Travel Journal: Murdock & MW VB All-Star Team Cap European Global Challenge With Third-Place Finish
July 25, 2014
July 26, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock returned this week after a memorable trip with the Mountain West All-Star Volleyball Team that ended last weekend in Pula, Croatia.
The 12-person squad enjoyed a third-place finish in the European Challenge Global Cup and ended a busy stretch of action that included action and sightseeing in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
The Turlock, Calif., native was the lone Bulldog among the 12-member squad that left on Tuesday, July 8 and returned on Saturday, July 19.
The squad first traveled to Bologna, Italy for two days of training, followed by three days of friendly matches in Slovenia vs. a Mixed Slovenian National/Junior National Team (Bled, 7/10), Croatian National Team (Maribor, 7/11) and Slovenian Junior National Team (Braslovce, 7/11).
Afterward, the 12-team European Global Challenge (7/14-17) included Junior National Teams from Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia; club teams from Italy, Serbia, Austria and Romania; and three other teams composed of American collegiate players.
Overall, the MW All-Star Team features two setters, one libero, four middle blockers and five outside hitters from eight of the 11 MW member institutions.
Besides Murdock, the squad featured three All-MW selections from last year - New Mexico outside hitter Julia Warren, Colorado State middle blocker Kelsey Snider and San José State outside hitter Hanah Blume. San Diego State head coach and 2012 MW Coach of the Year Deitre Collins-Parker led the team and was joined by New Mexico assistant coach J.J. Glavan and SDSU director of operations Julie Parker.
Other team members included Sara Baugh (Boise State, Jr., S), Marlee Reynolds (CSU, Jr., OH), Sam Willoughby (Nevada, So., MB), Cassie House (New Mexico, So., OH), Johnna Fouch (San Diego State, Gr., S), Baylee Little (San Diego State, So., Opp), Alexa Saba (San Diego State, RFr., L) and Reese Plante (Wyoming, Gr., MB/Opp).
The tour was organized by Bring It Promotions and owner Tim Kelly who has run the Global Challenge tournament for 10 years, while BIP has coordinated overseas university tours since 1997.
The senior-to-be Murdock and her Fresno State teammates now look ahead to their first practice of the fall campaign on Saturday, August 9.
The Bulldogs then point towards a 34-match slate with 11 home dates in the Save Mart Center, including early season exhibitions against an Alumni Squad on Saturday, August 23, and Fresno Pacific on Tuesday, September 23.
The season officially starts with the Rice Invitational (August 29-30) in Houston, Texas. The `Dogs then have three more away early-season tournaments - the Sacramento State Invitational (September 5-6), St. John's Kissler Classic (Sept. 12-13) and CSU Bakersfield Tournament (Sept. 19-20).
Murdock, the `Dogs' top returnee, led the team last season and ranked eighth in the MW and 69th nationally with her .350 hitting percentage (also the team's third-best season mark in school history). She also paced the team in blocks last year (0.90 per set average), and ranks top 10 career-wise for Fresno State in hitting (first, .329), block assists (eighth, 264) and total blocks (ninth, 291).
"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).