Press Release courtesy of Tulane Athletics
Tulane beach volleyball continues its fall preseason Sunday as it hosts the Green Wave Fall Invitational at White Sands Volleyball Courts. The Green Wave will play UAB at 9 a.m. before going up against Houston Baptist at 12:30 p.m.in their second preseason tournament.
“We’re still in experiment mode, but maybe not as much experiment. UAB is a conference opponent, so that’ll be kind of fun,” head coach Wayne Holly said. “We’ve figured some things out from Gulf Shores, and we think we know that there’s some pairings that we may move away from. There’s probably not many new ones that we haven’t seen yet, so the players will have an opportunity to build on what they started there.”
In the Green Wave’s first preseason tournament at the Gulf Shores Collegiate Clash, senior Madeline Mertz and junior Anna Chin played as the No. 1 duo and teamed up to win five matches, recording Tulane’s best pair record of the tournament. Tulane faced some of the nation’s top teams in Gulf Shores, including No. 4 Florida State, No. 6 LSU, No. 11 GSU, No. 13 TCU, No. 15 Stetson and Spring Hill. Neither HBU nor UAB are nationally-ranked.
“We always want to play all the best teams in our conference and all the best teams in the country, but right now is largely about our own execution,” Holly said. “UAB is a good program and a conference opponent, so that adds competition. In some ways, it doesn’t matter who shows up because we’re focused on repeating our skills consistently and on call.”
Last time out, Tulane went 26-30 in tournament play at the Gulf Shores Collegiate Clash. The Green Wave won three matches against FSU, four matches against LSU, five matches against GSU, three matches against TCU, six matches against Stetson and five matches against Spring Hill. Holly is confident that his players have grown from the experience they gained in their first preseason tournament.
“That tournament was a huge step forward in their growth,” Holly said. “When you get to competition, the comfort level from practice isn’t there. I expect a little less anxiety this time and more aggression. We just want them to think a little less and let their natural and developed skills come out more.”
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