Bulldogs Continue Road Trip to Nevada and La. Tech
Kelly Leonardo and the Bulldogs continue WAC play on the road in Reno and Ruston this week.
Kelly Leonardo and the Bulldogs continue WAC play on the road in Reno and Ruston this week.

Oct. 10, 2007

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FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team will continue its road trip which will see the Bulldogs play seven of eight matches on the road. It continues this week as they travel to Nevada on Thursday and Louisiana Tech on Saturday. The Bulldogs sit at sixth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings for the third-consecutive week at 2-6 and 4-14 overall.

This Week's Opponents:

Nevada - The Wolf Pack swept Fresno State in Fresno in the first meeting between the two in 2007. Fresno State leads the overall series 17-13 and Nevada has won the last four. Last week, the Wolf Pack played one conference match in which they were swept by Hawai'i on Saturday. Nevada's Teal Ericson is fourth in the conference As a team, the Wolf Pack lead the conference in service aces per game (1.56). The match will be at 7 p.m. pacific standard time. Live stats will be available at: http://www.nevadawolfpack.com.

Louisiana Tech - The Lady Techsters are at 1-7 in the WAC after they were swept last week by San Jose State and No. 22 New Mexico State. The Bulldogs won the first meeting between the two in Fresno on Sept. 15, and now have won the past four meetings between the two. La. Tech is led by Shannon Phillips who is fifth in the conference with 4.55 kills per game. She is also fifth in the WAC with 4.89 points per game. Game time is set for 12 p.m. pacific standard time. Live stats will be made available at: http://www.latechsports.com.

Last Week - Fresno State looked for the season sweep over Boise State but the Broncos returned the favor from earlier this season and defeated the Bulldogs 3-2 in Fresno. Sophomore Lisa Gera had a career-high and school record six service aces for the Bulldogs.



Fresno State then traveled to No. 12 Hawai'i where it won the first game against the Rainbow Wahine is three years, but the Bulldogs dropped the match 3-1. By winning game three 30-13, Fresno State beat Hawai'i by the largest margin in any game than any other team has this season. The Bulldogs held the Rainbow Wahine to a .196 hitting percentage, becoming only the sixth team so far this season to hold Hawai'i to under .200. Hawai'i also hit its lowest percentage of the season in game three (-.065). The Bulldogs were also just the third team in the conference to win a game against Hawai'i so far this season. Louisiana Tech won the first game in Ruston on Sept. 20 and New Mexico State took the match to five in Las Cruces on Sept. 22. Alisha McKee had a career-high 12 digs in the loss.

WAC Player of the Week - Hawai`i right-side hitter Tara Hittle has been named the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 1-7. This is the second career WAC Player of the Week for the junior.

The Colorado Springs, Colorado (Doherty) native, had 27 digs and a .388 hitting percentage average as the Rainbow Wahine went 2-0 at home against Nevada and Fresno State last weekend. Hittle hit a career-high .706 (13-1-17) with nine digs versus Nevada, then followed up the performance with a double-double against Fresno State, posting 11 kills and 18 digs to help extend Hawai`i's WAC home winning streak to 94 matches.

Other nominees included: Lisa Gera of Fresno State had a school-record six service aces in the Bulldogs' loss to Boise State, and added 49 digs as the Bulldogs went 0-2 ... Krystal Torres of New Mexico State led the Aggies to a 3-0 sweep on the weekend with 72 digs and seven service aces ... Monarisa Ale of Utah State hit .311 and had 19 kills, 11 digs and 9 blocks as the Aggies went 1-1.

Bulldog Leaders in the WAC - Fresno State as a team is second in digs (17.77) and service aces (1.55) per game. Individually, Alisha McKee is tied for seventh in kills (3.96) and ninth in points (4.48). Tiffany Hess is eighth in assists (9.77 per game), and Lisa Gera is second in service aces (0.42) and in digs (5.10) per game.

This Week in the WAC - All WAC matches this week are played on either Thursday or Saturday, getting back to a somewhat normal schedule, compared to last week where WAC teams played a match every day except for Monday. Thursday October 11, No. 12 Hawai'i is at Boise State (6 p.m.), Louisiana Tech at No. 22 New Mexico State (6 p.m.), and San Jose State is at Idaho (7 p.m.). Saturday October 13, No. 12 Hawai'i is at Idaho (7 p.m.), San Jose State at Boise State (6 p.m.), and Utah State is at Nevada (7 p.m.).

First Road Victory of 2007 - Fresno State won its first road game on the 2007 season in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 victory over Boise State. It was the second match this season that the Bulldogs were down 0-2 and came back to win in five. Alisha McKee had a season-high 20 kills in the match and was nominated for WAC player of the week honors. The Bulldogs then traveled to western Idaho to take on the Vandals in Moscow. Idaho prevailed with a 3-1 victory. Lauren Berger led FS with a .588 hitting percentage with 12 kills.

First Conference Victory - The Bulldogs defeated La. Tech, 3-0, to earn their first conference win on the 2007 season on Sept. 15, and to move them to 1-1 in conference play. Fresno State also hosted Oregon State out of the Pac-10 Conference and the Beavers defeated the Bulldogs for the second straight year, 3-0. Fresno State fell in the WAC opener to New Mexico State, 3-0.

Bulldogs Get Huge Win in Kansas - Sept. 7-8, FS traveled to Manhattan, Kans. to play in the Varney's Kansas State Invitational. In an exciting opening match for Fresno State, it defeated Arkansas 3-2. The Bulldogs were down 2-0 after losing games of 30-14 and 30-13. They rallied back to win the final three games and the match. It was the first time since 2001 that Fresno State had lost the first two games and came back to win in five. It was also the biggest point deficit overcome since 30-point scoring six years ago. In game two, the Bulldogs faced No. 22 Kansas State and were swept 3-0. The Wildcats won all three matches of their own tournament to take the title. FS fell in the final match of the tournament to Northern Iowa, 3-0, with game scores of 30-24, 30-28 and 30-24, and finished the tournament in third place (1-2).

Kansas State All-Tournament Team - Sophomore Lacey Gera was named to the Kansas State Invitational all-tournament team as she helped the Bulldogs come back in that thrill against Arkansas on day one. Fresno State was down two games to zero and won the last three to take the match.

Comcast Game Change - The Sept. 15 home match against Louisiana Tech was unable to be broadcasted on Comcast Channel 14 and has the station has chosen the Nov. 1 match against San Jose State as the replacement broadcast. Both the Nevada and Utah State matches this week will be broadcasted live on Channel 14. The Nevada match will also be broadcasted on 790 ESPN the Deuce.

Bulldogs Sweep UC Davis for First Win of Season - The 2007 home schedule saw the Bulldogs earn their first win of the season with a 3-0 sweep of UC Davis. FS had a season-high hitting percentage of .286, led by senior Angela Wiggins with a .333 percentage. In the home opener, the Bulldogs fell to Idaho State 3-1, as freshman Tairyn Rasmussen had her first career double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs. Undefeated St Mary's closed out this weekend as they continued their streak and improved to 5-0 on the season. Freshman setter Kasey Van Grouw led the Bulldogs with her third-career double-double with 16 assists and 10 digs. With a .286 hitting percentage, sophomore Kelly Leonardo led FS as she had five kills in 14 attempts.

Leading the Way - With a .310 hitting percentage, 19 kills and 10 block assists in opening weekend, freshman Lauren Berger was named the Toyota/gobulldogs.com Student-Athlete of the week by Fresno State on Aug. 27.

This and That - In the 2007 WAC pre-season coaches poll, Fresno State was selected eighth in the nine-team conference. Hawai'i is favored to repeat by picking up 64 total points. New Mexico State was picked second, followed by San Jose State and Idaho who tied for third. Nevada was selected fifth, Boise State sixth and Utah State seventh, followed by Fresno State and Louisiana Tech.

The Bulldogs went 6-24 in 2006 and recorded a 3-13 record in Western Athletic Conference play. Their season ended with a loss to top-seeded Hawai'i in the WAC tourney, 3-0. Hawai'i eventually went on to the NCAA tournament where it fell to UCLA in the elite eight and ended the year ranked ninth in the country.

Showtime for the 'Dogs - Fresno State will continue to have a strong media presence in 2007. 790 ESPN the Deuce will be carrying five matches in 2006, beginning with the home opener Aug. 30 vs. Idaho State from the Big Sky Conference. In addition, the Bulldogs will again be televised on Comcast Channel 14, as the network will carry six games live starting also with the Idaho State match. For nearly a decade, Comcast has provided coverage of Fresno State women's sports. This season the partnership continues with the airing 18 Olympic Sporting Events. There will be a new voice of the Bulldogs on television in 2007 with the addition of Guy Haberman from 1430 ESPN Radio as the new play-by-play announcer. Haberman is a recent graduate of Fresno State in broadcast journalism. He worked at the Fresno State radio station 90.7 KFSR for two years and ESPN Radio for two years as well broadcasting Bulldog volleyball, soccer and softball games.

Sr., OH, Alisha McKee - McKee is the only four-year senior on the 2007 team. She is first on the team with 208 kills on the season and averages 3.35 per game and leads the team with a .184 hitting percentage. She is third on the team with 42 total blocks. Had a career-high 12 digs at Hawai'i on Oct. 7, and a career-high 24 kills vs. Utah State (Sept. 29). Appeared in 24 matches in 2005, starting in 20. As a freshman, she appeared in 16 matches. She was 2004- 2006 Fresno State Scholar-Athlete, WAC Scholar-Athlete and 2005 Dean's List.

Sr., S, Tiffany Hess - Transfer from Irvine Valley College in her second season as a Bulldog. Is first on the team with 401 assists in 2007, averaging 9.11 per game. In 2006, she appeared in 110 games, most of any Bulldog. Lead the team with 632 assists. Had a season and career-high 43 assists vs. Louisiana Tech (Oct. 21). At IVC she was a Second Team All-American in 2005 and first team All-Conference and first team All-State.

Sr., OH, Angela Wiggins - The third senior on the 2007 team, also a transfer from Tulane in Louisiana. Led the Bulldogs in their first win of the season over UC Davis with a .333 hitting percentage. Was nominated for the WAC player of the week Sept. 3., as she had 26 kills and 15 digs in three matchs. She is second on the team with 13 service aces. Her junior year she was 10th in the conference with 3.42 kills per game.

So., OH, Lacey Gera - Was named to the Varney's Kansas State Invitational All-Tournament team as she lead the Bulldogs to he biggest comeback in school history. She is second on the team with 148 kills and 2.60 per game. The 2006 WAC Freshman of the Year lead the Bulldogs with 317 kills in 104 games in 30 matches. Two-time Academic All-WAC member.

So., S/L, Lisa Gera - Has played in all 66 games in 2007. Leads the Bulldogs with 331 digs, 5.02 per game, and service aces, 21. Had a career-high and school record six service aces in the match against Boise State Oct. 4.

So., MB, Kelly Leonardo - Leads the team with 57 total blocks. Second on the team as a freshman with 59 total blocks. Had a match-high seven total blocks Nov. 11 at Louisiana Tech.

So., MB, Lexi Watson - Has 20 kills and 32 digs in 21 games so far in 2007. Appeared in 19 matches in 47 games in 2006.

Fr., MB, Lauren Berger - Was named the Toyota/gobulldogs.com student-athlete of the week for the week of Aug. 27 and also nominated for the WAC player of the week award. At North Medford High School she helped her team to a third-place finish at state and was named first-team all-conference and first-team all-state.

Fr., L, Kelly Mason - Is second on the team with 152 digs on the season as a freshman. Four-year varsity letter winner at Great Oaks. First-team all-league her sophomore-senior seasons.

Fr., L, Meghan Moss - The freshman has appeared in 61 games in 2007. A four-year varsity letter winner in volleyball and track and field in high school.

Fr., OH, Tairyn Rasmussen - Has 86 kills and 47 digs in 37 games as a freshman. First-team all-conference all four years at San Pasqual high school.

Fr., S, Kasey Van Grouw - Is second on the team with 290 assists and 2.42 digs per game. First-team all-league her junior and senior seasons at Central Valley Christian high school.

"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State Volleyball team continues play on the road for their next two matches at Nevada on October 11 and Louisiana Tech on October 13. The Bulldogs return home to the Save Mart Center during Homecoming Week on Tuesday, October 16th at 7 p.m. against Cal State Bakersfield. Tickets can be purchased through the Save Mart Center Box Office, by phone at (559)485-TIXS, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

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