Tulane volleyball gears up for new season

Jeremy Rosen, Sports Editor

Tulane Volleyball
Parker Waters

Green Wave volleyball is excited and ready to begin the 2022 fall season. Under the leadership of new head coach Jordana Price, the team is looking to build off of last year’s solid season and set new foundations for the future.

After the departure of head coach Jim Barnes at the end of last season, Tulane Athletics brought in Coach Price to be the 10th head coach in the program’s history. She spent five seasons at Florida State University, serving as both the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the team. She was critical in turning the Seminoles into an elite blocking team during her tenure and was responsible for a top-15 recruiting class last season. She also played for the Seminoles during her college career, achieving an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and an Elite 8 appearance in 2009.

The team also has a relatively new roster this year, with only five players returning from last season’s team. The team was hard at work with recruitment during the offseason, bringing in 12 new players for the team, including seven freshmen. The Green Wave searched far and wide for their new talented players, recruiting players from as far as Turkey and Belarus. 

The team brought in several prominent hitters from the transfer pool, like graduate transfer Kayla Kaiser. She spent four seasons playing at Georgia Tech, tying their program’s hitting record with a career 0.346 hitting percentage. Other significant transfers include redshirt freshman Ilayda Demirtas and graduate student Melissa Kolurbasi.

With so many pieces for the team, Coach Price has emphasized the importance of building team chemistry and communication in the lead up to the season. She said that “when the going gets tough in the season, the bonds they have been able to build in such a short amount of time will be really important for them.” She also mentioned that the team’s communication and discipline has greatly improved from last season.

Among the team’s returning players are seniors Mackenzie Martin and Lizzie Stefanov, who should provide a strong presence and leadership as outside hitters. Coach Price specifically mentioned how Martin pushes herself hard and “comes in everyday being a good leader.”

The team also brought back Junior Sophia Ervanian, who led the team in digs the past two seasons. She will be a major part of the team’s defense for this season. When asked about how important she is to have back on the team, Coach Price stated that she’s really impressed with the level of play she brings to the team and “the sky’s the limit for Sophia.”

Coach Price envisions turning Tulane Volleyball into a top 25 program in the near future. She stated how she believes that with the right recruits, coaching staff and the pursuit of excellence, Tulane can be a program “that competes with the best in the country.”

Green Wave volleyball will start their season this weekend by competing in the Lamar Invitational at Beaumont, Texas. The following weekend they will return home to host the Green Wave Classic against Howard University, Kansas City University and Ohio University.

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