July 11, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
FRESNO, Calif. - After helping the Bulldog volleyball team to another of its most successful seasons in recent history, graduated seniors Holly Franks and Korrin Wild recently signed their first professional contracts.
Wild signed an agreement with the Vannes Volleyball Club located in Vannes, France - one of the top club teams in the French Division 1 group - and more club information is available at the http://www.vannes-volley.fr website.
Franks will join the Svedala Volley Team based in Svedala, Sweden, and more club information is at the http://www.svedalavolley.com website.
"I knew Holly and Korrin weren't done with their athletic careers," Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said, "and there were many more wins ahead of them. We're so proud to send them off into the professional world to get better and strive for championships. What I'm most excited for is hearing about their adventures - good ones and bad - all important events that will make them better, more worldly people. I think they'll impress the European circuit with their massive power and skills."
The duo helped the `Dogs go 17-15 in 2013 and tie for fourth place in the MW with an 11-9 mark - three places better than their preseason coaches poll position. Factoring in their 18-13 mark in 2012, the `Dogs enjoyed their first back to back winning seasons since 2003 and `04 (21-7, 15-13) and enjoyed their third straight top-four league placing for the first time since 2001-04.
Franks, a 6-2 right side hitter from Tollhouse, Calif., joined the `Dogs last summer as a transfer and was later tabbed the 2013 MW Newcomer of the Year. A three-time all-tournament selection, she ranked fourth in the Mountain West Conference in aces (0.31 p/s) and eighth in points (3.52 p/s), and 163rd nationally in aces.
The 31-match starter Franks logged 17 double-digit kill totals and seven +.300 totals, and ended with season bests of 20 kills and.455. She led the offense with team match highs in kills in 10 matches, and likewise in a similar # of matches in aces (10), blocks (8), points (7) and hitting (4). Her seven aces vs. Wichita State the second week of the season set a new school record and was one of 10 matches with multiple aces.
Wild, a 5-11 outside hitter from Kingsburg, Calif., was a four-year starter, and wrapped up her career ranked top six all-time for the Bulldogs in career aces per set (third, 0.31), aces (third, 136), digs (fifth, 1,203) and kills (sixth, 1,256).
The All-MW choice Wild ended the 2013 season ranked top 20 in the MW in kills (second, 3.77 / 63rd NCAA); points: (2nd, 4.24 p/s), aces (sixth, 0.30 p/s) and digs (20th, 2.57 p/s), and also stood top 80 nationally in kills (63rd) and points (76th). Among her 29 starts, she had eight +.300 totals and four +20-kill totals, and paced the squad in aces a team-best 12 times, and in similar #s of matches in digs (5) and hitting (5). A two-time all-tourney selection as a senior, she scored 11 double-doubles to give her 39 career-wise.
Going back in Fresno State history, four other players have played professionally internationally since 1992:
- Ruth Lawanson, OH*, 1992-94 Italy: Preca Moda Cislago; 1994-95 France: Racine Club de France
- Stacy Mitchell, OH, 1996-98 France: Franches Montagnes; 1995-96 Switzerland: Lucern
- Suzie Regul, MB, 1995 Brazil: Banco Bandeirantes Minas
- Tricia Tuley, OH, 1998-99 Switzerland: VB Frances Montagnes
Six former Bulldogs also played professional domestically in the Major League Volleyball or National Volleyball Leagues:
- Ruth Lawanson, OH*, 1987 Dallas; 1988-89 Minnesota (1988 MLV Player of the Year)
- Traci Sliester, S, 1989 Portland
- Laurie Wetzel-Hayward, OH*, 1989 New York
- Joey Vrazel, S/OH*, 1987-88 New York
- Suzie Regul, MB, 1995-96 San Jose Storm
- Lynette Wilke-Lopez, MB, 1994 Sacramento Stars
Current Bulldog assistant coach Mallori Gibson also played professionally for the Premier Volleyball League's Dream Team and the Olympiacos Sport Club in Greece, and helped lead the team capture the 2011 Greek Cup Gold Medal.
Closer to home, the Fresno State volleyball team is less than a month from the 2014 campaign, and kick off Netherby-Sewell's seventh season at the helm with their first practice on Saturday, August 9.
Fans will get their first glimpse of this year's squad in its Alumni Squad exhibition match on Saturday, August 23 at the Save Mart Center. The free event starts at 1 p.m.
"Be Bold!" - Fresno State volleyball and football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at GoBulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647).
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