2009 Volleyball Season Outlook
Aug. 21, 2009
The 2009 Oregon State volleyball season is just days away. The start of the 2009 campaign begins Saturday in legendary Gill Coliseum as the team hosts its annual Orange and Black Scrimmage at 12:00 p.m.
Purchase your season tickets to see all the excitement in the team’s 12 home matches this season beginning on Sunday, Sept. 6, when the team hosts Seattle and Wisconsin in the Active Ankle Challenge.
The 2009 season sees the Taras Liskevych Era’s first recruiting class entering their senior season with eyes to leave their mark on Oregon State volleyball history. Four seniors and one junior starter return to competitive action this fall with a talented freshman class nipping at their heels. Looking to build on a season highlighted by a top 25 ranking and first ever All-America nod in 2008, Oregon State will have the most experience and depth on their roster in recent history.
There will be no surprises to where the Beavers will look for leadership in 2009. Seniors Rachel Rourke, Lexie Rathgeber, Camilla Ah-Hoy and Bree Knitter have been the foundation on which Liskevych has built the program. Rathgeber and Ah-Hoy will don the captain hats, joining Rourke, Knitter and fellow senior Brittney Belshe as roles models in the gym that will shape the 2009 season as well as the future of the program. The junior class provides another piece of experience in Jill Sawatzky, Kiersten Sambrailo and Kaitlan Locke. Betsy Devich fills the role of the sole sophomore. The highly regarded freshmen class tops out at six with Tami Brown, Ashley Eneliko, Dianni Freeman, Megan McBride, Alyssa O’Neil and Camille Saxton. Each newcomer has tools that will make the battle for playing time heated.
“This is really a special year for our program. It is the handing of the guard from our first recruiting class, who for the most part has been starting since they were freshman, to our incoming freshman class, an extremely talented group some of whom will really put pressure on the upperclassmen,” Liskevych said. “We have again improved from every season, but I feel 2009 will be the best yet. Our depth will give us the chance to get over the hump of a long Pac-10 season.”
Oregon State again has packed the preseason with strong competition. The Beavers will face 10 2008 NCAA Tournament teams over the course of their 30 matches. Competition includes six Pac-10 schools, five of which advanced to the Sweet 16 or further last season.
The team gets its first test at the ASICS Classic, hosted by Colorado State, facing Cal Poly in the season opener before the host, Rams, and Pepperdine. The Beavers then return home to host Seattle, Wisconsin and Cal State Fullerton in the Active Ankle Challenge after a quick road trip up to the University of Portland for a single-match. The squad hits the road again for back-to-back tournaments at UNLV and Michigan to wrap up the non-conference portion of the 2009 campaign before returning home to host the Washington schools to open conference play.
“We’ve got a tough schedule this season,” Liskevych said. “I think our first tournament is a tough one because all three teams are NCAA Tournament teams in their histories. The opener against Cal Poly, the second against Colorado State and the third against Pepperdine will all be tests. When we host the Active Ankle Challenge, you have three levels of teams there. And UNLV at home and Santa Barbara will be tough. Then we go to Michigan, where there are two NCAA teams in Dayton and Michigan, and then there’s Marquette who has a new coach. I think we’ll get a really good read on how good can we be based on some of those first competitions.”
Check osubeavers.com for the latest on Oregon State volleyball.
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