With the start of the 2017 beach volleyball season just over a week away, the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association has announced its Preseason All-Conference team, this year featuring a trio of Tulane student-athletes. Senior Tea Juric and junior Madeline Mertz were named preseason all-conference selections, while junior Lan Nguyen was named to the Preseason Watch List.
“It is a wonderful and deserved honor for Madeline and Tea to be recognized by our conference coaches for being such impactful beach volleyball players,” head coach Wayne Holly said. “They consistently model a championship-caliber effort to improve themselves and their teammates in both practice and competition. More fundamentally, they remind us on a daily basis of the habits that drive success through their selflessness, dedication and love for our team and the game they play.”
2017 marks the second consecutive year Tulane has posted a pair of athletes to the Preseason All-Conference list, with Juric receiving her second preseason honor since the Green Wave joined the CCSA prior to the start of the 2016 season.
As a junior, Juric played every game at the No. 1 position, posting the second-best record on the team (26-8) with 23 straight set wins. She also won nine matches against top-25 teams, including No. 12 LSU on two occasions (3/18, 4/8), No. 5 Hawaii (3/24) and No. 10 FIU twice (4/1, 4/22). In 2016, she won 11 matches in a row, with 10 coming in straight sets.
In Mertz’s sophomore season, she played the majority of her games in the No. 2 position, finishing with the third-best record on the team (26-9). Mertz also accumulated wins against nine ranked teams, defeating No. 12 LSU (3/18), No. 9 Stetson (4/1), No. 8 Georgia State (4/23) and No. 10 FIU (4/22).
Juric and Mertz were joined on the Preseason All-Conference list by three players from Florida State, a duo from Florida Atlantic and LSU and one player from Georgia State.
Junior Lan Nguyen rounded out the list of Tulane honorees, being named to the Preseason Watch List. Nguyen closed out her sophomore season with a 23-8 record, spending most of the year playing at the No. 2 spot and defeating five ranked teams.
Tulane beach volleyball opens the 2017 season with a four-match weekend at the Blazer Duals beginning Saturday, March 4. In Birmingham, the Green Wave will face their first CCSA opponent of the year in host UAB while also squaring off against teams from Jacksonville State, Austin Peay State and Louisiana-Monroe.
Fans can keep up with the latest in Tulane beach volleyball action by following the team on Twitter (@GreenWaveBeach), Facebook (/GreenWaveBeach) or Instagram (@tulanebeachvolleyball).
CCSA Preseason All-Conference Team (* denotes Preseason Player of the Year)
Gabrielle Dischler, Florida Atlantic
Vanessa Freire, Florida State*
Tea Juric, Tulane
Katie Lindelow, LSU
Madeline Mertz, Tulane
Mandi Orellana, LSU
Victoria Paranagua, Florida State*
Megan Rice, Florida Atlantic
Delaney Rohan, Georgia State
Sierra Sanchez, Florida State
CCSA Preseason Watch List
Federica Frasca, Florida International
Francesca Goncalves, Florida State
Avery Hoven, UAB
Lilly Kessler, LSU
Nicole Lott, UNC-Wilmington
Krissey Mummey, College of Charleston
Nicole Navarro, Florida Atlantic
Lan Nguyen, Tulane
Chelsea Ross, Georgia State
Katie Zimmerman, South Carolina
News courtesy of Tulane Athletics.