Spring Training Update From Coach Somera

April 14, 2004

NIKE SPRING TOURNAMENT RESULTS OSU 1 University of Idaho 1OSU 2 Washington State 0OSU 2 Stanford 0OSU 1 Santa Clara 1

Coach Somera's recap of the NIKE Tournament

After two weeks of training as a team, we took our roster of six freshmen, three sophomores and three juniors to a day of competition at the NIKE campus in Beaverton this past weekend. With an objective to apply what we had been working on the past two weeks in the gym, the outcome was a success on the court and on the scoreboard. We played four competitive teams, two games each, and finished the day 6-2. We came back with a list of things to improve upon, but overall we played well as a team, regardless of the line-up.

The morning started with a match against the University of Idaho. After our eyes adjusted to the facility and the glass walls, we settled into a good rhythm but found ourselves at the service line, down 27-29. Katelyn Healy served two aces to tie it up and then we finished them off 31-29. With a new line-up in game two, Idaho's tough serving got us in trouble and we weren't able to overcome a couple of runs and lost that game.

Next up...Washington State. We took care of them in both games behind a Desma Stovall distributed offense that led to 17.0 kills per game and a .440 attack percentage. Sophomore Karah Rhoades added six kills at .550 in game two alone. The middle blocker freshmen trio of Brittany Cahoon, Rachael Withers, and Michelle Franz combined for one-third of the total kills in both games with a blistering .550 percentage. They were unstoppable and defensively they helped our floor defense pick up 15.5 digs per game behind a much improved block.

We kept things rolling against our third opponent, Stanford University. Again winning both games, tough serving and a disciplined block and floor defense were the keys to these victories. Four aces, eight stuff blocks and eight control blocks helped us shut down the Cardinal offense. While we only hit .250 as a team, a few offensive standouts were Anne Watts in game two with five kills on six attempts with one error for a .670 attack percentage. Stovall added 4 well-timed kills on six attempts for .500 in the match.

Finally, after a long 3 hour break, we finished the day off against Santa Clara. The time-off appeared detrimental to our concentration and energy level, as we came out flat and played, as one player put it afterwards, 'as if none of us were on the same page.' After losing game one rather ugly, we bounced back in game two and made some defensive adjustments that helped us stop Santa Clara's attack. We managed to finish the match hitting .310 behind freshman Kristin Murray's 4 kills per game and .670 hitting percentage which led to a narrow 32-30 victory.

Not bad for a day's work as an OSU volleyball player. Next up...A scrimmage on Wednesday against a women's USVBA team and then May 1st at UC Irvine tournament. As we continue to train with intensity and become more disciplined in our system, the growth of this young team is unlimited. The future at Oregon State looks very promising.

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