Sept. 30, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With two Conference USA tilts already under their belt, the Tulane volleyball program will play their final non-conference match on Tuesday night at Devlin Fieldhouse as they host the Lamar Cardinals for a 7pm CT contest.
Live stats can be followed through TulaneGreenWave.com, and live, streaming video will be made available to paid members of the Tulane All-Access Pass.
After facing Lamar, who is 4-12 on the season, the Green Wave will take to the road to play three-straight C-USA opponents in Marshall, Charlotte and East Carolina.
Last Friday, the Green Wave dropped their C-USA opener to UTSA in four sets, but rebounded against UTEP on Sunday for a four-set victory. On the season the Green Wave sit at 14-2.
The Green Wave sit in the top ten in five separate statistical categories in Conference USA play, while ranking in the top-25 in the NCAA in three. Tulane leads C-USA in kills per set with an average of 14.40. On the national level, they come in at 17th in that category. Freshman Tea Juric ranks seventh in the league in kills per set with an average of 3.78.
In hitting percentage as a team, Tulane also leads the league, hitting at a clip of .274. They rank 19th nationally, thanks in part to C-USA leader Sarah Strasner's .415 individual percentage that also ranks 23rd nationally. Junior Anna Wruck is fifth in the league in hitting percentage with an average of .365.
The Green Wave are also first in assists per set as a team with an average of 13.26, sitting 23rd in the national rankings. Senior Mel Mandelbaum can be credited with most of the team's success in that category, as she ranks second in the league and 26th in the NCAA with 11.09 assists per set. In addition to what Mandelbaum has accomplished just this year, the Clovis, Calif., native moved into the top five in Tulane school history in assists recently. Mandelbaum is only 27 assists shy of 3,000 for her career, and she sits just 171 assists behind Tulane AVCA All-American Rachel Lindelow for fourth in assists in Tulane history.
Juric paces the team with 208 kills, while fellow freshman Annie Shurtz is hot on Juric's heels with 185 kills of her own. Senior Cori Martone owns 137 kills while freshman Sarah Strasner is the only other Green Wave volleyball player with triple-digits in kills, posting 132 on the season.
Weaver is Tulane's top digger, posting 266 total digs, while Juric (144), Shurtz (120), Mandelbaum (110) and Martone (109) have all managed to post solid dig numbers. Weaver is also the pacesetter in service aces, as she has recorded a total of 16 on the year.
Mandelbaum owns 621 of the team's 769 total assists, and she is also second the team with 15 service aces.
At the net, Tulane is well balanced with four student-athletes posting 20 or more blocks. Strasner holds the lead on the team in both solo blocks (nine) and total blocks (58). Wruck has 40 total blocks (seven solo) for the second spot on the squad. Martone (31 total, two solo) and Shurtz (21 total, three solo) have also played big on the front row for Tulane this year.
Lamar represents the third straight school from Texas that Tulane will face. The Cardinals are 4-12 this year, notching victories over Quinnipiac, Jackson State, Nicholls and Houston Baptist. Last Saturday, Lamar fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in five sets.
As a team, Lamar is hitting .128, averaging 10.33 kills per set, 9.61 assists per set, 12.77 digs per set and 1.89 blocks per set.
Individually, the Cardinals have two hitters with triple-digit kills in Sierra Whittaker (137) and Cortney Moore (130). Alexa Johnson paces the team in assists with 431. Megan Schwartz owns 23 service aces for the team lead, while she also has a team-high 223 digs.
Chelsea Grant leads the Cardinals in blocks with 51 (nine solo). Four others have 20 or more total blocks on the season.
Tulane and Lamar have squared off against one another 23 times, with Lamar holding the all-time series lead 15-8. In 2012, Tulane lost to Lamar in five sets at the Lamar Tournament in early September. The previous year, Lamar was at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament, defeating the Green Wave in four sets. Tulane last defeated the Cardinals on August 25, 2006, when the Green Wave won in straight sets at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament.
Single game tickets will be available for $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children.
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.