Bulldogs Finish Season at UOP Tournament
Nov. 21, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. - The Western Athletic Conference Tournament was not the end of the season for the Fresno State volleyball team. Head Coach Ruben Nieves and the Bulldogs travel to the University of Pacific for the Banker's Classic the day after Thanksgiving. They will take on the Tigers on Friday then play either St. Mary's or Cincinnati on Saturday to finish the season.
Pacific - Fresno State won the last meeting with the Tigers on Aug. 26, 2006 with a 3-0 sweep. Pacific however, leads the overall series 29-5. The Tigers are 16-9 on the season and finished Big West Conference play at 9-7 with a sweep of UC Davis last Friday. They are led by Johanna Hilbers with a .353 hitting percentage. Hilbers also leads the team while averaging 3.40 kills per game. The winner of this match will play the winner of the St. Mary's-Cincinnati match for the championship on Saturday while the the remaining two teams will play for third place.
Cincinnati - The University of Cincinnati and Fresno State have never met in head-to-head competition in any of the 17 varsity sports that Fresno State currently sponsors. The Bearcats compete in the Big East Conference and are 18-11 overall and we just ousted in the conference quarterfinals by Notre Dame last week.
St. Mary's - The Bulldogs and the Gaels met Aug. 2 in Fresno, with St. Mary's being undefeated at the time they swept Fresno State 3-0. St. Mary's is 14-12 overall and ended West Coast Conference play at 8-6.
Last Week - WAC Tournament - The Bulldogs played their final regualr season WAC match of the 2007 season at No. 13 New Mexico State. Fresno State fell in three to the Aggies but locked up the seventh seed for the WAC Tournament and another date with NMSU on Thursday in the opening round in Las Cruces. Fresno State played in the final match of day one and fought hard against New Mexico State, easily their best match agaisnt the Aggies this year, but lost in three. The Bulldogs were supposed to leave Las Cruces Friday but we unable to catch any flights so they stayed to watch the seminfinals of the WAC Tournament. In the end, first-seeded Hawai'i and second-seeded New Mexico State battled to five games for the WAC Championship with the Rainbow Wahine prevailing and earning the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
All-WAC Awards - Senior Bulldog Alisha McKee was named to the second-team All-WAC and freshman Tairyn Rasmussen was named to the All-Freshman team at the WAC Banquet Wednesday night. Jamie Houston from Hawai'i was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The junior has led the conference in kills and points all year. Chelsea Fowles, a setter from Utah State was named Freshman of the Year while her head coach Grayson DuBose was named Coach of the Year after the Aggies finished third in the regular season.
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.
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.
Sr., OH, Alisha McKee - McKee earned second team All-WAC honors is the only four-year senior on the 2007 team. She is first on the team with 289 kills on the season and averages 3.14 per game. She is second on the team with a .166 hitting percentage. She is tied for second on the team with 65 total blocks. With 2,470 attempts in her career, she is now tied for 10th all-time in school history. 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 644 assists in 2007, 8.05 per game. Is currently 10th all-time at Fresno State with 1,265 career assists. 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 matchs.
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. Leads the team with a .167 hitting percentage. Hit a career-high .667 in her hometown of SanJose.
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 86 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 - Had a career-high 11 kills against New Mexico State last week.
Fr., MB, Lauren Berger - Was named the Toyota/gobulldogs.com student-athlete of the week for the week of Aug. 27. Had a career-high 12 kills at Idaho. Is third all-time in Fresno State history with 62 block assists as a freshman and in total blocks with 67.
Fr., L, Kelly Mason - Is second on the team with 246 digs on the season as a freshman. She as appeared in 98 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 412 assists, fifth all-time at Fresno State for a freshman.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Bulldogs finish the season at the University of the Pacific Banker's Classic, Nov. 23-24 in Stockton, Calif. Tournament teams include, UOP, Fresno State, St. Mary's and Cincinnati.