Cougar Volleyball Opens Season in Boise

Aug. 25, 2008

The Washington State volleyball team opens the Andrew Palileo era at the Boise State Bronco Invitational tournament, Aug. 29-30 in Boise, Idaho...Bronco Gym is the site of all matches (1,400 capacity)...Cougs take on Cal State Northridge, Seattle University and Boise State in the two-day tournament (see times below)...this is the first of two weekends the Cougs will spend in tournaments in the state of week WSU plays in Moscow at the Idaho Volleyball Classic.

Boise State Bronco Invitational ScheduleFriday, August 295 p.m. (MT) Cal State Northridge vs. Washington State7 p.m. Boise State vs. Seattle UniversitySaturday, August 309:30 a.m. (MT) Seattle University vs. Washington State11 a.m. Cal State Northridge vs. Boise State4 p.m. Seattle University vs. Cal State Northridge7 p.m. (MT) Boise State vs. Washington State

MONEY IN THE BANK: The Washington State volleyball team has won its season-opening match 16 of the past 17 years...last year the Cougars took a 3-0 victory over the Portland Pilots at the Cougar Challenge Tourney in Pullman.

COUGAR COACHING STAFF: Head Coach Andrew Palileo is in his first season at WSU after a highly successful tenure at South Dakota State...associate head coach Brian Lamppa and assistant coach TeAna Tramel complete the coaching staff...Kristina Martin is the coordinator of operations.

ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE FOR COUGS: The CBS Sports Network/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Div. I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll (Aug. 19), has six WSU's opponents ranked in the top 11 and all are Pac-10 schools so the Cougs will play each twice...the six Pac-10 teams include national runners-up Stanford at No. 2, USC at No. 4, California at No. 5, UCLA at No. 6, Washington at No. 9, and No. 11 Oregon...two additional teams WSU will face this year 'also received votes' in the preseason poll - Arizona (No. 39) and Wichita State (No. 43)...go to for the weekly coaches top 25 poll.

ABOUT THE 2008 COUGS: The 2008 Cougar roster is filled with a several experienced veterans and an influx of newcomers...eight returning letterwinners join three transfers, a sport transfer and four freshmen...senior senior returnees include Brittany Johnson (5-9, OH, Phoenix), Amy Small (5-6, DS/S, Pullman) and Stephanie Weishaar (5-3, DS/L, Camas, Wash.)...returning juniors include Jackie Albright (6-0, OH, Lake Forest, Calif.), Kelly Hyder (5-9, DS/L, Huntington Beach, Calif.), and Cassie Robbins (6-3, MB, Yakima, Wash.)...newcomers include senior Emily Rooney, a 6-1 MB transfer from South Dakota State, Renee Bordelon, a 5-10 setter from North Idaho College, and junior Catie Schuetzle (5-8, OH, Spokane) who comes to volleyball from three years on the Cougar track and field team...sophomore class includes Faith Hutcherson, a 5-3 DS, and Brittany Tilllman, a 6-1 MB...freshmen are Kimika Rozier, a 5-10 OH who red-shirted last year, Bree Flach, a 5-7 DS/L from Shabbona, Ill., Meagan Ganzer, a 6-3 OH from Black Diamond, Wash., Breann Nesselhuf, a 5-9 setter from Swink, Colo., and 6-2 OH Tangerine Wiggs from Seattle.

ABOUT THE CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE MATADORS (0-0): Located in Northridge, Calif., the Matadors are members of the Big West Conference and are coming off a 13-18 overall record and 7-9 (t5th) in BWC...eleven returning letterwinners...conference preseason poll says CSUN will finish 7th...key returners include 5-11 OH sophomore Brittany Williams (2.76 kpg, 0.60 bpg), 6-1, S/OH junior Angela Hupp (2.39 kpg, 5.60 apg), 6-2, MB senior Val Kepler (2.30 kpg, 1.27 bpg), and 5-7 senior L Amy Hultner (4.53 dpg)...newcomers include 5-9 freshman setter Sam Orlandini from La Canada, Calif., and junior college transfer 6-0 MB Tela Burnett (Pleasant Grove, Utah)...Head Coach Jeff Stork owns a 99-99 career record (7 years), and is 77-93 in 6 years at Northridge...LAST TIME: Sept. 11, 1982 at Davis, Calif., CSUN won 2-0 (19-17, 15-6)...SERIES RECORD: CSUN leads 1-0 (WSU streak -1).

ABOUT THE SEATTLE UNIVERSITY REDHAWKS (0-0): This is the first season in NCAA Div. I for the Redhawks...2007 record of 10-16 overall in Div. II with a Great Northern Athletic Conference record of 7-11 (7th)...will play as Independent this season...nine returning letterwinners with four returnees include 6-0 senior OH Libby Graff (2.79 kpg, 0.82 bpg), 6-0 junior MB Emily Powell (2.12 kpg, 1.29 bpg), 6-0 sophomore setter Jamie Mellies (10.62 apg), and 5-7 sophomore DS/L Emily Deleisseques (4.82 dpg)...Head Coach Shannon Ellis has a 59-49 record in four seasons at SU (same career record)...former WSU assistant coach Gretchen Killebrew joined the SU staff this summer as an assistant coach...LAST TIME: First meeting.

ABOUT THE BOISE STATE BRONCOS (0-0): Located in Boise, Idaho, the Broncos posted a 6-23 record in 2007, finishing 3-15 (8th) in the Western Athletic Conference...ten letterwinners returning including only three seniors...counting on six freshman to have an immediate impact on returnees include 5-10 senior setter Mandy Klein (10.04 apg), 5-10 senior OH Jeanette Jenkins (2.77 kpg), 6-2, sophomore OH Alisha King (2.28 kpg), 6-4 sophomore MB Sadie Maughan (2.07 kpg, 1.09 bpg), and 5-9 sophomore L Lauren Hamm (4.37 dpg)...freshman Eliza Pledger (6-3, MB) should break into the starting lineup...Head Coach Robin Davis enters his third year at BSU with a record of 19-40 and career record of 240-120 (12 years)...LAST TIME: WSU defeated Boise State 3-0, Sept. 2, 2006 (30-28, 30-24, 30-24)...SERIES RECORD: WSU leads 10-3 (WSU streak +5).

COUGS LAST YEAR: The Washington State volleyball team finished the 2007 season with a 10-22 overall record and a 1-17 Pac-10 record (10th place) grabbing a 3-2 win against Oregon State to end the season.

PAC-10 COACHES 2008 PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: Stanford (90 points) was selected by the Pac-10 volleyball coaches to be the league champions in the 2008 preseason poll...poll order shows UCLA (75), USC (68), California (62), Washington (59), Oregon (51), Arizona (39), Arizona State (32), Oregon State (31) and WSU (18)...the Pac-10 coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own teams (point system is 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2), have successfully predicted the league champion 12 of the last 19 years.

MARCIA SANEHOLTZ COURT AT BOHLER GYM COUGARS HOME: The Cougars' home court is called Marcia Saneholtz Court at Bohler Gym in honor of the 28-year administrative veteran of Cougar Athletics who retired Oct. 1, 2007...Sr. Associate Athletics Director/SWA is a long-time proponent of gender equity and a champion for all sports at WSU as well as in the Pac-10 and the nation...NACWAA president (1992-93), on the board of directors (1987-94), and named 1997 Administrator of the Year...also NAGWS Pathfinder Award in 2001 and WSU Woman of Distinction in 2003.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON RADIO: Cougar volleyball fans can listen to all the road contests during the 2008 season LIVE in the Palouse on KQQQ-AM radio (1150 on the AM dial), or Border 104 (KHTR, 104.3 on the FM dial)...veteran area broadcaster Steve Grubbs is the voice of Cougar volleyball for the fourth season.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON TELEVISION: The Pacific-10 Conference will have LIVE volleyball matches broadcast by the FOX Sports Network throughout the 2008 season...WSU will have one match televised this season, the Sept. 27 match at Arizona State...check your local FOX Sports station for the dates and times of these broadcasts.

HYDER TO BUILD ON 1,000 DIGS TOTAL: Kelly Hyder is the seventh Cougar in school history to reach 1,000 digs in a career...her 1,089 digs in her two years at WSU (213 games for a 5.11 dpg average) is sixth-best on the WSU all-time career digs list...she is already the school record-holder in single season digs with 565 set in 2006 and her 2007 total of 524 digs is second-best in single-season standings

COUGS CLIMBING INTO SCHOOL RECORDS: Through the 2007 season, two WSU volleyball players were advancing in the school's all-time career records and are back to add to their totals in the 2008 season.

Career Block Solos

1. Carrie Couturier (1988-91) 196
5. Joanne Johnson (1991-93) 69
6. Jennifer Stinson (1995-98) 59
7. Brittany Johnson (2005-07) 54

Career Digs

1. Shannon Wyckoff (1994-97) 1254
3. LaToya Harris (1999-02) 1178
4. Cindy Baker (1985-88) 1157
5. Beth Welch (1987-89) 1114
6. Kelly Hyder (2006-07) 1089

THE RULES THEY ARE A CHANGIN': This year all collegiate volleyball fans may notice evidence of several rule changes that have been implemented for the 2008 season. Here are some of the more significant changes:

RULE CHANGESCoaches Position. When the ball is in play, coaches will be asked to stay at least 1.75 meters from the court's sideline. An imaginary line perpendicular to the outside edge of the extended attack line indicates this distance. If a coach doesn't comply, the referees may assess a team delay sanction.

Terminology. The term 'game' will be changed to 'set'. A match still consists of the best three out of five sets.

Points Required to Win a Set. Instead of 30 points, the number of points needed to win sets one through four is now 25 (and a two-point lead). Fifteen points (and a two-point lead) is still the requirement to win the fifth (deciding) set.

Substitutions. Each team is now allowed a maximum of 12 substitutions per set.

Points of Emphasis - Ball Handling Decisions. In recent years, referee training has emphasized focusing on the player's contact point with the ball, and not allowing outside influences, such as spin after release, to influence ball handling decisions. A 2008 point of emphasis regarding the second team contact now instructs referees to only call multiple contacts that are obvious enough to be readily seen, and to be less severe when judging extremely athletic plays.

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