Sept. 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With one week left to hone their skills before the Conference USA schedule begins, the Tulane volleyball program will travel to Radford, Va., for the Radford University Highlander Classic on Friday and Saturday.
The Green Wave will play host-team Radford at 6pm CT on Friday night before turning around and playing Savannah State Saturday morning at 9am CT. Later Saturday, Tulane will play Radford once again at 5:30pm CT.
Live stats can be followed on TulaneGreenWave.com. Video will also be available for the Friday night game against Radford through a link on TulaneGreenWave.com's volleyball schedule page.
Tulane was handed their first loss last Saturday in an otherwise outstanding season that has seen them start at a record-setting clip of 10-1. The Green Wave fell to North Dakota in the championship game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic in Devlin Fieldhouse last Saturday in four sets, 26-24, 20-25, 25-21 and 25-20.
During last Friday's second match of the day - a three-set win over Florida A&M - Tulane had arguably their best match of the season, as they hit a season-high .382 during attacks. The .382 average comes in as the 16th best mark in a match by the team since the 2001 season. In that match, freshman Tea Juric led the way with 21 kills in 35 attempts for an attack percentage of .457. Junior Anna Wruck hit .545 with seven kills in 11 attempts, while fellow junior Olivia Utt chipped in eight kills on 15 attempts for a hitting percentage of .533.
On the season, Tulane is hitting .279 as a team - tops in Conference USA - while holding their opponents to a miniscule .151, another league best. The Green Wave average 14.44 kills per set, good for the league lead, while coming in at fifth in digs per set with 15.59.
Juric also comes in at sixth in Conference USA in kills per set with an average of 3.94. Fellow freshman Annie Shurtz ranks 13th in the category with an average of 3.26.
Senior Mel Mandelbaum has continued her dominance in the assists category, holding steady at fifth place in the league with 10.62 assists per set.
Junior Grace Weaver is fourth in the conference in digs per set with 4.92.
On the team, Juric leads the way with 142 kills, followed by Shurtz's 127. Strasner has posted 99 kills in 39 sets, while senior Cori Martone - who missed three matches earlier this season with a minor injury - is fourth on the squad with 81 kills.
Mandelbaum leads the team in assists with 414, and she is tied with Weaver for the team-lead in service aces with 10.
Weaver is the pacesetter in digs with 192, while Juric is the only other Green Wave athlete in the triple digits with 101.
At the net, Strasner owns 37 blocks (five solo) for the team lead, while Wruck owns 25 (four solo) and Martone has 21 (one solo).
Radford is 8-4 on the season, but has dropped two of their last four in five sets to Elon and DePaul. Individually, the Highlanders have three athletes with triple digit kills in Jordan Watson (154), Rachel Wiechecki (153) and Cheyanne James (114).
Jena Braden leads Radford in assists with 397, while Rachel Flores has added 127. Wiechecki is tied for second in the NCAA in service aces with 26.
Defensively, Wiechecki owns the team lead in digs with 157, while Kelby Jackson owns 140. Emme Deininger owns 55 blocks (five solo), while three others have 27 or more.
Savannah State is winless through 12 matches this year, having played tournaments at Alabama State, Stetson and Winthrop.
Bryana Gadis owns 52 kills to lead the Tigers, while Caitlynn Masoe's 174 assists pace the squad. Justice Dilworth has nine service aces for the team lead. Alexis Washington's 87 digs are a team high, and Christian Lyle's 14 blocks (four solo) are the most for the Tigers.
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