Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When Type A's Collide

Mitch Jacobs. Patrick Nicholas.

What happens when you take these two distinctively Type A personalities and throw them into the same volleyball program? We'll find out soon enough, as Jacobs has hired Nicholas to be his assistant coach at Marshall (heretofore known as Matthew McConaughey's other school), and we can't wait. This is like that moment before you drop the Mentos in the 2-liter bottle of soda. Someone should consider doing a reality show.

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Quote of the Day, re: deranged volleydad

"It's not like this was the first conversation that we had with him."

That's Fowlerville High School principal Wayne Roedel, speaking about the recent decision to ban Joseph Kusmierz, a parent, from attending any high school athletic events. The decision came after Kusmierz accosted a ref following a J.V. volleyball match and then took a couple of swings at people trying to break up the fracas.

"We thought it was in our best interest to have him not attend any of our athletic contests."

We agree. This indefinite ban might give Kusmierz a chance to channel all that J.V. volleyball rage in a positive direction.

Perhaps knitting.

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Well, duh.

Mira Costa and Mizuno Long Beach's Alix Klineman was named Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.

Gee, didn't see that one coming or anything.

This follows the "Oh, really?" uttered by nearly everyone except Jerritt Elliott when Klineman decided to attend Stanford, home of The Kehoe, The Barboza, The Akinradewo, and so on.

With the award Klineman joins past winners including Megan Hodge, Barboza, and Kristin Richards. In all, seven future Stanford Cardinals have won the award eight times (Barboza won it twice, natch).

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

High school action gettin' nutty in the Mitten State

I tell ya', the high school season in the rest of the civilized world may have ended months ago, but things are really heating up in Michigan! For instance, just last night Blissfield beat Onsted, Clinton beat Erie Mason, and Lenawee Christian beat Vandercook Lake! Plus, Charlevoix beat Traverse City St. Francis and Harbor Springs beat Elk Rapids! I mean, that is some heavy duty action! A clash of titans in the world,, of...

...yeah I don't know what any of that means, either.

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Time + YouTube * dork factor =

Oh, bless, spreading videos of cats attacking flashlight strobes and cars sliding on ice throughout the land.

Then we have this entry, a takeoff of the volleyball scene from "Top Gun," re-enacted by four superheroes. Sit back, put your dork helmet on, and crank this sucker.

(Major dork bonus points if you can name all five superheroes in the video.)

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Parental Role Model, Case Study #1

You gotta love THAT parent. THAT guy. The one who decides he is going to take matters into their own hands, as happened at a J.V. volleyball tournament in Hartland Township, Michigan. You know how these things go: parent won't shut up for whole match, then decides the best course of action is to confront the referee -- ALWAYS a winning strategy -- and things turn ugly, police are called, and another child is ensured years of therapy later in life.

The only good part about this story is that the parent in question "allegedly threw punches twice ā€” missing both times." YES. That is excellence in being a moron. Here's to you, Parent Living His Life through His Daughter's Athletic Career. Bravo. Bra...vo.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Stupid messageboard grapevine...

Jeff Nelson is a proven coach and all-around good guy. I don't think anyone questions his abilities to take New Mexico to a state of, well, something other than what they have been (Nelson was named new skipper for the Lobos).

No, my only complaint is that the grapevine was completely bereft of any mention of Nelson during the messageboard dissection of the job opening. All we got was Matt McShane this, Matt McShane that, something vague about a MAC coach turning the job down. I mean, if we can't count on simplycurious or InTheKnow or phaedrus to keep us up to speed on the latest goings on, all is lost. I don't ask much of my messageboard gossip.

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Tagaloa not tagging-along-a, anymore

Charlene Johnson-Tagaloa, she of the ever-present flower / pen... thingie... has resigned from Nebraska to take a job that better suits her family life. So the recent female assistant coaching lineage at Nebraska goes like this: Kathy Noth. Stacie Wolfe (remember Stacie Wolfe? Sigh...). Charlene Johnson-Tagaloa. Whoever fills the position will have to continue the long legacy of Husker setting training, which was STELLAR under Noth. Not that Johnson hyphen Tagaloa was bad, but Noth set the bar pretty freakin' high.

Plus there was that whole period where Cepero came back from training with the national team and all of a sudden her hands were like salad tongs trying to shuffle a deck of cards. That's I think the moment when some people started to say, "Hey maybe this Toshi guy ain't all he's cracked up to be."

Who are the preeminent college setter trainers out there? OK, besides Debbie Green. Who are the preeminent college setter trainers out there that would move to Lincoln? Might Cook try to pull a Hebert and hire a male coach? Or go back to his San Diego roots and yank someone out of the club scene? Can you envision a Husker staff that reads Cook, Maes...Ozhan?

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Mating rituals of the 6'5" Canadian Southpaw

We admit we might not be up on all the mating rituals of Canada, but we're wildly guessing that "feats of athleticism" is in there somewhere, if only for the following quote from Nebraska track and field athlete Dusty Jonas.

ā€œI had to prove to myself, the track community, my girlfriend (Husker All-America volleyball player Sarah Pavan) and her family here from Canada that I could jump like Iā€™m supposed to,ā€ Jonas said.

Yikes. "Jump like I'm supposed to?" As in "Dusty could you clean out the garage" SPROING! "ABSOLUTELY!"

Apparently it's not enough that you're a nice guy, college athlete. You also have to be able to clear 7'1/4" in the high jump. Those...are tough standards.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

We got yer "blue curtain" right here, pal!

First, Loyola beat Hawaii IN Hawaii -- probably the most substantial Midwest win since Deuser's Dudes "won" the national title -- and then USC sweeps the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion! I'm starting to lose faith in the basics principles of the universe. If Princeton beats UC Irvine on the 30th, I'm leaving the country.

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I'm Ron Burgundy?

No. 1 obscure fact revealed in's new player journal feature: Cal Berkeley libero Jillian Davis does a mean Ron Burgundy imitation. We're just glad that the web site is trying to actually attract visitors, as opposed to being the web equivalent of C-SPAN.

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Hebert maintains "all dude" staff

Is there anyone more powerful in collegiate volleyball than Mike Hebert? I'd say being able to hire whomever he wants, regardless of gender, in the day and age of AntennaMagnet-esque demands for female hirings, puts him pretty high up there.

Dave Manka, newest Gopher assistant coach. The over-under on him being named associate head coach is 10 months.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

No, seriously, Illinois is gonna be good

In case you were concerned about the future of the Fighting Illini, there's a 1,854 word article on to assure you that you shouldn't be. 1,000. 800. 50. 4. Amongst the selling points are a solid recruiting class, "the top libero in the nation in Ashley Edinger," and the fact that assistant coach Kevin Hambly has finally gotten his undergraduate degree, enabling him to be named assistant coach

Why has it taken Hambly this long to get his diploma? Don't know, but he's got enough impressive coaching credentials that we really don't care. Our concern is that "assistant coach" really doesn't do the guy justice. If anyone's deserving of one of those associate head coach titles that Minnesota throws around like free beer at the Tachikara Coaches' Party, it would be Hambly.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Kepner hiring completes southeast hat trick

Winthrop? Safely ensconced with Sally.

UNC-Charlotte? On the Redding railroad.

And today College of Charleston announced the hiring of Pittsburgh assistant Jason Kepner, filling the last of three job openings in the southeast, which in turn have created three attractive vacancies at Ga Tech, 'Bama, and Pitt.

There's been no final word on whether it was actually Eastern Michigan head coach Kim Berrington or assistant Sara Schaub that had interviewed for the job, something for the messageboards to argue over for a few more weeks.

Bonus points to the folks at C of C's sports info department for taking the time to cut out the blue background on Kepner's mugshot and replacing it with the much more C of C-centric maroon.

Consider your surroundings...

We submit that he forfeited all rights as a Texan the moment he put on that shirt.

Bryan Bunn, New Assistant at Baylor

Murray State students completely helpless when faced with bleachers

I know people often joke about college students being helpless, not being able to take care of themselves, but this item from The Murray State News Police Beat Summary for January 26 is not helping any:

3:59 p.m. A caller from the Regional Special Events Center reported a volleyball stuck on the top of the bleachers.

...really? You got a ball stuck on top of the bleachers, so you called the cops? Really? Any open gym player worth his salt has scaled a set of bleachers to retrieve a shanked pass at least once in their lives, or at least contacted someone in the facility to open the bleachers up. But I guess no one considered calling the cops. I wonder if they call in SWAT when a frisbee gets stuck in a tree...

Here's our other favorite item mentioned on the Police Beat Summary.

7:49 p.m.
An officer at Clark College responded to a complaint that two male subjects were making noise in front of the college. The officer advised the subjects to keep the noise down.

Ooo! Someone was making noise at [gasp] 7:40 p.m.?! The horror!

NMU: Totally screwed

After stories about how great Terry Gamble would be at Northern Michigan, and then accepting the job (with the requisite "gamble" pun in headline), Gamble did a 180 and turned the job down, citing lack of local club volleyball for his daughter as a main reason. So, with Wick Colchagoff no longer interested, apparently, NMU looks like they might have to start over. Who would have thought it would be tough to sell a job in Upper Peninsula, Michigan?


I think anytime you have "Tips to stay warm" on your weather forecast, that can't be good.

AVP finally comes to...Albany?

Look, we're all for expanding the range and influence of beach ball, what with Rachel Wacholder being, you know, hot, but...Albany?

Inquiring minds want to know what Great Danes coach Kelly Sheffield had to say to Kerri Walsh to get them to agree to visit the capitol city.

"We've got a tremendous Applebee's."

Eastern Mennonite def. Lancaster Bible

We don't really have anything to say about this men's DIII story. We just like the headline; it's so...pious.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Can you smell what the Redding is cooking?

Congrats to Chris Redding, formerly an assistant at Alabama, who beat out several candidates in the UNC Charlotte derby to become the new head skipper of the 49ers. But we would be remiss if we didn't point out the stellar resemblance between Redding and pro wrestler-turned-Stifler sidekick, the Rock, especially in this mugshot from the Alabama website. Doesn't look too happy to be with the Crimson Tide, does he?

To be fair, the UNC Charlotte picture is much sunnier, as if Redding has just executed a double suplex...or something...on the rest of the UNCC candidates.

Kent State's military industrial complex

The Flashes have picked their man, and it's Glen Conley, former 5-star head coach for Army. Interesting inasmuch as West Point certainly seems spiffier than Kent, OH. Perhaps the Golden Flashes made a deal to give him more time to pursue the elusive 7'4" and a quarter mark?

The rumored finalists were Conley, Ashland University coach Connie Surowicz. No word on where able-bodied assistant Scott Carter might wind up.

As the annual coaching shuffle continues, get those resumes out to West Point, tout de suite.