Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Monday, and I still can't tell if Duke's for real

Huh...didn't see that coming - Michigan loses to Iowa and Minnesota, to go 0-3 in the Big Ten. On the other hand, the field hockey team won their sixth in a row, so, you know...there's that.

Stay, Stone! Stay! - Ohio State gets swept by Purdue and follows it up with a 3-1 loss at IU. Worst farewell tour since the Eagle's fifth one, or was it their sixth one? The one that cost $350 / ticket. That one.

'Nova represents - So, see if you can follow this: Notre Dame lost to Villanova, which lost to Penn, which lost to Fairfield, which lost to Siena, which lost to Robert Morris, which lost to Bucknell, which lost to Radford, which lost to High Point.

Dude, the Irish totally lost to High Point!

Check out Charlie - Pretty good returns on UOP's investment in the Wademeister, with wins over UCSB and, more impressively, Cal Poly. So far, it looks like hiring Chuck was like getting in on the ground floor with Red Hat Linux, or, something.

All hail St. Francis of NY! - They claimed their first win since the 2004 season with a 30-23, 24-30, 33-31, 27-30, 15-12 win over Q-pac. Longest drought since John Travolta before he made "Pulp Fiction." And if Travolta's career is any indication, St. Francis will have a couple mild wins before returning to the "Wild Hogs" of volleyball doldrum.

Damn the irony - I mention how well UW-Milwaukee is doing, and then they lose a five-game barn-burner to "Boss" Chuck Voss and the Vikettes. Is it still a 2-team race (avec Bryce Drew University), or is Cleveland State for real? Felsing #1 13 kills, 52 assists; Felsing #2 20 digs.

Is this a glass-half-full kind of thing? - Cal took UCLA to five games! Yea! Beck and Pressey hit zero. Boo. But Cal won the first two games, holding UCLA to a .121 hitting percentage! Yea! But Cal hit .056 for the next three. Boo.

Miami! Of Ohio! - The Redhawks, formerly Redskins, bounced Ohio in 4 games AT Ohio. The next night, Ohio beat Bowling Green in front of a school-record 3,689 fans, which is kinda like still yelling "Surprise!" when you're a day late for a surprise party. Coach Carlston, give us a facial expression that best expresses your feelings:

Yup, that's the one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Uhart gets her pumper fixed

Kansas' Natalie Uhart has not had it easy. Initially a player for Long Beach State, she had many injury problems and eventually transferred back closer to home, where she promptly sat out all of last season because of knee surgery.

So this year, things were going great. She was healthy, playing, and then against Michigan State she was dizzy and weak. Doctors discovered, well, how do I put this: they discovered a hole in her heart. No big deal. Just a hole, in the most important organ of the body. (Arguably, brain freaks. Don't send letters.)

You heard me. A her heart. It's called a patent foramen ovale, which is a birth defect of sorts, a hole in the membrane dividing the two upper chambers of the heart.


Now, I did a little reading, and it turns out that the surgery for this can be done WITH LOCAL ANESTHETIC. I'm not sure if that's what they did in Uhart's case, but they basically use catheters and stick two umbrella-looking things a little bigger than a dime...IN THE HEART.

Uhart had the surgery September 12, and was cleared to play for last night's match. So in case you're wondering, that's 15 days after a procedure on her heart, she's back on the court.

...freakin' technology, huh. Why again aren't we traveling in air locks yet?

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Quotent Quotables

"We really played on top of our game and beat a strong international team." - Penn coach Kerry Carr after beating Liu, Ling, Zhang, and Ning, better known as Temple.

"You're rarely going to find me feeling great. That's just not the way I tick, I guess." - K-State skipper Susie Fritz, showing her happy side.

"The demons from last year have come back to haunt us." - Arizona head coach Dave Rubio, on losing at USC and UCLA. Must be talking about those pesky "Year after Kim Glass Graduated" demons. They're the worst.

"This isn't a moral victory. This isn't anything." - Oregon's sunny head coach Jim Moore on the team's five-game loss to Washington. Moore went on to add, "This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no fooling around."

"It's hard for them to believe that they're really capable of doing it."
- NC State head coach Charita Stubbs on why the Wolfpack can't win a match in the ACC. You can feel the support from here.

"I think they were still scared, though, after we started doing a better job." - NC State's Lauren Zaniboni on their match against Georgia Tech. I don't know if the Ramblin' Wreck squad was scared. Perhaps she's mistaking fear for just, you know, surprise.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

[insert wacky line about Mondays]

Long Beach def. UCSB - This is like the USSR fighting the Mayans: Old power, and older power. Not that both teams aren't top 30 or so teams, but they're both like Ted Danson on "Becker": Not really washed up, but not exactly Must See TV, either. I would say they've "jumped the shark," but I read on the Interwebs that the phrase "jumped the shark" has jumped the shark, so...

Georgia beats Tennessee? Remember two years ago? When Tennessee went to the Final Four? Remember? Yeah, neither does Georgia. Now I've seen everything.

Where a Wolverine falls, a Badger rises Michigan can't crack .200 during the sweep, and now Michigan students have nothing to distract them from their crummy football team.

Pitt outlasts ND Panthers win 33-31, 32-30, 30-23, 42-40. Only to be outdone by Hawaii v. NMSU.

New coach, same ol' boring results Susie Johnson took over as head coach for Kathy Litzau, but you'd never know it by UWM's 13-1 start. Johnson's success can be traced to the First Law of Litzau which states: "You can never have enough Felsings."

Now THAT's a headline

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let the games begin

Fur flying in Ann Arbor - OK, here's where we see if Wolverines are tough enough for Badgers in a battle of small, fierce mammals. How long can Michigan keep the Dream alive?

Mary takes her show on the road - Ole Miss ain't too shabby, and LSU is...something, as well, right? Surely SOMEONE will step up to make Mary's life a little less, what's the word, "cushy"?

U.N. Cardinals test the waters - Louisville, volleyball's greatest attempt at globalization, hits the road to see if 8-1 USF is for real, and to play Georgetown...

Bond, Sagula. Sagula, Bond. - 6-4 Wreck v. 5-5 Tarheels, to see how the ACC pecking order plays out. Will either challenge Jolene Nagel's apparent upper hand for the conference title?

When Catholics Collide - Dayton hosts Duquesne and Saint Louis, in a battle of the Atlantic 10's Holy Trinity.

Totally unfair characterization of Paige Weber's quote

"The returning girls on this team - I know they want a shot at this again after a rough year last year - and I want to help them get what is rightfully theirs."
- Arizona freshman Paige Weber, on their upcoming match against UCLA.

Hm. "Rightfully." Really? How, how do ya' figure? Did UCLA steal the 44 wins out of 60 matches that they've gotten against Arizona? I guess I missed that part of the Bible where Moses said unto the Hebrews that the Wild Cats of the Tu-Sahn desert shalt verily smite the creatures of the Western Woods.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rock Chalk Jay-Block

Ray Bechard, the formerly mustachioed head man at Kansas guided his Jayhawks to a five-game win over Missouri last night.

"We have young players. We're a young team on paper, but I am expecting more," explained Missouri Head Coach Wayne Kreklow. "I'm just looking for people to come in and compete. We just can't seem to stop any middle hitters. The problem now is that with such a young team, the errors can be emotionally damaging."

Kreklow also added, "Have I mentioned we're young? Because I think it's important to get across the concept that we're young. If you understand that we're young, then you'll see the youngness of our young-nicity. We're not youngtastic yet, we're youngiocre. I mean, young is young, right? Young."

And, seriously, "emotionally damaging"? Holy overdramatic hyberbole, Kreklow! Lookit, all ya' gotta do is get 2-3 more Chinese players in there, and you're set.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

College journalism at its best

Hey! I saw that the Oklahoma Daily has an article on blocking called, "The Art of Rejection." Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Let's all read along:
The ball is high and things seem to be going well.

Once it's hit, hands rise on the other end of the net and send the shot back from whence it game.


Ugh. On second thought...

Someone's confusing their student newspaper assignment with their goofy creative writing. Anything else?
"Whenever you out-block your opponent, it gives you a bonus."
-Santiago Restrepo

I hope that bonus is NCAA compliant, buddy.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Quotent Quotables

"Statistically, we were better than Alabama. Mechanically, we weren't." - Kentucky's Craig Skinner, on losing to Alabama. I think we all know how tough it is to find a good mechanic.

"Going 3-0 over quality competition was exactly what (Long Beach State's Alexis) Crimes believed to be a 'home run advantage.'" - the Daily Forty-Niner, on LBSU's winning ways in Denver. "Home run advantage"? Is this some new stat Gimmillaro is taking? Is it the number of balls the 49ers hit into the stands on the fly?

"Utah Struggling After Departures" - Headline from Salt Lake Tribune, re: Utah. How tired do you think Beth Launiere is of these kinds of articles? Is it the same kind of tired people working at Outback Steakhouse get from listening to customers say "G'day, mate!" all day long? I bet it is.

"'It's close to 20 a season, but my standard for happiness is significantly higher than that,' Hardin said when reflecting on her career with the Illini." - from the Daily Illini. Hardin was reflecting on "her" career? Wow...things have changed in Champaign.

Bobcats fare poorly without Godzilla

Ellen Herman didn't play this past weekend for the Bobcats.
The middle blocker's absence proved to be costly for the Bobcats, who dropped the final two games of the match to fall 3-2 to the 49ers.

Outside hitter, middle blocker, whatever. It's practically the same position.

Herman sprained the ankle against Washington State. "It's all about lessons and trying to grow up as a team," head coach G-Off said.

Lesson #1: Don't sprain your ankle against Washington State.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

John Cook quote check

You know, Cook is soooo much fun when quoted in the press, let's see what he has to say after Nebraska's 3-0 win over Texas Tech:
"Defensively, we were really good tonight."


...OK, that's actually not that bad.
"We wanted to serve tough, and even though we had 11 errors, we were really attacking them."

That's pretty tame, too.
"The first 10 points, they were in a great rhythm."

OK, we get it already. You're not gonna stick your foot in your mouth this time...this blows.
"...but once our serving took over, it was downhill from there.”

Eh. That's pretty innocuous by any standards. Maybe tomorrow he'll say something funnier...


What was that?

Stanford clings to #2 spot - Penn State hits -.056 in fifth game of loss to Stanford, but more importantly, they proved they're part of the Nebraska / Stanford conversation. Rose's team was up 2-1 before the wheels fell off. I believe Hoenshelt and Aird are planning on working from home this week...

Speaking of Stanford - "No one told me about that." Yale's Laurel Johnson, finding out for the first time on Thursday that Klineman touches 10'6"...the day before playing against her.

UCSB with the hat trick - With wins over St. Mary's, Notre Dame, and Santa Clara, looks like we have to take UCSB seriously again. Not Top 10 seriously, but more seriously than, oh, say, Friday's post.

A&M, Ws & Ls - Just as UCSB was classin' up the joint, Texas A&M showed that playing Prairie View A&M, Montana State, and Centenary doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to mix it up with the Sooners or Cyclones.

Bummer weekend - Cal Poly, feelin' pretty good after extending Penn State to 5, promptly drops matches to Sac State and Xavier, the latter of which might represent the biggest day in Xavier athletics since the Thad Motta Era.

This is all just a prelude - Sure, Kentucky lost to Alabama in 5 in SEC play, but...who cares? Becky Pavan decommitted to Ohio State after the announcement of Stone's retirement! All is well! Kentucky coach Craig Skinner to become a Canadian citizen by the end of the semester.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Separation Saturday. Weekend. Whatever.

Separation Saturday: Who's for real and who's just jerkin' us around? Might find out this weekend.

Penn State, Stanford, in the Ivy League - This is when we find out if it's Nebraska all alone, or if Stanford is part of the same ZIP code. Big brains at Yale are basing their senior thesis on this match.

UCLA, USD, CSUN, Pitt - Is CSUN making progress under The Stork? Can The Petrie-Hilliard Gang (The Petriard) crack the top 10? Is Pitt a Big East threat? Oh, and UCLA doesn't have as much offense as last year, blah-blah-blah, but they should have enough to make it through this weekend, or Spicer will throttle them all.

Texas v. Mizzou - Will Hooker and Engle be around to battle the three-headed Chinese monster?

When Lloyd Carr shuts a door, Michigan volleyball opens a window - The Wolverines are STILL undefeated! And now that Michigan football is a dirty word in Ann Arbor, a hopeful campus turns its weary eyes to volleyball as they host Utah Valley State, Georgia Tech, and Temple. Cripes, they're going to be undefeated headed into Big Ten play!

Big Ten / Pac 10 Challenge - USC! Oregon! Purdue! Ohio State! Will Stone retire early? Will Haley bring back the 4-2 just to prove a point? Will Moore ask Haley how he won at Texas? Will Shondell recruit young talent to buy him hot dogs between the 2nd and 3rd games?

Huskers sure give good quotes

You can see how cocky they are when they walk in here. You just want to beat them handily every time.
-- Sarah Pavan on Texas coming to Lincoln.
Mrwoowrr! PFfffft! C-c-c-c-atfight!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Stone is retiring. Long live Stone!

"OK, guys, let's go over this again: I'm gonna take a job at Georgia, but I'll be back in four months."

Jim Stone, sworn protector of the Buckeye Nation and coach of more Canadians than Scotty Bowman, is retiring at the end of this season.

Of course, the messageboards are rife with speculation as to who will replace Stone, with Timmy Horsmon and G-off Carlston mentioned most often.

I don't want to make any rash assumptions, but...Rod Wilde was seen updating his resume´ at the Kinko's on Washington Ave. in Madison yesterday morning.

Failing that, I think this is a perfect opportunity for Jack Magelssen to get back in the game.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Totally unfair photo captions with Jerritt Elliott

"What year are you? Here's my card. Here's my card. What's your name? I love what you do out there. We should talk."

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Monday, Monday (Bah Bahhhhhh, Bah Ba-Bah Bah)

Adventures in Headline WritingReally? "Upset"? That just sounds...weird.

Talk about your circular logic. Alabama beat Ohio, who beat Notre Dame, who beat College of Charleston, who, of course, beat Alabama. What's the old saying? "Coaches plan; Volleyball laughs."

Gophers losing a little of that Golden sheen? It's always tough when someone leaves a college, but it's a part of the game. People move on. So with losses to Ohio and Cal, I think we can all see what's missing from this year's Gopher program that's been a guiding force the past few years. Of course I'm talking about Kelly Bowman.

2-7?! UCSB is not lookin' so hot, people. So far they can't beat anyone outside of the states of New York and Connecticut. Unfortunately, the Big West has exactly zero teams from New York or Connecticut.

Cripes... 79 five-game matches were played over three days this past weekend. SEVENTY-NINE. That's like an average of...lots, per day. And there was only one on Sunday. And as evidenced by the circular wins and losses, not a lot of it seems to make sense: Is this what they mean by parity? 'Cause it feels more like the flu.

Where's that wound? Pass the salt
"Hm, how do I sum up the W&M match? A nice, general headline, or should I really beat those W&M people over the head and kick them while they're writhing on the ground...hmmm..."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This Weekend?

Luyties comes home - Southern Miss coach comes back to the Motherland when his squad -- and UCLA and W&M -- pay the Anteaters a visit. Any chance he chains himself to a palm tree while out there?

Huskers stay aloof - Not wanting to frizz out his perm, Cook and the Huskers stay home to burst the Duke bubble, stave off the Russian invasion, and aggravate the Aggies.

Talk about your mixed bag - Over at Hank's House (that's LMU to those out of the loop), you've got a whole range of teams competing: Undefeated Tulane, 5-1 Badgers, 4-3 LMU, and Columbia...whose coach quit the day before the season started. Good luck, Columbia!

Golden Gophers, Golden Bears, Colonels, and Mitt Romney fans - I imagine the Gophers and Bears will be looking to take out their frustrations on EKU and USU. We'll have to see if EKU and USU are willing to play along.

Bob-what? Who? - Who are the two undefeated teams in the MAC? If you guessed Ohio and...Ohio, you're wrong. It's the Chippewas and Golden Flashes. The kicker is they could both still be undefeated after the weekend.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cook mere steps away from life in a bubble

You know, Cook has never been one to couch his words, not known to beat around the bush. This time, according to an article in the Lincoln Star Journal, he wants atmospheric approval before the Huskers venture into Penn State's Rec Hall two years from now.
Cook wants a guarantee that Nebraska won’t have to play in (humid) conditions when the Huskers make a planned return to Penn State in 2009.

That's funny. When I look at Houghtelling, Pavan, Larson, Cooper, Holloway, Schwartz, heck even Lee Maes, the term "fragile" never really occurred to me. Nor "dainty," nor "delicate," nor...

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Baylor's Cooper tired of coddling knife-wielding park visitors

In case you missed it, Baylor's Ashlee Cooper and a Baylor women's bball player got into a real brouhaha with another woman in a park, where Cooper allegedly punched the third woman in the face, after which kicking, punching, and all sorts of tom foolery ensued.

Isn't that a scene from "Sunday in the Park with George"? I distinctly remember Mandy Patinkin singing about "lady knife-wielders" somewhere in the second act.

Gotta wonder about this sequence of events, though:
During the argument, Cooper, of LaPlace, La., punched the woman in the face, and the victim allegedly pulled a knife to defend herself but then put it on the ground, the affidavit said. Darrett then jumped the woman, the affidavit said.

Ya think the woman realizes she really screwed up by dropping the knife? Seemed like kind of a bargaining chip, there.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quotent Quotables

"Unfortunately, we were only there for attendance and not much of a participant, but some people grade on attendance." - Russ Rose, on the Nebraska match.

""I'd like to play them again now, I think we're better now than when we played them." - Brad Saindon, re: ASU's loss to New Mexico.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Monday Morning Mixer

That's it? - Huskers sweep the Nittany Lions. Fawcett hits zero, Hodge hits a .125. I haven't been this disappointed since the second season of "Joan of Arcadia." I'm sure Russ feels the same way. He loves anything with Amber Tamblyn in it.

This is the year Pi'i gets an ulcer - "Dear Diary: Beat Cal Berkeley tonight in three straight...I think my team is slowly trying to drive me mad."

Speaking of Cal...

Here's another stat: 30-28, 30-25, 30-28, Colorado.

Speaking of crazy - With a win over Iowa State and then a loss to Northern Arizona, Brad Saindon feels your pain, Pi'i.

The race for second place in the MAC is on - With wins over Minnesota and San Diego, Bobcats ain't playin', yo. Ellen Herman now the Godzilla of the MAC. With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, she puts the spinning high outside sets down.

Jeff Nelson's Extreme Program Makeover - First it was San Fran, now it's Los Lobos. Nelson's squad is 7-0, with wins over San Jose State, Arizona State, and a sweep of Iowa State. I'd pay money to see Nelson say "Bus driver! Move that bus!"

The Year of the Rosen / Rosen? - Well it ain't the year of The Carr, I'll tell ya' that much. Somewhere, Matt Ginipro is smiling... snickering. Smiling and snickering.

But why is the Wave green? - Tulane is also undefeated, with a big win over the Buffs, led by Radosevic, Vlaskovic, and Rebrovic, three obviously local products like fellow Wave Amaris Genemaras.

Well, hey! Georgia's undefeated, too! - With wins over Stetson, Georgia Southern, Presbyterian...nobody cares. That's not gonna cut the mustard in the SEC.