Sept. 28, 2006
HOUSTON, -- The first-place Tulane volleyball team heads to Houston for a weekend of C-USA play with road matches against Rice (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Houston (Sunday, 1 p.m.). Live stats will be available for Friday's match at TulaneGreenWave.com via Gametracker). The Green Wave sit tied a top the conference after knocking off preseason favorite and defending champion Marshall 3-2 on Sunday on CSTV.
Natural Born Killer
With 5.13 kills per game, sophomore Sara Radosevic ranks 10th in Division I kills. The outside hitter from Zagreb, Croatia has 164 kills in 32 games. Radosevic is second in C-USA, as conference mate Kelly-Anne Billingy of Marshall leads the nation.
Sunday Night Spike
Tulane's first national TV appearance, but not the first time the Green Wave have been televised. In Tulane's last television appearance (regionally on Cox Sports in Louisiana), the Green Wave defeated Southern Miss, 3-0, on Oct. 16, 2004 at Fogelman Arena. Tulane volleyball won its first-ever national television appearance, a 3-2 win over Marshall Thundering Herd on Sept. 24. Sara Radosevic led a quartet of Wave players who finished in double-figures in kills, combating Marshall's Kelly-Anne Billingy, who leads the nation in kills per game. While winning the early match up of Conference USA unbeatens, the Green Wave also snapped the 14-match C-USA win streak of the defending league champions and handed Marshall just its fifth loss in its last 40 home matches.
Conference Action Underway
The Green Wave enters the weekend 2-0 in C-USA for the second time in school history. Tulsa is the conference's only other undefeated team, entering the weekend at 3-0. Tulane was picked to finish sixth in the conference, one spot back of Friday's opponent, Rice. Houston was picked to finish second in the preseason poll of the league's coaches.
Tulane's middle blockers have been efficent offensive players, hitting a combined .388 on the season. Sophomore Jen Linder (73 kills) is hitting .391, while sophomore Lauren Boatwright is connecting at .382.
Entering the weekend, the Green Wave rank TEAM. Jen Linder ranks third in C-USA in hitting percentage (.404) with 84 kills on 156 attempts. Sara Radosevic is second in C-USA with 5.12 kills per game, while freshman outside hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic ranks 10th with 3.80 KPG. Freshman libero Jenn Miller is third in digs with 4.95 per game. Radosevic also ranks fourth in C-USA in aces per game (0.66). Middle blocker Lauren Boatwright has 40 blocks in 40 games to place fifth in C-USA at 1.00 BPG.
Young, But Experienced
With three freshman, seven sophmores and only one senior, Tulane is one of the younger teams in college volleyball. Outside hitter Sara Thorson is the lone upperclassman for the Green Wave. Tulane is one of six teams with one upperclassman or less, along with Alabama State (one junior), Birmingham-Southern (one senior), Indiana State (no juniors or seniors), Savannah State (one junior), and Southern University (one senior).
Homeward Bound (Finally)
Tulane's Conference USA opener against East Carolina marked the end of Tulane's streak of 29 consecutive matches away from its home court of Fogelman Arena. The Green Wave had last played on the Fogelman floor on Aug. 26, 2005, a season-opening win over Nicholls State. One day later, the team evacuatred during Hurricane Katrina. After canceling 10 matches, the remainder of 2005's home games were played at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. In 2006, the Green Wave opened the season by hosting the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament at Tulane's Reily Center while Fogelman Arena underwent further renovations. Tulane has won its last five matches at Fogelman Arena, and eight-straight matches on Tulane's campus.
Ksenija've Been Gone When Sara Radosevic missed two matches in the Iowa tournament, freshman outside hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic picked up the slack with a career-high 21 kills against Florida Atlantic and another 20 kills in the Green Wave victory over UMKC to earn a place on the All-Tournament team at the Hawkeye Holiday Inn Challenge.
Tulane faced its toughest non-conference competition at the Diet Coke Classic in Minnesota Sept 15-16. UConn entered the week of the tourney undefeated, while Dayton, an NCAA tournament team the past three years, had been receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 all year. Host Minnesota opened the season ranked No. 22, but fell into the receiving votes category.
Record-Setting Match Three Tulane student-athletes earned spots on the Green Wave single-match all-time high lists in Tulane's 3-2 win over New Orleans. Sophomore setter Luna Rebrovic recorded 67 assists, which tied for fifth on the all-time list. Sara Radosevic's 31 kills tied for fifth-best in school history in a single match, while Jenn Miller's 28 digs were the seventh-highest single-match total at Tulane.
Croatian Nation (Serbia, Too) With Sara Radosevic, Luna Rebrovic, and Ksenija Vlaskovic, the Tulane Green Wave have an international pipeline from Europe to New Orleans. Assistant Coach Sinisa Momic, a native of Zagreb, Croatia, has been instrumental in recruiting a pair of international standouts in Radosevic and Rebrovic, who both earned C-USA All-Freshman Team honors in 2005, as well as adding Vlaskovic for this season. Momic was a member of the Junior National Team for the former Yugoslavia in 1990, the Croatian Junior National Team from 1987-90 and the Croatian National Team in 1996. He began playing professionally at the age of 16.
Tulane returns home for C-USA matches against SMU (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Tulsa (Sunday,
1 p.m.). Live stats for both matches are available at TulaneGreenWave.com via Gametracker.