Pac-10 Volleyball Spring Recap
May 15, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Volleyball teams around the Pacific-10 Conference have been involved in games, tournaments and USA team tryouts. Read more for a recap on what your favorite Pac-10 volleyball team has been up to this spring.
The Wildcats hosted an eight-team spring tournament this past March. The 'Cats finished the tournament with a 2-3 record, placing sixth. Arizona used several different line-ups as every member of the team saw action in the five matches. Following their home tournament, the Wildcats also played at Houston, UNLV and Arizona State. Arizona also broke up into teams of two for the Arizona Sand Volleyball Tournament held in Phoenix in late April. Senior-to-be Alana Resch and sophomore-to-be Dana Hutchinson beat out 17 other teams to take home the crown. Elsewhere around the Wildcat program, junior Whitney Dosty and Paige Weber were both selected to the U.S. Women's National A2 program for 2009. They will train and compete in Minneapolis in the 2009 USA Adult Open Championship May 18-26.
Arizona State opened its spring season by going a perfect 5-0 at rival Arizona's tournament in Tucson. The Sun Devils earned wins over New Mexico (25-16, 25-16), Northern Arizona (25-23, 25-16), New Mexico State (25-16, 25-22), UNLV (25-21, 16-25, 15-7) and New Mexico for a second time, 25-17, 25-15. After that, Arizona State traveled to Northern Arizona for more tournament action, held its annual alumni game and hosted the Arizona Sand Tournament. The Sun Devils finished the spring season with the 2009 Spark Magazine Turf Challenge, held at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The event was the largest outdoor volleyball tournament in the southwest. In addition to the team action, head coach Jason Watson was named Co-Head Coach of the USA Volleyball A2 Team.
Coming off a season in which they registered the best record in school history (26-7), the Golden Bears kept busy this spring, playing at the University of San Francisco tournament in early April. Cal also hosted Stanford and played at Saint Mary's and in the Santa Clara tournament. At the USF tournament, Cal opened play with a 28-26, 25-23 win over the Bay Area All Stars. They finished the day undefeated after taking out host San Francisco (25-20, 25-20), Sonoma State (25-16, 25-18) and Saint Mary's (25-23, 25-19). Cal's scrimmage with Stanford consisted of four 20-minute sets of play with stoppages for timeouts and unlimited substitutions. No official score was kept from set to set. In the Santa Clara Tournament, Cal saw action against Saint Mary's, San Francisco State, San Francisco and Santa Clara. Junior-to-be
Oregon returns several key starters who helped it to another amazing run in 2008. The Ducks ended the season ranked ninth nationally - their 10th straight top-10 national ranking last season - and made their second straight Sweet 16 appearance for the first time ever. UO hosted three exhibition matches this spring, starting with Portland State. They also faced Western Washington and rival Oregon State. Fans also saw the home debut of senior Emilee Sisco, a 6-2 outside hitter from Enumclaw, Wash., who joined the team this spring and was a starter the last two seasons for the University of Colorado. Senior-to-be Neticia Enesi continued to validate her place among the nation's elite players with an invitation to join the 24-person U.S. Women's National A2. The Dalles, Ore., native was one of six middle blockers picked to the squad. For a Q&A with Enesi and junior-to-be Heather Meyers click here.
The Oregon State volleyball team hosted its spring tournament on Apr. 11, in legendary Gill Coliseum. Seattle Pacific, Portland State, Western Washington and Western Oregon joined the Beavers. Oregon State swept its competition, defeating Seattle Pacific (25-12, 25-18) Western Oregon (25-19, 25-15) and Western Washington (25-22, 25-5). Senior-to-be Rachel Rourke (Queensland, Australia) and junior-to-be Jill Sawatzky (St. Andrews, Manitoba) combined for 39 kills in the team's three best-of-three spring matches. The Beavers also held their almuni match this spring. Oregon State concluded the spring season in the third annual Willamette Volleyball Classic, taking all four sets in scores of 25-13, 25-13, 25-13, 15-11 over Western Oregon.
The Cardinal are coming off of three straight Pac-10 titles and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship match. Senior Cynthia Barboza, a three-time AVCA All-American, was selected as a one of five finalists for the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award this spring. The award is based on the qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship and goes far beyond athletic accomplishment and honors those who have leadership skills and strong character evident in their lifestyle as a whole. Stanford's spring matches included Saint Mary's, rival California and San Jose State.
Former Bruin and three-time All-American Nellie Spicer was named to the 12-player U.S. Women's Team roster toured and took part in matches in Egypt in April. The trip was part of an exchange program involving the United States Olympic Committee and the Egyptian National Olympic Committee. The program is part of an ongoing effort to build good relations between the USOC and African National Olympic Committees and to promote sport in Africa. The team played two matches in Cairo against the Egyptian women's national team. UCLA sophomores-to-be Katie Camp, Amanda Gil and Sara Sage, as well as incoming freshman Lauren Cook, were among the record 160 athletes that took part in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in February.
The USC women's volleyball team won the 2009 Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship, held in Riverside, Calif. The Trojans won the team title with 37 points, thanks to the teams of Jessica Gysin/Alex Jupiter and Zoe Garrett/Geena Urango who won their respective divisions. USC won the team title with 37 points, finishing ahead of second-place Nebraska, followed by Texas, Hawai'i, San Diego, North Carolina, Utah and UC Riverside. The Championship was part of the fourth annual Alt Games, a first-of-its-kind event showcasing college action sports championships. The Trojan duo of Gysin and Jupiter will be featured on Saturday, May 16, on CBS Sports for their participation in the Alt Games. Read more on Jupiter and sophomore-to-be Kendall Bateman in their interviews with USCTrojans.com.
For the second straight year, junior libero Tamari Miyashiro was named the UnderArmour/Volleyball Magazine 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. Also being recognized with postseason honors were Washington's lone senior, middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick and sophomore outside hitter Becky Perry, who each earned second-team All-America accolades by the magazine. Also this past spring, recent Washington alumni Christal Morrison and Heath Allen were honored as 2007-08 Pac-10 Medal winners on March 13 at the seventh annual State Farm 'Pride of the Pac' Banquet, held in conjunction with the Pac-10 men's basketball tournament. Morrison and Heath were selected as the most outstanding student-athletes at Washington last season based on their performances and achievements in their sports and in the classroom.
The Washington State volleyball hosted the WSU Spring Tournament in Bohler Gym and the WSU Physical Education Building in April. Participating teams included Idaho, Eastern Washington, Montana State, and Lewis-Clark State. Spring also led to the announcement of the awards commemorating the 2008 season. Senior Emily Rooney won the most valuable player and the most inspirational player awards. Brittany Tillman received the most improved award and Brittany Johnson won the Coaches 'Coug' Award, given for dedication, hard work and attitude. There will be some new faces in Pullman next season as head coach Andrew Palileo has signed three outstanding prep stars.