Monday, October 29, 2007

Quiddly Quorum of Quotes

"Volleyball team buried by runs" - Headline from Northern Illinois' Northern Star newspaper. You know, you really should have someone read over those headlines. Or maybe not so much spicy food before you play.

"At the end of the game, I was like 'Are we seriously winning right now, are we about to beat Notre Dame?'" - UConn's Sade Chambers on their win over the Irish, expressing surprise that really no one else feels at this point when it comes to Notre Dame.

"It's an excuse, but we played like a team that all they worried about was their midterms." - Ducks' Jim Moore on the team's loss to ASU. Stupid academics. Always getting in the way of, you know, stuff.

"Everyone was just so high and so excited. I mean, we were just screaming.” - Cal's Ellen Orchard on the Golden Bears sweeping UCLA at Pauley Pavilion for the first time ever. High, excited, and screaming? Dude, don't bogart.

"I think today, they got out of their own heads and just got really hungry, and from now on, we're just going to do that." - Boston College coach Andrea Leonard describing a mindset apparently involving an out-of-body experience and fasting.

"The Hoyas got off to a great start. The Hoyas were neck and neck with Villanova through game one." - Georgetown top Hoya Arlisa Hagan. Either the writer is really bad with quotes, or Hagan has suddenly decided to refer to her team in the third person. George likes his chicken spicy.

"I’m proud of them for showing up tonight..." -- Sheri Dunbar's proud of her team just for showing up? Really" -- "...with that intensity and that energy that they had, and for competing." OH! ...oh. My mistake.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lundi, mes amis

UConn beats Notre Dame - I can't believe I'm saying this, but...that sounds about right, doesn't it?

ASU sweeps the Evergreen State - Saindon is cagey, isn't he? Going all rope-a-dope while the Sun Devils lost 6 of their first 9 Pac-10 matches, just lying in wait for the Oregon schools the second time around, and then WHAM-O.

Badgers v. Hoosiers - Look, we're all really happy for IU and their turnaround season, but...almost beating the Badgers in five? Let's not get carried away here.

Florida International bests Western Kentucky - And when I say "International," I mean "International." Only 4 Americans on the FIU roster. Does that even qualify as an NCAA team, legally?

Sneaky Appalachia - Don't look now, but Ginipro and App State are 11-3, right on C of C's tail in a battle of first-year coaches and fresh off a 4-game win over Kepner and Kompany.

Horned Frogs lick Lobos - Prentice's Persnickety Puddle-jumpers hold on to win in 5 after winning games 1 and 2, then losing 3 and 4. Is that the volleyball version of the "backwards K"? You could say it's a backwards W, but, you know...not much difference with the letter W.

Anything Nebraska does, we can do better - Quick note to Coach Dunning: You know, just because Nebraska drops a match, doesn't mean you guys have to as well. It's OK to keep on winning.

Ohio State beats Gophers - And the Jim Stone Farewell Tour is back on! With streamers, and confetti, and a band...

Auburn beats Tennessee - If the SEC gets 32 teams in the tournament again this year, it'll only be because no one on the committee can make any sense out of this mess and will just say "Ah screw it; they're all in."

South Carolina over LSU - Case in point.

Ohio wins, but not at Miami - After beating Akron and Buffalo, I guess that whole pizza / bus / revenge tour to Oxford, OH, is next weekend?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pumpkin carving? Cider? Eh...

Ohio at Miami (OH) - Mmm. Bobcat want revenge. Bobcat not like losing at home. Take bus load fans to Oxford. Give them pizza. Take $20 from them. Grr.

Stanford at UCLA - Stanford will try to make it the Fab Five atop the D1 rankings by laying siege to the City of the Angels. Kehoe is now the all-time assist leader at Stanford, overtaking a) Carrie Feldman, b) Piper Hahn, c) Lisa Sharpley, or (d Carrie Wendell. Answer? None of the above. It's Wendy Rush, Rim of the World alum.

LSU & FLA - Arkansas, which is 4-8 in the SEC, showed it can be done. Can Fran Flory's Fledermauses do what Poole's Plum Bobs did?

Clemson v. North Carolina - The Tarheels are-- nevermind. Clemson wins.

Island Thunder - Wahine host the Aggies in the biggest WAC showdown of the year...OK, it might be the only WAC showdown of the year.

UC Irvine v. CSUN - I'd actually like to see a crazed anteater charging a matador.

Valpo & UW Milwaukee - Would've figured this one would have more implications, but Bryce Drew U is 6-4 in the conference, while UW Milwaukee 11-1, followed closely by the Voss Vikings at 10-2. Still...should be a pretty good match, no?

Oh, what a difference 32 days make

"Hey guys. Hook 'em, or...whatever."

I tell ya', this Husker/Longhorn stuff is getting to be really entertaining. Did anyone see that coming? First time around, Pavan dropped this little nugget:
You can see how cocky they are when they walk in here. You just want to beat them handily every time.

Of course, that was shortly after the Huskers bounced the Longhorns. But, ah, how the worm has turned, as Texas put the beatdown on Nebraska in Austin. What's Pavan got to say now?
We got our asses kicked. There's nothing more than that. If you lose a game 3-0, you got it handed to you.

Bonus points for using the word "asses" and for owning up to getting shellacked. "Huzzah" also goes out to the Daily Texan for their headline:

"Aww shucks, No. 1 Nebraska falls"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Adventures in collegiate journalism

You know, we've poked fun at college newspaper articles in the past, perhaps unfairly at times. But you have GOT to read the article by the Daily 49er's Abbey Mastracco about the Cal Poly / Long Beach match.

See, Long Beach State lost to Cal Poly this past weekend in five games, at the Pyramid. Hard fought battle, right? Between two big time programs, right? So what is Mastracco's beef?

"Unfair ref cost LBSU match"

Stupid refs. Always gettin' in the way of Long Beach bein' Long Beach.

"Any fan in The Pyramid will tell you that Cal Poly had a huge advantage: referees Eric Asami and Marvin Hall."

Gee, ask any Long Beach State fan if the refs made bad calls against their team? That's like asking any Husker fan if they think Pavan, like, totally rocks. So how do we know Mastracco knows what she's tal--

"I have refereed several volleyball matches."

Ah, well, even if you've refereed does that mean you know what to look f--

"I know what to look for in each referee position."

What about the rules and hand sig--

"I am well-versed in the rules and signs."

So, her bona fides established, what could Asami and Hall have possibly done as referees to attract the ire of Mastracco?

"Asami and Hall obviously had it out for LBSU from the start."

A-ha! A conspiracy!

"Oliver Stone? Yeah, I've got a great idea for a movie. It's about how two referees totally had it out for one team during a volleyball match. Hello...?"

You know, I've felt screwed over by a call or two before -- I've even been irate, irked -- but I never thought the refs were trying to botch the whole game. And I never wrote a newspaper article about it. Or did I? It's all kinda...hazy.

So, OK, the refs were unfair, et cetera. Is that all?

"Asami soon went from strictly officiating to being downright unfair, Hall as well."

Unfair? OH NO! Not unfair! I hate unfair! Is there proof of this "downright unfair"-ness?

"When looking at the error totals from each game, that doesn't look to be the case, but if you were in The Pyramid that night you know what I'm talking about."

Ah. Of course. Sneaky bastards made sure there wasn't a paper trail. Asami and Hall are good, I tell ya'.

Mastracco even says that she wondered if the refs were deciding before points what call to make against Long Beach. That is, until the fourth game, when 9 errors called on the Beach compared to only 2 for Cal Poly sealed the deal in her mind.

"Asami is a national member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials, and his conduct was about as unprofessional as I have ever seen."

The capper, according to Mastracco, is that Gimmillaro got a yellow card. Well, that's really all the proof I needed.

"If anyone, it should have been Asami getting the yellow card for playing an immature and unprofessional game of favorites."

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Quibbling Quotients

"All that this means is that I am old." - Colorado State's Tom Hilbert on his 450th career win.

"Normally, I'm not a very good liar-slash-actress but for some reason something came over me." - Christa Harmotto on her Academy Award-winning "No touch!" performance at the end of the Penn State-slash-Wisconsin match.

"Right now we're blood in a pool of sharks." - Mike Hebert after the Gophers lost at Northwestern and Michigan State. That's...vivid. Let's see, Penn State's a great white, Wisconsin probably a tiger shark, Purdue a hammerhead, Michigan we thought was a shark, but turns out it was just a school of tuna.

"It really changed the rhythm of the game. It changed our rhythm. We couldn't find our rhythm." - Long Beach's Brian Gimmillaro on his team -- and I'm just spitballing here -- losing its rhythm. Where's Navin R. Johnson when you need him?

"I'm not sure if there's two coaches in this athletic department that would trade places with anything that's going on over there." - Albany's Kelly Sheffield on crosstown rival Siena, the day of the Danes match against Siena. Sheffield added, "That's not to put their athletic department down." No! Where would you get that idea?

"There was a lot of profanity and cursing going through my mind." - Dave Rubio, after getting swept by Stanford. "Stanford came in and they were really just going through the motions." Well, yeah, but in all fairness, those are some pretty big motions. Foluke motions that slide like nobody's bidness.

"Even though we've had losses we're still going into the match against Baylor with momentum knowing that we had them and I know they're going to be kind of scared of us." - Colorado's Alex Buth, projecting a bit. Hm, "scared"...after a win. Let's see what Baylor's student newspaper has to say:
"Ultimate Frisbee provides useful outlet to BU students"

Oh...that was unexpected.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

X marks the Monday

Xavier pastes the Flyers - In-state rivals loooove destroying perfect seasons, don't they? Now comes the inevitable "I'd-rather-lose-now-than-later" debate / conversation.

Irish over DePaul - Whew!

Welcome back, Michigan - You know, you got us all worked up, what with the win at Hawaii. Nice to see you again.

That's it? - Speaking of Hawaii, little bit anticlimactic to get throttled 22, 16, and 24 after the oodles of hype and discussion beforehand. Reminds me of when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out, but without the Jar Jar Binks-induced nausea.

Atherstone not human, possible cyborg - 30 kills and only 7 errors on 61 swings in Cal Poly's 5-gamer over Long Beach. She's like some kind of mindless offensive machine, sent back from the future to ruin Brian's weekend.

PSU @ Badgerland - Over 10,000 watched PSU escape W's clutches at Camp Randall, 15-13 in the fifth. Harmotto and Reineke with ZERO errors on 58 combined swings...outside of, you know, that last swing by Harmotto. Talk about robbing from Peter to give to Paul-- Russ, I mean Russ.

New Orleans is back! - If ever there was a sign that the city of New Orleans has recovered from Katrina, it's UNO's 5-game win over Western Kentucky! Am I right? No? Yeah, you're right; that was a stretch.

The Cauldron's heating up - Two straight sweeps for the Huskies! Is that Cauldron PHENOMENAL or what? It's like the Magic 8-ball, I swear. You got a ask the Cauldron.

Y O Ming - FYI, Wyoming has won 4 of their last 5, including wins over New Mexico and the Frogs with the horns on 'em. OK, Wyoming did get blanked by Hilbert's Harbingers of Doom, often do I get to mention the Cow People?

That's the problem with predictions - After AZ lost to Stanford, Brooke Buringrud channeled Joe Namath and declared ""We're not losing (Saturday against Cal)." And for two marvelous games, it looked like she was right...until Cal came back to win games 3, 4, and 5. That wasn't very nice, Feller, ruining a young woman's bold prediction like that. Shonda!

NW beats up Gophers...? - I don't get it. Do you? What is that? Is Dave Boos looking at these boxscores and saying "I told them they'd miss me. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New! This weekend! Fun with matches!

Notre Dame / DePaul - I'm almost afraid to look at Rich Kern on Saturday. Surely the Irish wouldn't lose this one, right? Anyone?

A Civil War in Oregon? - Jim Moore and Taras Liskevych collide this weekend. What does Oregon's Gorana Maricic say about the showdown? "They're not as bad as they were last year."

Big 10 of note - Badgers host Lions to figure out just how much better Penn State is than the rest of the conference.

Bruins go to WA - The 'C' in UCLA is a different color, just in case you forgot that they've got more national titles than you do. Not sticking it to ya' or anything. Just a gentle reminder.

Who's got Atlantic 10 fever? - Dayton takes their not-inflated-in-any-way #12 ranking into the snakepit that is Xavier. Hey, I love the Flyers as much as the next guy but...12th? Anyway, Marisa Main's first school has a legit shot at Tim Horsmon's Minions.

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Ashley Aratani has a player blog! She plays for Washington! Let's see what she says!

"Well it has definitely been an eventful weekend. WE BEAT STANFORD!!!" mention of the Cal match?

"It was a great win and-"

Guess not.

"-celebrating the moment by going to the Cheesecake Factory was icing on the cake ... cheesecake that is ;)"

Oh, Ashley! You're incorrigible!

The defensive gem goes on to let us know that "Midterms are coming up and there is just not enough time for everything," which is odd because I didn't think they took tests at Washington. I assumed they ran the whole school via the shadowy competitive cauldron, and only the top performers get to graduate.

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Let's blog away, let's blog, let's blog away

Let's take a look at two different blogs from rival schools, Arizona State and Arizona. Since the Sun Devils beat the Wildcats 3-0, there should be an interesting contrast between the two.

First, Ali Lund has an entry for the Sun Devils, where she tell us how they prepared for the Wildcats.

"University of Arizona is our biggest in-state rival!"

WHAT?! More of a rival than Mesa Community College? More than the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences?

So, OK, the team was preparing for their "biggest in-state rival." And the preparation? "We watched video of the Wildcats playing and for fun we had a paper airplane contest."


"On Friday we cracked a piñata...made by our lovely Assistant Coach Giovanna Melo."

There you have it. The best way to prepare for your rival? Paper airplanes and piñatas. Saindon is a GENIUS, and apparently Melo is some kind of papier-mache wunderkind.

So ASU won the match 3-0, and Lund says that the crowd was outstanding: "it's always so refreshing to look out into the stands and see a sea of maroon and gold with signs to cheer you on."

Was this match at Florida State?

Very peppy! Good stuff!

"WOW! What a week it has been for ASU Volleyball!!"

Now let's compare this to Arizona's player blog, written by Brooke Buringrud:

"It seems like each week these blogs get harder and harder to write."


"College volleyball is a lot different than what high school or club was like. Here, you lose a game and you can’t escape it…it’s on television, it’s in the papers, you go and get your car washed and they want to know who you played and if you won."

Well, it can't be all that bad, right? I mean, there's still the boundless joy of a toasted bagel in the morning, right?

"Even my morning bagel comes with a comment on Friday’s game."


But Brooke rallies at the end, letting us know that "we are keeping our heads up" and she's sure that Arizona is "capable of being a top team."

"We’re still looking for that checkered flag, but when we find it, you will definitely know."

After all, tomorrow is, another day!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Quid Pro Quote

"At the beginning of these matches everybody's scouted each other, and you're trying to feel each other out." Glen Conley, supreme allied commander at Kent State. Did you know every time someone says "Golden Flashes" he inexplicably yells out "Thunder"? (WWII jargon callback...I was watching "Saving Private Ryan" this weekend.)

"I am not a big fan of collared shirts." - Georgetown's Jessica Hardy, detailing what she considers one of the worst things about life in D.C. Collared shirts. Does Georgetown have a dress code we're not aware of? Are people shamed into wearing collared shirts all the time?

"We wanted to just jump out of the guns." - UVA head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton, performing a complicated "mixed metaphor" maneuver, unless she's trying to start a new catchphrase, in which case, that's so fetch.

"Game three was basically our team out there, the other games we weren't ourselves." - Minnesota's Lauren Gibbemeyer, getting all "Zen and the Art of Gopher Maintenance" on us.

"They [the Aggies] weren't going to be the first team to get beat by Colorado." - Texas A&M's Coach Corbelli, in reference to beating the Buffs. "They didn't want to be the first team to lose to Colorado." So, what you're saying is, your team didn't want to be the first pack o' ragamuffins to lose to the lowly Buffs? Am I getting the gist of it?

"I haven't heard a word she's said in four years, and she hasn't listened to a word I have said in four years. It's almost like we are married." - Penn State top dog Russ Rose, on his conversations with senior Kate Price. When asked to comment, Mrs. Rose replied, "That Russ. He's a funny, funny guy." (p.s. not a real quote)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So, only two new Mercedes, then?

Under the category of "Money I'll Never See," a judge reduced Lindy Vivas' damage money for being sued from Fresno State from $5.85 million to $4.52 mill.

Gee, that's barely walking around money.

The judge reduced some of the money because the "plaintiff offered no evidence that she would likely continue to suffer from debilitating psychological harm for any significant period after the verdict in this trial."

Hey, she lived in Fresno for 13 years fer cryin' out loud. Isn't that evidence enough?

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Moon Day Musings

What a weekend! - The upsets started Friday and just kept coming. I mean, James Madison over George Mason?! Jacksonville beats Belmont?! Whoa.

ASU over U of A? - Betcha Saindon played Donahue in this one, huh.

Arkansas over Florida? - "Hi, Coach Wise? It's Kelly Murphy. Yyyeah, I've had a change of heart..."

Cal over Washington? - Well, sure, when Tomasevic isn't playing.

Tennesse over LSU? - The SEC is officially a big, fat mess.

Seton Hall over Cincinnati? - Al Scates never told Reed there'd be days like these, did he?

Oregon State over UCLA? - What was with that suprise 6-2 against Oregon?

Marquette over Notre Dame? - there something...whirrrrr tweeeeet bzzzz...

Clemson over Duke? - First, did anyone think Duke was really 13th in the nation? You did? Aw, that's adorable. These two are top dogs in the ACC, however, and should give the much-maligned conference at least two teams in the tournament.

Illinois over Minnesota? - Has the student become the teacher? Probably not, but I bet Don Hardin can hear his own heartbeat, maybe the grasshopper.

Georgetown over Pitt? - Aaaand my head just exploded. In a five-game match, Pitt hit .306 to the Hoyas' .188. No one for Georgtown had double-digits in digs, which Pitt had 23 more of than the Hoyas. Hear that sound? That's Coach Beerman's ulcer growing two sizes bigger.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is Allison Cecchini really that tall?

Just read in the Independent Florida Alligator that Allison Cecchini was sporting a neck brace last night during FLA's disposal of SoCar. Reason?

"The sophomore setter injured herself walking into a low-hanging post outside the football practice facility earlier in the day."

Low-hanging post? Outside the football practice facility? Now, Cecchini's listed at 5'11" (which means she's 5'10"), and I'd suspect the football team averages taller than that. If Cecchini can't avoid these things, what hope is there for Urban Meyer's leaders of tomorrow? What kind of post is low-hanging? Don't posts come out of the ground? Is there some kind of reverse gravitational field around the football practice facility wherein posts can descend from the sky?

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Quippy Quarts of Quotes

"One-third of the game is physical, the rest is all mental." - Coach McLaughlin after beating up on AZ 3-0. Mussie, Morrison, Perry and Swarbrick only make up one-third? Then what's all this recruiting I keep hearing so much about?

"This is a game of ball control." - Top Gopher Mike Hebert. one third of ball control physical?

"Growing up and watching Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer battle it out on the beach motivated me to start playing volleyball." - Ramblin' Wreck skipper Bond Shymansky. Well, that explains the hair. If Tom Paszko was similarly inspired, we're on to something.

"As they say, you take their hit and then go to work." - John Cook re: the win over Colorado. Who says that? I spent hours thumbing through my Great Big Index of Sports Cliches, and I can't find this one. Is this some saying I'm not hip to? "Dude, you totally take their hit and then go to work. Peace out."

"We need to go to the wizard and find a heart." - NC State's Charita Stubbs. These quotes just keep getting better, and better, and better...

"I was a little scared of Joe [Lynch] at first." - Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson, talking about her husband and assistant coach Joe Lynch.

"Christy seemed just kind of shy and not very outgoing." - Lynch on his wife and boss, Johnson.

"My famous line was 'Oh, so that's why they live together.'" - Iowa State junior Mary Bisenius, quick to pick up on why Johnson and Lynch had the same mailing address.

"It doesn't work that way." - Johnson on what would happen if Lynch got a job offer at another school.

Mond-- er, Tuesday Topics

Gauchos lose to Fullerton at home - Remind me again: Santa Barbara is still in California, right? They didn't move it to, like, Saskatchewan or something, did they?

Tobacco Road Rhubarb - Duke holds off their UNC neighbors in five games. No actual tobacco was used, but (LAME SEGUE COMING) Rachael Moss lit up the Tarheels for 22 kills and 26 digs.

L'ville upsets St. John's - When Louisville and St. John's collide, Eastern Europe wins, with a little bit of Asia thrown in for good measure.

IU / U of I - Good golly, IU's for real! Well, at least real in the sense that they've left Iowa alone in the Big Ten cellar for the loftier pastures of "middlin'." The Illini were actually up 14-12 in the fifth -- at home -- before IU ran off four straight.

49ers over Matadors - In the Alan Thicke Head of Hair matchup, it was Gimmillaro over Stork. Debbie Green and Susie Terrusa are the only assistant coaches who steal conditioner from their bosses.

I got yer Ay Ziggy Zoomba right here, pal - Bowling Green had 19 services aces in a 3-0 sweep of Buffalo, including EIGHT by frosh setter Sam Fish. This begs the question: What kind of serves was The Fish casting? How vicious is The Fishball? Are the Bulls waking up in cold sweats in the middle of the night yelling out "FISHBALL!"?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner - Best 5-gamer of the weekend goes to Illinois State over Northern Iowa, 30-26, 28-30, 20-30, 35-33, 21-19.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Adventures in Sports Promotions

According to an article in the Daily Iowan, "Sept. 28 was 'you never know' night at Carver Hawkeye Arena." Now, Lord knows it's hard enough to get the sports marketing department to help out volleyball at most schools, but "You Never Know Night"?

"What're we calling this promotion?"

"I dunno...are we supposed to win this match?"

"Michigan's ranked 11th, never know."

"THAT'S IT!!! Genius!"

"Thank you!"

"Thank YOUUU!"


Quotatious Quoties

"She was full of guts and execution." - UConn head coach Holly Strauss on her rightside, Lauren Lamberti. Full of guts, sure, that's basic Anatomy 101, but execution? That's kinda creepy. "Hey, you're really full of execution tonight."

"The ASU volleyball team will be without its record-breaking legend-in-the-making this weekend." - Devin Hicks of the ASU Web Devil, getting carried away in a description of ASU's Sydney Donahue. I mean, why not just go all the way and say "The ASU volleyball team will be without its leader of the free world this weekend"?

"Honestly, I'm glad it's over." - Ohio's G-Off Carlston on the New York Mets being eliminated from the MLB post-season in one of the biggest collapses ever in professional sports...or the Bobcats' 64-match MAC winning streak coming to an end. Whichever.

"We hit rock bottom when we played Pacific, but like I told my girls, once you hit rock bottom, you can only go up." - UCSB coach Kathy Gregory, making no one in particular feel any better about the Gauchos' 1-3 mark in the Big West, 6-10 overall.

"When you're dealing with a team that hasn't had much success, you figure there's no one on the team that knows what it takes to win." NC State head coach Charita Stubbs, employing some kind of intricate reverse psychology.