Tulane Volleyball opens home stand with Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic

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NEW ORLEANS — Fresh off last weekend’s runner-up finish at the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational, Tulane volleyball makes its return to Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse to host the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9. The tournament will be the 16th Sugar Bowl-sponsored event in Tulane volleyball history and will feature Southern Miss, Nicholls, and Oklahoma.

“The team and coaches are excited to get playing, and to be the first team playing in the renovated Devlin is special,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “We’ve got some challenging matches this weekend, and right now we’re focused on Southern Miss, who’s going to really give us a challenge.”

This weekend marks the Green Wave’s first appearance in the renovated Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. Tulane held its home-opener against South Alabama on Aug. 26 at Hertz Center, after the team’s season-opening tournament, the I-10 Cardinals Classic in San Antonio, Texas, was cancelled because of inclement weather related to Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s important that we come out and set a tone in our own building,” Barnes said. “Last year at home was tough for us. We had good opponents, our top middle hitter went down, and we didn’t respond well. We’re a completely different team this season and a very young team, and sometimes that’s good because they’re just excited to play and start a winning streak. I know the returners are wanting to get started at home and do very well.”

Tulane first plays Southern Miss at 7 p.m. on Friday, before facing Nicholls and Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, respectively. Last season, the Green Wave defeated Southern Miss, 3-2, at the Southern Miss Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss. Returning senior setter Justine Bowers and sophomore libero Kaylie McHugh led Tulane to the win, chipping in 37 assists and 27 digs, respectively, while junior middle hitter Dayna Kern recorded an attack percentage of .353.

“Southern Miss is a good team,” Barnes said. “They’re one of the top teams in the country. Their offense is going to be tough to stop, but we lead the American Athletic Conference in holding opponents to their lowest hitting percentage. Our defense is top in our league, so it’s going to be a good match-up between their offense and our defense.”

A live stream including play-by-play and analysis of Tulane’s three matches will be available at TulaneGreenWave.com. Non-Tulane matches will stream, but without audio.

Season ticket packages for the 2017 season are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased by calling 504-861-WAVE (9283), logging onto TulaneTix.com or visiting the ticket office at the James W. Wilson Jr. Center.

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