Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pac-12 Volleyball Fans - What do you want to see covered in the 2013 season?

Like the teams, we're doing some planning and practicing this spring to figure out our game plan for the upcoming season - and we want to hear from you!

What do you want to see covered on the blog for the 2013 season?
- Player profiles
- Coach profiles
- Individual match highlights
- Weekly summaries
- Broadcast schedules
- Weekly matches to watch

What other ideas do you have? Comment below!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Season Preview: Washington State (2011: 12-20 [4-18])

In what might be an even greater challenge than being a first-year head coach, Jen Greeny will look to replace outside hitter Meagan Ganzer, 2011 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, 2011 AVCA All-Pacific Region Team and Pac-12 Conference season leader in kills per set (4.88). On both sides of the net, it was known the Cougars would try to get Ganzer the ball. Ganzer didn't let her success end with the conclusion of her senior season in Pullman. In January, Ganzer joined the Puerto Rican Volleyball Federation professional league with the Ponce Lions and was named to the 2012 All-Star Team as a result of her league leading contribution of 425 points.

One thing that has continued as a consistent theme for Coach Greeny is bringing in a number of transfers to the squad. According the the roster, Coach Greeny has added a total of 4 players, 3 transfers and 1 freshman. Included in the group of transfers is one of her former players at Lewis-Clark State College, junior setter, Alyssa Wold, who will challenge Camryn Irwin (Jr., S) for the starting position.

Members of 2012 Cougar Team at Lentil Festival
[Photo Courtesy: Twitter @wsuvolleyball]
While 5 Cougars from 2011 are not returning for reasons other than graduation, only 3 of those players saw any court time with Jordan Levenseller being the largest contributor playing in 104 sets.

Based on the 2012 roster, the battle in the outside hitter position appears to be a compeition between returners Jaicee Harris (So.) and Chelsey Bettinson (So.) along with transfer Aurora Vasquez (Jr.). Last season, Harris played in 119 of 122 sets, while Bettinson played in 80. Stephanie Logan (RS Fr., RS) might also be in the mix on the outside along with transfer Anna Stecowska (Jr., RS) as the Cougars will likely look to lefty Rachel Todorovich (Sr., RS) to increase her offensive performance to fill the void left by Meagan Ganzer.

The depth chart for middle blockers is not long a long list after Stephanie Hagins transfered to Hawaii. According to the spring practice summary released by WSU, Marcelina Glab (Jr., MB) will look to continue her solid spring performance and contribution from last fall. Ver'Leea Hardaway (So., MB) is the only other middle listed on the roster and competed for the Cougars in 66 sets as a freshman last season.

A trip to Moscow for the Idaho Nike Invitational will be the first action the Cougars will see this year. Other pre-conference matches include: Alabama St., Weber St., Seattle University, Cal State Fullerton, Nevada, CSU Bakersfield, Norfolk St., and Air Force.

WSU will travel to Seattle to face rival Washington to start conference play on September 18. A trip to Arizona State will follow a few days after before the Cougars return to Pullman to host Top 5 picks UCLA and USC.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Season Preview: Colorado (2011: 6-24 [1-21])

Head Coach Liz Kritza probably summarized things best regarding the prospects for Colorado this season:

"We have a top-20 recruiting class, which is the highest rated class we have had here in the last eight years or so. There is a lot of promise and a lot of excitement. Now it is time to do the work, and that is what we are trying to do right now."
After finishing last in the Pac-12 last season and picked to finish there again in the pre-season coaches poll, Colorado is not shy about admitting the challenge they face this year. But according to one of those players that is part of the top-20 recruiting class, setter Nicole Edelman, the team is fully embracing their position and looking to take out a few teams by surprise, "I would rather be the underdog than be upset on being on top and seeing little things as failures when you have so many things to build on." Echoing the sentiments, one of only two seniors on the roster this season, outside hitter Kerra Schroeder commented, "So we are the underdogs and that is totally not a bad thing, we can only go up from that."

Kerra Schroeder (Sr., OH); Head Coach Liz Kritza; Nicole Edelman (Fr., S)
[Photo Courtesy: cubuffs.com]

In addition to Schroeder, Colorado boasts 3 other returning starters this season, all underclassmen, including Nicki Lindow (Jr., MB), Emily Alexis (So., OH) and Kelsey English (So., RS). But according to Schroeder, Edelman and Kritza, returners might not have a lock on their starting positions as the fresh talent from the PrepVolleyball.com 19th-ranked recruiting class and transfer Emily Todd (So., OH) are challenging and competing for the court in each practice.

The Buffs will be tested on the road to start the season with a tournament in Huntsville, TX at Sam Houston State University. The team will then return to Boulder to host Cornell, Northern Arizona and Fresno State in the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic. No rest for the team as they then head to Baltimore, MD for the Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament and then completing their pre-season schedule co-hosting a tournament with the Air Force Academy and squaring off against CSU Bakersfield and Norfolk State.

Like many in the Pac-12, Colorado will start the conference schedule against their travel partner and geographic rival, Utah. Colorado will host the Utes on Wednesday, September 19 and will host California on Saturday, September 22. Due to the new Pac-12 conference scheduling, the team Colorado will only play once is Stanford.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pac-12 Network Launches with Volleyball Waiting in the Wings

Tonight marked the launch of the Pac-12 Network. After enjoying a season of extensive coverage of volleyball on the B10 Network in 2011, the Pac-12 should offer some competition for media coverage of the historically dominant volleyball programs.

Following on the heels of some exciting volleyball at the London Olympics, the start of the non-conference play for Pac-12 squads is just days away. Starting tomorrow, we will begin to preview each team in the Pac-12 highlighting important departures from 2011, exciting additions for the 2012 season and some early match-ups to watch before conference play begins.

We are looking forward to an exciting season in the Pac-12! Leave a comment below on what you are most looking forward to this season.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Night Preview: OSU @ Washington, Oregon @ WSU, ASU @ Cal

Only three matches will be played in the Pac-12 on Saturday evening.  WSU will try to knock off No. 15 Oregon after they fell to No. 3 Washington in their first straight set loss of the year.  Washington will host OSU and try and join UCLA and USC with 5 wins in Pac-12 play.

In Berkeley, Arizona State will look to upset their hosts No. 4 Cal.