Oct. 7, 2013
IRVING, Texas - Off to their hottest start in program history, Tulane's volleyball program had two players recognized by the Conference USA offices for their play last week, as freshman Tea Juric and senior Mel Mandelbaum were named C-USA Player of the Week and C-USA Setter of the Week, respectively.
The 17-2 Green Wave posted three victories in straight sets last week, defeating Lamar at home last Tuesday before facing C-USA foes Marshall and Charlotte on the road. Tulane was able to secure three wins thanks in large part to both Juric and Mandelbaum.
"It's great that Mel and Tea have been recognized for their performances," stated Tulane director of volleyball Sinisa Momic. "They have been playing solid volleyball since the beginning of the season, with Mel's ability to run our offense and maximize our hitter's abilities, and Tea just being a productive hitter - not only as a scorer - but also hitting at a high percentage on a regular basis."
Juric, a freshman from Croatia, totaled 42 kills in nine sets, while hitting .387 (42 kills, 11 errors, 80 total attempts). Juric led Tulane in kills over the nine sets, averaging 4.67 kills per set to lead the squad. The outside hitter added a service ace in each of the three matches last week.
Against Lamar, Juric posted 10 kills before adding 18 at Marshall and 14 at Charlotte. While at Charlotte, Juric notched her 250th kill of the season.
Mandelbaum totaled 117 assists, averaging 13.00 per set, during the three matches last week. In nine sets, the Clovis, Calif., native posted a setting percentage of .442. The setter also added three kills, one service ace and 29 digs.
Against Lamar, Mandelbaum notched 35 assists, including her 3,000 career assist, making her just the fourth player in Tulane history to accumulate 3,000 assists. The following match, Mandelbaum recorded 48 assists before wrapping up the week with her fifth double-double of the season with 34 assists and 13 digs.
The honors from Conference USA mark the first for Tulane since Cori Martone was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept.17 of last season.
However, Tulane has not had a C-USA Setter of the Week since Rachel Lindelow earned the honors on Sept. 28, 2009. On the same day Lindelow earned the C-USA Setter of the Week award, Visnja Djurdjevic of the Green Wave was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, marking the last time until Monday's announcement that Tulane earned two C-USA Player of the Week awards in one week.
"It's a good thing for the program to have our players recognized," added Momic. "It shows that we are heading in the right direction."
Tulane has only one match this week, as the Green Wave will return to North Carolina on Oct. 13 to square off against C-USA opponent East Carolina in Greenville, N.C.
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