Volleyball Kicks Off 2002 Season At Fremont Loan & Investment Tournament In Northridge, Calif.

Aug. 28, 2002

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PREVIEW Oregon returns 10 letterwinners from a year ago as well as three starters for the 2002 season. As head coach Carl Ferreira continues the rebuilding process, he has a squad that features 12 of 14 players he recruited as well as two Fab-50 players from Oregon and four incoming freshmen primed to make an immediate impact. The Ducks graduated outside hitter Monique Tobbagi, who led the Ducks in kills for the past two seasons as well as setter Julie Gerlach, who was a four-year starter. Replacing the two will require a balanced effort with senior setter Sydney Chute looking to take over the reings for Gerlach and junior Heather Gilmore prepared to pick up where Tobbagi left off. Incoming freshman Jodi Bell, who earned Fab-50 accolades in June, will give the Ducks depth at the setter position and sophomore Lauren Westendorf will return at the outside with a year of valuable Pac-10 experience. In the middle, the Ducks are led by seniors Lindsay Closs and Amanda Porter, both of whom have ample Pac-10 playing experience.

WHAT'S NEW? Ferreira has four incoming freshmen in 2002 -- middle blocker Kelly Russell (Vancouver, Wash./Prairie), outside hitters Jaclyn Jones (Fort St. John, B.C./Northpeace Secondary) and Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, P.R./St. Francis) and setter Jodi Bell (Boring/Sam Barlow). Acevedo will join the Ducks when she is finished competing with the Puerto Rican National team.

MORE NEW FACES Ferreira will also be joined this season by first year assistants Keith Rubio and Rhonda Rust. Rubio spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Boise State, while Rust was the top assitant at Univesity of Texas-San Antonio.

HEAD COACH CARL FERREIRA Third year head coach Carl Ferreira (167-97 overall, 19-41 Oregon) continues his quest to elevate the Oregon volleyball progam and reach the NCAA Tournament. Ferreira guided the Ducks to their best overall finish since 1996 in his first season with the Ducks. In 2001, Ferreira brought in middle blockers Stephanie Martin and Lindsay Closs, who each surpassed 100 blocks, becoming the first tandem to do so since 1993. This year, the Hilo, Hawaii, native added his second Fab-50 athlete as well as Dariam Acevedo, who is a member of the Puerto Rican national team. Ferreira has coached in the postseason three times in his eight-year career, his highest finish coming in 1994 when Cal State Bakersfield finished second.

LIBERO For the second time in as many seasons, another rule change takes place in 2002. Women's volleyball will have a libero -- a designated back-row player intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replaced any player in the back row without counting as a substitution. The libero may not serve, may not block or attempt to block and only plays in the back row.

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