Sep 4, 2013
2013 FRESNO STATE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL RELEASE - Week 2
Portland Nike Invitational
Host: University of Portland
GameTracker Live Stats Links: http://bit.ly/1ebTJIH
Location: Chiles Center, Portland, Ore.
Host Website: PortlandPilots.com
Live Videostream: http://bit.ly/9KmCM4
Friday, September 6
10:30 a.m. - Wichita State (2-1) vs. Utah State (3-1)
12:30 p.m. - Fresno State (1-2) at Portland (0-3)
7:30 p.m. - Wichita State (2-1) at Portland (0-3)
Saturday, September 7
10 a.m. - No. 25 BYU (1-2) vs. Fresno State (1-2)
5 p.m. - Fresno State (1-2) vs. Wichita State (2-1)
7:30 p.m. - Utah State (3-1) at Portland (0-3)
`DOGS HEAD TO PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR FIRST ROAD TRIP OF 2013
This Friday-Saturday, September 6-7, the Fresno State volleyball team (1-2) continues its challenging preseason slate with a two-day, three-match trip to the Rose City. In the Nike Portland Invitational, the `Dogs kick off the weekend vs. host Portland (0-3), then face a pair of returning NCAA Regional Semifinalists in No. 25 BYU (1-2) and Wichita State (2-1).
SIZING UP THE FIELD
West Coast Conference preseason favorite and No. 25 BYU (1-2) was an NCAA Tournament Round of 16 advancer last fall after it shared the West Coast Conference title. Last month, Wichita State (2-1) was tabbed the Missouri Valley Conference favorite and No. 23 nationally in the preseason, while last year it upset #11 seed Kansas (3-1) in its sixth straight NCAA trip. Portland is coming off a 7-23 mark in 2012 but pushed NCAA returnee Kansas State to three sets last weekend on the road.
Recent Fresno State Starters (Key 2013 Stats)
# - Name, Pos, Yr, Ht, Hometown, K/S, D/S, B/S
1 - Korrin Wild, OH, SR, 5-11, Sanger, Calif., 3.53 k/s, 1.87 d/s, 0.27 b/s
4 - Lauren Albertson, RS, R-SR, 6-3, Fresno, Calif., 1.73 k/s, 0.53 d/s, 1.13 b/s
16 - Maci Murdock, MB, JR, 6-0, Turlock, Calif., 2.07 k/s, 0.13 d/s, 1.00 b/s
18 - Zana Bowens, OH, SO, 5-8, Long Beach, Calif., 3.33 k/s, 1.53 d/s, 0.40 b/s
22 - Marissa Brand, OH, R-SR, 6-1, Cypress, Calif., 2.20 k/s, 1.27 d/s, 1.00 b/s
19 - Cori Ehmen, S, JR, 5-7, York, Neb., 11.27 a/s, 2.00 d/s, 0.40 b/s
5 - Christina Lee, L, JR, 5-6, San Francisco, Calif., 3.87 d/s
LAST WEEKEND'S RECAP
In its season-opening Bulldog Invitational last weekend, Fresno State played three, hard-fought, five-set matches vs. other teams holding similar postseason ambitions.
The Bulldogs first edged Rice - the preseason Conference USA favorite - in the opener thanks to five players who notched double-digit kill tallies, including +20-kill efforts by outside hitters Zana Bowens (21) and Korrin Wild (20).
In the second match vs. NCAA returnee Santa Clara, Fresno State held team comparison advantages in nearly every category, but fell just short.
In the finale vs. Cal State Northridge, senior right side hitter and Cal Poly transfer Holly Franks posted one of the team's top individual efforts of the season (14 kills, 5 blocks, 3 aces, 10 digs).
RECENT BULLDOG HEROES
Individually last weekend in the Bulldog Invitational, Fresno State's veteran and talented squad was balanced by several impressive efforts by fresh faces.
Against Cal State Northridge, senior right side hitter and Cal Poly transfer Holly Franks led the team with her season highs in kills (14), hitting (.400), aces (3) and points (20), and ranked second in blocks (5) and digs (10) to notch a double-double. Earlier in her first weekend for the `Dogs, the squad's lone All-Tournament selection logged +10 kills vs. Conference USA preseason favorite Rice (10) and just missed similar honors vs. NCAA Tournament returnee Santa Clara (9). On defense, she also ranked second for the team in blocks vs. the Owls (4) and third vs. the Broncos (6).
Floor captain and senior outside hitter Korrin Wild led the team in kills in two matches (21 vs. Santa Clara; 14 vs. CSN); logged two aces vs. Rice; and claimed her 29th career double-double vs. CSN (14 kills, 11 digs). She nearly had two other double-doubles vs. Rice (18 kills, 9 digs) and SCU (21 kills, 8 digs). In the Mountain West this week, she ranked top 10 in kills (seventh, 3353 per set) and points (10th, 3.87 p/s).
Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock logged the team's two highest hitting marks of the season so far (.667 vs. Rice, 11 kills; .600 vs. Santa Clara, 10 kills), and was just shy of her career best from 2011 (.700 vs. La. Tech). She had another +.300 effort vs. CSN (.348, 11K), and posted a team season high in blocks (7) vs. both Rice and Santa Clara. In the conference this week, she ranked second in hitting (.509) just behind the leader, Lexi Ross of New Mexico (.519).
Sophomore Zana Bowens posted the first +20 kill-totals of her career vs. Rice (team high 21, .280) and Santa Clara (20, .341) after she entered the season with a prior kills best of five last year vs. Northern Arizona. She also enjoyed her first career double-double thanks to her 12 digs vs. Santa Clara. Her 3.33 kills per set average ranked 10th in the conference this week and second on the squad behind Korrin Wild (3.53).
Junior transfer and setter Cori Ehmen posted her first +60-assist totals as a Bulldog vs. Rice (62) and Santa Clara (60). The addition from Iowa Western Community College added four blocks vs. Santa Clara, and single aces vs. SCU and CSN. Her season assists average (11.27 per set), ranked second in the conference this week, and tops among newcomers.
Senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson tied the team's season high for blocks vs. Santa Clara (7) and added six vs. CS Northridge. She also racked up 11 kills vs. Rice and hit .350, and added eight and seven kills, respectively, vs. SCU and CSN. She led the team this week in blocks (1.13 per set average) and stood seventh in the MW.
Junior libero Christina Lee logged the team's top dig totals of the year vs. Santa Clara (27) and Rice (24). She led the team in both contests, and her season digs per set average (3.87) ranked 10th in the conference this week.
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 - respective program bests since 2004 and '03. The `Dogs are in their second season in the Mountain West 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). Franks (Tollhouse, Calif.) led the Mustangs in kills and points last season (2.94 k/s; 3.22 p/s), and Ehmen (York, Neb.) was a former Nebraska prep first-team all-state honoree for York High School.
FRESNO STATE / PORTLAND / BYU / WICHITA STATE SERIES HISTORY
On Friday, the Bulldogs and Pilots will meet for the third time in program history, and the all-time series is tied, 1-1. Fresno State won the first meeting in 1993, and UP won the other contest in 2009 (3-0). The Bulldogs defeated the Cougars in 1994 (3-2), and BYU held the final advantage in the other 15 contests between 1972-98. Saturday's Fresno State-Wichita State is the first-ever meeting between the teams.
SCOUTING THE PILOTS (0-3)
Picked to finish 10th this fall in the West Coast Conference Coaches Preseason Poll, the Pilots opened the season in Las Vegas last weekend with a 3-2 loss to returning NCAA Tournament advancer Kansas State and 3-0 losses to UNLV and Cal State Fullerton. The squad returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad that went 7-23 overall, and adds six newcomers. The team lost its top kill-getter from last year - outside hitter Ariel Usher (3.01 per set), but returns its next two leaders in the category - senior outside hitter Autumn Wedan (2.87 p/s, .157) and junior middle blocker Bea Loper (1.62 p/s, .229). Wedan was tabbed to the UNLV Invitational All-Tournament Team last weekend after she racked up 60 kills in three matches (including 32 vs. Kansas State). Last year, the team's top NCAA team rankings were in blocks (201st, 1.93 per set), hitting (226th, .180) and assists (251st, 10.90 p/s), and former player Rachel Femling stood 200th in blocks (0.99 p/s). Sixth-year head coach Joe Houck sports a 41-112 mark at UP and 172-188 mark overall in his 13 years at the collegiate level after prior stints at Western Oregon and Concordia.
SCOUTING THE No. 25 COUGARS (1-2)
Picked to win the West Coast Conference in 2013, BYU shared the conference title last fall (13-3), and ranked No. 13 nationally this preseason. Last weekend in Bowling Green, Ohio, it topped Marquette (3-2) and lost to Creighton (3-1) and Bowling Green State (3-2). Last year, the team ended the campaign ranked 12th nationally (28-4), and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal before it fell to #5 seed Oregon (3-1). On last year's NCAA charts, the team ranked second nationally in hitting (.311) and top 50 in blocks (10th, 2.99 p/s) and assists (50th, 13.01 p/s). The team returns four starters from last year - the USA VB A2 National Team duo of sophomore middle blocker Alexa Gray and senior middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant, and outside hitter Jessica Jardine and junior libero Tia Withers Welling. In 2012, Gray was tabbed an All-America Honorable Mention after she ranked top 250 nationally in hitting (164th, .308), kills (197th, 3.26 per set) and points (250th, 3.58 p/s). Last year's starting setter - then-senior Heather Hannemann - stood 31st nationally in assists (11.17 p/s), and has been replaced this year by a pair of transfers - sophomores Camry Godfrey (Salt Lake CC) and Ali White (Utah Valley). The team is also without two other hitters who ranked top 250 last season - then-senior middle blocker Nicole Warner (blocks, second, 1.80 p/s; hitting, sixth, .423) and current redshirt and 2012 First-Team All-American Jennifer Hamson (kills, 49th, 4.09 p/s; hitting, 43rd, .362; blocks, 48th, 1.26 p/s; aces, 174th, 0.29 p/s). On defense, the libero/defensive specialist position returns Withers Welling and sophomore Ciara Parker, who totaled 360 and 385 digs in 2012, respectively. Third-year head coach Shawn Olmstead received WCC Coach of the Year laurels in 2012, and is a former libero for Cougar men's teams that won national championships in 2001 and '04.
SCOUTING THE SHOCKERS (2-1)
Ranked 24th nationally in the 2013 AVCA national preseason poll, Wichita State was picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference this fall. The squad ended last year ranked 23rd nationally (24-10), and placed third in the conference (13-5). Last postseason, the team advanced to the NCAA Regional semifinal after wins over Arkansas (2-3) and #11 seed Kansas (3-1), before it succumbed to #6 seed USC (3-0). Team-wise, the squad ranked top 80 nationally in 2012 in hitting (49th, .243), kills (63rd, 13.72 p/s) and assists (77th, 12.61 p/s). Individually, senior setter and All-America Honorable Mention Chelsey Feekin ranked fifth nationally in hitting (.435) and 116th in assists last year (9.90 per set), and two other returnees ranked top 250 nationally - senior middle blockers Elizabeth Field (hitting, 144th, .314) and Ashley Andrade (hitting, 137th, .315; blocks, 243rd, 0.95 p/s). The team's main loss was at libero as then-senior Jackie Church ranked 129th nationally in digs (4.44 p/s). Fourteenth-year yead coach Chris Lamb sports a 285-124 record at the helm and three MVC Coach of the Year honors, and his squads have claimed 10 straight 20-win seasons.
'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).
THIS WEEK'S FRESNO STATE CONFERENCE RANKINGS
Hitting - 4th, .229 / CSU, .332
Blocks - 4th, 2.47 / Wyo., 3.67
Assists - 5th, 13.09 / CSU, 1st, 14.00
Kills - 5th, 13.40 / CSU, 15.56
Category - Fresno State / MW Leader
Aces - 9th, 0.80 / Utah State, 1.50
Opp. Hitting - 9th, .230 / CSU, .092
Digs - 10th, 12.93 / SJSU, 20.08
Assists Cori Ehmen, 2nd, 11.27
Hitting Maci Murdock, 2nd, .509
Kills Korrin Wild, 7th, 3.53; Zana Bowens, 10th, 333
Blocks Lauren Albertson, 7th, 1.13
Points Korrin Wild, 10th, 3.87
Digs Christina Lee, 10th, 3.87
2013 PRESEASON ALL-MW TEAM
Player, Class,, Pos., Team
Deedra Foss, Jr., S, Colorado State
Korrin Wild, Sr., OH, Fresno State
Chantale Riddle, Jr., OPP, New Mexico
Raegan Shelton,Sr., OH, SDSU
Madeline Westman, Sr., MB, UNLV
Setter: Johnna Fouch, Sr., S, SDSU
Libero: Miquella Lovato, Sr., L, UNM
Preseason POY: Johnna Fouch, S, SDSU
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, kills, 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 last fall 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.
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) and 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 now has a three-year streak with the `Dogs. 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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