`Dogs Head to Aztecs & Rebels for First MW Trip of 2013
    Freshman libero Maggie Eppright owns the 2013 MW season highs in digs  (28, 27) for non-five set matches.
    Freshman libero Maggie Eppright owns the 2013 MW season highs in digs (28, 27) for non-five set matches.

    Oct. 2, 2013

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    Fresno State Volleyball Weekly Release - Week 6 / MW Week 2
    Live Online Video Stream:
    http://bit.ly/MWNLive
    Opponent Websites: www.GoAztecs.com / www.UNLVrebels.com

    Thursday, October 3 - Peterson Gym - San Diego, Calif.
    7 p.m. - Fresno State (7-7, 1-1) at San Diego State (6-6, 1-1)

    Saturday, October 5 - Cox Pavilion - Las Vegas, Nev.
    7 p.m. - Fresno State (7-7, 1-1) at UNLV (7-5, 2-0)

    WEEKEND PREVIEW
    This Thursday-Saturday, October 3-5, the Fresno State volleyball team (7-7, 1-1) makes arguably its toughest conference road trip of the year to San Diego State (6-6, 1-1) and UNLV (7-5, 2-0). The returning NCAA tournament advancer Aztecs were tabbed the preseason Mountain West favorite, while the Rebels were picked third.

    SIZING UP THIS WEEK'S FOES
    San Diego State (6-6, 1-1) lost its MW opener at UNLV, 3-1, but bounced back with a 3-0 win over Nevada. The Aztecs shared the MW regular season title last fall with Colorado State and received votes in the preseason national poll. UNLV is tied for the lead in the MW this week and comes off an 18-11 mark and third-place MW finish last fall - one spot ahead of the `Dogs (fourth, 9-7).

    RECENT TEAM NOTES
    In its opening week of Mountain West play last weekend, Fresno State edged Utah State for its third straight victory in the series and went past regulation in all three of its winning sets (28-16, 19-25, 26-24, 26-24). Against Boise State, the `Dogs posted a team season high in hitting (.301) and its third +.300 mark of the year. Fresno State also held advantages in the team comparisons vs. the Broncos for hitting (.301-.214), kills (70-68), assists (67-63), aces (5-2) and digs (84-63), and trailed only slightly in blocks (12-11).

    Recent Fresno State Starters (Key 2013 Stats)
    # - Name, Pos, Yr, Ht, Hometown - Hitting, Kills/S, Digs/S, Blocks/S, Service Aces/S
    1 - Korrin Wild - OH, SR, 5-11, Sanger, Calif. - .166, 3.75 k/s, 2.61 d/s, 0.25 b/s, 0.20 b/s
    4 - Lauren Albertson - MB, R-SR, 6-3, Fresno, Calif. - .133, 1.03 k/s, 0.31 d/s, 0.87 b/s, 0.05 sa/s
    5 - Christina Lee - S, JR, 5-6, San Francisco, Calif. - .348 , 5.65 a/s, 3.02 d/s, 0.15 sa/s
    12 - Molly Pearson - MB, R-So., 6-0, San Jose, Calif. - .241, 0.82 k/s, 0.36 d/s, 0.68 b/s, 0.07 sa/s
    16 - Maci Murdock - MB, JR, 6-0, Turlock, Calif. - .356, 1.95 k/s, 0.07 d/s, 0.82 b/s, 0.00 sa/s
    18 - Zana Bowens - OH, SO, 5-8, Long Beach, Calif. - .147, 2.40 k/s, 1.78 d/s, 0.29 b/s, 0.16 sa/s
    21 - Holly Franks - RS, R-SR, 6-2, Tollhouse, Calif. - .201, 2.96 k/s, 2.23 d/s, 0.79 b/s, 0.30 sa/s
    22 - Marissa Brand - OH, R-SR, 6-1, Cypress, Calif. - .209, 2.23 k/s, 2.49 d/s, 0.38 b/s, 0.06 sa/s
    23 - Maggie Eppright - L, FR, 5-6, San Luis Obispo, Calif. - 3.20 d/s, 0.24 sa/s

    BULLDOGS TO WATCH
    • Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild (Kingsburg, Calif.) posted her second +20-kill effort of the year vs. Boise State (20, 15 digs) and added another of her five double-doubles this year the match before vs. Utah State (16 kills, 14 digs). Two weeks ago, she claimed her second straight all-tournament team nod in as many weeks in the UC Irvine Tournament. The former All-MW choice led players from all four teams in kills (4.60 per set) and points (4.85 p/s) and ranked fourth in digs (3.40 p/s) and tops among non-liberos for the three-match tourney. She led the Bulldogs in kills and points in all three matches, and hit a season high (.391) in the tourney finale vs. returning national runner-up and No. 20 Oregon. The preseason All-Mountain West pick registered a team-season best in digs (21) for non-liberos vs. Belmont (21), and her 19 kills was two shy of her team season high. In the second match, her 14 kills and 14.5 points vs. Bakersfield were team three-set season bests, and her 13 kills and 13.5 points vs. Oregon came in only two sets of duty. Other double-doubles this year and among her 31 career-wise (and five in 2013) came vs. CSN (14 kills, 11 digs) and Portland (10 kills, 13 digs).

    On the season, she led the MW this week in kills (third, 3.75 p/s) and stood fifth in points (4.09 p/s), and 78th and 103rd nationally. Career-wise for Fresno State, she moved up another spot last weekend on the career digs list (sixth, 1,038), and also stood top 10 on similar lists for aces per set (third, 0.30 p/s) and aces (seventh, 113).

    • Last weekend, senior right side hitter Holly Franks (Tollhouse, Calif.) set her season high in kills and points vs. Utah State (20/24) - and both were team bests for a non-five-set match in 2013 - and also topped the team in points vs. Boise State (22). Her eight blocks vs. Utah State was her season high and one off the team season high, and her three aces tied the team's second-best total in 2013. Two weeks ago, she was tabbed the UC Irvine Tournament MVP after she posted then-season highs in kills (18) and points (21.5), and led the team in the categories for the fifth and fourth matches, respectively, this year. She has topped the team in aces in four matches in '13, and her seven aces vs. Wichita State was a new school record. Among her six double-doubles this season, others came vs. Boise State (18 kills, 14 digs), Cal State Northridge (14 kills, 10 digs), Wichita State (12 kills, 11 digs, .333), Belmont (14 digs, 13 digs) and CSU Bakersfield (10 kills, 10 digs, .320), and she was just shy of another in the three-setter vs. No. 20 Oregon (8 kills, 8 digs). She claimed Fresno State Invitational All-Tournament honors her first weekend as a Bulldog after she hit a season high vs. Cal State Northridge (.400) - one of three +.300 totals on the year. Overall this year, she leads the team in aces and ranks 10th in the Mountain West (0.30 p/s), and also ranks second for FS in kills (2.96), points (3.68), blocks (0.79) and hitting (.201), and fourth in digs (2.23).

    • Last weekend, former All-Western Athletic Conference honoree and redshirt senior outside hitter Marissa Brand (Cypress, Calif.) set a career high in blocks vs. Utah State (6) and season highs in digs (19) and added 12 kills. Two nights later, her team-leading .417 hitting mark was just shy of her career high (.471), her 17 kills was her second-best tally, and her 15 digs rounded out her fourth straight double-double. In the UC Irvine Tournament two weekends ago, her 21 kills vs. American tied the team season high, and she also topped the squad in hitting (.288) for the first time in `13. She logged double-doubles vs. American (21 kills, 11 digs) and UC Irvine (15 kills, 15 digs) among her 31 career-wise, and she just missed similar honors in the three-setter vs. Xavier (9 kills, 11 digs). Her .304 hitting mark vs. the Musketeers is one of three +.300 this year with the Portland sweep (.304, 10 kills). Her sixth double-digit dig tally of 2013 came vs. Belmont (10). Last week she moved up all-time lists for Fresno State in career kills (ninth, 1,063) and also stands sixth in career attempts (3,243).

    • Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (Turlock, Calif.) tied her season high in kills (11) last weekend vs. both Utah State (.333) and Boise State (.429). Three weekends ago, she received Fresno State Classic all-tournament honors after she connected on a season high in kills (11), logged six blocks, and hit .375 vs. Belmont. In the tourney's other two matches, she added +.400 marks vs. CSUB (.600, 6 kills) and No. 20 Oregon (.429, 8 kills). The first week of the season, she logged the team's two highest hitting marks of the season vs. Rice (.667, 11 kills) and Santa Clara (.600, 10 kills) and another of her eight +.300 totals this year vs. CSN (.348, 11K). She posted a then-team season high in blocks (7) vs. Rice, Santa Clara, UC Irvine and Utah State and has led the team in five matches. This week, she ranks seventh in the conference, 85th nationally and first on the squad in hitting (.356), and second for the `Dogs in blocks (0.82 p/s) and fifth in kills (1.85 p/s).

    • Two weekends ago vs. UC Irvine, sophomore outside hitter Zana Bowens (Long Beach, Calif.) logged a season high in aces (3) and her second- and third-highest totals of the season in kills and points (17 / 20.5). In late August, she opened the year with her first +20-kill career totals vs. Rice (team season high 21, .280) and Santa Clara (20, .341) after she entered the season with a prior best of five last year vs. Northern Arizona. A starter in 12 matches this year, she enjoyed her first career double-double thanks to her 12 digs vs. Santa Clara. She added another double-double at UC Irvine (17 kills, 15 digs) and was just shy of similar honors earlier that day vs. American (9 kills, 11 digs). She kicked off the tourney with 10 kills and a .333 hitting mark in the sweep of Xavier - her first match leader in hitting this year - and she also had team match highs in kills vs. Rice (21) and Xavier (10). Her 24 points vs. Rice is also the team season high and a personal career high. Her five blocks in three sets vs. CSUB was also a career high by one over her tally against CSN (4), while her preseason best was from 2012 (1). On the MW lists this year, she ranks top 11 in kills (fifth, 21) and points (sixth, 24; 11th, 22.5) for top match performances of 2013.

    • Senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson (Fresno, Calif.) tied the team's season high for blocks vs. Santa Clara (7) and added six vs. CS Northridge the opening weekend of the season. She racked up 11 kills vs. Rice and hit .350, and added eight and seven kills, respectively, vs. SCU and CSN. A starter in 10 matches this year, she led the team this week in blocks average season-wise (0.87 p/s).

    • The past three weekends, junior Christina Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) made her first starts at setter for the team since 2011 and has helped the team to a 5-3 mark. In that span, she is averaging 10.97 assists per set (351 assists / 32 sets), and directed the team to all three of its +.300 marks this year vs. Boise State (.301), CSUB (.300) and Xavier (.300). Her 57 assists in five sets vs. both Belmont and Boise State rank fourth-best in the MW this year, and her +50 assists vs. the Anteaters (51) and Aggies (50) are the team's best in a non-five-set match. Among her six starts at libero the first two weeks, she logged the team's second- and fourth-best dig totals of 2013 vs. Santa Clara (27) and Rice (24). Her total vs. Santa Clara is the Mountain West West's fifth-best total of the year and one of four team match leaders this year.

    • Freshman libero Maggie Eppright (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) has smoothly settled into the starting libero role the past nine matches and is one of the team's top serve-receivers. She racked up a team season high in digs in four sets vs. both Utah State (28) and UC Irvine (27) - the fourth- and fifth-best marks overall in the conference in 2013 and the best in non-five-set matches. She logged five other double-digit dig figures vs. Boise State (17, 5s), American (16, 5s), Belmont (15, 5s), Wichita State (14, 4s) and Xavier (14, 3s). As a starter the last nine matches, her digs per set average is 3.97 (36 sets, 143 digs) and would rank top four in the conference. Altogether, she has paced team in digs in four of the last five contests and six times overall in 2013. She has connected on multiple aces in five matches, including a season high (3) in a sweep vs. CSU Bakersfield - the team's second-best mark of 2013. Her two aces vs. Xavier was the first of three match highs for the `Dogs.

    • With starts the last four matches, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Molly Pearson (San Jose, Calif.) has boosted the team both offensively and defensively. Last weekend, she logged a career high and team season high in blocks (9) in four sets vs. Utah State - the eighth-best total in the league this year. The weekend before in the UC Irvine Tournament, her six blocks against American was one shy of the then-team season high, and she had an ace vs. the Eagles and Anteaters. In the tourney opener, she racked up six kills and a season-high hitting mark (.857) vs. Xavier with no errors among her seven attempts. Her season high in kills (7) came vs. Belmont, and she hit .700 with no errors on her 10 attempts.

    • Junior outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow (Mooroolbark, Australia) has been one of the team's most called upon serving specialists and has appeared in 10 of the team's last 11 matches. She connected on two aces vs. NCAA tournament returnees Wichita State and No. 20 Oregon and also posted one in wins at Portland and UC Irvine. She logged her first kill of the year vs. American, and her digs season high (2) came vs. UP and Boise State.

    FRESNO STATE / SAN DIEGO STATE / UNLV SERIES HISTORY
    Heading into this weekend, the `Dogs own an 11-24-2 all-time mark vs. San Diego State and a 4-4 ledger vs. UNLV in the series that started in 1971 and 1996, respectively. Against SDSU, Fresno State's six-match series win streak from 1997-2004 came to an end last year with the Aztecs taking both matches (3-2, 3-1). The `Dogs' four wins vs. the Rebels came in 1996 (3-0, 3-0) and 2002 (3-1, 3-0), while the Rebels are on a three-match series win streak the last two seasons.

    THIS WEEK'S NCAA/MOUNTAIN WEST RANKINGS (per set averages)

    Fresno State NCAA/MW Team & Individual Rankings
    Assists - 142nd/6th, 12.12
    Kills - 144th/6th, 12.98
    Hitting - 181st/9th, .199
    Aces - 198th/6th, 1.18
    Blocks - 239th/9th, 2.00
    Digs - 189th/5th, 14.86
    Opponent Hitting - -/6th, .204

    Maci Murdock - Hitting, 85th/7th, .356
    Korrin Wild - Kills, 78th/1st, 3.75 p/s; Points, 103rd/5th, 4.08 p/s
    Christina Lee - Assists, -/10th, 6.67 p/s
    Holly Franks - Aces, 7th, 0.30 p/s; Points, 9th, 3.68
    Maggie Eppright - Digs, -/10th, 3.20 p/s

    San Diego State NCAA/MW Team & Individual Rankings

    Assists - 26th/2nd, 13.21 - 74th/4th, 12.59
    Kills - 30th/2nd, 14.09 - 110th/5th, 13.15
    Hitting - 122nd/5th, .218 - 163rd/8th, .205
    Aces - 193rd/5th, 1.19 - 285th/10th, 0.98
    Blocks - 154th/8th, 2.09 - 124th/6th, 2.18
    Digs - 102nd/2nd, 15.09 - 115th/4th, 14.98
    Opponent Hitting - -/7th, .204 - -/5th, .202

    Emily Harris - Hitting, 69th/6th, .366
    Summer Nash - Kills, 85th/3rd, 3.64; Points, 76th/3rd, 4.21
    Johnna Fouch - Assists, 37th/3rd, 10.91
    Michelle Waber - Kills, -/7th, 3.28
    Courtney Vaccarello - Digs, -/4th, 3.87

    UNLV NCAA/MW Team & Individual Rankings
    Assists - 74th/4th, 12.59
    Kills - 110th/5th, 13.15
    Hitting - 163rd/8th, .205
    Aces - 285th/10th, 0.98
    Blocks - 124th/6th, 2.18
    Digs - 115th/4th, 14.98
    Opponent Hitting - -/5th, .202

    Sekola Falemaka - Aces - 18th/1st, 0.49; Kills, 86th/4th, 3.64; Points, 65th/2nd, 4.29
    Allison Davies - Digs, -/3rd, 3.98
    Katlin Winters - Blocks, 122nd/8th, 1.12
    Stephanie Thelen - Assists, -/4th, 10.63
    Daryn Glenn - Kills, -/10th, 3.05

    SCOUTING THE AZTECS (6-6, 1-1) - www.GoAztecs.com
    The Aztecs return six starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 23-8 overall and tied for the Mountain West regular season title (13-3). This month, the team opened MW play with a loss at UNLV (3-1) and sweep of Nevada (3-0). In the non-conference slate, it scored wins vs. UC Davis (3-2), UTSA (3-1), Idaho (3-0), Harvard (3-1) and San Francisco (3-0), while its losses came to No. 2 San Diego (3-0), LSU (3-2), Northern Arizona (3-0), Cal State Northridge (3-2) and Northeastern (3-2). Senior outside hitter Michelle Waber was the MW Newcomer of the Year last fall, and this year ranks second on the team in kills (3.28 p/s) and points (3.51 p/s). She has led the team in kills the last three matches vs. Nevada (12 - 3 sets), San Diego (11-3s) and at UNLV (15-4s). Senior outside hitter Summer Nash tops the team in aces (0.27 per set) and kills this year (3.64 p/s), and her 21 kills vs. Northeastern tied her career high. Senior middle blocker Emily Harris leads the team in hitting (.366) and has topped .300 in nine of the team's 12 matches this year. Senior Johnna Fouch was tabbed the MW Setter of the Year last year and was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American. She was selected as the 2013 MW Preseason Player of the Year last month, and this week ranked 37th nationally in assists (10.91 p/s). Fifth-year head coach Deitre Collins-Parker led last year's squad to its best conference record and league finish since `96 and best overall mark since `95. In her prior stint, she served five seasons as the head coach at Cornell and led the team to two NCAA trips and three Ivy League titles. She is a former two-time national player of the year and three-time All-American as she led Hawai'i to two NCAA titles, and later was the starting middle blocker for the 1988 Olympic Team.

    SCOUTING THE REBELS (7-5, 2-0) - www.UNLV.rebels.com
    The Rebels return six starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad that went 18-11 overall and placed third in the Mountain West (10-6). In recent weeks, the team opened MW play with wins over SDSU (3-1) and Nevada (3-0). Its other wins came in the non-conference vs. CS Fullerton (3-0), Portland (3-0), Seattle (3-0), Southern Utah (3-1) and Virginia (3-1), and its losses came to now-No. 15 Arizona State (3-0), now-No. 20 Ohio (3-0), NCAA tourney returnees Kansas State (3-2) and Western Kentucky (3-0), and Gonzaga (3-0). In the team's comeback win over SDSU two weeks ago - two Rebels registered double-doubles - senior outside hitter Seola Falemaka (20 kills, 14 digs, 2 aces) and junior outside hitter Daryn Glenn (16 kills, 12 digs). Falemaka ranks top 90 nationally and top four in the MW in three categories this week - aces (0.49 18/1st), kills (3.64, 86th/4th) and points (4.29, 65th/2nd). Senior middle blocker Madeline Westman was an All-MW pick last year and leads the team in 2013 in hitting (.325) and ranks third in kills (2.16). Senior setter Stephanie Thelen was tabbed the MW Player of the Week on Monday after she logged her first double-double of the year vs. Southern Utah (52 assists, 12 digs - 4 sets) last week. Thelen and Allison Davies rank fourth on the school career charts in assists (1,447) and digs (862), respectively. Third-year head coach Cindy Fredrick guided the team to its third-best win tally in program history in 2012 (18). Overall in her 26 years at the collegiate level, she has guided teams to seven +20-win seasons and 10 NCAA appearances at Weber State (1985-89), Washington State (1989-2004) and Iowa (2004-08).

    VALLEY PRIDE
    With 12 of the team's 13 players from California, it's common to spot a large cheering section of family and friends at `Dog matches this year, especially with five players hailing from the surrounding Central Valley.

    Senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson is from Fresno, and four other current or recent starters are from the area and within a 90-minute drive - senior outside hitter Korrin Wild (Kingsburg, 22 miles), senior right side hitters Holly Franks (Tollhouse, 34 miles) and Megan Callahan (Atwater, 65 miles) and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (Turlock, 88 miles).

    Seven other players are within a five-hour drive of campus (that is, if traffic cooperates) - freshman libero Maggie Eppright (San Luis Obispo, 138 miles), junior Katie & redshirt sophomore Molly Pearson (San Jose, 152), junior setter Christina Lee (San Francisco, 188), sophomore outside hitter Zana Bowens (Long Beach, 242), senior outside hitter Marissa Brand (Cypress, 243) and freshman setter Brooke Legaux (Mission Viejo, 266).

    The team's other member - junior outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow - ruins the team average, however, with her home in Mooroolbark, Australia (near Melbourne) approximately 7,968 miles away.

    SKED CRED
    The `Dogs will face a challenging regular season slate in 2013 with nine of their 29 regular season matches vs. NCAA Tournament qualifiers from last year's 64-team field. That list includes last year's national runner-up Oregon, two more NCAA Regional advancers (BYU, Wichita State) and four more Round of 64 qualifiers (Belmont, Colorado State, San Diego State, Santa Clara).

    In mid-August's AVCA preseason poll, three Fresno State foes stood top 25 - No. 8 Oregon, No. 13 BYU and No. 24 Wichita State - while CSU and SDSU received votes. Since then Colorado State has joined the top 20, and Cal State Northridge has received votes every week of the regular season.

    Among various conference coach polls, six Bulldog opponents were tabbed their preseason favorites - Colorado State and San Diego State (Mountain West co-favorites), Belmont (Ohio Valley), BYU (West Coast), Rice (Conference USA) and Wichita State (Missouri Valley). Four other non-conference foes sported legitimate postseason hopes based on their preseason conference selections - Oregon (Pac-12, fourth), Cal State Northridge (Big West, third), Xavier (Big East, third) and Santa Clara (WCC, sixth).

    DOUBLE YOUR FUN
    Bulldog fans and foes are again seeing double this season with the squad sporting a pair of nearly identical faces in the front row.

    Identical twins Molly and Katie Pearson hail from Presentation High School in San Jose and have boosted the team in nine and four matches this season, respectively.

    A redshirt sophomore starter at middle blocker the last four matches, Molly posted a team season high in blocks vs. Utah State (9), and career highs in kills (7) vs. Belmont and hitting vs. Xavier (.857). Katie, a junior right side hitter, also saw recent action in wins vs. Belmont, Portland and Utah State and vs. No. 25 BYU.

    As preps, the duo helped their Presentation team to a fifth-place MaxPreps.com national finish and a spot in the NorCal Division II finals.

    FIGHTING SPIRIT TRACKER
    Head Coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell introduced the Fighting Spirit Award to Fresno State in 2008, an award that began at Hofstra by Hall of Fame coach Fran Kalafer. Netherby-Sewell presents the award to an individual or the team on a weekly basis for the best display of a fighting spirit through adversity and challenges. At the end of the season, the individual or team who earns the most awards during the season receives the year-end Fighting Spirit Award and past recipients include Allanah Munson and Baylee Platt (2008), the entire team (2009), Kelly Mason (2010) and Korrin Wild (2012).

    2013 Weekly Winners
    9/2 - Team
    9/9 - Holly Franks, Marissa Brand
    9/16 - Maci Murdock, Korrin Wild, Christina Lee, Molly Pearson
    9/23 - Team
    9/30 - Team, Marissa Brand

    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 three newcomers, two have consistently cracked the starting line-up - senior right side hitter Holly Franks (Cal Poly) and freshman libero Maggie Eppright. Franks (Tollhouse, Calif.) led the Mustangs in kills and points last season (2.94 k/s; 3.22 p/s); and Eppright was a Pac-7 and Country Player of the Year and two-time all-league and all-county choice for San Luis Obispo High School.

    'DOGS PART OF CROWDED RACE FOR MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON VOTES
    In the 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).

    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.

    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 Kingsburg, 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.

    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 in the nation's upper half 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 rankings the last 11 years follows:
    • NCAA RPI RANKINGS (2002-12): 2012: 90; 2011: 138; 2010: 150; 2009: 217; 2008: 275; 2007: 261; 2006: 223; 2005: 180; 2004: 93; 2003: 45; 2002: 46

    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).

    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.

    NOW OPEN: MEYERS FAMILY SPORTS MEDICINE CENTER
    The recent completion 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.

    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.

    2013 MW STANDINGS (as of 10/1/13)

    Team                MW        %    Season    %
    #17 Colorado State  3-0    1.000   12-0    1.000
    UNLV                2-0    1.000   7-5    .583
    Utah State          3-1    .750    9-5    .643
    New Mexico          2-1    .667    11-2    .846
    Boise State         2-2    .500    7-6    .538
    > Fresno State      1-1    .500    7-7    .500
    San Diego State     1-1    .500    6-6    .500
    Air Force           1-2    .333    4-11    .267
    Wyoming             0-3    .000    8-7    .533
    San Jose State      0-2    .000    3-9    .250
    Nevada              0-2    .000    2-12   .143
    

     

     

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