Dec. 17, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - On the fourth day of Christmas Timeout brought the `Dogs a fourth place finish, their best in five years. In just her second year as the volleyball head coach, Lauren Netherby-Sewell and the Bulldogs earned a fourth place finish in the Western Athletic Conference. The fourth place finish is the best the `Dogs have had since the 2004 season.
The Bulldogs defeated many teams for the first time in years and set numerous records in 2009.
With a 15-13 overall record, the best by a Bulldog team since 2004, the `Dogs also finished in a tie for fourth in the regular season and a tie for third at the WAC Tournament, their best finishes since 2004. With a WAC record of 7-9 it was the best since 2003.
Senior Kelly Leonardo and sophomore Brianna Clarke earned All-WAC second-team honors while freshman Marissa Brand was named to the All-WAC Freshman team. It was the first time again since 2004 that the `Dogs had three All-WAC Selections in one year. It was also the sixth-straight season with an All-WAC Freshman Team honoree.
Five seniors also left huge marks at Fresno State by ranking in the top 10 in 12 career categories. Lacey Gera, Lisa Gera, Leonardo, Allanah Munson and redshirt junior Lexi Watson made up the first senior class for the `Dogs in two years.
At the Save Mart Center in 2009, the `Dogs posted an impressive 7-4 record on their home court and their highest home attendance total ever with 18,529 fans. They averaged 1,684 fans per match, another school record, and ranked in the top 30 in the nation in average attendance.
Jumping out to a 6-1 record was the best start by a Bulldog team since 2003 with a win over Alabama at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, Calif. The next win at Cal State Northridge equaled the 2008 win total with their seventh win in 10 tries on the year.
Fresno State played its first-ever match on ESPNU when they hosted No. 3 Hawai'i on Oct. 29 at the Save Mart Center. It was the best match of the year for the `Dogs even though they fell in four sets.
Perhaps the biggest win of the season for the `Dogs was in the quarterfinals on the WAC Tournament. At the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., the `Dogs rallied, down 2-1, to defeat Nevada in five sets. It was the first victory for the `Dogs over the Wolf Pack since 2005 and the first victory for Netherby-Sewell over her alma mater and former coach.
On the fourth day of Christmas Timeout brought the Red Wave volleyball a fourth place finish, their best finish in five years, three-pointers from women's basketball, two national championships and the No. 1 women's tennis doubles team.
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