Bulldogs Host SJSU, No. 11 Hawai'i
Oct. 31, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. - Two of the final three home matches of 2007 are this week for the Fresno State volleyball team as they host San Jose State on Thurs. (Nov. 1) and No. 11 Hawai'i on Friday (Nov. 2). Both matches begin at 7 p.m. at the Save Mart Center.
This Week's Opponents:
San Jose State - Last week, the Spartans went on the road and defeated Boise State and Idaho each in five. San Jose State has now won five of their last six matches, with the lone loss being to No. 13 New Mexico State. Oct. 22, the Spartans swept the Bulldogs in the first meeting of the year in San Jose.
No. 11 Hawai'i - On Oct. 7, the Bulldogs took No. 11 Hawai'i to four games, the first time they have done so in two years. Hawai'i defeated No. 13 New Mexico State last week, 3-0 and also swept Louisiana Tech.
Last Week - The Bulldogs traveled to San Jose to play the Spartans for the first time this season and then to Bakersfield for a non-conference match at CSUB. Both SJSU and CSUB swept the Bulldogs. Fresno State then went on the road to Logan, Utah, where they fought hard against the Aggies of Utah State but fell 3-1.
Bulldogs on the Air - The San Jose State match will be broadcasted live on Comcast Channel 14. The match against No. 11 Hawai'i will be broadcasted on 790 ESPN. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. PST. Live stats will be available at www.gobulldogs.com.
Quotes from Head Coach Ruben Nieves - "After playing four consecutive matches on the road, it will be good to get back to the Save Mart Center for our final three home matches. Although we lost to Utah State, it was a match in which I feel we played well against a strong opponent on the road. In fact, it was probably the best we've played since playing at Hawaii on October 7. Hopefully, we'll carry that momentum into this week's matches."
This Week in the WAC - Thursday (Nov. 1): No. 11 Hawai'i at Nevada, 7 p.m.; Louisiana Tech at Idaho, 7 p.m.; No. 13 New Mexico State at Boise State, 6 p.m.; San Jose State at Fresno State 7 p.m.; Utah State at Utah Valley State, 6 p.m. Friday (Nov. 2): No. 11 Hawai'i at Fresno State. Saturday (Nov. 3): Louisiana Tech at Boise State, 6 p.m.; No. 13 New Mexico at Idaho, 7 p.m.; San Jose State at Nevada; 7 p.m.
Bulldog Leaders in the WAC - Fresno State as a team is third service aces (1.48) and fourth in digs (17.05) per game. Individually, Tiffany Hess is eighth in assists (8.37 per game) and Kasey Van Grouw is tenth (7.00), respectively, Lisa Gera is fourth in service aces (0.38) and Hess is sixth (0.37), respectively. Gera is second in digs (5.18).
Bulldog Leaders in the NCAA - Lisa Gera is ranked 65th in the NCAA with 5.13 digs per game. As a team, Fresno State is 80th in the country with 17.40 digs per game.
WAC Player of the Week - San Jose State's outside hitter Niki Clem¬ent has been named the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 22-28. This is the first career WAC Player of the Week for the junior.
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.
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.
2007 Bulldog Volleyball Capsules - Sr., OH, Alisha McKee...........................McKee is the only four-year senior on the 2007 team. She is first on the team with 261 kills on the season and averages 3.22 per game and leads the team with a .173 hitting percentage. She is third on the team with 56 total blocks. Had a season-high 24 kills vs. Utah State (Sept. 29) and a season-high seven digs.
Sr., S, Tiffany Hess................................Transfer from Irvine Valley College in her second season as a Bulldog. First on the team with 523 assists in 2007, 8.17 per game. Had a season and career-high 43 assists vs. Louisiana Tech (Oct. 21). Had a career-high five kills and three service aces against Boise State. 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. Had a season-high .400 hitting percentage at Nevada on Oct. 11. 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 matches. She is second on the team with 13 service aces.
So., OH, Lacey Gera..............................Was named to the Varney's Kansas State Invi¬tational All-Tournament team as she led the Bulldogs to he biggest comeback in school history. She is second on the team with 159 kills and 2.59 per game. Hit a career-high .667 in her hometown of San Jose. The 2006 WAC Freshman of the Year led the Bull¬dogs with 317 kills in 104 games in 30 matches.
So., S/L, Lisa Gera................................Leads the Bulldogs with 405 digs, 5.13 per game, and service aces, 24. Had a career-high and school record six service aces in the match against Boise State Oct. 4.
So., OH, Cori Hayes..............................Has played in six games in 2007 and had season-high four kills at Washington.
So., MB, Kelly Leonardo.......................Leads the team with 75 total blocks. She has broken nearly every personal record in a match from 2006 including: kills (13), attempts (29), assists (2), service aces (4) digs (11), block solos (2), block assists (8) and total blocks (8).
So., MB, Lexi Watson............................Tied a career-high seven kills in her hometown Bakersfield when the Bulldogs played CSUB on Oct. 24.
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. Had a career-high 12 kills at Idaho.
Fr., L, Kelly Mason...............................Is second on the team with 183 digs on the season as a freshman. She as appeared in 85 games, the most of any Bulldog this season.
Fr., L, Meghan Moss..............................The freshman has appeared in 81 games in 2007. She is third on the team with 176 digs.
Fr., OH, Sarah Oskam...........................Had a career-high three kills, 12 attempts, two digs and two block assists at Utah State.
Fr., OH, Tairyn Rasmussen...................Had a career-high 15 kills against Cal State Bakersfield.
Fr., S, Kasey Van Grouw.......................Is second on the team with 379 assists and 2.69 digs per game. Had a career-high seven kills and a .357 hitting percentage at Boise State (Sept. 22) and a career-high 21 digs at Utah State (Oct. 27). Leads the team with six double-doubles.
Ruben Nieves - Head Coach Ruben Nieves is in his third year with Fresno State. He became the sixth head coach of the women's volleyball team on J anuary 28, 2005. Before coming to Fresno, Nieves was the head men's coach at Stanford from 1991-2001 where he was the two-time National Coach of the Year and lead the Cardinals to a 1997 National Championship. In 1992 his men's team was the NCAA National Runner-up. Before he became head coach at Stanford he was an assistant for the Cardinal men's from 1987-1988 and a women's assistant from 1986-1989. He has coached five U.S. Olympians, 19 All-Americans, 28 all-conference players, the 1993 AVCA Player of the Year, 1994 AVCA Freshman of the Year, 1997 NCAA Tournament MVP, 1993 conference player of the year and three conference freshman of the year. He was the 2001 head coach for the USA Men's Volleyball team that took the gold medal at the World University Games. Nieves was the head of the delegation for the USA Boys Junior National Team and a 1996 advisory staff member for team USA. Also in 1993, Nieves was an assistant coach for both the USA Men's World University Games Team and an assistant for the USA Men's "B" Team overseas. As a volleyball setter, Nieves won the Block "S" award at Stanford, playing from 1980-81. He graduated from Stanford in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish (1981) and earned his master's degree from Stanford in Education in 1982.
Lee Nelson - Assistant coach Lee Nelson is in his first season with the Bulldog volleyball team. Lee Nel¬son begins his first season as an assistant with the Fresno State volleyball team. He will be responsible as the Bulldogs defensive coordinator working primarily with middle blockers. He will also be the program's recruiting coordinator. Nelson comes to Fresno from his most previous coaching period at Nevada, where he served as an assistant coach for the Wolf Pack team from "1999-2000." Nelson's prior experience also includes a stint with UC Santa Barbara, where he served as the first assistant for the UCSB men's team from 1997-99. While working with the UCSB men, Nelson also worked at Santa Barbara City College, serving as an assistant with the men's squad in 1995 and with the women's team from 1997-98. Nelson spent 1985-89 playing on the UCSB men's volleyball team. He was a starting member of the `88 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals and he finished No. 3 nationally in hitting percentage as a senior. From 1991-92 Nelson played professionally in Europe on the Delta Lloyd Division team in Uithoorn, Holland and from 1996-97 he was a member of the Metso-Lentis First Division team in Jyvaskyla, Finland.Originally from Santa Barbara, Nelson graduated from UCSB in 1991 with a B.A. in history and environmental studies. He received his social studies teaching credential from Cal State Chico in 1995. Nelson also received a master's degree in history while at Nevada in 2005.
Fernanda Habiger - Rounding out the Bulldogs coaching staff is third year assistant coach Fernanda Habiger after joining the staff on March 28, 2005. Habiger, a former volleyball student-athlete who was a setter at Arizona State University for two years after transferring from Barton County Community College, brings another national title to the table as well as an international flair. Though a graduate assistant, Habiger performed her role as a primary assistant as she helped Barry University capture the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship title last fall. Her duties at Barry included assisting with practice planning and execution, game preparation, scouting, team travel as well as assisting with summer volleyball camps and clinics. Able to recruit international players, the Brazilian has served as a head coach for the South Florida Volleyball Club 17-unders (Miami Shores, Fla.) and Club Red 14-15-unders (Mesa, Ariz.). Earning her Masters degree in sports management from Barry University during her time as an assistant coach there, Habiger received her Bachelor of Arts in intercultural and organizational communication from ASU in 2003. While a Sun Devil she was a member of the Dean's List as well as being a Pac-10 All-Academic athlete and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Athlete. At the junior college level, Habiger was a 1999 NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American. In her final season at Barton County Community College she helped the Cougars to a sixth place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. Fluent in Portuguese, she was selected to the Brazilian National Junior Volleyball Training team in 1997. In her native Brazil from 1993-98, Habiger played for several top club teams and was named best setter during he Brazilian National tournament in 1997. Married to Eric Habiger, she is a member of the AVCA.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State volleyball returns to the Save Mart Center on Thursday, November 1 against San Jose State at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased through the Save Mart Center Box Office, by phone at (559)485-TIXS, or online at Ticketmaster.com.