No. 19 Beach volleyball makes a splash at Green Wave Invitational

No. 19 Tulane beach volleyball did not disappoint this past weekend at the Green Wave Invitational here in New Orleans. The team went 4-1 during the tournament, dropping only one matchup to in-state rival No. 8 Louisiana State University. It was a fitting finish to a stellar send-off for the Green Wave seniors.

The Wave opened its weekend with a clean sweep of Houston Baptist University. Tulane only dropped two sets across the five matchups between the teams, cleaning house in domineering fashion.

Next up for Tulane came the LSU Tigers. The Green Wave gave LSU quite the upset scare, barely falling by a score of 3-2. This loss was not without upside, however, as Tulane’s senior Madeline Mertz and sophomore Kaylie McHugh took down LSU’s leading duo of Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss in two sets. The two teams traded leads for the entire duration of the matchup, though the Wave ultimately fell in the final set of junior Anna Chin and freshman Lauren Orlich’s battle with the Tigers.

Sunday proved to be a much more successful day for the Green Wave. To begin the day, Tulane toppled No. 12 Grand Canyon University by a score of 3-2. The Wave had its back to the wall for most of this matchup but prevailed under the perseverance of Mertz and McHugh. The pair took down Grand Canyon’s No. 1 duo, two sets to one. This was enough to push the Green Wave to its upset win over the Antelopes.

Following its matchup with Grand Canyon, Tulane quickly set up shop once again to face off against the University of Central Arkansas. This proved not to be as much of a challenge for the Green Wave girls, as the team took down UCA handily by a score of 4-1.

Tulane proceeded to win with ease again in its final matchup with the University of New Orleans. The Green Wave took down two of UNO’s pairs in straight sets, including a win over the Privateers’ No. 1 team. Ultimately the Wave prevailed, taking down the Privateers 4-1 for its third win of the day.

For their dominance in the tournament, the Wave’s No. 1 pair, Mertz and McHugh, were named Tuesday as Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week by the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association. In addition to taking down No. 8 LSU’s top pair, the two swept the weekend, helping leading Tulane to its 4-1 tournament record.

Beach volleyball will be in Columbia, South Carolina this coming weekend as it takes part in the Palmetto Invitational. The tournament, hosted by the University of South Carolina, will feature the Gamecocks, the College of Charleston, Missouri State University and Coastal Carolina University.

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