Volleyball Wraps up Non-Conference at Michigan

Sept. 15, 2009

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LOOKING AHEAD — The Oregon State Beavers (7-2) will their final non-conference test at the Michigan ADIDAS Invitational. Oregon State will face the Dayton Flyers (9-0) and Marquette Golden Eagles (9-2) on Friday at 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. PT before wrapping up play against the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (10-0) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Beavers are currently 3-0 on the road, while 2-1 at neutral sites.


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 three matches and can be found by clicking on the ‘Gametracker’ link located on the volleyball schedule page. Radio is also available through the Michigan website at www.mgoblue.com for free.


Twitter and blogsFollow 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 10: dayton (9-0)Friday, Sept. 18 (8:00 a.m. PT): The two teams will meet for the first time on Friday.


The Flyers received 58 votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 Poll, good for 27th. Dayton is boasting an undefeated season thus far, defeating UConn, Samford and Creighton at home last weekend. Redshirt  junior middle blocker Lindsay Fletemier paces the team’s offense and defense at the net with 117 kills (3.44 kps) and 43 blocks (1.26 bps). Freshman Paige Vargas leads the backcourt defense with 119 digs (3.50 dps). The Flyers are led by Kelly Sheffield, who is in his second season as head coach after a NCAA First Round Tournament appearance last season.


match 11: marquette (9-2)Friday, Sept. 18 (2:30 p.m. PT): Oregon State is 1-0 all-time against Marquette after winning in four last season in the Marquette Cheese Bowl.


Marquette is coming off of a 3-1 weekend at the Panther Invitational, hosted by Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a home match on the slate as well. The Golden Eagles defeated Western Michigan, South Dakota and the host team, but fell to Ohio State at home on Sunday. Redshirt junior outside hitter Leslie Bielski has racked up 122 kills (3.05 kps) thus far on the season to lead the offense. Defensively, freshman Kelsey Warner has amassed 140 digs (3.18 dps), while junior middle blocker Rabbecka Gonyo has a team-high 58 blocks (1.35 bps). Bond Shymansky is in his first season at the helm of the Golden Eagle program.


match 12: no. 6 michigan (10-0)Saturday, Sept. 19 (12:30 p.m. PT): Oregon State is 0-1 all-time against Michigan. The two teams last met on August 25, 2007 at the ASICS Classic in Hawai’i.


Michigan jumped one spot in this week’s top 25 poll, landing in sixth with 1,202 total points. Overall, the Wolverines have only lost three sets, sweeping the last six opponents. Senior outside hitter Julianna Paz leads the offense with 145 kills (4.39 kps), adding a team-high 26 aces and 86 digs (2.61 dps). Sophomore Sloane Donhoff has racked up 148 digs (4.48), while adding 10 aces. Head coach Mark Rosen is in his 11th year, boasting a 189-132 record at Michigan. The team made it to the NCAA Regional final last season.


REWIND TO LAST WEEK — Seniors Bree Knitter and Camilla Ah-Hoy were named as the UNLV Alexis Park Invitational’s Most Outstanding Hitter and Setter as the Beavers won the two-match tournament. Knitter finished the tourney with 24 kills (3.43 kps), while Ah-Hoy amassed 81 assists (11.57 aps).


The Beavers knocked off the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos first, who were ranked 32nd in last week’s poll, in a 3-1 decision before sweeping the host team on Saturday. UNLV’s “Beat the Beavers Day” was a bust as both the volleyball and football teams won its respective competition.


ODDS & ENDS — The Beavers are currently 5-0 in three-set matches and 3-0 on the road.


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, 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 will also be an ‘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 and junior Jill Sawatzky have been named to each All-Tournament Team this year.


national attention — The Beavers received eight votes in this week’s top 25 poll, good for 38th. After not receiving votes last week, the Oregon State volleyball team received 12 votes in the August 31 AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, good for 37th. The Beavers reached as high as 24th in the 2008 season after not being ranked in the top 25 since 1996.


start the countdown — Senior Rachel Rourke is on track to breaking the school record in kills, attacks and possibly total points. She currently boasts 1,518 career kills - third on the list - and is just 36 from second all time, 245 from the school record. As a freshman she racked up 387 kills, 505 as a sophomore and 497 as a junior.


FACING OFF AGAINST THE NATION — Three Oregon State players are ranked in the top 50 in the nation for their stats in four categories, as of September 13. Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy is 39th for assists per set (10.56), senior Rachel Rourke is tied for 45th for kills per set (4.03) and 38th for points per set (4.67) and junior Kiersten Sambrailo is 31st for blocks per set (1.34). As a team, Oregon State is 33rd for assists (12.69), tied for seventh for blocks (3.00) and 34th for kills (13.69).


IT’S NOT “OFFICIAL” BUT — Despite the fact that the NCAA hasn’t released new RPI ratings since last December, the Oregon State volleyball team is ranked 46th currently in the Rich Kern Power Index (RKPI) as of September 14. The Beavers finished the 2008 season ranked 82nd.


ATTENDANCE AVERAGE — The Beavers are currently averaging 724 per match over the three matches last weekend for the Active Ankle Challenge. 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 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 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 returns home for its Pac-10 opener against the Washington schools. The Beavers host Washington State on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and No. 3 Washington on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.


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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