Volleyball hopes to advance with the experienced 10

Samantha Shafia, Contributing Reporter

Despite last year’s Women’s Volleyball Team overall record of 5-27, 3-17 American Athletic Conference, this year’s team hopes to push its 10 experienced players and four freshmen players hard during preseason so that they have the tools to reach their full potential.

The Tulane Women’s Volleyball Team has been working hard on the fundamentals of volleyball during preseason in hopes of taking its returning 10 players, five of which are returning starters and four freshmen, to form what they hope to be an extraordinary season.

The five returning starters include outside hitters junior Tea Juric, junior Annie Shurtz and sophomore Sara Ray, as well as middle blocker junior Sarah Strasner and setter junior Ally Frank.

Though middle blocker Anna Wruck and libero Grace Weaver graduated last year, there are plenty of returning players and incoming freshmen that are willing to step up to the challenge as either subs or starters. This group is dedicated to becoming the best that they can be both physically and mentally.

“I think that we have a very clear path of what’s in front of us and what we want to do,” outside hitter and libero junior Miah Diirell said. “Serve-receive has been a huge focus…coming right out, it’s already gotten so much better.”

The coaches have definitely taken notice of this group’s desire to succeed and plan to capitalize on that momentum.

“They’re all working really hard,” Director of Volleyball Sinisa Momic said. “From a couple of individuals we are seeing more desire and more drive that will transfer to other teammates.” 

Even though the players might want to jump right into the positions and rotations, the coaching staff plans to first ensure that the desired style of offense and defense is drilled into each individual player. 

With these constantly improving defensive skills, the outside hitters are given the opportunity to hit and score more points. At a three-game preseason match, outside hitters Ray, Shurtz and Juric hit 28 kills.

The Women’s Volleyball season opens on the road at the Sam Houston Invitational on Aug. 28 in Huntsville, Texas.