Oct. 20, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Tulane University volleyball team begin a key stretch of Conference USA action as the Green Wave open a three-matches-in-four-days scenario on Friday when they play host to Southern Miss at 7 p.m. at the G. Rollie White Coliseum on the campus of Texas A&M.
Following Friday's contest with the Golden Eagles, Tulane will enjoy an off day on Saturday before battling UCF on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Marshall on Monday at 7 p.m. The Marshall match was originally slated for Sept. 25, but was postponed as Hurricane Rita threatened the College Station area.
"This is a statement weekend for us," first year Tulane head coach Liz Kritza said. "We have an opportunity to play three matches at home and begin building momentum heading into the Conference USA Tournament. Southern Miss is a natural rival, and both UCF and Marshall have recent postseason experience. It will be a challenge, but one I think our team looks forward to and will embrace."
Tulane enters the weekend 1-7 on the year and still in search of its first C-USA win with an 0-5 league record. As a team, the Green Wave average 14.65 kills per game and are hitting at a .191 mark (381-172-1094). Defensively, Tulane ranks third in conference and 21st in the nation with 18.15 digs per game, and also adds 1.92 blocks per outing.
Freshman outside hitter Sara Radosevic leads the team with 4.88 kills per game, followed by junior Sara Thorson with a 3.31 average. Senior libero Kelli Dickson paces the club, ranks second in C-USA and fourth in the NCAA with 6.00 digs per game, while rookie setter Luna Rebrovic heads the squad with 11.88 assists per outing.
The Green Wave has been on the verge of turning the corner throughout the season. Fielding a squad with six true freshman and just one player that started the entire 2004 season, Tulane has experienced some growing pains and flashed some highlights as well. While Tulane has lost its last seven matches, six of the last eight games have been decided by a total of 16 points.
"This team has practiced hard, played hard and gotten better every time out," Kritza said. "Unfortunately, that effort has not shown up in the win column yet. But I feel that if we just keep working hard, things will turn around and there is no better time to do that than this weekend."
Admission to all "home" volleyball matches at the G. Rollie White Coliseum is free, but donations will be accepted at the gates. For fans who are not able to make the trip to College Station, live stats are available via GameTracker on the official website of Tulane Athletics, www.tulanegreenwave.com.