Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday for your brackets

For your Friday pre-tourney briefing...
Whoops - Contrary to what I posted the other day, St. John's v. LIU is NOT the Bronx v. Brooklyn. St. John's is actually in Queens. I apologize to Lou Carnesecca and Chris Mullin.

Home cookin' - The coaches with teams playing at home, and possibly all the way through the regionals: Pete Waite sez, "I like where we are." Mary Wise sez, "We feel very fortunate." John Dunning sez, "I think this is the best national tournament ever." And, of course, Russ Rose sez, "We've lost because the service game is bad, so that concerns me a great deal."

We mentioned food - Cal's Kristen Kathan talks a lot about food, how her twin brother Hana Cutura likes dark meat, and the secret to French onion soup.

Did I say that? - Sharon Dingman's previous bad-mouthing of her team paid off, led to less work for her.

You're better than that - Oregon State's Daily Barometer needs new proofreaders reading these articles.

That was us? - Iowa State was really, really not, uh, not good three years ago.

Ribs for Ducks? - Oregon already knows where they're eating after tonight's match, and, according to my count, one Duck apparently has a glass eye.

Take that, NCAA Committee - Tulane didn't want to play in your stupid tournament anyway.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do you mind if we dance with yo' dates?

Florida takes on College of Charleston: It's the SEC vs. their worst nightmare...The SoCon. What's Coach Kepner got to say about today's showdown?
We have played very well our past few matches, have practiced really hard and I feel that we are well prepared for our trip to Gainesville.

Pretty much boilerplate stuff, very optimistic. How about Florida's Angie McGinnis?
Obviously, panic went through all of our minds.

We were like, 'Oh crap, our No. 1 point-getter has to go out.

Ohhhh. Hampton, not College of Charleston.

Meanwhile, Oooooklahoma, where the wind know, sweeping, faces the international conglomerate known as FAMU. Sooners have a little video of their team and Restrepo reacting to the bracket announcements, which is entertaining if only to see Restrepo remark that FAMU "has a lot of foreigners" in his thick Colombian accent.

Meanwhile, in FAMU's student newspaper -- the FAMUAN -- coach Tony Trifonov is busy checking his team's passports for their trip to Gainesville.

"In the NCAA Tournament you know your going to have to come out and play because its only 64 teams left," Trifonov said in a statement curiously devoid of any mention of my previous passport comment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"You know me, I'm always a glass half-full type of guy." Mike Hebert on a potential second round match against Stanford.

Didn't we just have a whole series of "glass people" in yesterday's quotes? So if Dunning and Hebert are glass-half-full, and Hilbert's a glass-half-full-and-half-empty, and Liz Krizka's a I-have-no-damn-glass person, what about everyone else?

John Cook: Glass-not-cold-enough type of guy.
Russ Rose: Glass-half-full/Yanz half-empty-whatever type of guy.
Mary Wise: Screw-the-glass-I-have-no-Hampton kind of gal.
Andy Banachowski: There's-no-Nana-in-my-glass kind of guy.
Judy Green: You-mean-I-actually-GET-a-glass? kind of gal.
Jim McLaughlin: Glass-schmass-I-use-a-cauldron kind of guy.
Jon Stevenson: I-dyed-my-glass-blonde kind of guy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Things people said!

"This class fills our needs by position." - Beth Launiere on her '08 signees, adding "Plus I don't think they're gonna bail on me after one year, which is a need we have, too."

"The only stat that weighed heavily in their favor was their block and our offense sputtering." - Don Hardin on the Illini's win over Iowa. There's a stat for sputtering offense?

"They played well and I'm going to give them credit." - Minnesota's Jessy Jones on her team's loss to Wisconsin and the resulting credit she's issuing the Badgers, probably in the form of a gift certificate.

"We went out and played Michigan volleyball. We let Ohio State climb back in it in game two, but we really closed the door on them in games three and four." - Michigan's Mark Rosen. So, if I read this right, Michigan volleyball is about unnecessarily losing the second game of every match?

"You just had to look at them, they had so much confidence, with their chests out, and we didn't. It's indicative of the two programs." - Dave Rubio on the difference between UCLA and Arizona, which apparently is all traced back to good posture, or...something. Look for AZ's team bus to have corrective orthopedic chairs next year.

"I think this is the best national tournament ever." - Mr. Glass-half-full, John Dunning. Hey, John? Bond Shymansky, on line 2. He begs to differ.

"This is as close to a winnable regional as we are going to get." - Mr. The-Glass-is-half-full-AND-half-empty, Tom Hilbert.

"After last night's big win at LSU, tonight's announcement was especially disheartening. I felt we had met the criteria put forth by the selection committee: a strong RPI, a quality record against teams that were selected for the tournament, and an 11-1 finish to our season." - Ms. I-don't-even-get-a-stupid-glass, Liz Kritza, making the foolish mistake of trying to apply logic to the NCAA committee's selection process.

"I think for going to the NCAAs three times in a row, they could give us a break." - Siena coach Garvey Pierre, on his first round match-up with Penn State. With losses to Iona, Fairfield, Albany, and Binghamton, exactly what kind of break would Pierre like? Perhaps he should compare notes with Jon Wallace.

And then there were 64...

The brackets are out!

Hawaii shipped to Tennessee - [insert traditional rant about Hawaii having to travel, the hardships, and so on]

Dear 'Bama, Illinois State, Western Kentucky... - Merry Christmas. Don't say nobody never did nuthin' for ya'.

Dear Northwestern - Yeah, you got hosed.

Stanford v. Santa Clara - Did they do this to Jon Wallace just so Debby Colberg doesn't have to play Stanford in her last year? Thanks for 31 years, Debby! Have fun with the Gophers.

St. John's v. Long Island - The Bronx versus Brooklyn. This is like a scene from "The Lords of Flatbush." If both teams don't come out in leather jackets and pompadours, I'm totally going to be disappointed. Before the first whistle, St. John's should yell "Crazy!" and then Long Island yells "Cool!"

Siena, South Dakota State, Texas State - It's an honor just to get to the tournament, right? Now if you'll step right this way we have some lovely parting gifts...

Albany! Cleveland! - It's like a showdown between America's top two vacation destinations!

Cal Poly v. Xavier - You know, it's almost like the committee did that on purpose. "Dude. Dude! You know what would be totally hilarious? If we made Xavier play Cal Poly again!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Put on your dancin' shoes

(Original artist? Anyone?)

Great Dane in the morning! - Albany makes it 3 out of 4 years to the NCAA tournament with an upset of Stony Brook, despite graduating three starters and despite the best efforts of St. John's transfer Jackie Ahlers (27 kills, .351).

Speaking of St. John's - An odd version of the Cold War took place in the Big East title match as the Red Storm beat Louisville for the title. More foreigners in this match than at Ellis Island on a weekday in 1914.

Speaking of foreigners - Long Island wins another conference title in one of the most anti-climactic conference championships, sweeping Bobby Morris. It's native-born Shelby Heggie who's NEC POY, however.

Wayne Chadwick is going to the Dance! - In another first, Tulsa upsets UAB to punch their ticket for the NCAA Tournament. It's all about The Wayne.

Fear the Blue Hens! - Good egg Bonnie Kenny is in the Big Dance after bouncing Hofstra. Tell me again how she got Stephanie Barry to go all the way across the country?

Redhawks, Part Deux - Miami (OH) proves their previous win over Carlston's Crunchers was not a fluke by three straight no less. Ohio's still getting in, though, right? Right? This isn't going to be another one of those Eastern Washington things, is it?

Part Deux, Part 2? - Well, if Miami could repeat their earlier win against Ohio, could Xavier do the same against Dayton? No, no they couldn't. Dayton sweeps, and waltzes into The Dance where they might promenade on their home court for the first round.

Cal Poly repeat - Mustangs win the conference title again, featuring the most entertaining southpaw since Sandy Koufax in Kylie Atherstone (sorry Pavan). Wonder if Eric Asami and Marvin Hall were there?

Helllooo, Cleveland! - "Boss" Chuck Voss and the Vikettes are in after beating Bryce Drew University in the Horizon finals, the first-ever appearance for Cleveland State. How ya' sleepin'?

Smooth transition - The Dunbar Era is over, we now live in The Age of Kepner! College of Charleston picks up right where they left off, winning the SoCon title again.

Texas State, y'all - Coach Chisum collects another trip to the NCAA in her TWENTY-EIGHTH year at Texas State. She took the job in 1980. Remember 1980? Do the words "Lake Placid" mean anything? "Miracle on Ice"? That is impressive.

Santa Clara over Pepp - A five-game barn-burner! Wow! Woo! Hey! That's good stuff, that's...uh...I'm sorry. I tried to be excited about this match. I'm sure it was a great match, but...I dunno. I don't even know who plays at Pepp anymore.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catching up with "his eminence"

I think everyone has read this article already, but...let's take a look anyway.

"Gimmillaro a casualty of his own eminence"

Yeah, must be really awful to coach in THE hotbed of volleyball talent, all those national championships, play in the pyramid, Debbie Green as your assistant. If only he hadn't been so darned successful, this season would seem great, wouldn't it? Thanks for nuthin', Misty May!

The article, by Gimmillaro P.R. flack Long Beach Press-Telegram columnist Doug Krikorian, goes on to bemoan the fact that, although Long Beach is having a pretty good season, things just ain't what they used to be:
After all, there was a time it would have been incomprehensible for the 49ers to have dropped two matches to, of all schools, Cal Poly as they've done this autumn.

Yeah, "of all schools"! Zing! Take that, Cal Poly! "There was a time" when you stunk!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Promises? Not kept?

So, I was thinking. Sydney Anderson says promises were made but not kept by either Utah or Beth Launiere. What could those promises have been....hmm....

Top 5 Promises Beth Launiere might not have kept:
5. To move the University of Utah University to California in order to fulfill Anderson's beach ball dreams.
4. To not let the CW cancel "Veronica Mars."
3. To develop Utah into a top 10 program...oh wait, that actually did happen.
2. To make Urban Outfitters the official uniform supplier of Utah volleyball.
1. To not take the team to Europe.

Labels: , ,

Eeek! Quotes!

"We pushed Gorana a little bit. She's tired. She swings at a lot of balls hard." - Duckville's Jim Moore on import Gorana Maricic after she collected 54 kills in two matches.

"They thought I was tired, but I'm not tired." - Gorana Maricic, refuting Moore's previous claims. "I'm ready to hit every ball. I'm ready to jump for every ball." We get it! You're not tired!

"There is a old Japanese proverb: "Fall down seven times, stand up eight." - Daily Utah Chronicle's Tony Pizza, on Utah's loss to BYU. Are there any Japanese proverbs about the pitfalls of starting a volleyball article with a Japanese proverb?

"It's a mind game. You can get them out of their game by just yelling different things at them." - NC State head coach Charita Stubbs's husband, Melvin, on yelling at the other team during his wife's matches. "It's not disrespectful -- it's just a mind game. Somebody once told me that if you get into a fight with someone you should yell 'peanut butter' in the middle. It will mess their head up -- this is what I'm trying to do. Plus I just like to yell at them." With the Wolfpack's record of 3-25 overall and 0-18 in the ACC, sounds like Melvin needs a new game plan.

"Arizona volleyball trains harder than any other volleyball team out there." - Arizona's Tiffany Owens. With a 3-11 record in the Pac-10, maybe "harder" doesn't equal "better"?

"I've heard they're very good." - Arizona's Dave Rubio on 18th-ranked Colorado State...before being swept by them.

"We're going to come in and surprise some teams in the end." - Bekah Brinkley of North Carolina as quoted in the Daily Tarheel, thereby completely ruining the element of surprise. Way to go...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The other shoe falls

Sydney Anderson, she of the much publicized double-defection from Utah a year ago, has decided to become a Husker according to the Lincoln Star-Journal.

“I really always wanted to go to California because I love the beach and I want to play beach volleyball,” Anderson said.

Um, wow, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Nebraska's kinda, you

"The sands of change, however, have steered Anderson to Nebraska."

Oh, OK. The sands of change. Are those related to the sands of time from Days of Our Lives? But later we get one of the most substantive quotes from Anderson about why she left Utah.
"Me and the coach (Beth Launiere) didn’t get along,” Anderson said on Friday. “Promises were made and weren’t kept, and it just hit me that I needed to move on.”Well, yeah, that's the most we've had explained, and yet I have, oh, a billion more questions now.

Labels: , ,

Hey look! It's Monday!

Stanford's revenge - Das Klineman erupts for 21 kills against...THE keep pace in the Pac-10 race. Swarbrick for...THE CAULDRON...still hit .478.

Whoops - Boy, I mention Morehead State is in first place in the Ohio Valley, and they promptly drop both matches this weekend. I take full responsibility. Start sending me teams you'd like me to put the kibosh on by mentioning here...

Hey! It's Notre Dame! - We poke fun at the Irish, so gotta give 'em props for defeating both Cincy AND Louisville in 4 games. Stasiuk and Tarutis go out in style.

U! C! Davis! - Walker takes down the Stork for the program's first conference win of the year! Is there more satisfaction in winning a match against a guy who has an Olympic gold medal? Or after the match does Stork say, "Hey, Steve. You got a gold medal? No? Huh..."

Clemson v. Duke, Rd. 2 - Not much better outcome for Duke, as Clemson gives Nagel's Nutballs their second loss in a row. Danielle Hepburn gets 24 kills, each time yelling "The loooons, Norman! The looons!"

Marshall rolls on - Marshall and their Type A coaching staff have won 17 of their last 19, including smoking Memphis (zing!) in three straight.

Duck...and cover - Gorana Maricic cranks out 54 kills over the weekend to put the web-footed wonders back in the thick of things. Nothing like Serbians to keep you competitive. What's that saying? "One Eastern European a year, keeps the rest of the conference in fear."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's gettin' late in the day...

Gophers barely holding on - Can the Gophers fend off Indiana's Interlopers and Purdue's tresPassers? Does it even matter anymore?

Ooo! The ACC! - Duke and Clemson collide again to decide...well, really to decide nuttin', now that Duke has lost to El Bondito. Could the ACC _actually_ get three teams in the tourney this year? What kind of topsy-turvy world is this?

Ohio Valley Action - OK, quick show of hands: Who knew Morehead State was atop the Ohio Valley? You? You knew? Well, they'll try to hold on to that spot with matches against Jacksonville State and the Ford of Sam.

Long Beach and UOP - Long Beach. Pacific. I think Gimmillaro and Wade should just hold a stare-down contest at mid-court.

Nebraska hosts travels to Iowa State - Christy Johnson, setter for the ORIGINAL national champion Huskers, comes back to town with her Cyclones. BTW, is it Christy Lynch now? Or Christy Johnson hyphen Lynch? Christy Lynch sounds like a special wrench you use on the glove compartments of Swedish automobiles. "Hey, hand me the 5/8s christy lynch, would ya'?" Maybe they'll go the other direction and have it be Joe Johnson! That's got some pep to it!

Notre Dame, Cincy - Kellie Sciacca brings her 4th grade-lovin' ways to Cincinnati where she may or may not run into Papa Joe Chevalier.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Totally unfair characterization of Kellie Sciacca's 20 Questions

Let's check in with and see what Kellie Sciacca has to say:
1. Use five words to describe yourself.
Passionate, hard-working, desired to be better as a player and as an individual, fun, and friendly.

So far, so good.
2. What is your favorite class or professor to date at Notre Dame, and why?

Your favorite professor to date?! What kind a cockamamie university are they running over at South Bend? DON'T ANSWER KELLIE!
I would say my favorite class is anthropology mostly because Dr. McKenna is a really, really good professor.

Oh. That kind of "to date."
11. If you could choose any year of your life to live over again, what year would it be?
Well my life has been pretty good so far and so far I like everything, but probably I'd say 4th grade.

Does Kellie have a younger brother everyone calls "Fudge"?
18. Who was the most famous person you have ever met?
I met Ludacris in the airport one time. When we were in Pittsburgh, I met a famous ESPN analyst in an elevator, but I don't remember his name though.

10 bucks says it was Jay Mariotti.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 5, 2007

words 'n' stuff

"I'm not sure that I would declare us the top team in the country. There's a tournament that will determine that in December." - Russ Rose, doing his best Lou Holtz impression.

"When you get to this point, you just need to think, 'just keep coaching, just keep coaching.'" - Mike Hebert doing his best Dory impersonation.

"Angie Lastra was fabulous. She is the best libero in the country." - K-State's Susie Fritz, ending once and for all any discussion about who the best libero in the country is.

"Our hitting was just ridicules [sic]." - Tom Hilbert on his squad's blistering .504 hitting percentage against San Diego State. Wouldn't you rather hear Hilbert say "Our hitting was off the hook, yo."

"They played 7 percent better than us that last game, and we have the numbers - 7 percent better." - George Washington coach Jojit Coronel getting reeeeally specific about GW losing game 5 against Fordham. And that's actually GW's sideout percentage for game 5, not actually hitting percentage, which was .179 to Fordham's .259.

"The difference between (Friday) and (Thursday) is that there's really not that much difference." - Dave Rubio, talking in circles. "You put an 'L' in one column and a 'W' in the other. And yet, physiologically, it makes a huge difference." Ohhhh! Physiologically! Wait...physiologically?

"I had a heart-to-heart with the team, and I told them that I did not feel they had been playing the last few games with 100 percent effort. I really feel my talk got them motivated to get the job done." - Kathy Gregory. Gosh, could it really be that easy? Look for heart-to-hearts to become all the rage.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's a six-letter word for "Already?"

Shockers and MO State - Huge win for Wichita State in 5. Huge, ugly win, with Shockers hitting .190. WSU's Emily Stockman goes 14 kills 15 errors for -.016, to which MO State's Sara Staubach says "I can top that" with a 8 kills, 13 errors for -.085 performance. Am I the only one that didn't know Katelyn Panzau, the former Gamecock, was at MO State?

OU v. everyone else - Ohio reclaims superiority in the MAC as Melissa Griffin tallies 34 kills in two matches to paste one on Miami and Bowling Green.

Wahoo! - Clemson makes the top 25, and is promptly bounced by Virginia in three. If only Clemson had beaten Purdue, they'd be ranked, what, 10th by now?

Wahoo? - Nothing quite like following up a big sweep with a five-game loss. It's like fly, in your chardonnay, death row pardon, two minutes too late, a free ride when you've already paid...

Nebraska in five...twice - Cripes, what's going on in Huskerland? Lose one lousy match to Texas, and suddenly you're going five with everyone and their sister? Must have been the wrong climate in the gym or, something.

Badgers / Spartans - So, let me see if I've got this straight: Only Penn State and Michigan State can win in Madison? Is that about right?

Santa Clara upsets USD - Does anyone follow West Coast Conference volleyball? I never hear anything about Pepperdine and the rest of these guys. Why is that? Aren't there any rabid St. Mary's fans out there? A Jen Petrie fan club?