Volleyball to Host LA Schools; Honor Seniors
Nov. 17, 2009
LOOKING AHEAD — The Oregon State Beavers (12-14, 3-11 Pac-10) host their final home weekend against the Los Angeles schools. Oregon State faces the No. 7 UCLA Bruins (20-7, 10-4 Pac-10)first on Friday before the No. 15 USC Women of Troy (17-9, 6-8 Pac-10) on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. After Saturday’s match, the five Oregon State seniors (Camilla Ah-Hoy, Brittney Belshe, Bree Knitter, Lexie Rathgeber and Rachel Rourke) will be honored for Senior Night.
TRACKING THE BEAVS — Full results from this weekend’s matches can be found through the newly redesigned osubeavers.com. Gametracker will be available for both matches and can be found by clicking on the ‘Gametracker’ link located on the volleyball schedule page.
TWITTER AND BLOGS — Follow the Oregon State volleyball program this season on Twitter. “Beavsvolleyball” provides updates throughout matches and the week. And follow the team on road trips through daily blogs on osubeavers.com, where different players will give their insight on the team and what goes on when they travel.
MATCH 27: NO. 7 UCLA BRUINS (20-7, 10-4 PAC-10) — Friday, Nov. 20 (7:00 p.m.): Oregon State is 4-43 all-time against UCLA. The Bruins took the first meeting of the season, winning the last four.
UCLA defeated No. 25 Washington State in four to kick off last weekend before being swept by No. 4 Washington the following evening. Junior outside hitter Dicey McGraw paces the Bruin offense with 291 kills (3.10 kps), however UCLA has a pretty evenly distributed attack between McGraw, senior outside hitter Kaitlin Sather and sophomore middle blocker Amanda Gil. Gil also leads the team and conference in defense at the net 148 blocks (1.57 bps), while sophomore libero Lainey Gera has 472 digs (4.72 dps). Andy Banachowski is in his 43rd year as head coach of the Bruins. UCLA is 8-4 this season on the road.
MATCH 28: NO. 15 USC WOMEN OF TROY (17-9, 6-8 PAC-10) — Saturday, Nov. 21 (7:00 p.m.): Oregon State is 8-39 all-time against USC. The Women of Troy have taken the last two meetings, including the first of this season.
USC is coming off a big weekend, upsetting No. 4 Washington in five before defeating No. 25 Washington State in four the following evening. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter leads the team offensively with 413 kills (4.39 kps), good for fourth in the conference. Jupiter has the second most digs on the team with 244 (2.60 dps), trailing only senior libero Alli Hillgren with 401 (4.36 dps), good for fifth in the conference. Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams leads the blocking race with 79 (0.89 bps). Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman leads the conference, directing the Women of Troy offense with 1,150 (12.23 aps). Head coach Mick Haley is in his 19th season, and the Women of Troy are 3-7 on the road this season.
REWIND TO LAST WEEK — Oregon State lost both matches in the Bay Area, falling in four to No. 12 California on Friday and in three to No. 7 Stanford on Saturday.
In just her first career start, freshman Megan McBride posted her first double-double with 16 assists and 10 digs. Senior Rachel Rourke had 33 kills over the two matches, while sophomore Betsy Devich had 30 digs.
ODDS & ENDS — The first set of the Civil War match in Eugene, resulting in a 37-39 final score, is the longest set ever played in the country since the current scoring system has been implemented.
Oregon State’s 76 kills is the second most to date in a single match in the conference. Senior Rachel Rourke currently has scored the most points in a single match in the Pac-10 with 38.0 at Oregon. And she also has the most kills in a single match with 36 at Oregon.
It is believed that this is the first season that Oregon State has defeated three ranked opponents since 1995.
Oregon State is 3-6 against ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 24 Colorado State, No. 6 Michigan and No. 7 Oregon.
The Beavers snapped a six-match series winning streak by Oregon on Friday, Oct. 2, defeating the seventh-ranked Ducks in five. Oregon State snapped another six-match series winning streak on Oct. 10, defeating Arizona State in Tempe in five.
The Civil War match on Friday, Oct. 2, set a new school record for attendance with 3,576 in legendary Gill Coliseum. The previous record of 3,547 was set at the last Civil War in 2008.
Oregon State snapped Michigan’s 52-match non-conference regular season winning streak with the sweep on Saturday, Sept. 19. The win also ended the Wolverines’ perfect 13-0 season starts that date back to the 2005 season.
The win over sixth-ranked Michigan marks the first win over a top 10 opponent since No. 4 USC in 2008 on October 3 at home, and the first win on the road since No. 4 UCLA on October 12, 2007. It is believed that this win is over the highest ranked non-conference opponent on the road in school history.
Senior Rachel Rourke was the first ‘everyday champion’ of the 2009-10 school year. Rourke, a sociology major and the volleyball program’s first ever All-American, was on the KJOE 1240 AM Joe Beaver Show with hosts Mike Parker and Jon Warren. And she was featured on the first episode of Beavers All Access for the school year, while also being interviewed by KPAM 860 AM out of Portland. Senior Lexie Rathgeber is currently the ‘everyday champion’ the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
The Beavers are a perfect 5-0 in their season openers under head coach Taras Liskevych. The team has won its season opener in seven of the last eight years.
In home openers, Oregon State has won its last three, defeating Seattle this season, Wyoming last season and Washington State in 2007.
Senior Rachel Rourke earned three All-Tournament nods this season, including one Most Valuable Player honor at the Michigan ADIDAS Invitational, and junior Jill Sawatzky was named to two All-Tournament teams with Most Valuable Player honors at the Active Ankle Challenge.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK — Senior Rachel Rourke was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 15-21. It marks the second time in her career that she’s received the honor. And she is the eighth player in school history to earn it, 12th overall school honor.
NATIONAL ATTENTION — The Beavers received seven votes in this week’s top 25 poll, good for 38th. The Beavers were 32nd last week with 16 votes, as well. The Beavers reached as high as 24th in the 2008 season after not being ranked in the top 25 since 1996.
COUNTDOWN IS OVER, IT’S FINALLY BROKEN — Senior Rachel Rourke broke the school record in kills and is still close in attacks and possibly total points. She currently boasts 1,821 career kills. She currently has 384 on the season. As a freshman she racked up 387 kills, 505 as a sophomore and 497 as a junior.
FACING OFF AGAINST THE NATION — Senior Rachel Rourke is fifth for kills per set (4.84) and fifth for points per set (5.45 pps). As a team, Oregon State is fifth for blocks (2.90), as of November 16.
IT’S FINALLY OFFICIAL — The NCAA released its first official RPI on October 12 with the Oregon State volleyball team ranked 28th. In the RPI released on November 16, the Beavers were 58th. All 10 conference teams are in the top 76 with Washington leading the way at No. 5. Washington State and Arizona State trail the Beavers. In the Rich Kern Power Index (RKPI), the Beavers are ranked 52nd. The Beavers finished the 2008 season ranked 82nd.
ATTENDANCE AVERAGE — The Beavers are currently averaging 1,472 on the season, unofficially 26th in the country. The team is currently only behind Stanford, Washington and UCLA, and the Civil War ranks 81st in single-match attendance. Oregon State finished the 2008 season 36th in the country for attendance, averaging 1,037 per match. The Beavers were fifth in the conference behind Stanford, Washington, USC and Oregon. The Civil War in Corvallis ranked the 86th highest single-match attendance of the season.
SPIKE OUT CANCER — The Beavers are proud to host the second annual Spike Out Cancer, in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event will take place on Friday, Oct. 16, against the Stanford Cardinal in legendary Gill Coliseum at 7:00 p.m. Admission is only $1, and mini pink volleyballs are available for purchase for $12 with part of the proceeds going to the Corvallis Clinic. Overall, approximately $1,000 was donated to the Corvallis Clinic’s Project H.E.R.
GET YOUR TICKETS — Season tickets are on sale now for the 2009 Oregon State volleyball season. The adult price is $63 and the youth/senior price is $40 for all 12 home matches, including all of the tough Pac-10 matches. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS or by visiting osubeavers.com.
Single-match tickets are also available for purchase. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors and $2 each for groups of 20 or more.
CAN’T MAKE IT TO A MATCH? — Oregon State was televised once this season on the road. The Civil War in Eugene aired live nationally on FSN on Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:00 p.m., via tape delay.
All home matches will be webcast for free through Beaver Nation Online (BNO), the audio/visual service of osubeavers.com.
BRING OUT THE WELCOME WAGON — The Beavers welcome six freshmen to the 2009 roster, including athletic legacies Dianni Freeman and Megan McBride. Freeman’s father, Shawn, played basketball at Oregon State in 1987-88, while McBride’s father, Kevin, played football for the Beavers for a pair of seasons. Adding to the mix is Camille Saxton, whose parents Don and Mylène both played on the Canadian National Team. Rounding out the freshmen are Alyssa O’Neil, Ashley Eneliko and Tami Brown, who is from Eugene and was highly recruited for basketball, being named a McDonalds All-American nominee as a senior in high school.
OREGON STATE VS. RANKED OPPONENTS — Oregon State will face eight opponents this season ranked in the AVCA Coaches Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll with its first test coming in the ASICS Classic against No. 24 Colorado State. The Pac-10 boasts six teams, Stanford, USC, California, UCLA, Washington and Oregon, in the top 25 with all six in the top 14. Other top teams the Beavers will face this season are Pepperdine, Wisconsin, Cal Poly and Arizona, who fell just outside the top 25 with substantial votes.
PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL — The Beavers were voted to finish ninth in the Pac-10 Preseason Volleyball Poll with 31 total points ahead of Washington State. Washington was voted to finish first receiving nine first place votes and 90 total points.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST SEASON — The 2008 season started with high hopes as the Beavers got off to their best start since 1996. Oregon State easily cruised through its first five matches, sweeping the first four. After a pair of tough losses to No. 17 Colorado State and Pepperdine in the ASICS Classic, the team recovered with a six-match winning streak, defeating tough opponent, No. 13 Wisconsin, on the road. The stretch earned the program individual and team accolades beginning with junior Rachel Rourke becoming 11th honoree in school history to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for her three 20-plus kill matches in the Marquette Cheese Bowl. Additionally, the Beavers received votes in the top 25 for the first time during the season.
The season continued to progress in successful fashion with a huge upset over No. 4 USC in Oregon State’s conference home opener, leading to the program’s first top 25 ranking since 1996. Oregon State climbed to as high as No. 24 during the season. The Beavers nearly stunned No. 5 UCLA the following evening, falling to the Bruins in a five-set heartbreaker. The rise of the program’s talent boosted home attendance, setting a new school record against No. 8 Oregon in the second Civil War match of the season with 3,547 spilling into legendary Gill Coliseum.
But the Beavers didn’t stop as they picked up a win on the road over Washington State before hosting Arizona for Spike Out Cancer Night on October 24. The team shut down the Wildcat attack to tally the sweep. However, despite strong showings at No. 12 USC and Arizona State and at home against Washington State, Oregon State was unable to muster another win, falling just three matches shy of its goal of its first NCAA berth since 2001.
That didn’t stop Rourke from accumulating a handful of firsts for the program. The 6-foot-5 outside hitter from Queensland, Australia first earned the program’s inaugural All-Pacific Region selection, being named to the honorable mention squad. She then went on to earn 2008 Under Armour/Volleyball Magazine All-America Honorable Mention accolades. She added these two honors to her All-Pac-10 First Team recognition, the first for Oregon State since 2000.
60TH ANNIVERSARY OF LEGENDARY GILL COLISEUM — Legendary Gill Coliseum is the home to Oregon State’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics and wrestling teams. The arena seats 10,400 for competitions on Ralph Miller Court. The building which opened in the winter of 1949-50 has seen several refurbishment projects in recent years and is on the docket for a major renovation. Gill has seen over 3,000 victories, 150+ All-Americans and more than 25 individual and team titles. The Oregon State Athletic Department is celebrating the 60th anniversary of legendary Gill Coliseum.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BEAVERS — Oregon State closes out the regular season at No. 4 Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 25 before taking on Washington State on Friday, Nov. 27. Both matches are at 7:00 p.m.
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