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.
Last Updated: Feb. 24, 2014
Lauren Netherby-Sewell looks ahead to her seventh season as Fresno State's head volleyball coach in 2014 and continues to chart the Bulldogs' ascent into the nationally elite.
In her first six seasons at Fresno State, Netherby-Sewell has relied on a tried and true formula emphasizing fighting spirit, dedication and teamwork.
In return for their hard work, the `Dogs have scaled the NCAA's Ratings Performance Index to ratings of #90 and #102 in 2012 and '13 - their best since 2003.
By upgrading the Bulldogs' non-conference schedule and restoring the community's passion for traditionally strong program, Netherby-Sewell has inspired record crowds in the Save Mart Center and developed a team focused on fundamentals and primed to excel in the Mountain West Conference.
The 2013 squad - its deepest in recent memory - reflected her successful recruiting philosophy to attract talented and hard-working student-athletes.
Despite the loss of its starting setter the third week of the year, 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 the team's success, 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, Brand shined equally bright with her third straight Academic All-District honor was among a conference-leading 12 Academic All-MW selections.
Among MW season statistics, Wild ranked second in points and kills (3.77 / 4.24 per set) and 63rd and 76 nationally. Similarly, Maci Murdock's .350 season hitting mark - third-best in school history - stood 70th nationally, while Frank's 0.31 aces per set average was 163rd-best in the nation and and fifth conference-wise.
Their legacy on the Bulldog career record books was equally noted for Brand (kills, fourth, 1,310; digs, eighth, 997), Wild (aces, third, 136; aces per set, third, 0.31 p/s; digs, fifth, 1,203; kills, sixth, 1,256), Murdock (hitting, first, .329; blocks, ninth, 291) and libero Maggie Eppright (freshman digs, second, 391).
In MW stat categories, the high-flying Fresno State offense ranked second in conference play in hitting (.245) and aces (1.23 p/s), and third in assists (13.11 p/s).
In the classroom in the fall of 2013, the 'Dogs were also a leader and received a MW-best 12 Academic All-MW selections from its 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 49 academic all-conference selections in her tenure.
Team-wise in August 2013, the squad combined for its fourth straight AVCA Team Academic Award thanks to its +3.30 team GPA for the 2012-13 academic year.
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 All-WAC honors Second-Team, and Cecilia Agraz became the 40-plus year program's first CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. Brand also was honored as a WAC Student-Athlete of the Week.
Earlier during the 2010 season, the Bulldogs welcomed 2,664 fans to the Save Mart Center for its annual exhibition match with Fresno Pacific.
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.
In 2008 - her first year with the program in 2008 she guided a pair of freshmen - Platt and Clarke - to WAC All-Freshman Team honors (and 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.
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.
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).
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, a Special Assistant to the Athletics staff at Fresno State and a native of Long Island, N.Y. The Sewells welcomed their first child, son Walter, in January 2012.
*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.