The Fresno State volleyball team (6-18, 1-9) takes the road once again to continue their second half of the Mountain West Conference slate playing San Jose State (3-20, 0-10) this Thursday, Oct. 30 and UNLV (19-5, 7-2) on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Fresno State is the lone MW volleyball team to be honored with a +3.30 team GPA for the 2013-14 season.
The recent graduates look ahead to their first post-collegiate action with teams in France and Sweden.
The outside hitter will compete with 248 athletes at this weekend's event at the Olympic Training Center.
Eight Bulldogs now sport multiple career honors, including three with three or more laurels.
Fresno State Volleyball vs Fresno Pacific, Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif., 9/23/14. Photos by Keith Kountz, Copyright 2014.
VB vs San Diego State
Fresno-State Nevada Volleyball Match (10/12/13)
Fresno State Indroduced Lauren Netherby-Sewell as its new head volleyball coach.
Lauren Netherby-Sewell capped her eighth season at the helm of the Bulldog volleyball program by reaching the century mark in wins, sporting a record of 105-133 at Fresno State and 149-155 overall, having spent two years at Hofstra. Of the seven head coaches in program history, Netherby-Sewell owns the third highest record as she continues to chart the `Dogs ascent as a member of the Mountain West.
In her eight seasons at Fresno State, Netherby-Sewell has had a tremendous impact on Bulldog volleyball while relying on a tried and true formula emphasizing fighting spirit, dedication and teamwork. She has inspired record crowds and developed a team focused on fundamentals and primed to excel by upgrading the Bulldogs' non-conference schedule and restoring the community's passion for a traditionally strong program.
In 2015, the Bulldogs seized the third-best Mountain West finish and fourth highest win figure since 2008 while nearly doubling the amount of victories logged the previous year. Netherby-Sewell led Fresno State to a 14-win season, as the `Dogs were victorious in eight of the 14 non-conference matches, accounting for six three-set sweeps along the stretch.
After opening the year with a pair of road trips, Fresno State hosted back-to-back tournaments for the first time under Netherby-Sewell's leadership. Following a runner-up finish as the tournament host of the five-team Bulldog Showdown (3-1), the `Dogs took first place at the Fresno State Classic (2-1).
Overall, she guided four Bulldogs to all-tournament honors – Maggie Eppright (Western Carolina Tournament, Fresno State Classic), Brooke Legaux (Western Carolina Tournament), Carly Scarbrough (Bulldog Showdown, Fresno State Classic MVP), and Aleisha Coates (Bulldog Showdown).
Fresno State polished off the regular season with an eighth-place Mountain West finish, with six conference victories and an overall winning percentage of .438 on the season.
Netherby-Sewell's charge guided the squad to a 9-8 record as the home team at the Save Mart Center, as Fresno State notched conference defeats over Nevada (3-0), UNLV (3-2), Utah State (3-0) and Air Force (3-0) in front of their home crowd. The team averaged 622 fans per contest in 2015 and drew approximately 10,574 members of the Red Wave to the Save Mart Center.
Team-wise, the Bulldogs checked into the Mountain West top three in overall assists (1,455), kills (1,617) and digs (1,788) while positioned fifth in service aces (142) over 119 sets. The `Dogs were also among the elite five programs determined by 18 Mountain West matches in assists (850), kills (932), aces (79), digs (1,016) and combined attendance during the 65 sets competed in at home.
Likewise, the squad ranked among the nation's top 100 within six categories of the NCAA Team Rankings -- No. 45 kills (1,617), No. 50 total attacks (4,383), No. 56 attacks per set (36.83), No. 70 kills per set (13.59), No. 82 assists (1,455) and No. 100 digs (1,788).
With an emphasis on outworking, outthinking and outplaying their opponents, two Bulldogs were charted in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Division I Rankings at the seasons end. Eppright reaped the team's highest ranking of No. 35 in digs (573) and No. 52 in digs per set (4.82), while Bowens placed No. 124 in total attacks (1,103).
The Bulldogs' starting setter and libero duo, Legaux and Eppright, individually placed in the Mountain West top 10 in overall matches and during the regular season action. Legaux concluded the season ranked sixth among conference competitors in total assists (848) and 10th in MW play only (380), while Eppright paced the league in combined digs (573) along with a runner-up (319) regular season finish. Additionally, senior Zana Bowens was stationed eighth in kills (193) and 10th in points (216) over 65 sets.
Fresno State ended the year with an All-Mountain West honor, as Eppright became the fourth Bulldog to be recognized in Netherby-Sewell's reign, since joining the conference in 2012. As a 2015 team co-captain, Eppright is the first member of the current roster to earn an all-conference accolade with the last coming in 2013.
Adding to Eppright's successful defensive efforts during her junior campaign, she was the first of two volleyball representatives to be named a 2015 Fresno State Athletics Student-Athlete of the Week (fueled by Deli Delicious). Eppright earned the honor on Aug. 31, and was followed by Scarbrough on Sept. 21.
Netherby-Sewell led senior Zana Bowens to a conference-leading 29 career double-doubles in 123 matches played over a four-year span, including a season-high 12 in 2015. As a junior-transfer, Coates logged a team the second most with eight while Legaux and freshman Sabrina Winslow accounted for one apiece.
Among the all-time program career lists, four Bulldogs ranked top 10 at the close of 2015 -- Bowens (total matches played, eighth, 123; single match service aces, 5 vs. Nevada on Oct. 2, 2014), Eppright (career digs, 1,372, 3.91 p/s; single season digs, 573, 4.82 p/s), Hutcheson (single match service aces, 5 vs. San Jose State on Sept. 24, 2015), and Griggs (three-set blocks, eight vs. Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 5, 2015).
The `Dogs finished the 2014 season with an overall record of 8-24, finishing 10th in the MW with a conference record of 3-15 after battling adversity, injuries, and a road heavy schedule.
For the second consecutive year, the `Dogs compiled a conference leading 12 Academic All-MW honors at the conclusion of the 2014 season including three-time recipients Zana Bowens and Katie Pearson, two-time award winners Maggie Eppright, Christina Lee, Jaimee-Lee Morrow, Maci Murdock, Brooke Legaux and Molly Pearson and newcomers Jelena Jovanovic, Carly Scarbrough, Lauren Torres and Jacqueline Hutcheson. In addition, Eppright was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District Volleyball Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Team-wise, the squad combined for its sixth-straight American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award thanks to its 3.46 team GPA for the 2014-15 academic term.
In 2013, the team finished with a 17-15 overall mark en route to its first back-to-back winning campaigns since 2003 and '04. In MW play, the team staked an 11-9 record en route to a fourth-place finish - three places better than its preseason coaches pick.
In return for their hard work, the `Dogs scaled the NCAA's Ratings Performance Index to a rating of No. 90 and No. 102 in 2012 and '13 - their best since 2003. The 'Dogs also reaped a pair of All-MW nods (senior outside hitters Marissa Brand, Korrin Wild) and MW Newcomer of the Year honor (senior right side hitter Holly Franks). In the classroom in the fall of 2013, the 'Dogs had 12 Academic All-MW selections of their 13-person roster.
In 2012, the Bulldogs enjoyed their best season in more than a decade. The `Dogs finished the year 18-13 and placed fourth in their first season as a Mountain West member. The season was highlighted by wins against the Pac-12's Colorado and MW volleyball powers Colorado State and Wyoming as Fresno State spent half the league slate among among the top three.
Two Bulldogs, Wild and Barbara Alcantara, earned MW Player of the Week awards, and the latter became the first Bulldog to garner All-MW honors. Under her guidance, the duo were among the best in the nation in service aces (12th, 0.44 p/s) and assists (28th, 11.2 p/s), respectively, and MW category leaders.
Netherby-Sewell fostered the development of the program's first Capital One Academic All-American in junior outside hitter Cecilia Agraz and one of 61 academic all-conference selections in her tenure.
In 2011, the `Dogs maintained their aggressive approach and continued to make significant strides resulting in just the second five-set thriller in program history against national powerhouse and No. 3 Hawai'i in the WAC Tournament Semifinals. Three Bulldogs earned All-WAC honors as Brianna Clarke garnered her fourth all-conference nod as a member of the first team, Korrin Wild made the second team and Maci Murdock was named to the All-WAC Freshman Team. The team also showed its moxie early after losing All-WAC outside hitter Marissa Brand to a season-ending injury just 11 matches into the year. However, Netherby-Sewell focused on building the resolve and tenacity of the squad in shifting the rotation for an impressive postseason run.
In 2010, Fresno State delivered a late surge that catapulted the Bulldogs into a tie for sixth place in WAC regular season play. Brianna Clarke and Marissa Brand earned second-team All-WAC honors, and Cecilia Agraz became the program's first CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree in its 40-plus year history.
In her second year at Fresno State, Netherby-Sewell led the Bulldogs and her first complete recruiting class to a remarkable turnaround in 2009 that ended in the WAC semifinals after a fourth-place conference finish.
Contributing to the best overall record by a Bulldog team since 2004, Clarke and senior Kelly Leonardo earned All-WAC Second-Team honors, while Brand was named to the All-WAC Freshman Team. It was the first time since 2004, that the `Dogs had three All-WAC selections in one year. It was also the sixth straight season with an All-WAC Freshman Team honoree.
Clarke posted one of the best blocking seasons in school history in 2009, ranking in the top 30 in the NCAA all year in blocks per set. She finished the season with 135 block assists and 158 total blocks to rank second and third in the Fresno State single-season lists, and fifth in blocks per set average (1.30).
At the Save Mart Center in 2009, the `Dogs posted an impressive 7-4 record and their highest home attendance total ever with 18,529 fans. They averaged 1,684 fans per match, another school record, and ranked in the top 30 in the nation in average attendance.
Her 2009 recruiting class of Agraz, Brand and Taylor Horton earned honorable mention honors from prepvolleyball.com. It was the first such honor for any Fresno State volleyball team.
In 2008, her first year with the program, she guided a pair of freshmen - Platt and Clarke - to WAC All-Freshman Team honors (the first time in Fresno State history that two freshmen made the team in the same season). The `Dogs finished eighth in the regular season WAC standings and earned an opening-round victory over Louisiana Tech in the WAC Tournament in Honolulu.
That year, Fresno State ranked 30th in the nation in attendance in the newly configured Save Mart Center, averaging just over 1,200 fans per match.
Netherby-Sewell introduced the Fighting Spirit Award to Fresno State in 2008, an award begun at Hofstra University by Hall of Fame coach Fran Kalafer. Netherby-Sewell presents the award to an individual or the team on a weekly basis for the best display of a fighting spirit through adversity and challenges. At the end of the season, the individual or team who earns the most awards during the season receives the year-end Fighting Spirit Award and past recipients include Allanah Munson and Baylee Platt (2008), Kelly Mason (2010), Korrin Wild (2012) and the entire team (2009, '11, '13).
Prior to Fresno State...
Netherby-Sewell began her head coaching career at Hofstra University in New York. Netherby-Sewell was named head coach on November 13, 2006 after serving as interim head coach since August 2006 following the retirement of Kalafer. In two seasons, Netherby-Sewell compiled a career coaching record of 43-19 overall and a conference record of 26-6. In her first season at the helm of the program, Netherby-Sewell took a team that lost two starters and led the team to impressive heights. The Pride posted a 24-7 record, a 17-1 conference record and won the Colonial Athletic Association championship for Hofstra's first league title since 2000 (America East). Netherby-Sewell then coached the team to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, a five-game win over Cornell.
Hofstra climbed from 75th in the NCAA RPI rankings at the start of 2006 and finished a program-best 35th. The team was also ranked second in the East Region.
Under Netherby-Sewell's tutelage, senior middle blocker Liz Curley became Hofstra's first volleyball All-American while also earning CAA Player of the Year accolades. Setter Shellane Ogoshi repeated as CAA Setter of the Year. Both players also earned All-CAA First-Team accolades, while Beverly Rivera was a All-CAA Second-Team selection.
As a result of her team's accomplishments, Netherby-Sewell received National Coach of the Year Honorable Mention from College Volleyball Update.
Netherby-Sewell would bring Hofstra back to the CAA title match in 2007 as the Pride compiled a 19-12 season topped off by a 9-5 record in conference action. It marked Hofstra's first back-to-back title match appearances since the 1999 and 2000 squads won the America East. Three Pride players were honored by the CAA as Ogoshi was an All-CAA First-Team selection, junior outside hitter Lauren Engle garnered Second-Team accolades and senior middle blocker Amanda Beyersdorff was a Third-Team honoree. Ogoshi and Engle were also named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District I first team, while Ogoshi closed her career number one on the career assists and digs chart.
Netherby-Sewell joined the Pride staff after serving two seasons as an assistant volleyball coach at Columbia University, where she was also pursuing her master's degree in physical education. In her only season as an assistant coach, Netherby-Sewell helped lead the Pride to a 19-8 record and a regular season Colonial Athletic Association championship and assisted in training the 2005 Colonial Athletic Association Setter and Player of the Year (Shellane Ogoshi) and three all-conference selections (Ogoshi, Tessa Sphar and Talita Silva).
In her two seasons at Columbia, Netherby-Sewell assisted with the training of student-athletes, planned practices, handled team travel arrangements and served as the recruiting coordinator. Her first recruiting class in 2004 helped the Lions add three victories to their win total from 2003, and her 2005 recruiting class, which included All-Ivy freshman Amalia Viti, helped Columbia double their 2004 victory total.
In addition to her experience at Columbia, Netherby-Sewell served as head coach of the Club Asics Long Island 17-1's team spring 2005 and led the squad to three, first-place finishes. In 2000 she assisted in the training for the Sierra Nevada Volleyball Club's 18-1's squad.
Following graduation, Netherby-Sewell was a marketing coordinator and assistant art director for the Breckenridge Group, a restaurant management firm. She helped create local marketing and advertising campaigns. Among her clients were On the Border, Applebee's and Burger King. In April 2002, she founded her own advertising agency, Netherby Advertising, which developed, designed and executed advertising plans for the Breckenridge Group.
Netherby-Sewell graduated from the University of Nevada in 2001 with a degree in advertising and journalism. She was a starter on the 1998 Wolf Pack team that received recognition in the top 25, won the Eastern Division of the Big West Conference and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. A captain in 1999, she was named MVP at the Duke University Tournament and garnered several other all-tournament honors. Netherby-Sewell still holds the Nevada single-match record for kills with 32, which she set against New Mexico State on October 8, 1998.
She enjoyed her finest season in 1998, when she returned from off-season heart surgery to post career-highs of 378 kills, 252 digs, 44 service aces (which ranked second in the Big West) and 41 1/2 blocks. The 378 kills ranked eighth on Nevada's single season list, while her 44 aces were sixth in single-season history. Netherby-Sewell was also represented on the Wolf Pack's career record lists in kills (fifth, 767) and service aces (eighth, 87).
While an undergraduate at Nevada, Netherby-Sewell interned in the Wolf Pack athletic department, assisting in marketing and event coordination. She assisted in the organization and production of the Sixth Annual Salute to Champions Dinner and Silent Auction that featured Olympic softball gold medalist Dot Richardson, and raised a significant amount of money for the women's athletics program at Nevada.
A native of San Clemente, California, Netherby-Sewell was a standout at San Clemente High School and for the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club.
She is married to James Sewell, Assistant Director of Development at Fresno State and a native of Long Island, N.Y. The Sewell's welcomed their first child in 2012 and second in 2015.
|NETHERBY-SEWELL'S CAREER COACHING RECORD|
|2006||Hofstra||24-7 (17-1 CAA)||CAA Champions / NCAA Tournament|
|2007||Hofstra||19-12 (9-5 CAA)||CAA Tournament Finalists|
|2008||Fresno State||7-20 (3-13 WAC)||WAC Tournament Quarterfinalists|
|2009||Fresno State||15-16 (7-9 WAC)||WAC Tournament Semifinalists|
|2010||Fresno State||13-15 (7-9 WAC)||WAC Regular Season (T-6th)|
|2011||Fresno State||13-14 (6-6 WAC)*||WAC Tournament Semifinalists|
|2012||Fresno State||18-13 (9-7 MW)*||2013||Fresno State||17-15 (11-9 MW)*||2014||Fresno State||8-24 (3-15 MW)*||2015||Fresno State||14-18 (6-12 MW)*||TOTAL||CAREER||149-155 (78-86 CONFERENCE)||OVERALL COACHING RECORD|
*In 2011, the team finished 14-15 (7-7 WAC), but Netherby-Sewell was not the acting head coach for two games due to travel restrictions related to her pregnancy.
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