Volleyball Opens 2009 Season at ASICS Classic

Aug. 25, 2009

LOOKING AHEAD — Oregon State opens its 2009 campaign by taking it to the road at the ASICS Classic, hosted by Colorado State. The Beavers’ season opener will be against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Friday at 3:30 p.m. before facing the No. 24 host Rams on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Oregon State will wrap up the tournament against the Pepperdine Waves on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.


TRACKING THE BEAVS — Full results from this weekend’s tournament can be found through the newly redesigned osubeavers.com. Gametracker will be available for all six matches and can be found by clicking on the ‘Gametracker’ link located at http://www.csurams.com/sports/w-volley/sched/csu-w-volley-sched.html.


match ONE: CAL POLYFriday, Aug. 28 (3:30 p.m.): Oregon State is 1-6 all-time against Cal Poly. The two teams last met at the UNLV Classic with the Mustangs taking a 3-1 win over the Beavers.


Cal Poly heads into the 2009 season ranked 39th in the preseason poll and returning two starters plus its libero, but losing four from the 16-13 squad in 2008 that finished third in the Big West. Those two starters are junior middle blocker Dominique Olowolafe and senior setter Hailey Fithian. Olowolafe, a All-Big West First Team selection, averaged 2.01 kills per set, hitting .305 and 1.11 blocks per set. And Fithian averaged 10.83 assists per set, second best in the conference. The Mustangs add seven to the 2009 roster, including transfer redshirt sophomore setter Sarah Cawrse from Oregon. Head coach Jon Stevenson is in his fifth season, boasting a 81-33 program record.


match TWO: NO. 24 COLORADO STATESaturday, Aug. 29 (6:00 p.m.): Oregon State is 2-3 all-time against Colorado State. The two teams have split the last two meetings with the Rams taking last year’s matchup at the ASICS Classic in Corvallis.


Colorado State, ranked 24th in the preseason poll,  looks to make it 15 straight as it enters the 2009 season, after earning NCAA Tournament berths the last 14 seasons. The Rams return three starters plus libero from last year’s NCAA Second Round team. Included in those starters is redshirt senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson, who received All-Mountain West Conference honors last season after averaging 1.71 kills per set and 1.16 blocks per set. The program lost setter Ashley Fornstrom and middle blocker Mekana Barnes, the other all-conference selections from last season. Tom Hilbert embarks on his 13th season as head coach, putting together an impressive 307-79 school record under his watch.


match THREE: PEPPERDINESunday, Aug. 30 (10:30 a.m.): Oregon State is 1-2 all-time against Pepperdine. The Waves took last season’s meeting at the ASICS Classic in Corvallis in a tough five-set match.


Pepperdine opens the 2009 season ranked 26th  with four starters plus its libero returning. The Waves went 20-8 last season, earning a berth to the NCAA Tournament, but falling to No. 24 Long Beach State in four in the first round. The program return West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year in middle blocker Kim Hill, plus three other West Coast Conference honorees, but lose lone All-American, Julie Rubenstein, who finished her career ranked third all-time in school history in kills (1,743). Nina Matthies returns for her 27th season leading the Pepperdine volleyball program, posting a 494-294 career record as head coach.


ODDS & ENDS — Senior Rachel Rourke is the first ‘everyday champion’ of the 2009-10 school year. Rourke, a sociology major and the volleyball program’s first ever All-American, will be on the KJOE 1240 AM Joe Beaver Show with hosts Mike Parker and Jon Warren. And she will be featured on the first episode of Beavers All Access for the school year.


ATTENDANCE AVERAGE — 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.


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.


can’t make it to a match? — Oregon State will be televised once this season on the road. The Civil War in Eugene will air live nationally on FSN on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7:00 p.m., via tape delay.


All home matches will be web cast for free through Beaver Nation Online (BNO), the audio/visual service of www.osubeavers.com.


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 THE LAST seasonThe 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 beaversOregon State hosts its season opener in legendary Gill Coliseum against Seattle, Wisconsin and Cal State Fullerton in the Active Ankle Challenge. Competition begins on Sunday against the Redhawks at 12:30 p.m. Fans that attend the football season opener against Portland State will receive $2 admission to the entire Active Ankle Challenge with their ticket stubs.


Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund.  For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370.  You can make an everyday champion.  Follow Beaver Athletics on twitter.

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