Oct. 3, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's volleyball program will hit the road for their first away Conference USA matches this weekend, as the Green Wave head to Huntington, W. Va., for a 6pm CT match against Marshall before heading south to square off against Charlotte at noon CT on Sunday.
Live stats will be made available through TulaneGreenWave.com for both matches.
Seventeen games into the season, Tulane sits at 15-2, including a 1-1 record in Conference USA play. Last Tuesday, the Green Wave dispatched Lamar in straight sets for their final non-conference match of the year. Over the weekend, Tulane dropped a four-set match to UTSA before picking up a four-set victory over UTEP.
Tulane is one of seven teams currently 1-1 in Conference USA play. Their first opponent of the weekend - Marshall - is one of only two teams that sit at 2-0.
The Thundering Herd notched two road victories last weekend in league play over Florida Atlantic and FIU. On the season, Marshall is 8-9, with victories over Montana, Chicago State, Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Kent State and Maryland.
Charlotte hasn't been as fortunate thus far in league play, as they are one of three teams who are 0-2 thus far, having lost to FIU and FAU. However, the 49ers are 10-7 on the year, and won six-straight matches from Sept. 12-21.
The Green Wave continue to lead the league in hitting percentage (.275), assists per set (13.25) and kills per set (14.34), but dropped one spot to second place in opponent hitting percentage (.163). The Green Wave are the only squad in C-USA to lead three statistical categories.
Individually, Tulane has a slew of players on the conference leader boards. Freshman Sarah Strasner continues to pace the league with a .416 hitting percentage, while junior Anna Wruck has crept into the top-five in the category with a percentage of .368. Freshman Tea Juric is 17th in the league in hitting percentage, hitting at a clip of .305.
No other squad in the league - other than Tulane - has three athletes in the top-20 in hitting percentage or kills per set.
Senior Mel Mandelbaum, who eclipsed 3,000 career assists on Tuesday against Lamar, moved to second in the league standings in assists per set with 11.12. She sits just 0.01 assists per set behind leader Becca Howard of UAB.
Mandelbaum and junior libero Grace Weaver have proved to be successful servers on the year, as they come in at 19th and 13th in league standings in service aces per set. Weaver has recorded 0.27 service aces per set, while Mandelbaum is right behind her with an average of 0.25.
Weaver has also been brilliant digging the ball this season, as she sits at fifth place in the league in digs per set with 4.55.
Juric leads the Green Wave in kills with 218, while Shurtz has 195, fellow freshman Sarah Strasner has 137 and senior Cori Martone has 146. Wruck crossed the 100-kill plateau on Tuesday, as she now has 102 on the season.
Mandelbaum is the team leader in assists with 656, while Weaver leads the squad in service aces (16) and digs (273).
Strasner owns 59 total blocks (10 solo), while Wruck is second on the team with 37 total blocks (seven solo) and Martone has 31 total blocks (two solo).
Marshall has five athletes with 100 or more kills, with Ally Kiekover leading the way with 162. Sammie Bane is the pacesetter in assists with 662. Both Kiekover and Bane lead the team in service aces with 19 apiece. Dorothy Rahal has 247 digs to lead the Thundering Herd, but three others have 130 digs or more.
Elysa Panick has 39 total blocks (one solo) for the team lead, but Kiekover owns 11 solo blocks.
Charlotte is led by Amanda Videmsek, who has 202 kills to her name. Claire Kreuz has also been an offensive force, posting 20 service aces on the season. Britney Leigh Held leads the 49ers in assists with 657.
Defensively, Michelle Hovey owns 307 digs, while Videmsek's 57 total blocks (seven solo) pace the squad.
Tulane is 5-5 against Marshall, with the Thundering Herd having evened the series last year. Tulane holds the all-time series against Charlotte, 11-5. The two teams have not played one another since Tulane defeated the 49ers in four sets at the Conference USA Tournament on Nov. 20, 2004.
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