Bulldogs Gets Jump on Season With Saturday Alumnae Match
    Seniors Holly Franks and Megan Callahan anchor the super-deep right side position for the 'Dogs in 2013.
    Seniors Holly Franks and Megan Callahan anchor the super-deep right side position for the 'Dogs in 2013.

    Aug 23, 2013

    FRESNO, Calif. - Wrapping up its second week of practice, the Fresno State volleyball team will give fans a sneak preview of the 2013 squad in its Alumnae Match this Saturday, August 24.

    The exhibition contest offers free admission and starts at Noon, and showcases a team that returns six of seven starters from 2012, and helped the `Dogs to their best overall record (18-13) and NCAA RPI rating (90) since 2004.

    The Bulldog Alumnae team is still being finalized, but potential attendees include Cecilia Agraz, Kerry Allred, Brianna Clarke, Allanah Colburn, Kasey Galbraith, Robin Keune and Lesli Malady.

    A four-time all-league honoree, Clarke recently wrapped up her career ranked top 10 all-time for the team career-wise in blocks (second, 436), kills (ninth, 1,047) and hitting (ninth, .275); season-wise in hitting (first, .365 (2010); second, .351 (2011)) and blocks (third, 158, 2009; eighth, 137, 2010); and match-wise in hitting (second, .739) and blocks (three-set match, first, 9).

    Equally easy to spot on the all-time 'Dog lists, Keune ranks third among setters for assists in a career (3,474, 2002-05) and in a season (third, 1,379, 2003), and fourth for aces in a career (0.29). Match-wise, she also owns the school record for overall assists in a match (78, five sets vs. SJSU, 2005) and three-set totals for assists (49) and aces (5), and four-set match in assists (73).

    This year's squad returns most of last year's contributors that helped Fresno State pace the Mountain West in aces (1.35 per set) and digs (15.23).

    Four Bulldogs also ranked top 10 in various individual categories - senior outside hitters Korrin Wild (aces, first, 0.44 per set; points, fourth, 3.99 p/s; kills, sixth, 3.39 p/s; digs, 10th, 2.94) and Marissa Brand (kills, seventh, 3.18 p/s), and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (hitting, third, .332) and libero Christina Lee (digs, eighth, 3.94).

     

     

    Also back from last year's starting rotation, senior right side hitter Megan Callahan and middle blocker Lauren Albertson started 27 and 23 of the team's 31 contests, respectively.

    Other returning Bulldog veterans include junior right side hitter Katie Pearson and outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow, and sophomore middle blocker Molly Pearson and outside hitter Zana Bowens.

    The squad did graduate its starting setter from 2012 - then-senior Barbara Alcantara - but welcome a pair of talented performers in junior transfer Cori Ehmen and freshman Brooke Legaux.

    Ehmen is a former first-team all-state prep setter at York High School (Neb.) and starred the last two seasons for Iowa Western Community College. Legaux (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was an All-CIF South Section First-Team choice and league MVP as a prep senior at Tesoro High School.

    The squad also welcomes two other newcomers - senior transfer and right side hitter Holly Franks and freshman libero Maggie Eppright. Franks led Cal Poly last season in kills (318, 2.90 per/set) and points (347.5, 3.22 p/s), and Eppright was an all-league and all-county choice the last two seasons for San Luis Obispo High School.

    Earlier this week, the team was picked sixth by Mountain West head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Its 65 points was within five points of the three teams just ahead - UNLV (third, 70), Utah State (fourth, 68) and New Mexico (fifth, 66) - while last year's conference regular season co-champions San Diego State and Colorado State stood first (99) and second (90), respectively.

    Next week, Fresno State officially opens the season by hosting the Bulldog Invitational Presented by Deli Delicious. The `Dogs first host Rice at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 30, then face Santa Clara and Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Aug. 31 at noon and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

    "Catch the Wave" --- Season tickets for Fresno State Volleyball start at $55 for adults and $35 for seniors and youth. A special 12-game tournament mini-plan is available for $15 and the Family & Friends Season Flex Plan starts at $89. To purchase season tickets, please visit www.gobulldogs.com or call 559-278-DOGS.

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