Recently in Volleyball Category

    By Andy Conli / Fresno State Athletics

    It would be an understatement to say the Fresno State volleyball team has a challenge facing them this Thursday evening at the Save Mart Center. Fresno State (11-14, 5-8 WAC) will go against No. 3 University of Hawai'i (23-1, 12-0 WAC) for the second time this season, dropping the first match in straight sets on the road in Honolulu.

    The Bulldogs are looking for their first victory against the Rainbow Wahine in the 49th meeting between the two conference opponents. No. 3 Hawai'i is the 14-time defending WAC champion and owner of the nation's longest conference winning streak at 37 straight matches.  The Rainbow Wahine have won their last 16 matches in straight sets, including all 12 conference matches, and have a streak of 47 consecutive sets won. The school record was established in 2002 at 54 sets.

    Fresno State will try to off-set Hawaii's firepower with stars like sophomore Marissa Brand and junior Brianna Clarke.  Brand, a native of Cypress, Calif., boasts a double-double in kills and digs in a career-best and WAC leading eleven matches this season. Clarke, named to the 2010 Preseason All-WAC team, owns the second-best hitting percentage at .360 and the third-best blocks per set at 1.28 in the WAC.  

    Come cheer on the Dogs as they battle the Rainbow Wahine Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center.

    By Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics

    BERKELEY, Calif. -- With a 3-1 victory over the Big East's Seton Hall under their belt to win their opener of the HGI Classic, the Fresno State volleyball team returns to Haas Pavilion today for a double feature against a pair of schools from the University of California system - UC Davis and No. 10 California.

    Last night, the 'Dogs displayed a focused energy on offense and systematically attacked Seton Hall with a tenacious mentality.

    Brand, Marissa
    Parker, Kelli
    Two Bulldogs in their second seasons as Bulldogs stepped up in the four-set win.  Marissa Brand delivered a career-best 19 kills and Kelli Parker led Fresno State on an 8-1 run in a crucial third set comeback to pull away from the Pirates.

    After the match, head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell reflected on the progress of Brand, who has shown she can play a variety of positions for the Bulldogs and her talent is molding into a critical piece of the offense.  Netherby-Sewell also commended Parker for her aggressive service performance, a point of emphasis for the 'Dogs this season, and consistently forced Seton Hall into having a difficult time getting into their offense.

    The keys will again highlight the ability of the team to use their confidence and talent to compete for every point.

    Make sure to "Like" Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@FSAthletics) for updates from Berkeley, Calif.  You can also watch the live statistics of both matches on Gametracker.  Click on the matches listed below to view Gametracker.

    Here is the Bulldogs' schedule for today's matches:

    •   UC Davis 3, Fresno State 0
    In the morning session of the 2010 HGI Classic, Fresno State fell 3-0 to UC Davis on set scores of 14-25, 17-25 and 22-25.

    The Bulldogs came out swinging in set one with junior Kelli Parker scoring the 'Dogs first three points on three kills to help jolt Fresno State to a 10-6 lead.  UC Davis then caught fire with an 11-0 run to send the Aggies ahead 17-10 and secured the three-game sweep led the UCD's Betsy Sedlak, who recorded a .550 hitting percentage with 11 kills on 20 attacks.

    Junior Brianna Clarke continued her steady attacking with a .462 hitting percentage on six kills over 13 attacks.  Kelly Mason dug 17 shots and Marissa Brand added seven kills.

    Fresno State is now 3-4 on the season and dropped to 2-1 at neutral site contests.

    •    4:30 p.m. - Fresno State at No. 10 California

    By Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics

    The Bulldog volleyball team's challenging non-conference schedule continues this weekend when Fresno State visits the campus of the University of California for the 2010 Hilton Garden Inn Classic

    The 'Dogs will meet the Big East's Seton Hall at 4:30 p.m. today along with No. 10 California and UC Davis tomorrow in Haas Pavilion.

    Fresno State, under the leadership of third-year head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell, embraces every opportunity to compete against the top tier programs to establish her expectation of competing at the highest level and fostering the growth and development of a young and talented roster.

    Before the 2010 season, the Western Athletic Conference coaches showed their respect for the Bulldogs by picking Fresno State to finish third in the conference.

    The HGI Classic is the final road tournament of the season for the 'Dogs with each opponent providing Fresno State a chance to build for the upcoming conference slate of games.

    Here is a quick look at Seton Hall:
    •    Big East Conference
    •    Record: 2-4
    •    Key Wins: at William & Mary, vs Colgate
    •    Other Notable Matches So Far: at No. 1 Penn State (L, 3-0), vs Wisconsin (L, 3-0), vs. Winthrop (L, 3-2)
    •    Top attacker: Sarah Osmun (4.32 kps and six service aces)
    •    Setter: Olivia Trudeau (7.9 aps)
    •    Libero: Alyssa Warren (5.1 dps)
    •    This will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Pirates.

    By Jennifer Jory / Fresno State Athletics

    The Save Mart Center is full of Bulldog spirit tonight.

    The Fresno State volleyball team is taking on their crosstown rivals, the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds, in their sixth annual exhibition match.  Last year the 'Dogs won their first sets against the Sunbirds and are ready to do even better this year.

    The Fresno State Bulldog Beat is also in the house tonight bringing more beat than ever to entertain all of the fans in the building.  They have two electric guitars and a drummer joining the traditional band to keep the Bulldog spirit in high gear.

    To hype up the showdown even more, the Bulldogs have established tonight as "Greek Night" to encourage sororities and fraternities to come out and support the team. 

    "This is our first volleyball game as a fraternity, but it definitely will not be our last," said Forrest from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  "We have talked about this night at our last two meetings and all of our pledges are coming with signs.  We are excited to cheer on the volleyball team."

    Whichever Greek group has the most attendance at tonight's game will win a date with the entire volleyball team.

    Tonight is a great match because there are fans from all over the city of Fresno supporting these two great programs.  The stands are filled with red and orange and the cheering is rattling the walls.  The student-athletes are definitely feeling the pride for their schools in the atmosphere. 

    Be sure to check for live match updates throughout the evening.

    By Emily Rogers / Fresno State Athletics Communications

    The Fresno State women's volleyball team is back at the Save Mart Center for another exciting day of the Fresno State Classic. The 'Dogs are 1-0 in the tournament after defeating UC Riverside 3-0 last night and face-off against Santa Clara at noon and No. 20 Oregon at 7 p.m. today.

    Erin Stock Individual PhotoThe Bulldogs starting setter this season, is a 5-10 freshman from Colorado, Erin Stock. In her debut as a college player, Stock displayed an immense amount of energy and after shaking off the early nerves played extremely well. Her biggest challenge in transitioning from the high school level to the college level is time management. But with team advocating as a great support system she's been able to keep on top of school and volleyball.

    Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell believes Stock is the perfect player for the position.

    "Erin is a setter that has played at a high level within an intense training program for years," Netherby-Sewell said.  "She has no fear possibly starting in our quarterbacking role as a freshman. She's a tremendous athlete that knows the game and will allow us to create the high-tempo game we need to get to the next level."

    Her teammates are on the same page, including sophomore middle blocker Marissa Brand.

    "Erin is awesome. She is the best setter I have ever had on a team," said Brand.

    Stock came to Fresno State because she loves the team and its high level of play. Her goals for the team this season is to finish as high as they possibly can by giving maximum effort on every ball, and staying extremely composed. Stock's ambitions for the next four years as a competitor are to eventually move into a captain role and be an asset to the Bulldog volleyball program.

    In her spare time, Stock enjoys camping, hanging out with friends, and being outside. Prior to coming to California, she raced motorcycles on ice.

    Stock is ready for the challenging season ahead of her and with the support of her teammates and coaches is ready to succeed at the college level.

    Come out to the Save Mart Center today to watch the 'Dogs take on Santa Clara at noon and No. 20 Oregon State at 7 p.m. Admission is free for Fresno State students, $3.00 for youth and seniors, and $5.00 for general admission.  Come out today and support your Bulldogs and join in the spirit of the centennial season! 

      VB 2010 Meet the Team

    By Jennifer Jory / Fresno State Athletics Communications

    The Fresno State Women's Volleyball team is back in action tonight at the Save Mart Center.  They are opening their centennial season with a tournament against UC Riverside, Santa Clara, and No. 20 Oregon.  The action started tonight at 5 p.m. with a match between Oregon and Santa Clara.  The Dogs hit the court at 7 p.m. to play UC Riverside.

    This is going to be an exciting season for the Volleyball team.  The Western Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll picked the Dogs to finish third in the 2010 campaign.  They have a busy schedule this fall but the team is ready to make this season one to remember.

    The team has a lot of strong players this year and they are ready to show off their skills tonight.  Lauren Berger is a senior at Fresno State and starts her fourth and final season in a Bulldog uniform this evening.  Her goal for this year is to be one of the top right sides in the Western Athletic Conference.  She wants to spend her remaining time with the Dogs going all out playing her hardest so she has no regrets.  Lauren will definitely be one to watch this evening at the Save Mart Center.

    Another player to come out and see is junior Brianna Clarke, who is a native of Clovis.  She was honored as one of 12 student-athletes on the 2010 Preseason All-WAC team.  She is the first Bulldog since 2003-04 to earn back-to-back All-WAC honors. 

    There are four new freshmen joining the team this season and they are ready to carry on the Bulldog Volleyball tradition of excellence.  All of the ladies have practiced hard and are excited to show off their hard work and talent on the court this evening. 

    The action is live at the Save Mart Center tonight at 7 p.m.  Admission is free for Fresno State students, $3.00 for youth and seniors, and $5.00 for general admission.  Come out tonight and support your Bulldogs and join in the spirit of the centennial season!  

    By: Alyssa Chambers/Athletics Communications

    Fresno State's most decorated volleyball player returns to the Western Athletic Conference as an assistant coach at Nevada.

    Ruth Lawanson will be the top assistant under head coach Devin Scruggs after two season's at the Air Force Academy. Lawanson has also had coaching stints at Angelo State and Purdue after six year's at Fresno State.

    From 1981-84 as a student-athlete, Lawanson was a part of the greatest Fresno State volleyball team as the 'Dogs finished fifth at the NCAA Tournament her senior year. She became the first Bulldog ever to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors and was a three-time team MVP for the Bulldogs (1982-84). She still holds career records for kills (962) and season records for kills (488) and services aces (55).

    At the conclusion of her stellar FS playing career, Lawanson became the first female athlete in the history of Fresno State to have her jersey retired. She was also the first athlete in a sport other than football and only the fourth athlete overall to receive that honor from Fresno State.


    Division I women's volleyball added for 2010-11 academic year

    As announced at the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in December 2009, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award will be given in women's volleyball for the first time during the 2010 championship. The addition of women's volleyball brings to 10 the total number of sports in which the award is given. Nominations are due for volleyball candidates by August 9. The first candidate list will be released around the middle of August.


    Nine awards presentations. Nine deserving student-athletes. Well rounded. Active in their communities. Excellent in the classroom. Leaders on and off the field.

    For nine years, the Senior CLASS Award has been given in recognition of NCAA Division I student-athletes who honor their four-year commitment to a university. As the award program has grown to include a title sponsor and eight more sports, recognition as a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner has been special to the 42 student-athletes who have been honored with it to date.




    By Alyssa Chambers/Fresno State Athletics Communications

    Check out these photos courtesy of the Fresno Grass Volleyball Association of current Bulldog volleyball student-athletes Ceclia Agraz, Lauren Berger, Kelly Mason, Kasey Van Grouw and Korrin Wild. 

    By Alyssa Chambers - from Lexi Watson / Fresno State Athletics Communications

    Lexi Watson wrote in after her graduation to provide us with some graduation photos and what she has been up to since concluding her volleyball career and education at Fresno State.

    Lexi: I will be taking several road trips.  I will be driving to New Mexico with Clay and his family and then we will be driving to Montana and stopping in Oregon on the way.  We plan on doing a lot of fishing, enjoying the lake and stopping to see friends and family along the way! I also got a head JV coaching job in Visalia at El Diamante (volleyball of course) so I will be helping out with their summer practices until season starts.  In August my Teaching credential program begins in Visalia.