Monday, November 30, 2009

Bracket reactions!!! IT'S CHAOS!!!

“We are really excited about the draw. When we saw that we’d be playing Michigan, we continued to think that we have a real shot." - Niagara head coach Susan Clements's reaction to drawing Michigan in the first round. Huh. OK. Look, I would never try to rain on anyone's parade, bu-- "Michigan is a lot taller than us." Yes, there is that. "...but we are quick." Oh, so it's a Woody the Wabbit-kind of thing. Wun, Woody! Wun! 

“If we flip one of those losses for wins, and we beat a Florida State we gets the third overall seed for the tournament, or you beat a Miami who's in there out of five teams in the AXX, you beat one of those and go 24-3 and I think we may be having a different conversation.” - WDAY's hilariously off-target transcript of NDSU head coach Erich Hinterstocker's quote about not getting an at-large bid.

“It’s one game at a time. That’s what I told the players. What has hurt us is that we go, ‘Oh gosh, look at all the things that might happen.’" - Oregon's Jim Moore, unwittingly planting in his team's mind "all the things that might happen."

“This is a brutal region." - The King, Karch, saying what everyone's thinking about the committee's pure genius idea of putting Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa State in the same regional.

“We were on Thanksgiving vacation Friday. That is a little bit my fault." - LSU's Fran Flory on the team's loss to Rice. Thankfully, there are no national holidays before LSU's first round match against Tulane...unless they observe National Dice Day on December 4. 

"The team couldn't be more thrilled about drawing Penn in the first round." - Army commandant Alma Kovaci, voicing an opinion that Penn probably shares, just...reversed. 

"Even TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was on hand to support the team." - The Star Telegram on TCU's gathering to see who they drew in the first round. Gee, even Andy Dalton was there? Really? I fear I may swoon.

"They're still good." - Binghamton's Glenn Kiriyama compactly, succinctly comparing this year's Penn State team with the one Binghamton played four years ago. 

"That would definitely put our name on the radar." - Kiriyama -- again succinctly -- explaining what it would mean if Binghamton upset Penn State. He left out the part about the earth's core splitting, the stars falling from the sky, those four mysterious horsemen appearing on the horizon...

“Penn State may have to play Long Beach State to go to the Final Four. It’s the only tough match they will have [to get there]." - Professional diplomat Brian Gimmillaro. Coach G? Mary Wise would like a word.

"You can look at it a lot of ways, but somebody from the Big 12 is going to get to go to the final four." - John Cook, putting a rather positive spin on the Big 12 region. C'mon, Cook! Let your freak flag fly! Dave Shoji, show him how it's done.

"I know it's a tough job to put this bracket together, but it really makes no sense." - Shoji! What else?

"There is no rhyme, no reason, for any of the brackets." - Yes! More!

"I'm definitely disappointed ... really disappointed. I don't see much difference between us and Florida State. They haven't beaten anyone of significance." - And finally, bring it on home, Dave!

"That [Minneapolis] bracket is just ridiculous. For Washington to get a sixth seed after the way they've lost over the last 10 games (6-4) ... it's ridiculous." - That's how it's done, folks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thus ends the season of regularity

Das Klineman! - 33 kills to clinch the Pac 10 title. Man, that sweep by the Irish seems like a loong time ago, doesn't it?

Frogs with Horns! - They're hot! Hot Frogs! Prentice goes back to her alma mater and bounces the 49ers in 4 games.

Oh delicious irony - Purdue goes five for the 8th time in Big Ten play and wins. Having 6 out of 7 of those losses be by 2 points, the Boilers were basically 2 points away in 6 matches from being 4th in the Big 10, or (7/6)*-2=4/10. Enjoy your migraine.

Brackets: Or "The story of how your team probably got screwed."

How many Big 12 teams does it take to fill a regional? - You know, they did this already. It's called "the regular season."

Yay, losing records in conference! - Exactly how many matches in a row do you have to lose to get into the tournament? Isn't there a point where "being in the Big Ten / Pac 10" stops being a relevant argument? Sorta like "the uncanny valley" for computer-generated characters?

Welcome back to the tourney, Kathy Gregory! - If you'll step right this way, we have a lovely St. Mary's team awaiting you in the first round. Enjoy that. Should you beat the WCC champs, you'll get the honor of facing DAS KLINEMAN and Interplanet Janet in the 2nd round.

It's the new ACC y'all. - Chris Poole doesn't understand what's so hard about getting an ACC team a top four seed in the NCAA tourney.

PAC 10's going dancing! - Oregon State, Sun Devils, didn't want to go to your stupid dance anyway. Mom and Dad are taking them to Shoney's later for milkshakes anyway, so...

Hawaii! - Switch conferences.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pepperdine, LMU, "boosting" rivalry with PCH Challenge

From The Graphic, Pepperdine's student newspaper:
The Waves (15-10, 8-4 WCC) beat the LMU Lions Friday night, winning the local rivalry match in the Pacific Coast Highway challenge.
The what?
The PCH Challenge is a new competition created in October between LMU and Pepperdine for all athletics.
Alllllright sir.
Each time the two teams face off, points are awarded to the winning team.
Yes, that's generally how competition works.
The university with the most points at the end of the year will be named the PCH Challenge Champion and will receive...
Aaa cooookie?
...the PCH Cup.
Oh, how silly of me.

Totally Unfair Picture Captions with Debbie Brown and Serinity Phillips

Debbie Brown: You've never heard of Slapsgiving? From "How I Met Your Mother"?

Serinity Phillips: Slapswhat now?

DB: Nevermind. Just, give me a high-five.

SP: Is a high-five related to Slapsthanks?

DB: Forget it.

SP: Done.

People said stuff, other people wrote it down

“You win some, you lose some, and you got to play another one.” - Jeff Stork, after saying volleyball was 2 out of 3, then saying it was 3 out of 5, quickly becoming my favorite coach to quote.

"I don’t care if it’s rock throwing, I want to beat you at it." - UTEP's Kelsey Moore, who was named Miss Texas earlier this fall. Seems like a nice enough person, just...keep her away from the rocks.

"Exactly one year ago, the UW-Milwaukee volleyball team beat Cleveland State in the Horizon League Tournament, capping off a surprising season for a relatively very youthful group of girls." - The UWM Post. "Relatively very youthful"? What a sort of extremely unique way of describing something.

“I think that solidified it. I felt like if we just win one of the next four … we can assume that we’re in." - Dave Rubio commenting on his team's chance at an at-large tournament bid, thereby jinxing any chance at said bid.

"I said after game two, 'isn't volleyball funny?'" - Rice head coach Genny Volpe on her team's game two comeback against Tulsa from 9-19 to win it 25-23. Ed Allen fails to see the humor.

"We talk a lot about the bullet on our back, but truly, this is what it's all about." - Saint Louis' head coach Anne Kordes. Well no wonder they lost to Dayton: They had a bullet on their back. You can't expect a team to win when they've got lead stuck in 'em. Wait, what's that? Oh, I'm being told she meant to say "bullseye on our back." Well...that's different.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Things are getting interesting...!

Penn State wins the Big Te-zzz...zzzz... - I actually wrote that headline four months ago, saved it until now.

Hey, how 'bout that undefeated conference record! - Albany (10-0), NDSU (18-0), and Furman (16-0) came through their regular season conference schedules unblemished. And all they got was the #1 seed in their conference tournament, which bounced them.

Yea, conference tournaments...?

Cleveland State and Fairfield are also really, really second-guessing this whole conference-tournament-thing.

Bubbles! - On the other hand, Binghamton (5-5 in conference), IPFW (11-7), Niagara (14-4), College of Charleston (12-4), and UW-Milwaukee (10-6) are quite alright with conference tournaments.

Bubbles intact? - Notre Dame, on the other hand, may hate their conference tournament, but Debbie's Downers should be AOK for an at-large.

Tiny bubbles - Saint Louis's bubble should be in little danger of bursting after losing to Dayton in a 5-game rhubarb, seeing as they're in the top 25. Although Wade Benson may have a cautionary tale for them.

Oregon laughs at your bubbles - Lose to Beavers, then lose to Arizona, then beat Cal and Stanford, then lose to UCLA and USC, then lose to Arizona, Stanford, Cal, USC, then, just to top it all off, beat UCLA. Seriously.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 2, and Senior Day is still "appropaching"

Just keepin' ya' updated.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I assume "appropaching" is from the Seminole meaning "will be here."

Oregon State gets right back on that Eastern European horse

As you may recall, Oregon State tried to add Brecht Gijsbertsen to their roster, only to have her declared ineligible? She went all the way over to Corvallis, then back to to...Kslfalkjistad...with nothin' to show for it but a cool cameo on E:60.

Well, Liskevych ain't goin' out like that. No sirree-bob. He's gone right back over to Europe and landed another furrener [sic], Mona Kressl. Hopefully this one didn't have any random salary-getters on her club team. Or if she did, let's hope she snuck by the NCAA's crack staff of TEN PEOPLE. ("FORCE TEN FROM INDIANAPOLIS" coming this Christmas to theaters everywhere!)

Let's check the bio:
Mona Kressl has spent the past six years playing for the Rote Raben Vilsbiburg club team, advancing from the fourth level Bayernliga in 2004-05 before moving to the third level Regionalliga the following year.
Ah! Fourth level Bayernliga! Is that like a...chaotic evil half orc, or something? Are we sure this was a league for volleyball and not Dungeons & Dragons?

Ya' gotta admire Liskevych's moxie. That guy is NOT afraid to back to the well again...and again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grayson Dubose is UNHINGED

Hey look! It's an article about Chelsea Fowles and Emily Kortsen, two former high school teammates who both chose to play at Utah State in college! Fun!

Their hometown paper -- the Hollister Freelance -- checked in on the two to see how they're faring in D1 sports, and it looks pretty good. Kortsen is averaging over 2 kills per game, and Fowles has over 1,000 assists on the year!

Utah State head coach Grayson Dubose, what do you think of the job your setter's doing?

"She continues to kind of lead us."

...wwwwhoa. Easy, tiger. Let's not get all melodramatic. But we'll go ahead and risk one more question: Since Fowles and Kortsen have played together for so long, surely they connect well?

"They do kind of click with each other."

You, sir, are quite vexing.

It's Early Signing Period! Who's Excited?

"We are really excited to have Kaja and Destiny become a part of our volleyball family.  They both come from excellent high school and club programs." - Jill Hirschinger, New Hampshire

"I am extremely excited about the 2010 class." - Kevin Hambly, Illinois

"We have been excited every time we have seen (Kelsey Kuipers) play." - Cathy George, Michigan State

"This is a class I am very excited about." - Dave Shondell, Purdue

"This is a very exciting day for us." - Ken Murphy, UTEP

"We are really excited to bring Carissa and Danielle into the Bison Volleyball family." - Erich Hinterstocker, North Dakota State

"I am really excited to have someone of Gehan's talent." - Rich Feller, Cal

"We are excited about this class because it fills a lot of our needs." - Jerritt Elliott, Texas

"We are very excited about our first recruiting class here at Georgia Tech." - Tonya Johnson...Georgia Tech

"I've been excited since the day Megan committed to the University of Dayton." - Kelly Sheffield, Dayton

Monday, November 9, 2009

Say, say, say

"Volleyball is a three out of five sport. Riverside played just well enough in set three and set four to turn things around.”
" - Jeff Stork stating the obv- HOLD THE PHONE. Flashback, November 1, Stork claimed "Volleyball is a two out of three sport,” and that “(Bakersfield) played good enough in three of the sets to win.” So which is it, Monsieur Stork? Two out of three when you lose and three out of five when you win?

"I’d rather not have a fifth set." - Carolyn Zimmerman, who obviously wants volleyball to be a...three out of four sport?

"I think we had just enough of being in Iowa." - Arielle Wilson, on the Nittany Lions laying the 25-13 smackdown on the Hawkeyes in game three. Ray Kinsella is not amused.

"Lack of sleep." - Christy Johnson HYPHEN! Lynch on how she stays grounded despite her program's success. With that in mind, I'm guessing Kanye West gets 15-20 hours of sleep a day.

“I think they made some coaching adjustment, and we let the crowd and lights get into our head." - UCLA's Kaitlin Sather on the Bruins' 25-13 loss in game two of their 5-game win at the Galen Center. The lights? Man, I have GOT to see that light show. Dude.

UOP would appreciate it if ESPN would butt out

So...anyone catch that story on E:60 about Brecht Gijsbertsen being denied eligibility at Oregon State because some teammates on her European club made money? And how UOP's Svenja Engelhardt might possibly be considered ineligible by the same standards because some random Canadian on her club team apparently received money from the club, which makes anyone on that team ineligible by NCAA rules? Well, UOP has reacted.

Naturally they're not really happy, with the A.D. saying that they did their part, executing a "complete vetting of both (Engelhardt's) club and sand volleyball teams."

Now, I don't care if she is eligible, isn't, whatever. But there are some gems in the story and in the aftermath.

The setup for Engelhardt's part of E:60's story happens thusly:
Dave Rubio: There was, in my opinion, not even the same kinds of question marks (with Gijsbertsen) as you have for other players in our conference.
Wonder what players he's talking about...
Dave Rubio: You have this rush of players that want to come over. And so then you have the NCAA trying to figure out which ones are eligible and which ones aren't, so there's going to be some that are going to slip through the cracks.

E:60: Like Svenja Engelhardt.

In reaction to UOP's reaction, ESPN's spokesdude first says:
It wasn't like we were making the assertion that Pacific did anything wrong.
True, true, you only implied that Engelhardt should be declared ineligible. That's all.

Good times.

But the funniest part is when the NCAA dude in charge of the department that checks out all the foreigners -- a TEN PERSON DEPARTMENT overseeing over 10,000 foreign athletes -- claims "...the vast majority of our students domestic or international are meeting our standards." To which the ESPN correspondent, brilliantly, asks "How do you know that? How can 10 people really get to the bottom of whether these people are telling the truth?"

The NCAA dude's response is, "Well, the important thing is..." (the opening you use when you really want to say, "I'm not really going to answer your question, but look at this bright shiny object over here!") "...that we identify those cases that are really most egregious in terms of violation of our amateurism rules."

So it's a sliding scale! How uniquely...arbitrary! I'm sure this clears up everything. Thanks, NCAA!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monday morning or mourning. (Check your local listings)

St. Francis upsets St. Francis! - The one in NY upsets the one in PA, 26-28, 26-28, 25-23, 25-10, 15-10. Wonder who Francis was rooting for? Can saints play favorites?

Navy beats Army! - Either way, America wins.

Cal beats the Cauldron! - Either way, Marv Dunphy wins...or something.

Huskers beat Cyclones! - And the state of Nebraska exhales.

North Dakota State beats South Dakota State! - And Mt. Rushmore inhales...?

Miami (OH) beats Western Michigan! - And the city of Kalamazoo sneezes.

Cal Poly beats UCSB! - And Kathy Gregory throws up.

Arizona beats Oregon! - Seriously. Really? These two teams are more up and down than a yo-yo in, uh, in an elevator, and, something else going up and down, et cetera, heh-heh.

Georgetown beats Cincy! - Reed Sunahara now hates our nation's capitol.

Notre Dame wins more! - While no one was paying attention, the Fightin' Fitzpatricks have gone 12-0 in the Big East.

UNLV beats Nevada! - Is that kinda like beating the house? What are the odds on that?

UCLA beats Gysin University! - I'm tellin' ya', this Cook kid might be kinda good. Anyone know her background?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four posts that prove we're all getting bored with this season

Yeah, that's probably not gonna help

The University of Wisconsin volleyball team needs to find a way to get Gary Brokaw to attend its match against top-ranked Penn State on Friday night.
Right! Gary Brokaw...wait, who?
Brokaw is the former guard for the Notre Dame men's basketball team who played a big role in the Irish upset victory over UCLA that ended its 88-game winning streak in 1974.
Ohhh! OK. Now I get it. Props for obscure-but-relevant. But honestly, the Badgers need more than Brokaw. You could have Tom Brokaw play, still wouldn't make a difference. Plus, the Nittany Lions don't have a hippie redhead with bad knees, so...


From the Des Moines Register:
Texas coach Jerritt Elliott was given a yellow card – a warning for unsportsmanlike behavior – for bumping an official while arguing a call in the third set.
Really? Do we have confirmation on this? How is it possible that no one has mentioned this yet? Is Jerritt Elliott the Earl Weaver of volleyball? Was it a legitimate bump or more of a hip check? Did Elliott kick dirt at the ref? Or were he and the down ref just exchanging contact info on their iPhones?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quotes. Not "quote" quotes. Just quotes.

"First and foremost, the serving and passing game was much better then Miami’s." - Lee Maes.

"Ultimately it came down to our team doing a consistent job in executing a defensive game plan." - Lee Maes. Well make up your mind: Was it first and foremost or ultimately?

"Volleyball is a two out of three sport." - Jeff Stork. Wait, has there been ANOTHER rule change I haven't heard about yet?! For Pete's sake...

“When you start to do too much, you end up doing nothing good. You do everything, but we weren’t executing anything in the order it has to be to win.” - Arizona's Paige Weber. What is this, an Abbott and Costello routine? I can only assume Weber's answer to the next question was "Third base."

"The defense last weekend was definitely a communal effort." - Duke's Claire Smalzer. "Communal effort"? What kinda commie-lovin' lingo are they teaching America's youths at Duke?! This is exactly the kind of elitist commie pinko garbage that's ruining this country! And I for one are not going to sit here and let them badmouth the United States of America! Gentlemen! Bum, bum-ba bum, bu--what? It wasn't about that? Oh...heh.

"On hand to watch Texas’ sweep were King Leonidas, Pocahontas, a random penguin and an assortment of others." - The Daily Texan, giving us a taste of the atmosphere when the Longhorns hosted the Huskers. My only question is, is "random penguin" code for "non-descript nun" or are we talking "Happy Feet" material?

“They were definitely under my skin.” - Oregon's Sonja Newcombe, on the OSU Beavers. And I think we all know how painful it can be for a duck to get beaver under its skin.

"It's my senior year, and I hate USC." - Cal's Kristen Kathan, letting us know how she feels about Gysin University.

So, knowing this, how'd Kathan feel after the Golden Bears lost game thr--

"I was absolutely furious we lost that third game."

Look, maybe you just need to take a breath, calm dow--

"At one point, everyone was like, 'Kristen, you need to calm down..."

Yeah, I just said that.

"..and I was like, 'I'll calm down when we win.'"

Man, you were out of your tree.

"I don't know. I kind of just flipped out a little bit."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Totally Unfair Picture Caption with Russ Rose

"You kids keep that ball off my lawn, ya' hear?" (puff)

Stole this photo off of VolleyTalk. Not even sure it's real.

Halloween, et cetera, full moon, tricks, blah blah blah...

Yes, we get it, it was Halloween this past weekend. So "of course" there were a number of weird matches. And since not every newspaper or sports info department came up with an appropriately awful Halloween pun in their respective recaps, we've gone ahead and done it for them.

Badgers beat Michigan, lose to Michigan State: Badgers trick Wolverines, treat Spartans

Dayton loses to Xavier: Flyers' Pumpkin Patch Deemed Insincere by Bunch of Musketeers

Pacific loses to UC Riverside, beats UC Irvine: UOP Gets Pennies One Night, Candy the Next

Ohio State sweeps Minnesota: FrankenGeoff's Frauleins Gore Gophers.

UCSB sweeps Long Beach: 49ers Get Their Pumpkin Carved by Gauchos

UCLA beats Stanford, at Stanford: UCLA TPs the Farm