Tulane beach volleyball extended its winning streak to four on Sunday morning in Birmingham, closing out the Blazer Duals much as they began the day before with a pair of match sweeps at the West Campus Athletic Complex on UAB’s campus. The Green Wave (4-0, 1-0 CCSA) have now posted four consecutive sweeps for the hottest start of any team in Tulane beach volleyball history and just the first time that a Green Wave squad has won four matches on opening weekend.
“I’m very proud of our team for performing so consistently over the weekend. We maintained a high level of preparation and play over two days and four matches, through a variety of conditions and against various opponents. We strive to be consistently excellent and we accomplished that this weekend.”
–Head Coach Wayne Holly
TULANE 5, AUSTIN PEAY 0
The Green Wave got to work early on Sunday morning at the West Campus Athletic Complex with an 8:00 a.m.dual against Austin Peay, building on momentum from the previous day to complete a 5-0 sweep of the Governors. In similar fashion to Saturday’s opener, Tulane swept its opponents on all five courts, including the exhibition match in flight six.
Senior Annie Shurtz and sophomore Anna Chin paired up for the first time this year to start the Green Wave off, posting convincing scores of 21-7 and 21-13 to give Tulane 1-0 lead in the dual. Flight four played closer than the previous, but seniors Sarah Strasner and Hannah Holmes pulled out a 21-17 win to seal their second match sweep of the year.
Tulane took the dual on court three, with another set of convincing victories from Briana Correa and Tarin Mergener, and courts one and two would hold the Governors under 13 points in all four sets to complete the sweep.
TULANE 5, UL-MONROE 0
To close out the Blazer Duals, the Green Wave took on in-state foe UL-Monroe in an afternoon contest, completing their fourth consecutive match sweep of the season in a 5-0 win over the Warhawks. With the win, Tulane improved to 2-3 in the all-time series with ULM, a consistently tough foe out of north Louisiana that the Green Wave had not seen since the 2015 season.
Tulane took all but one flight on match sweeps, and the dual was once again won on court three with identical 21-11 scores from Correa and Mergener. Flights three through five all held their opponents to 14 points or fewer in each of their six sets.
The Green Wave emerged as the winningest team at this year’s Blazer Duals, knocking off each of their opponents on match sweeps as the only program to go 4-0 on the weekend.
Tulane will return to Alabama next weekend for Spring Hill’s Badger Beach Classic on Saturday and Sunday March 11-12. In Gulf Shores, the Green Wave will play rematches against ULM and Jacksonville State, while competing against CCSA foe Florida Atlantic and non-conference foes Houston Baptist and Spring Hill.
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Results from Day Two of the Blazer Duals
TULANE 5, AUSTIN PEAY 0
Court 1: Madeline Mertz/Lan Nguyen (Tulane) def. Ginny Gerig/Jenna Panning (AP) – 21-9, 21-11
Court 2: Tea Juric/Kaylie McHugh (Tulane) def. Christina White/Kristen Stucker (AP) – 21-12, 21-10
Court 3: Briana Correa/Tarin Mergener (Tulane) def. Kaitlyn Teeter/Mimi Arrington (AP) 21-11, 21-8
Court 4: Sarah Strasner/Hanna Holmes (Tulane) def. Allie O’Reilly/Kaylee Taff (AP) – 21-7, 21-17
Court 5: Annie Shurtz/Anna Chin (Tulane) def. Ashley SlayAllie Thornton (AP) – 21-7, 21-13
Exhibition: Lindsey Huber/Christina McAfee (Tulane) def. April Adams/Cecily Gable (AP) 21-19, 21-19
TULANE 5, ULM 0
Court 1: Madeline Mertz/Lan Nguyen (Tulane) def. Hadley Swartz/Kori Simpson (ULM) – 21-13, 21-18
Court 2: Tea Juric/Kaylie McHugh (Tulane) def. Delaney Driver/Gabby Love (ULM) – 18-21, 21-17, 15-10
Court 3: Briana Correa/Tarin Mergener (Tulane) def. Tara Jenkins/Claire Crossfield (ULM) 21-11, 21-11
Court 4: Sarah Strasner/Hanna Holmes (Tulane) def.Becca Brown/Ana Ribeiro (ULM) – 21-13, 21-14
Court 5: Annie Shurtz/Christina McAfee (Tulane) def. Bailey Smith/Grace Convey (ULM) – 21-14, 21-14
News courtesy of Tulane Athletics.