Volleyball Heads To Texas For Pair Of C-USA Matches

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Senior setter Lilly Wolfe and the Green Wave volleyball team head to Texas to take on Conference USA foes Houston and Rice over the weekend.
Senior setter Lilly Wolfe and the Green Wave volleyball team head to Texas to take on Conference USA foes Houston and Rice over the weekend.

Oct. 4, 2012

Coach Momic's Comments Heading Into The Weekend

NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University volleyball team returns to action over the weekend when the Green Wave head to Texas to square off with C-USA foes Houston and Rice on Friday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m., respectively.

The matches against Houston and Rice are two of four consecutive road contests as Tulane will play at SMU on Oct. 12 and at Tulsa on Oct. 14 before returning to the Hertz Center to play host to Rice on Oct. 19. Live stats for both C-USA matches over the weekend will be available for free on the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com via GameTracker.

The Last Meeting
November 18, 2011
Fogelman Arena
Block Can't Hold in Five Set Loss to Houston
In the First Peloponnesian War the Athenians set up the first documented blockade and in the Green Wave's five-set loss to Houston on Friday (November 18) it was the tale of two blockades that ultimately gave the Cougars the victory over the Tulane volleyball team. The Olive and Blue held the edge in blocks over the first two sets, but Houston set up their block in the final three sets to claim the Conference USA contest.

The Last Meeting
November 20, 2011
Fogelman Arena
Volleyball Drops Final Home Match to Rice
The Green Wave dropped a close first set to second place Rice on Sunday afternoon, but the Owls would grab the next two sets in convincing fashion to defeat the Tulane Volleyball team in their Conference USA contest.

"It's going to be a tough trip," Tulane head coach Sinisa Momic said. "Both opponents are tough, especially Rice. They're playing really well right now. Houston has a good team that we've already started preparing for. The next two weekends, we have a pretty tough schedule on the road. We just have to prepare the best that we can and we have to play our best volleyball. We're in the middle of conference play, we have road trips back-to-back, and we really have to work our hardest and play our best right now."

The Green Wave head to Texas 4-12 on the year, 2-3 in C-USA play and fresh off a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over UAB on Sunday in the Hertz Center. As a team, Tulane is averaging 12.44 kills, 11.83 assists, 14.79 digs and 1.73 blocks per set.

Junior outside hitter Cori Martone leads the squad with 3.94 kills per set while sophomore outside Grace Weaver and senior right-side hitter Milica Jovic follow with respective averages of 2.60 and 2.48. Junior Mel Mandelbaum and senior Lilly Wolfe have split time at setter throughout the 2012 campaign and hold assist-per-game averages of 8.08 and 4.24. Junior libero Azarri Badawi paces the club with 3.28 digs per contest and sophomore middle blocker Olivia Utt headlines the team with 1.03 blocks per outing.

Tulane is hitting .197 (821 kills, 369 errors, 2295 attempts) on the season while allowing opponents to attack at a .227 clip (850k-330e-2292a). Green Wave opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 12.88 kills, 11.94 assists, 14.39 digs and 2.29 blocks per set so far in 2012.

In the win against UAB, Momic adjusted his line-up throughout the contest - replacing Badawi at libero with junior Milena Dragovic in the opening set and bringing Badawi back in as an outside for Martone in the fourth. The moves provided a spark for the Green Wave, and the adjustments are part of an ever-evolving rotation that Tulane will continue to explore over the next few contests.

"This past week in practice, we moved two or three players between libero and outside," Momic said. "We'll see how it goes. We'll start one way, and if it doesn't work, it's good to know that we have a second or third option. We kind of played with it this week and we're going to use it if we have to."

Houston enters Friday's match 3-12 on the year, 2-3 in C-USA play and looking to build on the momentum of a three-set sweep of SMU on Sept. 30. As a team, the Cougars are averaging 11.26 kills, 10.56 assists, 14.28 digs and 1.93 blocks per set.

Katie Norris leads the team with 3.60 kills per set while Abby Simmons has a team-best 8.18 assists per frame. Natalie Keck leads the Houston defense with 3.69 digs per set and Chandace Tyron headlines the front-line "D" with 0.96 blocks per outing.

Houston is hitting .173 (642k-299e-1988a) for the year while allowing its opponents to hit .240 (784k-295e-2034a). Cougar opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 13.75 kills, 12.88 assists, 16.28 digs and 1.68 blocks per set.

Rice, which will play host to UPEP on Friday at Tudor Fieldhouse, enters the weekend with an 11-8 record, a 4-1 mark in C-USA play and looking to bounce back from a five-set loss to Tulsa on Sunday. As a team, the Owls are averaging 14.14 kills, 13.36 assists, 16.52 digs and 2.32 blocks per set.

Four Rice players are averaging at least 2.2 kills per set with Nancy Cole and Laurie McNamara headlining the quartet with respective averages of 3.55 and 2.42. Megan Murphy paces the Owls with 11.09 assists per stanza, Daniela Arena has a team-best 3.86 digs-per-set average, and Jillian Mumphrey leads the defense with 1.20 blocks per set.

Rice is hitting .236 (979k-359e-2614a) for the year while allowing its opponents to hit .199 (920k-395e-2638a). Owl opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 13.33 kills, 12.61 assists, 15.49 digs and 2.25 blocks per set.

"They're excited and they know that we can play with any team," Momic said of his team heading into the weekend. "We have more options now, but we also know that we have to play extremely well on the road to get a win. That's our focus, playing our best right now."

The Green Wave's home match against Rice on Oct. 19 is the first of two straight contests at the Hertz Center as Tulane will play host to Houston on Oct. 21. Tickets to those matches and future Green Wave events are currently for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.