surpassed her own former record of .692 against UCF on Nov. 5, 2006.

Kritza Era Ends At Tulane

An era of Tulane volleyball ended on Feb. 10, 2009, when former Green Wave student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach and alum Liz Kritza announced her resignation from Tulane.

A four-year volleyball letterwinner from 1995-98, a 2000 graduate and a six-year assistant (1999-2004) at Tulane, Kritza took over the Green Wave program on Jan. 27, 2005, and helped guide the team to a 76-39 overall record and a 42-21 mark in Conference USA action. A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Kritza will her first season as head coach at the University of Colorado in 2009 where she replaces Pi'I Aiu.

Kritza was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Midwest Region Coach of the Year, LSWA Coach of the Year, and C-USA Co-Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008 after guiding Tulane to 28-6 record both years.

2008 Tulane Honor Roll
A look at the honors earned by members of the 2008 Tulane volleyball team

Ashley Bernards
• C-USA Academic Medal
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Visnja Djurdjevic
• AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year
• Conference USA Freshman of the Year
• LSWA Freshman of the Year
• CVU.com Rising Star
• AVCA All-Midwest Region (HM)
• All-Louisiana (1st Team)
• All-Conference USA (2nd Team)
• C-USA All-Freshman Team
• Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic MVP
• Conference USA All-Tournament
• Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic All-Tournament
• C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (9/15)

Amaris Genemaras
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Jen Linder
• AVCA All-American (HM)
• AVCA All-Midwest Region (1st Team)
• All-Conference USA (2nd Team)
• All-Louisiana (2nd Team)
• C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (10/13)
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll
• Jim Castaneda Postgraduate Scholarship

Liz McGehee
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Jenn Miller
• All-Conference USA (2nd Team)
• Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic All-Tournament
• C-USA Defensive Player of the Week (9/22)
• C-USA Defensive Player of the Week (9/29)
• C-USA All-Academic Team
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Sara Radosevic
• AVCA All-American (HM)
• AVCA All-Midwest Region (1st Team)
• CVU.com Stellar Spikers (3rd Team)
• Conference USA Player of the Year
• LSWA Player of the Year
• All-Conference USA (1st Team)
• All-Louisiana (1st Team)
• BYU Molten Classic All-Tournament
• Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic All-Tournament

Lindsey Shepard
• C-USA All-Academic Team
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Stephanie Stromath
• C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

Ksenija Vlaskovic
• Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic All-Tournament

Bridget Wells
• AVCA All-American (HM)
• AVCA All-Midwest Region (1st Team)
• All-Conference USA (1st Team)
• All-Louisiana (1st Team)
• Paso Robles Marriott Invitational All-Tournament
• C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (9/22)
• C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (11/17)

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