Thursday, May 31, 2007

Anyone noticing a pattern, here?

Hey, it's some Badgers! There's Wack, and DuPont, and
Dolgner, and the lead singer from Roxette, and Simpson, and...

Wisconsin's in Europe, and, seriously, almost all of these teams are taking the exact same trip, which is fine for them. But for us, at dotyoureye? Kinda repetitive I gotta say.

But that's probably because a lot of these trips are put together by the intrepid Tim Kelly and his company Bring It Promotions: "Bring It Promotions! When you wanna take your team overseas, you... better... Bring It!"

Which leads us to another episode of..."How Many Steps in Prague Castle's Tower-thingy?"

Today's contestant hails from Racine, Wis., and she is a defensive specialist for the Badgers. She enjoys scooters, State Street, and laughing. Ladies and gentleman, Amanda Berkley! Amanda?

"We got our exercise in for the day by climbing the stairs (all 290 of them!) of the tower to see the amazing view of the city."

Ohhh, I'm sorry! As you may recall, the correct answer is 287!

"We are staying at the Top Hotel in Prague."

No one likes a braggart, Amanda.

"We had a half an hour to get ready before lunch and then sight seeing with our tour guide Jerka (pronounced Yerka)."

That's...unfortunate. And I thought Robert Frost's parents were cruel.

Be sure to tune in next time when I'm sure we'll read about a ropes course at the bottom of a hill! Hopefully Faye McCormack will rob a bank or something, spice things up a bit.

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Bill Egbert's a Paladin, and he never had to touch a 20-sided die

Bill Egbert, a graduate of Nebraska with a degree in Russian Studies, has been hired as an assistant coach at Furman, which is not to be confused with Fordham, Fairfield, Flagler, Frostburg State, or Farleigh Dickinson.

Wait, Nebraska has a Russian Studies department?

"He is a young up-and-coming coach with a ton of experience," Furman head coach Michelle Young said. "I know that he will have a tremendous impact here at Furman."

Sure, with his knowledge of the Bolsheviks' October Revolution and its implications to the Mensheviks, how could he not?

Furman is home to the Lady Paladins, which Egbert says is "a dynamic program with a head coach that is devoted to helping the girls accomplish any goals they have set for themselves."

I think they said the same thing about Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko.

FYI, Bill Egbert is Gwen's son. Gwen being that person at Nebraska Juniors who reduces her volunteers to puddles of sweat during Final Four Convention demonstrations.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Find a happy place, find a happy place...

As you no doubt know, USC is also in Europe, but we haven't said much about it

But I think it's important to mention the Trojans' adventures if only to let you know that...I think Mick Haley hates his team.

Why would I say that? Here's the travel itinerary for the last couple of days: Day 1, tour Auschwitz and Birkenaw, play a volleyball match. Day 2, trek 530 feet down into a salt mine where people have drowned and died from methane explosions, play a volleyball match.

What's on for tomorrow? An overnight on the streets of Calcutta, and then another match? Leaving the Women of Troy in the middle of the Swiss Alps where they have to make their way back to civilization a la Bear Grylls on "Man vs. Wild", then play a match?

Mick must hate his team, and seeing what happened to Utah, he's obviously trying to wipe the slate clean and start over.

So...who wants to be a Trojan?

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Totally unfair characterization of Carolyn Zimmerman's quotes


Cal State Fullerton has hired Mitch Kallick, formerly of Tennessee, as an assistant coach.

Head coach Carolyn Zimmerman said Kallick "has shown through his dedication to coaching that he is willing to work hard and go the extra mile to learn about all facets of a Division I volleyball program"

...especially those facets that Zimmerman no longer wants to screw with and will now delegate to Kallick...since he, you know, doesn't mind.

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Prague Castle Part 3: Revenge of the Sith or whatever

Georgia Tech continued their European excursion by traveling to Prague where, yes, they became the third team to climb to the top of Prague Castle and tell us about it.

Would Laura and Chrissy DeMichelis, today's Ramblin' Wreck reporters, get the right number of steps?
We all explored up to the "balcony" which was completely deceiving after...
Here it comes!
...288 steps.
Oh, I'm sorry! The correct answer is "287 steps," as we covered in the Pittsburgh-Illinois State Mathlympics. But thanks for playing. Buh-bye.

Other highlights of this report include the team being "awoken to the spectacular scenery around Neuschwanstein castle." (Gesundheit.) Turns out Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Cinderella's castle.
Huh. Looks just like O'Keefe Gymnasium, doesn't it?

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Jim Moore is messing with our brains

In an article in the Oregon Daily Emerald, Jim Moore, Master of the Resurgence, feels that his team has "lost the fear of losing." (Maybe that's why they don't mind losing Djuric.)

So I guess it's only fitting that, according to the article, what Moore most appreciated during a recent tournament was a loss.
"It was really good for us. I changed some things up to make it difficult on ourselves and they didn't handle it well. It was a really good experience."
Yea! They didn't handle it well! Look, I know teams can grow from losses, but...I've never heard a coach enjoy it this much.

But you can understand Moore's optimism after taking the Ducks to the Big Dance for the first time since 1989, a feat Moore says you can trace back to senior Kristin Bitter declaring "We are not going to lose anymore."

Well, yeah, except for the 12 times that they did. But that doesn't change the fact that Oregon won 17 times, and finished 6th in the Pac-10, a marked improvement from past seasons.

And Moore's excited for the coming year, where he'll have the services of Sonja Newcombe and Gorana Maricic, a duo of which Moore says, "They're good."

Yeah, yeah, they're good, I'm good, everyone's good. So?

"They are legitimately good."

Oh! Legitimately good. Well that changes everything. Plus, Moore cryptically says, Maricic "hadn't perfected defense and now she is."

Stupid consistent verb tense, gets ya' every time.
Do we have a chance to make the NCAA tourney? That is not even in our mind.
Kinda negative thinking, isn't it? I mean you made the tournament last year, so--
Our mentality is now we have to go as deep in the Tourney as we possibly can.
Ohhhhh! I see where he's going with this! Clever Master of Resurgence.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Great moments in tournament engineering

Quick shout-out to the NJC at the GLC in Ill.: Chairs specifically designated ONLY for college coaches? The tournament already had the best hospitality room ever for college coaches, and this new innovation...(sniffle)'s just so beautiful! It's like the reverse of the super-annoying, much-dreaded NEQ.

22% of Oregon offense defects to Seminole Nation

Remember that Oregon Duck resurgence orchestrated by Resurgence Master Jim Moore? Well, don't get too excited, because Mira Djuric, owner of 359 kills for the Ducks last year, has packed her bags and moved to Tallahassee. Florida, that is.

And waiting with open arms is Todd Kress, who says that Djuric "brings the international style that is only going to help us be better as a program."

"International style"? What is that? Does she smoke a pack of cigarettes while riding to the matches on her Vespa? Is she bringing an aversion to air conditioning and the modern ice cube?

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Totally unfair characterization of Talia Ogle's quotes

Hey you know who we never hear from? UT-Pan American. Which is handy because they've just hired a new assistant coach, Talia Ogle. Let's take a look at what Ms. Ogle has to say about her new gig, and then see how we can mangle those quotes.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to work alongside Coach (Angela) Hubbard."
So far, so good. Ogle's toeing the company line, saying all the right things.

"We have tremendous talent here at UTPA in our outside hitters as well as defensive players."
What, no love for the middles and setters? Gee, how...undiplomatic. You know, most new coaches like to make sure they start on good terms with all their players, but, hey, what do I know.

Good luck!

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More European wreckage!

The floodgates are open, releasing a torrent of reports from Georgia Tech as they enjoy all that Europe has to offer. Being in Munich, the team got a chance to tour the Olympic park, and did their best to blend in:
Very natural. In no way does Ben Bodipo-Memba look like a German tourist version of Huggy Bear.

But the highlight of this report was when the team traveled to Leopoldskron Castle:
Then all of a sudden, Brittany, Steph, Erin and Nikki started singing songs from the Sound of Music. It turned out that this castle was the same one from the movie, and that a lot of the movie was filmed here!

Everybody! "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."

Anyone? No? Raindrops on roses, people! Anyway, on to today's food description:
Our pre game meal consisted of pork, sauerkraut and a ball of--
Wax? No, twine! A ball of twine!
--what tasted like stuffing.
Damn. I'm terrible at this game.

Oh, there was also some volleyball. The Wreck beat up on some poor Salzburg team like Mozart (one 'T') on a Steinway, and everyone grew as a person.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Totally unfair photo captions with Texas

Wait, whose foot is that?


Badgers under the impression they're invading, not touring

As you know, Peter Waite and the Mad City Badgers are going on their own European excursion in just a few days. In preparation, apparently the team is having boot camp that includes 4-hour morning practices.

Guess the theory is that an injured, exhausted team can't get into trouble? I mean they do realize that a big part of the trip will wind up being trying to barter with street vendors?

Anyway, junior Maya Carroll tells us that this is all for their benefit, to get the team ready for the European experience:
Coach Rod has reminded us to be open-minded since we don’t know much about the national teams we’ll meet.
"Coach, is she even a human? I think I see a tail."

"Now, let's be open-minded about this. A prehensile tail is pretty common throughout Europe, and really no help on the court."
They might be older, maybe louder, heck we might be playing with a soccer ball.
They might be Martians! They might have a third eye! They might not shave their armpits! It's a maaaaadhouse!

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The Wreck is ALIVE

Contrary to our worst fears, the Georgia Tech volleyball team did not get booted from Germany, nor have they been abducted as part of some..."plan" of some kind, headed by Ga Tech import Ulrike.

Turns out they've just neglected to keep us updated, but Talisa Kellogg, obviously reacting to the inherent commentating genes in her family, helps us out today.
The difference in ball size, playing to 25 as opposed to 30, and the substitution policies have made us have to adjust and change how we typically run things.
Hasn't everyone on this team played to 25 for nearly their entire club career? How hard is it to remember that?

Kellogg tells us that after they lost to the Germans, there was a cookout, which included the host Germans, Georgia Tech, and the French junior national team. Apparently the Germans kept trying to play the French in tetherball, but the French kept giving up in the middle of the game, leaving Georgia Tech to finish the game for them.

One of the most interesting parts of these trips is the "food adjustment" each team goes through. Let's see how Kellogg describes the many delicacies offered by Germany.
They offered a variety of meats at the cookout along with bread and a few side items that were similar to our potato salad.
"A variety of meats"? That's it? C'mon, Kellogg! Would your dad describe Kevin Durant simply as having "a variety of moves"? Work with me!
Aside from the lack of air conditioning, paying to use the bathroom, and having to drink all beverages at a luke warm temperature, we are making it and accepting the challenges and taking it day by day by day!!!!
Wow! A cliche´ hat trick! "Making it," AND "accepting challenges," AND "taking it day by day"! Now you're talkin', Special K.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

vbgymrat goes sweeping down the plain

Who's going to keep us up to date on all those DIII coaching openings?


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Gosh that sounds like fun

Married pro beach stars Kerri Walsh and Casey Jennings are going to appear on "Get Married," which is described as "a new women's-interest, magazine-style TV show about the $72 billion wedding industry."
Get Married...covers everything about weddings, providing news, trend stories, celebrity interviews, expert tips and ideas, surveys, destination weddings, honeymoons and viewer feedback as the only show of its kind on the television landscape.
Five bucks says this wasn't Jennings' idea.

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Stupid "life"

You know, Life's always gettin' all up in people's grill. Dang, y'all.



Whither the Ramblin' Wreck?

Has anyone heard from the Georgia Tech volleyball team lately? I don't want to be an alarmist but it was 5 days ago that we got our first report from the Ramblin' Wreck. Remember when we made fun of Ben Bodipo-Memba's freakish wingspan?

Five days later and no reports. No wacky stories of eating borscht, no harrowing tales of navigating the autobahn, no amusing shots of Bond in lederhosen. Nuthin'.

I mean, Germany's still there, isn't it? They have electricity. They get them there Interwebs, right?

Or has there been an international incident of some kind? I don't want to point any fingers (Callie Miller), but maybe someone got the team booted from the country?

OR...has Ulrike Stegemann kidnapped the team once she suckered them into her home country? Has she hatched some elaborate plan that started with getting Georgia Tech to recruit her and ended when she said, "Hey, um, wouldn't it be cool if we took a trip to my home country?"

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stanford can't recruit

Gabi Ailes will be a frosh for the Stanford Cardinal this fall, where she looks to become the first-ever actual libero on The Farm (Yeah, I know, Fishburn, etc. They don't count.). And she's having quite the senior year.

Not only did Ailes help her high school win volleyball and basketball state championships, but this spring she decided to really apply herself as No. 2 singles player for the tennis team. The result? Oh, no big deal, she just won the Nebraska state championship for No. 2 singles, that's all.

Last year the future Cardinal only finished third in state, but that was while playing with the tennis coach's wife's racket. So this year, with a few private lessons under her belt and her own racket, she won the title.

How annoyed must all of Ailes's opponents be, knowing they lost to someone who's only playing the sport as a hobby? That'll stick in your craw.

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Cruisin' Ha Long Bay with the Red Storm

St. John's trip to Vietnam is wrapping up, and with our latest report from the team's trainer, Jennifer Hamilton, we learn a few things:
  • Head coach Joanne Persico-Smith has The Pussycat Dolls on her iPod
  • Jennifer has a background in cliff-jumping in limestone quarries
  • You can't hunt squid when it's windy
  • Water on Vietnamese cruise ships in Ha Long bay smells like moth balls

But another interesting tidbit comes not from Hamilton's report but from the Thanh Nien Daily. Turns out that Ngoc Hoa, a star for the VTV club team St. John's lost to in the finals of their tournament, has caught the eye of Persico-Smith.

In fact, she's "agreed to grant the 1.83m-tall Hoa a scholarship worth US$39,000 per year for two years" (or more if you use the Tomasevic Sliding Scale).

"Ngoc Hoa will become an international standard athlete if she has chances to compete abroad,” Persico-Smith is quoted as saying.

Now that's a pretty cool trip: travel to an exotic locale, get great experience against international competition, finish very high in the tournament, AND land another international athlete for your already varied roster.

But St. John's isn't the only one interested in Ngoc Hoa's services. Japanese club Shikuko is interested, and their coach "said he wanted Ngoc Hoa to play for his team for the last two months of the year when the Vietnam league ended."

So scholarship to St. John's in America, or play for Shikuko on the fabulous empire of Japan. Decisions, decisions.

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Redbirds hangin' with European rodents

After reports from numerous Redbirds, we finally get one from Kasey Mollerus, libero extaordinaire and referee dancing partner.

Unfortunately, her report is pretty disturbing. Sure, part of the report talks about Kasey and her teammates talking down street vendors to 20 Euros for designer purses (what are the odds they fell for knockoffs?), but then...the PIGEONS.
Then our group met at the end of the city in a breathtaking square filled with beautiful big buildings with pigeons surrounding us!
Oh no...don't do it.
All you had to do was stick out your arm, and they would fly right to it. It was amazing to watch three birds come land on your arms just as if they were your friends!
Except friends don't perch on your arm in the hope that you'll throw bread crumbs at them, while carrying various diseases after having traipsed around one of the largest cities in the world.

Would Mollerus would find it as entertaining if three rats with wings landed on her arm? Yeah, didn't think so. Hope they showered with those "Silkwood" hoses afterward...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Misty May gets exposure!

More exposure for the AVP courtesy of; The website included Misty May's record-breaking 73rd win in their "8 Questions to Get Your Brain Working on a Monday Morning." Catchy title, no? Rolllls right off the tongue.

While recognizing May's accomplishment, ESPN also said May was just shy of another record:
Most bits of sand lodged in various body crevices during an entire lifetime. Just 314 more and she bests the mark currently held by Stickycracks McGee.
OK, "Stickycracks McGee" isn't bad, but the whole "sand-in-tough-spots" genre is a little played out, isn't it?

Why not just some lame wedgie reference if you're going that direction? I mean, if you're gonna shoot low, shoot really, really low.

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OK, so I take it that the Mad Anthonys are of some kind? And this a special red coat? 'Cuz, you know, if Arnie Ball just wants a red coat, I can get him one.

(By the way, the Mad Anthonys are actually a splinter group from the street gang Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters. And when they rumble with the Candles in the Wind? It's quite the brouhaha.)


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Could Ohio's reign be at the mercy of Blackburn's class schedule?

The Ohio Bobcats have had a stranglehold on the Mid-American Conference for four years now. And they've enjoyed a level of success in the NCAA tournament heretofore unknown by their conference compatriots.

This has resulted in Miami, Ball State, Western / Eastern / Central Michigan, et al, scrambling to overthrow the Carlston Empire by such unconventional methods as "recruiting" and "working hard in the gym."

But a solution may have just presented itself. And it comes from within the Bobcat program.

"I just figured out what I'm going to be taking next year," senior co-captain Stephanie Blackburn said in Ohio's Post newspaper, "and it's going to be really tough to get all my classes in."

A-ha! The light at the end of the tunnel is Blackburn's nagging drive to succeed! Seems she's a pre-med major with an eye to be a professional mole wrangler one day (i.e. dermatologist).

That means, as top Bobcat Geoff Carlston said, that Blackburn is "taking very hard classes, and always taking physics or calculus or chemistry. She just does things right."

As opposed to KFC which only does chicken right. THAT's how hard Blackburn works. It's gotta be hard enough to do chicken right, but Blackburn goes above and beyond to do "things" right. "THINGS!"

Blackburn's heavy class load could be just the distraction needed to knock the Bobcat Express off its rails and leave it a smoking pile of twisted metal enabling another MAC team to navigate NCAA Tournament waters for a change! (There's a lot going on in that sentence...feel free to take your time.)

So, fair warning, Akron, Kent State, Bowling Green, and Ray Gooden University: Your shot at the title could very well come this fall. Be prepared, y'all!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Easy pickins' with Bowling Green's new hire

Bowling Green's new assistant is Robert Frost. We could have lots of fun at poor Robert's expense, but we'd like to think we're above that frankly.

According to published reports, two candidates emerged during Bowling Green's hiring process, both so qualified that head Falcon Denise Van De Walle was sorry she couldn't hire both of them.

She considered the first candidate, who she imagined could help take her program deep into the post season. But the other candidate looked just as appealing.

"When you got right down to it," Van De Walle said, "each had the same experience, both fresh and ready to jump into the D1 game head first."

At one point Vandewalle said she thought she was ready to make a decision and thought "Well I can always change my mind." But she also knew that once she made a decision, she'd probably stick with it.

Bottom line, the veteran coach said, was that she had two great candidates. And years from now Van De Walle said she'll be telling people she picked the more obscure candidate, and it's been a big help to the Bowling Green Falcon volleyball program.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, Frost has never forgiven his parents.)

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Redbirds get jiggy with it, and biff before ooohing and ahhhing

More fun with Illinois State, and thank goodness because they're ain't a whole hell of a lot else going on in college volleyball right now.

Peggy Riessen brings us update #6. If you'll recall from yesterday, she was the one who froze on top of a pole at the European ropes course. Today she and the rest of the Redbird gang went to the beach, where the team helped Jess Pratapas overcome "her fear of seaweed."

Ah yes, the little-known sigmundaphobia.

As with many players on their trips overseas, Riessen was surprised to find rocks instead of sand on the beaches, but now you know why their pro beach players look so rough. The rocks proved tricky, and apparently Riessen wiped out, which is a nice follow-up to the pole-top freeze-up.

Later that night everyone went to to a club to dance the night away. A "club"? What happened to using the word "disco"? Is this a part of Europe that's evolved out of the '70s?

There was mucho dancing at the "club," but unlike the last time, there were no referees showing libero Kasey Mollerus their "Spanish flair."

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Ben Bodipo-Memba and his freakish wing span

During Georgia Tech's trip to Europe, assistant coach Ben Bodipo-Memba prepares to demonstrate how 12 months of intensive yoga have paid off by folding his 6'8" frame into this European clown car.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007


"I don't like to be the center of attention unless I'm on the dance floor."
--Misty May on breaking the record for all-time AVP wins

Awww yyyeah.
"I suddenly began to daydream and the cows turned into golden arches and the thought of a McDonald’s near by made me quite excited."
--St. John's Latoya Blunt, clearing losing her grip on sanity as the Red Storm traveled to Hanoi.

I love the smell of Golden Arches in the morning. Smells like...breakfast.
There are two changes I'd like to see US collegiate volleyball adopt. Number one, playing to 25--it's a much better score to play to from a strategic standpoint. And second, using the men's ball and doing away with the women's ball.
--Pitt head man Chris Beerman after his team's Euro Trip

By the way, who's the program keeping Tachikara in business?

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Illinois State flat-out stalking Pitt now

Illinois State continues their Euro Trip, and for this update we'll first share a few lines of dialog instead of song lyrics:
Jamie: It's a traveler's money belt. Frommer's says if you have one of these, no one can rob you of anything.
Scott: Except your dignity

Now on to the update!

So as it turns out, the Redbirds really are doing the exact, same trip that Pittsburgh did. Not only did they climb the same 287 steps in the St. Vitus Cathedral (some can count, some can't), they also decided to do the same team building ropes course by a mountain.

It's Europe. Couldn't these guys be, you know, learning or something?

Anyhoo, Illinois State's Jess Pratapas tells us that the whole team had to climb a pole, and then she mocks her teammates. Peggy Riessen apparently locked up when she reached the top of the pole, and MC (no relation, remember) Richmond fell off, dangling from her rope.

"I'm not gonna lie," Pratapas said, "that was one of the funniest moments of the day!"

Nothing builds a team like mockery.
Next we got to trz this swing thing; I don't know what the name of it is. Each player got strapped onto this harness which is attached to this long rope. Then M.C. would yell "mush" and the team would pull this rope that pulled the harnessed person back. Then, the one player would pull this string and drop, and swing back and forth. It was the coolest thing ever!

Sorry if my explanation was a little confusing!

Why would you think it was confusing? Seems pretty clear to me: There's strapping and "mush" and pulling and more pulling and a drop and then more swinging. What's not to understand?

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AVP suddenly not as happy-go-lucky as we were originally thinking

So the AVP is back on track. New tour stops! More fans! Renewed interest! Nothing can stop them now!
Oh no...

According to this article from the LA Daily News, Jeff Nygaard is one AVP regular who's discovered this dark side of the sun.
Thursday, he's having surgery to remove a piece of his upper left arm, a centimeter cut the shape of a football on each side of the skin that recently tested malignant for an early stage of melanoma.

Now, those of you with pigment in your skin are probably thinking, "Well, Nygaard's a pasty white dude from Wisconsin. He's practically flammable."

Not so fast, the article says. Tyra Turner's dad is of Latin-American heritage and had melanoma, which Tyra's brother Chad points out means "the sun is colorblind and doesn't discriminate."

The article goes on to quote some scary statistics, talks about how freaked out Nygaard is, and then ends. Just. ENDS.

What about Nygaard? What does this mean? How bad is it? Where does he go from here?

These are just a few of the over 3,000 questions I still have 'cause I'm genuinely concerned for the guy. And all we're left with is Nygaard's quote that "We can't keep treating this like the elephant in the room."

Well, we've acknowledged the elephant, but how about an update as to the damage it's caused? Did it flatten the plasma TV or is it just sitting on the lanai, minding it's own business? Help us out, here.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Joel McCartney: The Great Orator

Joel McCartney might just be the Martin Luther King, Jr., of our time. The FDR, the Winston Churchill, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates all rolled into one.

Hark! The Great Orator speaks of the impending employment of Chad Callihan!
"His greatest asset in becoming another instrumental element to our future success is his passion for not only the sport of volleyball, but also the University of Georgia and the Athens community."

I just donated $500 to Georgia Volleyball, and I'm not even from there.
"The charge for Georgia volleyball is to rise up nationally to the place it deserves to be..."

Rise up! So that one day Georgia volleyball may be judged not by the color of its uniforms, but by the content of its wins and losses.
Trust and loyalty are the most important character traits for any assistant to possess and I view Chad's strengths to be influenced heavily by this truth."

And we hold these truths to be self evident that all Bulldogs are created equal, that they are endowed by their head coach with certain unalienable goals, that among these are Wins, Championships and the pursuit of Florida.

For what it's worth, Callihan becomes the second head coach to abandon their head coaching position to be an assistant for McCartney, after Deitre Collins hyphen Parker left Cornell.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

When it hypothetically rains...

Do you think Beth Launiere saw this headline and thought "Oh NOW WHAT?! #$@*!!! Who hates me up there? WHO?!"

Of course, in this imaginary scenario, she then realized by Utah the headline didn't mean "Utah" least that's what happened when I first read it.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Totally unfair photo captions with Dave Shondell

"Who's responsible for making these seats purple?"

"I, I don't really kno--"

"Is that your area? Because they really should be black and gold."

"Dave, this isn't our gym."


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Dave Boos yanks our chain

"I have worked with Marci for the past four years and I can confidently say that she has the highest volleyball IQ of any player I have coached."
Ball State coach Dave Boos on his new assistant coach, Marci Peniata

I can't believe Boos is going to sit there and tell us that Marci Peniata has a higher volleyball IQ than Jill Mudge.

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Gabi Reece does nothing for The Village Voice

The Academy of Country Music Awards occurred, I don't know, recently, and The Village Voice's Tom Breihan did a running diary of the show, including the following observation:

I'm sure they tried to get more "mainstream celebrities" for this all-important country music award show, especially since it's one of only, what, 20 annual award shows for country music.

Plus there are only so many award shows that the guys from Blue Collar Comedy Tour can do.

Oh, and the volleyball player was Gabi Reece, so at worst this guy has to look at Gabi Reece for a couple minutes. Gosh, what a drag. That must have been awful.

(BTW, just because we're sticking up for her, this doesn't excuse Gabi from the indiscretions of "Air Bud: Spikes Back" or "Cloud 9"...ever.)

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Illinois State not winning, but they're enjoying the ride

"This morning we enjoyed a nice European breakfast -oranges, yogurt and bologna sandwiches ... mmm."

That's Illinois State's M.C. Richmond (no relation to Hammer) talking about breakfast in Brno, Czech Republic, which is...really kinda lame, actually. Bologna? Shouldn't they be eating some kind of exotic pate´ made of poached platypus liver or something?

In setter Erin Lindsey's report, she tells us that they won their first game of their trip against the Azerbaijan national team, but still lost the match. However, after the match, the team got to go to a "disco."

Are Europeans aware that the term "disco" went out with 8-tracks? Why are they holding onto it? The rest of us have mooooved on. But then again, if they haven't discovered the wonders of, you know, frozen water, I guess this isn't that much of a shock.

The best part of the night was not simply that we got to go dancing, but that we went dancing with none other than our referee from our match earlier! He had a great time using his Spanish flair in a salsa dancing lesson with Kasey.

Yeah, I'm not sure I want to know what his "Spanish flair" is. This is Kasey to the right, by the way. Those sneaky, disco-dancing European referees! Lurking in "discos" to take advantage of poor innocent female volleyball players!

Interesting the differences between European refs and those here in America. Here, the ref you ran into later wouldn't be dancing with you; he'd want to explain to you in lengthy detail why he called that ball-handling violation in game 4 when the score was 23-23 when he hadn't called a ball-handling call for the whole match but he's not going to let a little thing like THAT get in the way of ruining a PERFECTLY GOOD MATCH because suddenly HE wants everyone to know that HE'S IN CHARGE, and that's after letting that mangled set in game two go by the wayside as if it was perfectly le--


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So you're saying they're tall

Nice write-up on American University's--OK, I'll say it--"twin towers," Ann and Claire Recht, on In case you didn't know, they're identical twins, and they're both 6'7". They're so tall (How tall are they?) that they're in the Guiness Book of Records as the world's tallest living female twins.

I have to say I'm a little disappointed though that the article couldn't at least be familiar with the game:

"And while blocking serves and spiking balls may be easy for the pair, ducking into class unnoticed, meeting boys and blending in on campus can be a little trickier."

"Blocking serves"? When was the last time you could block a serve in college volleyball? Were you ever allowed to do that?

The article goes on to give us interesting stats on the respective heights of the rest of the Recht family.
Parents Erich and Josephine are well over six feet, and older siblings Kyle (25), Warren (23) and Martha (21) are 6-9, 6-8 and 5-11, respectively.

C'mon, Martha! Only 5'11"? It's like you're not even trying. Now you know what Peyton Manning's mom must feel like.

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Does Knipe know about this?

I know sometimes details escape website editors, but..
Really? Huh. That's funny, 'cuz...

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It's the Illinois State v. Pittsburgh Mathlympics!

I tell ya', these Euro Trips (Scotty doesn't know!) are all the rage nowadays. First Utah, then Pittsburgh, and now...Sharon Dingman and her Illinois! State! Redbirds!

(And as we now all know, this means that either a) Coach Dingman wants to enrich her players' lives or b) as stated in the Anderson-Salvo Theorem, Dingman's trying to get two starters to vamoose.)

Illinois State seems to be following the same path blazed by Beerman's Panthers. Rising senior Kristin Dziubla reports on the team's arrival in Prague, which is where the Panthers also visited early in their trip. There's no mention of rowdy high schoolers protesting something, but she does mention climbing St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle, JUST LIKE THE PANTHERS DID. It's like that castle is a tourist attraction or something...

After climbing about 285 steps up the winding staircase, we made it (out of breath and somewhat dizzy!) to the top.

Wait a cotton-pickin' second: How many steps did Pitt's numerologist Melissa Stadelman say there were?

This narrow staircase was not easy to climb, however, with there being a total of 287 steps. Melissa Stadelman even counted them all!

So, the question is, who has the better math skills? Kristin Dziubla, 6'1 junior middle, a business administration major from Elgin, Ill., or Melissa Stadelman, 5'11" redshirt freshman outside hitter with an undeclared major from Pittsburgh?

After consulting a number of travel guides, including, the answer is...

Melissa Stadelman! Apparently 287 is the correct number of steps within Prague Castle's St. Vitus Cathedral!

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Lyrics are really more of a guideline, anyway

St. John's is in the middle of competition at the VTV Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Most recently they posted a 3-0 win over the VTV Club team Long An and over Sri Lanka. But that's not the real highlight, IMO.

After the match, the team had massages, ate food, and then did a little karaoke. First to perform was assistant coach Li Chen who did his rendition of "Can't Help Falling in Love," then it was head coach Joanne Persico-Smith, who "changed the lyrics of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind to say 'a Vietnam state of mind.'"

Look, I know you want to show your appreciation to your hosts, but "A Vietnam State of Mind"? That must have been as smooth as "Christmas is all around us." What is a Vietnam state of mind, anyway? A fresh outlook on socialism?

And did she change the rest of the lyrics?

Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the USA
Hop a flight to Hanoi Beach or to Da Nang.
I'm taking jet planes, for a number of lengthy flights-
I'm in a Vietnam state of mind.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Well that didn't take long

And like that...Sue Medley's gone.

But can you blame her? There've been rumors about Quinnipiac getting rid of their program for a while now, so perhaps Medley saw the writing on the wall. Either that or the 1-30 season drove her out of her gourd.

Afterall, Medley is no sissy-mary. She started the program at Maine. From scratch. MAINE. A place where I think there's still snow on the ground. Where polar bears vote in local elections.

But like we said, Q-Pac is supposedly a Dead Program Walkin', and their "rush" to hire Medley in such a, um, timely manner does little to assuage that notion.

The greatest trick Quinnipiac ever pulled was convincing the world that their volleyball program doesn't exist.

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Quizno's? Really?

You know, you can talk about your Competitive Cauldron, your Blue Curtain, your...Squared Gold Medal, but can any of that match the infinite power of The Quizno's?

Kudos to Marjorie Cho for knowing what Crash Davis knew: "A player on a streak has to respect the streak." In other words, if you think you're winning because you're eating a peppercorn parmesan turkey with bacon, or because you won't sleep with Susan Sarandon, then you are.

Personally, I'd rather base a winning streak on Blimpie's, but that's just me.

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Things worse in Croatia than we imagined

"I think I saw an ice cube for the first time in a week."

That's Pittsburgh Panther Nicole Taurence talking about her best breakfast yet in Europe that featured cereal and cold milk. I know we sometimes think that in America we have certain techonological advantages over other countries, but I never thought that the ice cube was one of them.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

We're a long way from "Platoon"

The last Americans in Vietnam were evacuated from the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon in 1975. Few people could have believed that day that a time would arrive when we'd be sending a women's volleyball team.

But that time has arrived, and St. John's is that volleyball team. They're already knee-deep into the Vietnam Television (VTV) International Women’s Volleyball Cup, and the players have provided a lot of reports.

Sophomore outside hitter Valeria Kovaleva tells us about the view from her hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City, saying it "seems like I am in an 'Asian Manhattan.'” You know what else seems like an Asian Manhattan? Chinatown.

The Red Storm also took the time to send Mother's Day shout-outs from the Far East:

Kochana Manus!
W tym dniu zycze ci hrzystkiego naylepszego duzo zddowia. Szczescia I pomyslnosci zycze ci rowniez usmiecmu na twadzy kazdego.
Kocham Cie, Wioleta Leszczynska #14

Lubimaya Mama!
Ya seicmas ochen daleko I budu doma ne skoro, no ya cleochu chtobi ti znala cuto ya ochen. Tebhya Lublu, dumau o tebe kajdi den I ochen sdu togo dnya kogda smogu tebya obnya I skrat cmto lublu tebya glyadya vzlaza.
Valeria Kovaleva #13

Mesmo de longe quero te desejar um feliz dia das maes e quero tambin dizer que sinto muita saudade de te ter todos os dias do meu lado. 13 dias e estaremos juntas de novo! Te amo muito!
Beijas com muito amor, Ruisa Scheffel #15

Well said and beautiful.

Oh, don't speak Polish, Russian, or Portuguese? Are they not teaching those core languages in the schools anymore? Ah, well here you are respectively:

My dear mom,
On this special day, I would like to wish you a happy mother’s day. I wish you health and happiness and a smile every day.
Love you, Wioleta Leszczynska #14

Dear Mama!
I may be far away from you right now but I will be home soon. I want you to know that I love you so much and miss you so much. I can’t wait for that day when I’ll tell you that looking into your eyes.
Valeria Kovaleva #13

Even though we are so very far away, I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and I also want to say that I miss you so much every single day that you are not by my side. 13 days and we will be together again! I love you so much!
Kisses with love, Ruisa Scheffel #15

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Paul Swangard, master of comparisons

"I think I throw it in with the AVP (volleyball) and maybe to an extent with the PBR (bull riding)."
--Paul Swangard, sports-marketing expert at the University of Oregon, in reference to the LPGA.

Hm. Annika Sorenstam chipping in from the fringe = Rachel Wacholder ripping one down the line = someone on a bull? I'm gonna need some more info.

"These are sports where there are a lot of people who enjoy attending it, but in terms of breakthrough or crossover appeal, it's very rare that these sports have the ability to gain that large mind-share."

OK, that makes a little more sense. But I gotta believe that if the AVP got the TV coverage the LPGA did, both on network TV and ESPN, it would skyrocket past Michelle Wie and company.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lovely Post Script

So's College Talk messageboard took the steam out posting that former Notre Dame assistant Louella Lovely left her position to be closer to her fiance´.

Not that we really thought anything untoward had occurred. It's just that we like Coach Lovely, and wanted to see her ride off into the St. Louis sunset with a skosh more fanfare.

And if we really thought something evil was afoot we would have gone with a better name than "LOVELYGATE"; "LOUGATE" is much snappier.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Well at least they're eating well

Time to check in with the Pittsburgh Panthers and see if they're surviving their Euro Trip (Scotty doesn't know! Scotty doesn't know! So don't tell Scotty!)

Report #5 comes to us from Stephanie Ross, who begins by letting us know they were at some ski resort, rode a ski lift, etc. At the top of some mountain the team ate lunch, which was goulash and a dessert. Then later they sausage, beans, potatoes and streudel. This comes after doner kebabs, goulash and dumplings, and assorted meats and cheeses that had been consumed earlier on the trip.

If nothing else, head coach Chris Beerman is making sure the team experiences European heartburn. And that's a memory they'll cherish forever.

In between the goulash and sausage, the team completed one of those ever-popular ropes courses, you know, because we don't have that kind of thing over here in America. No, better to travel a few thousand miles, eat odd mushy foods, and do a course next to a Slovenian mountain.

Ross related: "This task was incredibly difficult and required a lot of arm and leg strength. It was equivalent to a Kim King workout!!"

A Kim King workout! Haha! Ha, we're, we're all sharing--heh-heh-- a laugh, haha, ehhh...

Yyyeah, I don't know who that is.

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Notre Dame skipped something, somewhere

Former Notre Dame volleyball player Lauren Brewster was named assistant coach at her alma mater on Thursday.

Whoa, wait. Since when has there been an opening at Notre Dame?

"She replaces Louella Lovely who recently resigned to relocate to the St. Louis, Mo., area following four seasons as an assistant coach at Notre Dame."

Oh. I see. No big deal. Brewster's just replacing Louella Lovely who res--wait WHAT?! "Resigned?" That's it? That's all we get? This is like announcing that Kerri Walsh's new beach partner is going to be Lane Carico, and oh by the way Misty May has left the pro beach tour to live in a commune in Walla Walla, Wash.

That's not closure! What in the world happened? One minute Lovely's cruising along as assistant Irish...person, the next she's just gone? Without any kind of press release? And why St. Louis?

Something smells, and it's not me. Is that you? It's not me. It's...LOVELYGATE.

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