Cougar Volleyball Opens Heffernan Era At Las Vegas

Aug. 31, 2004

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COUGARS OPEN HEFFERNAN ERA AT LAS VEGAS: The Washington State volleyball team, with first-year head coach Brian Heffernan, will open the 2004 season at the UNLV Classic Tournament this weekend at Las Vegas...WSU will play host team UNLV Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. ...Saturday, the Cougars take on San Jose State at 10 a.m. and play UNLV again at 5 p.m...all matches will be played in the Cox Pavilion (capacity 2,452) on the UNLV campus...this three-team tournament will be the season-opener for UNLV and WSU but San Jose State opens the season with a Sept. 1 match at the University of San Francisco.

IF YOU WERE A BETTING MAN: The Washington State volleyball team has won its season-opening match for 13 consecutive seasons...the last time WSU lost a season-opener was in 1990, a 3-2 loss to Mississippi at the Cougar Challenge, in Pullman.

COUGAR COACHING STAFF: Brian Heffernan became the 10th volleyball head coach in Washington State University history when he was appointed June 2004...Heffernan joined the Cougars after a successful four-year stint at the University of Minnesota as an associate head coach and an assistant coach where he helped lead the Golden Gophers to a 2002 Big Ten Conference championship and four NCAA tournament appearances including the 2003 national semi-final match...WSU's assistant coaches are Jody Garry and Kevin Wray...volunteer assistant coach is Kevin Marts.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON RADIO AND INTERNET: Cougar volleyball fans can listen to all the road contests during the 2004 season LIVE - in the Palouse on KRPL-AM radio (1400 on the AM dial) and LIVE on the Internet...first-year broadcaster JJ Jensen will be the voice of Cougar volleyball radio broadcasts this year...for the internet connection, go to www.wsucougars.com, click on the audio/video link on the left-side menu and go to the College Sports Pass subscription information at the top of the page...fans can sign up for a monthly or year-long subscription to listen to Cougar Athletic events through the internet.

CATCHING THE COUGS AT HOME: The WSU Cougars will host No. 11 Colorado State next Wednesday, Gonzaga the following Tuesday, and Portland the Tuesday after that (all at 7 p.m. in Bohler Gym)...first weekend action in Pullman will be Oct. 1-2, when Oregon State and Oregon come to the Palouse.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The USA Today/CSTV American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Aug. 9, shows eight of Washington State's 2004 opponents ranked in the top 18...the Cougs will play 14 matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll...included in that group is WSU's Sept. 8 home opener against No. 11 Colorado State (1-1 after last weekend)...six Pac-10 Conference teams are ranked in the top 17 of this preseason poll, including two-time defending national champion No. 1 Southern California (2-0)....other Pac-10 schools listed among the top 25 include No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Washington, No. 10 California, and No. 17 Arizona...in addition to the Pac-10 schools and Colorado State making the preseason poll, Washington State will also meet No. 18 Loyola Marymount University Sept. 11, at the LMU Tournament at Los Angeles.

ABOUT THE UNLV CLASSIC TEAMS:
UNLV REBELS (0-0) - Located in Las Vegas, Nev., the University of Nevada at Las Vegas has 25,000 students and is a member of the Mountain West Conference...the Rebels have a new head coach in Allison Keeley (career record 39-48/three years)...win-loss record in 2003 was 13-17 with a 4-10 conference record (fifth)...three starters return from last season - senior setter Nicki King (12.03 asstpg), and liberos Nin Franchini (2.46 dpg) and Kristin Koochi (1.38 dpg)...six freshmen among the newcomers...UNLV leads the series with WSU 2-0 with the last meeting Sept. 20, 1984 at Provo, Utah...WSU participated in the Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic tournament at UNLV in 2001 but did not meet the Rebels.

SAN JOSE STATE (0-0 pending 9/1 match at Univ. San Francisco) - San Jose State University is located in San Jose, Calif....enrollment is 30,068 students...the Spartans are members of the Western Athletic Conference...record last year was 10-20 overall, 6-7 in West Div. of WAC (4th)...head coach Craig Choate (198-149 record/11 years; career record 227-214/14 years)...eight letterwinners return including starters Carrie Nash (5-6, senior OH) with 2.91 kpg, Dana Rudd (6-2, senior MB) with 2.45 kpg, and Jessie Shull (5-6, sophomore L) with 4.30 dpg...newcomers include Amber Biddle (6-4, MB) from Coeur d'Alene...SJSU leads the series 6-1 with the Cougars' win coming in Sept. 3, 1999, at the Cougar Challenge Tournament in Pullman.

PAC-10 COACHES PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: WSU's women's volleyball team was predicted to finish tied for ninth in the 2004 conference standings by a preseason vote of the Pacific-10 Conference volleyball coaches...Southern California (89 points) was selected by the coaches to repeat as league champions while cross town rival UCLA (78) was selected to finish second league this season...the rest of the preseason Pac-10 Poll shows an order of third place Washington (71) followed by Stanford (69), California (58), Arizona (55), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (36) with Oregon tied with WSU for ninth (23)...the Pac-10 coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2), have correctly selected the conference champion in nine of the 15 previous polls.

ABOUT THE 2004 COUGS: Four starters return from last year's 9-20 team (5-13, tied 7th Pac-10), including Pac-10 All-Freshman first team selection at middle blocker, sophomore Jennifer Todd...last year Todd's blocks average of 1.21 bpg finished 4th-best in Pac-10 and her 2.27 kpg is tops among returners...also taking care in the middle is redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jen Barcus who averaged 1.16 bpg, sixth-best in Pac-10...another returning starter is sophomore outside hitter Kelly Rosin (1.40 kpg, 0.75 bpg)...as freshmen, these three players totaled nearly 75 percent of the team's total blocks, which averaged out to 2.61 blocks per game, third highest in the league...this trio also brings back nearly 40 percent of the kills from the 2003 Cougar squad...senior libero Alison Billingsley (1.64 dpg) returns to lead the defense...setter Kali Richards, an invited freshman walk-on in 2003, returns with a 5.42 assists per game average after setting in 48 games last year...of the 11 players back from the 2003 squad, eight are sophomores...two freshmen, setter Nicole Martin (Carmel, Ind.) and middle blocker Kristin Kelley (Pasadena, Calif.) join redshirt freshman libero Carly Hayashikawa (Waikoloa, Hawaii) as the newcomers on the team.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON TELEVISION: WSU will have four matches televised this season, all on a next-day, tape-delayed basis...check your FOX Sports Net station for dates and times:
Friday, Oct. 1, Oregon State at Pullman Friday, Oct. 8, Washington State at Washington
Friday, Oct. 15, Washington State at Arizona Thursday, Nov. 11, Arizona State at Pullman

FOURTH ANNUAL WOMEN'S CLOTHING DRIVE: For the fourth consecutive year, the Cougar volleyball team is sponsoring a clothing drive for disadvantaged women in the area...fans are asked to bring their Gently Used Clothing and a Pair of New Hose for donation to the Pullman Community Action Center...the clothing will be donated for use by area low-income women entering or re-entering the work force and needing professional clothing...larger sizes are especially needed...donors are asked to bring their clean, gently used clothing and new pantyhose to the WSU volleyball office in Bohler Addition, room 230, with the dates and times to be determined...donors will receive free admission to a Cougar volleyball match at Bohler Gym to be determined...more information, call 509-335-0277.

LITTLE SPIKERS CLINICS: For the tenth year, the Washington State University women's volleyball program will conduct the 'Little Spikers' youth volleyball clinics...a series of one-hour volleyball participation clinics for boys and girls, ages 5 through 10, conducted by the WSU coaches and players...a fun atmosphere is provided for learning the basics of volleyball while using special lightweight 'training' balls...clinics run from 10 to 11 a.m. on the Volleyball Court in Bohler Gym on four Saturdays - Oct. 2, Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13...clinic participants will demonstrate their skills between games of the Nov. 12, 7 p.m. WSU match against Arizona...$20 registration fee covers the four Saturday clinics, a Little Spikers T-shirt, and free admission to five Cougar volleyball home matches....registration deadline is Sept. 28...call the Cougar Volleyball Office at 335-0277 to register.

THE ABC CAMPAIGN: Cougar volleyball and the Breast Cancer Support Group of the Palouse, known as the Bosom Buddies, have joined together for the Attacking Breast Cancer (ABC) Pledge Drive for the third consecutive year...October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Cougar players will be collecting monetary pledges for each attack which results in a kill (and a point) for WSU during the ten matches this month...the 2003 campaign raised $1,623.35 and the team raised $1,019 in 2002...the players will wear pink ribbons to draw attention to the campaign...interested donors may contact the WSU volleyball office at 509-335-0277.

WSU QUICKSETS DINNER: Cougar Volleyball Head Coach Brian Heffernan and the visiting Pac-10 coaches give the inside scoop on the strategies of that evening's match at the Cougar Volleyball Quicksets Dinners...the Quicksets dinners are held in Bohler Athletic Complex Rooms 184/186, on the Friday evenings of Pac-10 home matches...the cost is $10 per person and includes dinner from Pete's Bar & Grill...RSVP the Tuesday prior by calling toll free 877-462-2684 or locally at 509-335-0220...Quicksets are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. for Oct. 1, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, and Nov. 26.

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