'Dogs Open Season at Bulldog Invitational
    Senior outside hitters Korrin Wild and Marissa Brand are returning all-conference hitters.
    Senior outside hitters Korrin Wild and Marissa Brand are returning all-conference hitters.

    Aug 28, 2013

    FRESNO STATE VOLLEYBALL WEEKLY RELEASE - Season Opener

    BULLDOG INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY DELI DELICIOUS
    Site: Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
    Tournament Central Page: http://bit.ly/17kbYIP
    *TV / Video Broadcast: ^CMAC /Mountain West Network (Online)
    Announcers: Stephen Trembley, Breana Cooksey

    CMAC = Community Media Access Collaborative channel (local in Fresno)

    FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
    5 p.m. - Fresno State vs. Rice (*MWN, *CMAC-TV)
    7:30 p.m. - CS Northridge vs. Santa Clara (*MWN, *CMAC-TV)

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
    10 a.m. - Rice vs. CS Northridge
    Noon - Fresno State vs. Santa Clara (*MWN, *ESPN Radio 790 AM)
    5 p.m. - Rice vs. Santa Clara
    7:30 p.m. - Fresno State vs. Cal State Northridge


    `DOGS SHOWCASE TALENTED, VETERAN SQUAD IN 2013 OPENER
    This Friday-Saturday, August 30-31, the Fresno State volleyball team (0-0) kicks off the 2013 season by hosting one of the West Coast's top opening weekend tournaments - the Bulldog Invitational Presented by Deli Delicious.

    The tourney will feature six matches over the course of 1 1/2 days, with Fresno State facing three teams (Cal State Northridge, Santa Clara and Rice) sporting similar postseason ambitions.

    SIZING UP THE FIELD
    All three opposing teams staked +18 or more wins in 2012 - Cal State Northridge (21-10), Santa Clara (20-12) and Rice (19-12). In 2012, Santa Clara was rewarded with its 13th NCAA Tournament trip the last 14 seasons, and Rice and CSN have also made multiple NCAA tournament trips in recent history. All three are directed by head coaches with conference coach of the year resumes, and Rice and CSN feature honorable mention All-Americans from `12.

    FRESNO STATE TEAM SEASON PREVIEW
    Coming off an 18-13 overall record in 2012, Fresno State ranked #90 among the 330 teams nationally in last year's NCAA RPI ratings - both program bests since 2004. The `Dogs are in their second season as a member of the Mountain West Conference and placed fourth in `12 (9-7).

     

     

    Sixth-year head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell welcomes back a veteran Bulldog squad that features six of seven starters from 2012 and 10 letterwinners. Two senior outside hitters - Marissa Brand and Korrin Wild - are former all-conference choices, and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock was an all-freshman team choice in 2011.

    Among the squad's four newcomers, two transfers are expected to vie for starting positions - senior right side hitter Holly Franks (Cal Poly) and junior setter Cori Ehmen (Iowa Western Community College).


    Returning Fresno State Starters (Key 2012 Stats)
    # - Name, Pos, Yr, Ht, Hometown, KPS, DPS, BPS
    1 - Korrin Wild, OH, SR, 5-11, Sanger, Calif., 3.39, 2.94, 0.28
    3 - Megan Callahan, RS, SR, 6-0, Atwater, Calif., 2.50, 0.28, 0.53
    4 - Lauren Albertson, RS, R-SR, 6-3, Fresno, Calif., 1.23, 0.21, 0.69
    16 - Maci Murdock, MB, JR, 6-0, Turlock, Calif., 2.40, 0.43, 0.89
    22 - Marissa Brand, OH, R-SR, 6-1, Cypress, Calif., 3.18, 2.84, 0.40
    5 - Christina Lee, L, JR, 5-6, San Francisco, Calif., -, 3.94, -


    Returning Reserves
    # - Name, Pos, Yr, Ht, Hometown, KPG, DPG, BPG
    8 - Katie Pearson, RS, JR, 6-0, San Jose, Calif., -, 0.6, 0.4
    9 - Jaimee-Lee Morrow, OH, SO, 5-11, Mooroolbark, Austraila, 1.5, 0.5, 0.2
    12 - Molly Pearson, MB, R-SO, 6-0, San Jose, Calif., -, -, -
    18 - Zana Bowens, OH, SO, 5-8, Long Beach, Calif., 0.17, 1.44, 0.04


    Newcomers # - Name, Pos, Yr, Ht, Hometown, KPG, DPG, BPG
    8 - Cori Ehmen, S, JR, 5-7, York, Neb. (Iowa W. CC), -, -, -
    14 - Brooke Legaux, S, FR, 5-10, Mission Viejo, Calif., -, -, -
    21 - Holly Franks, RS, SR, 6-2, Tollhouse, Calif. (Cal Poly), 2.94, 0.58, 0.36
    23 - Maggie Eppright, DS, FR, 5-5, San Luis Obispo, Calif., -, -, -


    FRESNO STATE / RICE SERIES HISTORY
    On Friday, the Bulldogs and Owls will meet for the 12th time in program history. The 'Dogs lead the overall series, 7-4, while Rice won their last meeting in 2004 (3-0). Fresno State's last series win came the year before in 2003 (3-0), and the `Dogs also won their first-ever meeting in 1997 (3-0).

    SCOUTING THE OWLS
    Earlier this month, Rice was tabbed the 2013 Conference USA Coaches Preseason Poll favorite after it went 19-12 overall and 12-4 in league play last year. Senior setter Megan Murphy and junior middle blocker Jillian Humphrey were 2013 Preseason All-C-USA choices. Last year, Murphy was an All-America Honorable Mention, and the C-USA Setter of the Year after she ranked 38th nationally in assists (11.04 per set). The team's leading returning hitters are Humphrey (2.44 k/s, 1.18 b/s, .271) and junior middle blocker Lizzy Bache (2.07 k/s, .177, 1.99 d/s). Humphrey ranked 75th nationally individually in blocks in 2012 (1.18 p/s), and team-wise, Rice's top NCAA rankings were in digs (37th, 17.33 p/s), kills (48th, 13.95 p/s) and hitting (81st, .227). Tenth-year head coach Genny Volpe has led the team to its only three NCAA trips in school history (2004, `08, `09) and a Conference USA title in 2009. She owns a 166-11 record at the helm, and has coached eight All-Americans and 28 all-conference honorees.

    FRESNO STATE / SANTA CLARA SERIES HISTORY
    On Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs meet the Broncos for the 33rd time, and Fresno State sports a 22-10 all-time series advantage. The Broncos, however, have won the last five meetings from 2000-10, and ended a Fresno State 8-1 run from 1985-96. The series dates back to 1977, and the Bulldogs took their first meeting in 1977 (3-0).

    SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
    Picked to place sixth in the 2013 West Coast Conference Coaches Preseason Poll, Santa Clara went 20-12 and 9-7 last year in the conference, and lost its NCAA Tournament opener at No. 8 Hawai'i (3-0). Senior middle blocker Megan Anders ranked top 50 nationally last year in hitting (44th, .361), and also led the team in kills (3.02 per set), and stood second in blocks (0.80 p/s). Other top offensive returnees include senior middle blocker Haley Cameron (.298, 1.82 kp/s/, 0.86 b/p/s), junior outside hitter Taylor Milton (2.90 k/s, 2.35 d/p/s) and senior setter Alyssa Anderson (6.51 a/p/s). Team-wise in 2012, Santa Clara's top NCAA rankings were in aces (43rd, 1.43 p/s), kills (95th, 13.26 p/s) and hitting (98th, .221). Fourteenth-year head coach Jon Wallace has led the team to 13 NCAA tourney trips including a 2005 national semifinal bid en route to national coach of the year honors.

    FRESNO STATE / CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE SERIES HISTORY
    On Saturday night, the Bulldogs and the Matadors meet for the 25th time in the series, and the Matadors sport a 14-9 advantage. Since 1995, Fresno State owns a 6-5 advantage, while CSN won the only meeting in Coach Netherby-Sewell's tenure in 2011 (3-0). CSN claimed the first tilt in the series that started in 1972 (2-0).

    SCOUTING THE MATADORS
    CSN was tabbed third in the 2013 Big West Preseason Coaches Poll, after it went 21-10 overall last year and finished third in the Big West (12-6) with its highest league win total since 1996. Junior middle blocker Casey Hinger (1.34 b/s, .248, 2.52 k/s) was a 2012 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and the program's first honoree since 2004. She ranked top 100 nationally in blocks (32nd) with senior setter Sydney Gedryn (73rd, 1.19 p/s). The duo were also All-Big West Team choices with senior outside hitter Mahina Haina (.203, 2.71 k/s). Team-wise in `12, the team ranked 14th nationally in blocking (2.91 p/s) and 93rd in hitting (.222). Twelfth-year head coach Jeff Stork was honored as the 2011 Big West Coach of the Year and owns a 123-168 career mark. He led the team to NCAA Tournament bids in 2003 and `04, and as a player was a three-time Olympian and starting setter for the 1988 U.S. gold medal team.

    'DOGS PART OF CROWDED RACE FOR MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON VOTES
    In the recent 2013 Mountain West Preseason Coaches Poll, the Bulldogs received 65 votes and were within five votes of the three teams just ahead - UNLV (third, 70), Utah State (fourth, 68) and New Mexico (fifth, 66). Last year's conference regular season co-champions San Diego State (first, 99) and Colorado State (second, 90) led the 11-team poll. The Aztecs received nine of the 11 first-place votes, and the Rams picked up the other two. Other conference teams included Boise State (seventh, 51), Wyoming (eighth, 37), San José State (ninth, 27), Air Force (10th, 17) and Nevada (11th, 15).

    ON THE NCAA / MOUNTAIN WEST SINGLES CHARTS
    Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild was the highest Bulldog individual on last year's NCAA stat charts after she ranked 12th nationally in aces per set (0.44 avg.). The all-conference hitter also paced the Mountain West in the category and stood fourth in points (3.99 per set) and sixth in kills (3.39 p/s). Other returnees ranked top 10 individually in the MW in '12 include junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (hitting, third, .332), senior outside hitter Marissa Brand (seventh, 3.18 p/s) and junior libero Christina Lee (digs, eighth, 3.94 p/s).

    ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST
    In 2012, the Bulldogs paced the conference team categories for aces (1.35 per set) and digs (15.23 p/s). Its other rankings in the then-nine-team league follow: assists (fourth, 12.43 p/s), kills (fourth, 13.46 p/s), hitting (sixth, .199), opponent hitting (sixth, .209) and blocks (ninth, 1.79 p/s).

    NCAA-wise, the team ranked top 100 in three categories - aces (67th), kills (70th, 13.57 p/s) and assists (83rd), and its other rankings among the 330 Division 1 teams follow: win-loss percentage (118th, .581), digs (140th), hitting (163rd), and blocks (230th).

    HEAD OF THE CLASS
    For the fourth straight season, the `Dogs received the American Volleyball Coaches (AVCA) Academic Team Award for their combined +3.40 grade point average for the 2012-13 academic year. Fresno State was one of five Division 1 programs from the state of California (with Pacific, Stanford, San Francisco and St. Mary's) and 130 nationally. Individually, senior outside hitter Marissa Brand received Capital One Academic All-District 8 honors for her 3.90 grade point average. She won similar honors in 2011 as did Cecilia Agraz in 2011 (1st Team) and 2010 (2nd Team) - the first-two-time honoree in the program's 42-year history. Agraz also earned the team's first Academic All-America honor in 2011.

    ALL-CONFERENCE ACCLAIM
    Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild was a preseason 2013 All-Mountain West choice this past month, and one of three hitters chosen by league head coaches to the seven-person team. The Sanger, Calif., native was also a second-team all-league pick as a sophomore in 2011 -- the same season middle blocker Maci Murdock was an All-WAC Freshman Team choice. In 2010, current senior Marissa Brand was an All-WAC Second Team honoree in 2011 and All-Freshman Team choice in `09. Earlier in head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell's Bulldog tenure, other all-league nods went to Brianna Clarke (1st Team-2011; 2nd Team-2009, `10), Kelly Leonardo (2nd Team-2009), while Clarke and Baylee Platt were All-Freshman Team choices in 2008.

    SETTING A NEW STANDARD
    The team's non-returning starting position - setter - will be manned by junior transfer Cori Ehmen (Iowa Western Community College, York, Neb.) and freshman Brooke Legaux (Mission Viejo, Calif.).

    Ehmen was a Nebraska prep all-state first-team honoree as a junior and second-team choice as a sophomore for York High School. Legaux was an All-CIF South Section First Team pick as a prep senior for Tesoro High School and a League MVP.

    Their presence will alleviate the loss of Barbara Alcantara who was an All-Mountain West choice as a senior in 2012 after she led the conference in assists (11.23) and ranked 27th nationally.

    RPI ON THE RISE
    After ranking in the lower half of the 330 Division 1 programs for the four years before her arrival, head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell has a three-year streak with the `Dogs now .The team's last three rankings - 2012 (90), 2011 (138) and 2010 (150) - were its best since 2004, and a complete listing of the team's rankings the last 11 years follows:

    Fresno State Volleyball RPI (2002-2012): 2012: 90; 2011: 138; 2010: 150; 2009: 217; 2008: 275; 2007: 261; 2006: 223; 2005: 180; 2004: 93; 2003: 45; 2002: 46

    CAMPUS WELCOMES NEW UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
    The California State University Board of Trustees named Dr. Joseph I. Castro, former vice chancellor of student academic affairs of the University of California, San Francisco, as the eighth president of Fresno State, beginning Aug. 1, 2013.

    Castro joined Fresno State after holding several leadership positions at UC campuses, most recently serving as vice chancellor for student academic affairs at UC San Francisco since 2010. Prior to that, he served as vice provost (2008-10), associate vice chancellor for student academic affairs (2006-08) and interim graduate dean at UCSF from October 2011 to March 2012.

    Overall during his 23-year career, Castro served in leadership positions within the UC system at the Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Barbara campuses and at the Office of the President. Castro earned a bachelor's degree in political science and master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University.

    A native of Hanford, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley, Castro is the first member of his family to attend college. He and his wife Mary, who is also a Valley native, have three children including a daughter who is a student at Humboldt State University.

    BULLDOG FOUNDATION SUPPORTS STUDENT-ATHLETE SCHOLARSHIPS
    The Bulldog Foundation supports student-athletes as they strive for excellence in the classroom, in competition and in life "Beyond the Game." This mission is accomplished through the cultivation of individual and business relationships throughout the San Joaquin Valley and the Red Wave. Philanthropic donations can be made by calling 559-278-7160.

    COMING SOON: MEYERS FAMILY SPORTS MEDICINE CENTER
    The initiation of the $6 million capital project symbolizes the Bulldogs' strong commitment to create and continually enhance the best possible "student-athlete experience" at Fresno State. The unique and essential facility developed for preventative medicine, nutritional counseling, physician examination, injury treatment, on-site x-ray and rehabilitation services. The center will serve as a cornerstone of Fresno State's "Student-Athlete Village" and is designed to centralize several student-athlete support functions, including sports medicine, academic counseling, strength and conditioning, nutrition education, and equipment services within a single convenient location.

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