Cougars Open National Championship Tournament Against Oral Roberts
Dec. 2, 2002
WSU VOLLEYBALL OFF TO NINTH NCAA: The Washington State University women's volleyball team was selected Sunday to participate in its ninth NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Tournament in the past 12 years...the Cougars were selected as the No. 12 seed of the 16 seeded teams into the tournament...WSU travels to Manhattan, Kansas, where No. 22 Kansas State (20-8) will play host to Michigan (16-14), Oral Roberts (22-10) and Washington State (21-7)...the first round matches are set for Friday, Dec. 6, with the WSU-Oral Roberts match at 5:30 p.m. CST (3:30 p.m. PT) and the Kansas State-Michigan match will begin 30 minutes after the completion of the first match (approximately 8 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. PT)...the winners will meet Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT (5 p.m. PT) with the chance to advance to the Sweet 16 the following weekend...location for the East Regional tournament has not been set but will be awarded to the top surviving seed - No. 4 Northern Iowa or No. 5 Florida...WSU takes a five-match win streak into the NCAA competition.
ABOUT THE NCAA EAST REGION: Northern Iowa (32-2) is the number four seed nationally and the top seed in the East...Northern Iowa's 3-2 win at Florida 11/30 probably caused the NCAA selection committee to reverse any earlier thoughts of having the Gators be one of the top four seeds...Florida (30-2) is seeded 5th...WSU, the 12th seed, is the only Pacific-10 Conference team in the East Region...Penn State (24-7) is the 13th seed...all 16 seeded team are hosting first and second round matches WITH THE EXCEPTION OF WSU.
COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON RADIO AND INTERNET: The local LIVE and Internet accessible radio broadcasts of the WSU volleyball NCAA matches begin Friday at 3:10 p.m. PT...Alex Webster is in his seventh season as the voice of Cougar volleyball...in the Palouse, the radio broadcasts can be heard on KRPL-AM, 1400...for the internet connection, go to www.wsucougars.com for the audio link...all post-season matches will be broadcast.
ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS (22-10): This is the eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA post-season tournament for the Golden Eagles...ORU won the Mid-Continent Conference Championship for the sixth time, getting an automatic berth...the only common opponent for the Cougars and Golden Eagles this season is BYU and both teams defeated the blue Cougars from Provo, Utah, in three games...in all-time matches, Washington State is 0-1 against Oral Roberts...WSU hosted Oral Roberts in the second round of the 1995 NCAA Championship Tournament and lost to the Golden Eagles 16-14, 15-6, 15-10 (12/3/95)...although that Cougar team had All-Americans Sarah Silvernail and Stephanie Papke, as well as current Cougar assistant coach Jen Stinson Greeny, WSU was no match for the taller Croatian and Brazilian players on the ORU team...Sheera Sirola, a Croatian player from that team, is currently as assistant coach at Oral Roberts...ORU is led by 3.95 kpg of senior 5-10 right side hitter Patricia Menezes (Brazil), a first team All-Mid-Con selection...another Brazilian senior, Anna Moreno, was named Mid-Con Setter of the Year (12.01 assists per game)...Amy Farber Knowles is the head coach (143-58, 6 years)...she was named the Mid-Con Coach of the Year for 2002.
BITS ABOUT THE BEST OF THE REST: MICHIGAN (16-14) is one of eight Big Ten schools in the tournament...the Wolverines were 10-10 and finished tied for sixth in the conference...head coach Mark Rosen (64-57, 4th season at UM; 273-94, 10 years career)...6-1 OH sophomore Jennifer Gandolph led the team with 3.75 kpg and 3.23 dpg but it was 6-0 junior MB Erin Moore (3.33 kpg, 2.41 dpg, 1.07 bpg) who was named to the All-Big Ten first team...WSU has never played Michigan...No. 22 KANSAS STATE (20-8) is making its seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships...the Wildcats 16-4 record was second in the Big 12 Conference...5-9 junior Laura Downey-Wallace was named Big 12 Libero of the Year (5.40 dpg)...6-0 junior MB Lauren Goehring (3.47 kpg, 1.03 bpg), 6-0 junior OH Cari Jensen (3.65 kpg), and 6-1 sophomore setter Gabby Guerre (11.68 apg) were All-Big 12 first team selections...head coach Susie Fritz (29-14, 2nd season) was the Big 12 Coach of the Year...WSU holds a 3-1 advantage over Kansas State in all-time matches...KSU defeated WSU 9/8/01 for the championship of the Wildcat Classic in Manhattan.
COUGS IN THE NATIONAL POLLS: Washington State was idle last week and remained at 11th in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll...USC stayed at No. 1 and Stanford moved up to No. 3...other Pac-10 members in the poll include No. 16 Arizona, and No. 21 UCLA...also receiving votes this week are Washington (26th), California (27th), and Arizona State (37th)...WSU's highest ranking was 7th in the final poll for 1996...Volleyball Magazine no longer produces a poll.
COUGAR COACHING STAFF: Head coach Cindy Fredrick's 350th career win came against No. 1 Stanford, Nov. 16, in Pullman...Fredrick is coaching her 14th season on the Palouse...her record at WSU is 266-171 (.609) while her overall collegiate record is 352-231 (.604) in 18 years...her Pac-10 record is 126-126 (.500) in 14 years...assistant coaches are her husband, Dr. Mashallah Farokhmanesh (14th year), and former Cougar standout, Jennifer Stinson Greeny (third year).
BOHLER ROCKS AND COUGARS ROLL ON HOME COURT: During the last nine seasons (1991-1997, 2000-02) WSU has used Bohler Gym as its home court, the Cougars racked up a 187-77 record (.708), averaged 22 wins per season, and made nine post season appearances...during the 2002 season, WSU had an 11-1 home record, 8-1 in Pac-10, losing only to No. 1 USC...among the keys to success - great attendance.
NATIONAL ATTENDANCE RANKINGS: WSU is 16th in the national attendance rankings with an average home attendance of 1,357 fans (12 home matches)...WSU averaged 1,630 fans for Pac-10 matches...the 2,539 fans for the WSU-Stanford match 11/16, was the largest crowd in the remodeled Bohler Gym and the largest crowd since 1997...Hawai'i leads the nation (7,300 fans, 20 matches)...Arizona is the top Pac-10 school at seventh nationally (2,380 fans average in 10 matches including 9,141 fans at the Arizona - Stanford match prior to Midnight Madness basketball)...Stanford is ninth (2.036 fans average in 14 matches).
HARRIS NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WSU right side/left side hitter LaToya Harris was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Nov. 10-Nov. 16...Harris, a senior from Portland, Ore., had 40 kills (4.71 kills per game) on .367 hitting along with 27 digs (3.86 digs per game) as the Cougars swept the Bay Area schools in Pullman...against Cal, Harris posted 11 kills with nine digs and four blocks and sang the national anthem a capella prior to the match...in an upset win over Stanford, she hit .460 with a career-high 29 kills, while adding a season-high 18 digs and three aces...No.17 Washington State (19-7, 9-7 in Pac-10) defeated Cal (3-0) and upset No.1-ranked Stanford (3-1)...this was the second weekly honor for Harris (the first was in October of 2000), and Washington State's 18th Player of the Week honor all-time.
COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON TELEVISION: FOX Sports Net broadcast two Cougar volleyball matches this season...the Sept. 27 match at USC was the screen debut for the Cougars and WSU's five-game win over UCLA Oct. 25...ALSO, viewers in the Northwest can catch the FOX Sports NW new weekly show, On Campus With the Cougs, every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. PT.