Sept. 10, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - After opening the 2008 season with an 11-day road swing that included stints in Provo, Utah, and San Luis Obispo, Calif., the 2008 Tulane University volleyball team will open the home portion of its schedule on Friday, Sept. 12, when the Green Wave host the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane opens tournament play against Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. on Friday before battling North Dakota State at 11 a.m. and Maryland at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Live streaming video of all three Green Wave matches will be available online at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass, and live stats will be provided free of charge via GameTracker.
"It is exciting," Tulane head volleyball coach Liz Kritza said of playing at home. "The kids cannot wait to play at home and showing what we have been doing on the road. I know our record does not show it, so we had better be prepared to show our fans and our crowd how we can play. I think we will be."
The Green Wave enter the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic 2-4 on the year after facing a grueling schedule in the early portion of the 2008 season. Of Tulane's four losses, three came against teams currently ranked in the most recent AVCA Top 25 - No. 2 Nebraska, No. 16 Cal Poly and No. 23 BYU. Tulane's two wins came against Utah State in the BYU Molten Classic and vs. Northeastern in the Paso Robles Marriott Invitational.
Despite the current record, Kritza was quick to point out that the matches the Green Wave have played so far in 2008 will no doubt help make the team better as the season goes on, especially when they open Conference USA Tournament play against Houston on Sept. 26.
"It is a decision you have to make when you are trying to push the level of your program," Kritza said of the tough schedule the Green Wave have played so far. "Sometimes you have to take some losses. The numbers may not show it, but the level that these players are able to play because we are out playing Top 20 teams for weekends in a row and practicing tough in between, that is how we are preparing for the conference portion of our season.
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 12.62 kills, 12.05 digs and 1.55 blocks per game. Senior outside hitter Sara Radosevic leads the squad with 3.71 kills per game, junior Jenn Miller paces the club with 3.33 digs per contest, and senior middle blocker Jen Linder headlines the team with 0.95 blocks per outing.
Tulane is hitting .173 (265-141-717) on the young season while allowing opponents to attack at a .223 clip (261-112-669). Green Wave opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 12.43 kills, 12.90 digs and 3.10 blocks per game so far in 2008. All three of this weekend's matches will mark the first time Tulane has played any of its opponents in the 33-year history of the Green Wave volleyball program.
While the Green Wave will look forward to posting their first winning weekend of the young season in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic, the team will also look to continue a recent trend as the Green Wave have won their last 13 matches in Fogelman Arena dating back to the 2006 season. The last time Tulane lost a home match at Fogelman Arena was back on Oct. 29, 2006, when Memphis downed the Green Wave, 3-1.
"We've been undefeated at home for a while now and a big part of that is the environment and the atmosphere here in Fogelman Arena," Kritza said. "We are looking for our fans and our students to come out and support us to help us continue this home streak."
The Tulane Athletics Ticket Office is selling three types of tickets for this weekend's tournament - single-match, single-day and all-tournament passes. Single-match tickets run $6 and $4 for adult and youth, respectively, while all-tournament passes sell for $28 and $14. All-session passes for Friday's matches are $12 for adults and $6 for youths, while Saturday's all-session tickets cost $16 and $8, respectively.
Tulane University faculty and staff members, along with their immediate families, will receive a free ticket to the Friday match against Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. and to both Saturday contests with a valid Tulane faculty/staff/student identification card. In addition, any fan with a ticket stub from the Tulane/East Carolina football game will be admitted to Saturday night's Tulane/Maryland match for half price.
For additional ticket information, or for tickets to any future Green Wave home athletic event, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.
2008 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 12
Match 1 - Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.
Match 2 - North Dakota State vs. Maryland, 4 p.m.
Match 3 - Tulane vs. Jacksonville State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Match 4 - Tulane vs. North Dakota State, 11 a.m.
Match 5 - Maryland vs. Jacksonville State, 2 p.m.
Match 6 - Louisiana Tech vs. North Dakota State, 5 p.m.
Match 7 - Tulane vs. Maryland, 8 p.m.
Home Team Listed First; All Times Central And Subject To Change