Sunday, October 31, 2010


I really wanted to do a whole Halloween thing, with lots of obscure Boris Karloff puns, a nod to Bela Lugosi, etc., but... that's an awful lot of work, and the World Series is keeping me up late. So the result is a... (wait for it) mixed bag of word candy.

Huskies go trick-or-treating in L.A., get nothing but rocks. - No, no Zagnuts or Snickers for U-dub. Just two bitter-tasting five game losses to USC and UCLA.

Toledo still playing Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde card - Sure, sure, go ahead and beat Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, why not. Coach Greg Smith's either laughing or crying. I can't tell anymore.

Illini win World War Z(immerman)! Badgers... do not - Wolverines were THIS CLOSE to moving into a tie with the Illini for first place in the Approximately Big Ten. But the Ramblin' Rosens did register Michigan's first win at Camp Randall since 1992, which -- sidebar! -- is also the last time anyone heard from The Screaming Trees.

Cal lowers The Great Pumpkin on Oregon - These guys hit a blistering .349 against Oregon in Duckville, which means they obviously have the most sincere offense of any country in the land.

Sparty's pumpkin patch a little bare, but... will it matter? - Michigan State has lost 4 in a row, putting them second-to-last in the conference. They're going to have to really apply themselves and start losing more if they want to, you know, get to last place, thereby securing a spot in the NCAA tourney.

On the upside, that's 255 degrees Kelvin - Pepperdine sweeps Santa Clara, holding their offense to zero-point-zero-zero-zero for the match.

Ball State need braaaainnss... - Ball State has arisen from the dead this season, but without all the gore and moaning. Saturday they got a five game win over Western Michigan, where libero Alyssa Rio had forty, four, digs.

Yikes. - Texas drops the hammer on Colorado in the third game on Saturday, notching a score of 25-5 and hitting .704 for the frame. You'd think 15 new players would be able to avoid something like that.

Beth Launiere and the Order of the Phoenix - Hey how about those Utes rising from the ashes? Winners of 4 of the last 5, including a classic 5-gamer against BYU for state pride.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Volleyball People's Court

We're going live, now, to headquarters, where Doug Lewellen is standing by with an update on "Trish Knight Resigns from TTU Volleyball: the life of a messageboard thread." Doug?

Good evening. As this so-called "thread" trudges foward, we've apparently entered the character witness segment, as numerous people have recently taken the time to register under their own names and testify on behalf of Coach Knight.

We read the very compelling statement by the sister, who obviously has a history with Coach Knight, but as was noted, not much of it has happened on the volleyball court. Sure, the two sisters may have fought over crayons or math homework, but what about team defense or setter choices?

We also saw the more relevant testimony from one of Coach Knight's former players. This definitely played better with the jury, but there were critics who maintained that "JuCo ain't D1," a technically true statement, if not overly simplistic.

And the anonymous verbal abuse charges keep rearing their ugly heads as well. I'm sure it doesn't help that the former Texas Tech coach shares the same last name as one of the greatest verbal abusers of the modern era.

Are you referring to Bob Knight?

No, no. Ray Knight, from the Cincinnati Reds. Mouth like a longshoreman

Doug, what are Trish Knight's backers saying?

Trish Knight backers have been very effective in alluding to "problem parents," who they claim are interfering on behalf of their "spoiled princesses," a story line we've seen played out everywhere from the playground to Picadilly Circus.

Picadilly Circus, Doug?

It's an alliteration. It works.

But overwhelmingly, as this thread rages on and on with seemingly no end in sight, the growing sentiment is becoming... "I can't believe we're still talking about this."

I'm Doug Lewellen, for Dot Your Eye.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"It" is still on the loose.

Senior Kayla Banwarth had a simple question for her teammates on the Nebraska volleyball team during their bye week.

"Where's the it?"
- Daily Nebraskan, Oct. 27

Did you see "it" Wednesday night on ESPNU? I'm thinking with a team hitting percentage of .160, "it" is still out there somewhere. And you know how it goes with these things; "it" is probably in the last place you'd think to look.

So what about it? Is that it? No, that is "that." We're looking for "it."

Banwarth will be happy to know that Gatorade is helping with the search, although maybe at the price of personal privacy, by asking millions of people across the nation, "Is it in you?"

As for Texas, congratulations! You're back in the conversation, which seems to be getting more and more participants every weekend.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Terry Pettit breaks the 4th wall!

Ooo! Celebrity sighting! He was there, for a brief moment, spoke to us... and then he was gone. It's like seeing a unicorn.

So what did we learn?

  1. Pettit was pretty sure Cook was going to get the Nebraska job. 
  2. There was a vague statement about "self-imposed pressure."
  3. Many coaches experience a "dark night of the soul," which sounds like a lost Harry Potter book, or maybe it's like that "pon farr" thing Vulcans experience.
  4. Pettit is no pipe fitter, nor pilot.

Oh and there was some kind of sincere statement about the pressures coaches face, a genuine attempt to explain how tough it actually is, blah blah blah... seems like a pretty nice guy.

OK, I'll bite: What in the world is going on in Lubbock?

Put aside the fact that this is the second mid-season coaching change in D1 after Hinterstocker resigned from NDSU (And between you and me, I think he resigned because, well, he's tired of living in North Dakota). Were things so bad at Texas Tech that firing their coach mid-season was going to help?

Even sounds confused.

It was not immediately clear why Knight resigned before the season ended. There are still nine games left on the schedule.

You know, just in case the Texas Tech A.D. didn't realize it. "Wait, what?! There are still nine matches left? Alright, very funny, who told me the season was over?"

Of course the rumor floodgates are already on Warp Speed: cursing, no cursing, worse than cursing, and, worst of all, parental involvement. (shudder) We'll probably never know the true story. But that's the fun of messageboards: speculation run rampant.

More from the article:

Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately but the Red Raiders won't announce a successor until after the season ends.

Yyyeah, I'm thinking they might need a P.R. consultant to lure candidates in, or maybe one of those real estate agents who can describe condemned shacks in a way that suckers in buyers.

"WANTED: Dedicated owner for a great fixer-upper in Lubbock! If you love a good project, don't miss out on this once-in-18-months chance to be a Big 12 homeowner!"

But then again, Texas Tech is in the Big 12, it is a major university, so I'm sure someone will want the gig. Jeff Nelson made it work, so I'm sure it can happen again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alright alright alright

"There was something strange in the Pauley Pavilion air on Friday night." - The Daily Bruin. Someone smoking weed at Bruin home matches? Al? You holdin'?

"Though the UCLA women’s volleyball team beat Oregon State in four sets, there was a lack of emotion on the court." - Daily Bruin, from same article, so, that's a "no" on the reefer.

"After game one I sent a text message to Brian Gimmillaro about going to Michelle Osunbor since the Nutwooders were ganging up on Ledoux and Johnson. Apparently he read it and sure enough Michelle had a career high in kills." - Long Beach Post's Dan Barber, apparently under the impression that Gimmillaro reads his texts -- and follows their advice -- during his matches.

"I walked over and said, ‘All right, they just changed on you. They’re going outside (on block attempts).’ She said, ‘I see it, I see it. Sit down.’" - Dayton's Kelly Sheffield, describing a conversation he had with his setter, Jessica Yanz. Outrage! Who does she think she is? What kind of cuckoo talk is th--

"Laughing, Sheffield added: 'That means, A, she obviously has tremendous recognition, and, B, she has no problems communicating with her coach.'” - Oh. So... it's a funny kind of "Sit down." Well, Coach Sheffield's laughing, so I guess it all makes sense?

"They are a great team. We are a team growing into a good team. I'm really excited that our team got to have this experience." - Wyoming's Carrie Yerty team talking team about team. I guess team is teamier than teams.

"When we’re on, we’re on. … We’ve got to learn how to turn it on and keep it on from start to finish." - Washington's Jimmy Mac. What, is he doing Yerty's material now? WRITE SOMETHING ORIGINAL, MCLAUGHLIN. I'm sure GM2 has writers.

"Louisville had this one player, [outside hitter] Lola [Arslanbekova], who was around 6 foot 4, 6 foot 5 and was just hitting over us all night." - Georgetown setter Ashley Malone. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. One problem: According to Louisville's website, Lola's only getting up to 5'11".


Gotta say, after the excitement of the last few weekends, this one was kinda, kinda lame, really. I'm not used to having a weekend without 4-5 jaw-dropping upsets. I actually went to the movies instead of gluing my face to GameTracker / LiveStats. Are you happy, volleyball? You made me actually go outside. Because of you, I saw "Jackass 3" in 2D. 2D! Thanks for nothing.

No, you're all wrong: Cal is #1 - Cal made its argument to be #1 since, you know, everyone else is doing it. They went in to Maples and rode Murrey's arm and Hawari's efficiency to a big 'W.' Does Turbo still go to all the matches? (Sidebar: They call this match "The Big Spike." Seems like a missed opportunity.)

Marquette is hot! - And, on the Sabbath, it was decreed that two Catholic universities shall beat up on each other for a couple of hours whilst volleying the Lord's Ball. This time it was Marquette emerging victorious over Notre Dame in five games. Former Ron Sweet pupil Ashley Beyer lights it up for 21. Kishwaukee forever!

Has the Big 10 (+1) solved... The Northwestern Conundrum? - Wildcats started out like gangbusters, but have dropped four in a row, including two this past weekend to Ohio State and 3rd-place Penn State. ("3rd place Penn State." That phrase looks soooo weird. It's like saying "World Champion New York Mets.")

Jim Calhoun probably didn't even notice - UConn's 15-match Frustration Tour is over, as they sweep Rutgers. Is Calhoun even aware there's a volleyball program? Or do they just perceive it as "those people that are always taking away our precious gym time"?

Woo cerdu sooie! - Razorbacks reach deep, keep their cabesas on a swivel, and upset Georgia in four juegos.

Apparently "McShane" is Gaelic for "streak-buster" - Air Force snaps 74-match losing streak in the Mountain West Conference by beating San Diego State. Does this mean Matt gets to fly an F-16 now?

James avenges previous indignity suffered at the hands of George - Jimmy Madison bests G. Mason in five games after loss earlier this year. Dolly provided post-match Zingers.

Florida State: uuuup, down, up, up, down...up! - Lose to Maryland, lose to Wake Forest... beat Duke? Yah, without their Serbian wrecking ball, Visnja Djurdjevic, yer gonna struggle a bit. Which makes their win against Duke all the more impressive. Credit Latvian assassin Jekaterina Stepanova for steppin' up to the plate against Duke with 20 kills.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Totally Unfair Picture Captions with Wade Benson

"UTAH! Get me two."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is this news? Should we be covering this?

Apparently... Morgan Beck went to Russia and blogged something and then blogged something else and someone got mad and then Morgan blogged something else to apologize and American humor is tough to translate and now Morgan's only going to be conscious and positive and amazing.

Or something. I don't know. Who can keep track of these things.

Colorado State to stage "orange-out"

Alright, I'm calling for an official end to the "-out" games. It's getting ridiculous. Sure, it started innocently enough with "white-out" games where crowds would wear white, or the inevitable "black-out" games, but somewhere along the way things got kooky.

We've got blue-outs, the lesser-known brown-outs, red-outs (sponsored by Visine)... it's out of control.

Now comes word that Colorado State is holding an orange-out, which makes sense because their colors are green and... white.


Apparently, the orange-out -- being held at the CSU / Wyoming volleyball game -- is a tribute to Colorado State's past when they were the Colorado A&M Aggies. Their school colors then? Pumpkin and alfalfa. (For those of you without a J. Crew catalog nearby, that's "orange" and "green," respectively.)

Ew. I can see why they switched. Aren't those the official school colors for House of Pain?

Anyway, back to the topic, enough with the "-out" games. Where does it end? Because if there can be orange-outs, there can be creme-outs, maize-outs, FUCHSIA-OUTS. Let me be clear that I never want to see, or hear, or get whiff, of a fuchsia-out. That's where I draw the line.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's cookin' in Iowa these days?

Yes, we know Iowa State's gym flooded and now they're probably playing in a gym-caf-atorium somewhere, and Northern Iowa is making Swiss cheese out of the Missouri Valley, but what about their neighbors, the Iowa Hawkeyes?
Dingman’s team experiencing "growing pains"
Oh. So it's not a good 6-11. Well, I'm sure the article focuses on the more positive aspects of the program.
Fifteen-straight sets lost.

One Big Ten win in eight games.

One win in the team’s last 11 games.
Does the school newspaper hate the volleyball program? Surely this article will take an upswing.
But on a team that boasts just one senior and sees four freshmen getting regular playing time, the squad doesn’t appear fazed by the lack of success.
There ya' go! See, that's positive: The team doesn't care about their "lack of success". Wait, I don't think that's right...
“Things have improved [since the start of conference play],” junior outside hitter Tiffany Nilges said.
Really? You had 5 wins pre-conference, 1 since. Unless "things" is an umbrella term for other, non-volleyball stuff.

Still, the article floats the idea that perhaps these are just the headline-mentioned growing pains, what with six freshmen coming in next year and a renovated gym.
"There certainly are growing pains going on," [head coach] Sharon Dingman said.
There! There they are! The growing pains! Yes, grow, Iowa Hawkeyes! GROW!
"But at some point we have to stop looking at growing and get there."
Touche. But perhaps, as junior Hawkeye Paige Stevens says, the initial 5-1 start was a bad thing? (Yeah I'm not buying it either, but let's see where this is heading.)
"Especially for a team like us..."
Why, what's wrong with you guys?
"...who doesn't have the No. 1 recruit in the nation..."
Well, yeah, there's that.
"...and aren't the tallest people..."
Point taken.
"...and the strongest people."
OK, we get it already. You stink. CRIPES. Happy now?
"We can't let winning get to our head."
I don't think that's gonna be a problem, seeing as how you just told us about, you know, your lack of No. 1 recruit, height, strength, etc.

Still, the Hawkeyes remain optimistic. They want to make the tournament for the first time since 1990 -- Ruth Nelson, anyone? -- but to do that, they need to win 8 out of their next 10 conference matches.
Such a late-season turnaround after a midseason slump would help the team's case for a tournament bid.
It would help the team's case for canonizing Coach Dingman, is what it would do. Forget the tournament, Iowa would join the 1951 New York Giants baseball team and the 2008 season of "Mad Men" in the Turnaround Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hey, did you know Sara McClinton's going to Kansas? No?

Just your normal, everyday article about a player who committed to Nebraska, scholarship offer was rescinded, and now she's committed to Kansas. I doubt anyone will even notice...

...or maybe they will, it's hard to tell sometimes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Q to the U-O-T-E-S.

"For me, I got 150 wins now? Hot darn." - Northern Illinois' Ray Gooden. Potty mouth. There are kids reading these articles.

"It was kind of funny at the end, on the bench one of my assistants, Brian (Heffernan), thought that maybe the crowd would be rushing the floor, like after the football game. They didn't do it but we thought that might have been fun also." - Wisconsin skipper Pete Waite. Ha-h--- yeah I don't get it.

“If it gives us a chance to take a timeout and thank all of the players, all of the assistant coaches and the support staff, then it’s worth coming up with that number.” - Mary Wise on reaching 700. "Worth coming up with that number"? What does that mean? It's not like sports info picked it out of thin air. "Hey, can we honor Mary for some random number of wins? Like, say, oh I don't know... 700?"

"Instead, they completely come back and we just roll over. We don't compete. We don't fight back. That, to me, is the most disappointing part of this." - Dave Rubio, explaining in three different ways what happened to the Wildcats against UCLA. I just wish he'd continued the meme by saying that it was dispiriting and troublesome -- as well as disappointing -- that it happened. I mean, if you're going to go with threes, go with threes.

"We didn't show much character or heart. Certainly, that's very disappointing." - Fran Flory, ignoring the rule of threes. How hard would it have been to add "tenacity" to that sentence? Not hard at all.

"UCLA is this unforgiving team. They are going to make you pay. They are going to grind at you. They pushed, we pushed." - ASU's Jason Watson, apparently under the impression that UCLA is some kind of mafia enforcer.

"I feel like I’m coaching an elementary school team and that’s no offense to elementary school volleyball." - Russ Rose. Elementary school volleyball could not be reached for comment.

"'We’re having trouble with what’s that thing — the overhand serve,' Rose said sarcastically." - Russ again. Are ya' sure that was sarcasm?

"[Fresno State is] much improved. They attacked the ball. They looked like a real team." - Dave Shoji. That was kinda nice, right up until that last bit.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gunga ga-lunga. Gunga, gunga-lagunga.

"Honestly? That's your best pick-up line? You realize I could end you."
I don't understand the PAC 10. I really don't. - Is there a reason why ASU is suddenly, you know, good? They swept USC and UCLA for the first time since 1995. I know Van Orden was out for the Bruins, but Madie Smith isn't exactly chopped liver. Is this some kind of Gold Medal Squared stealth program? Or does the Gold Medal Squared equation take some time to grab a toe hold? Someone from inside the GM2 temple needs to let us know.

Penn State's HUGE sigh of relief - "Hey! We're still good! Woo-hoo!"

Run for your lives! It's... THE KLINEMAN! AIEEEE! - 32 kills, hit .500 against Washington in 5 games; 15 kills, .522 against Washington State. You can run, but you can't hide. OK, well you could hide, but, it's not like that's gonna help, is it?

No one ever expects the Hokies, or the Spanish Inquisition - Very clever, Virginia Tech. Just when we're not looking, after you've lost 5 of 6, BLAM! A quick 1-2 punch against Duke and Wake Forest. We'll never trust you again. (And why do certain Volleytalkers hate you? What's the deal there?)

Georgia Tech making things interesting / miserable in the ACC (check your local listings) - For the second weekend in a row, Tonya's Meandering Mess (see what I did there?) knocked off a league leader. This time it was the Tar Heels in 4 games.

It's official: Badgers have serious psychosis - How else to explain getting swept by IU at home including 25-8 in the third game (WHAT?!), then beating Purdue on Sunday. (P.S. Attendance was over 3,000. I'm surprised anyone was up at 2 p.m. in Madison... but seriously, 25-8?!)

Hiccup? - Ole Miss welcomes LSU, then sweeps them out the door. Maybe they should come up with a new mascot every year.

Well, that's one way to do it - Hartford lost two games to Albany, 25-13 and 25-14, yet somehow found a way to win the match in five for their first win over Albany in 8 years... which is the same number of points the Badgers scored in game three against IU -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm just having a hard time letting that go.

Yawn... - Remember Hawaii? It's been a month since they lost a game. Not a match, a GAME. Even so, over 7,000 people showed up to watch them dismantle San Jose State. But then, who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned dismantling?

WCC race is closed folks. The moose out front should have told you. - San Diego, Pep, St. Mary's, and LMU are, like, way ahead and stuff.

Minch moves Mountain West - Close one for CSU as it takes them five games to beat TCU. Danielle Minch -- whose indian name, as you know, is "Gray Shirt" -- had 20 kills`and hit .256

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Texas Tech: Just so darn loveable

Well Texas Tech is going down to Austin tomorrow. They're 1-7 in the Big 12, 3-14 overall, after a gut-wrenching 5-game loss to Colorado, 28-26 in the fifth. So how are they approaching this match? Headline me, Daily Toreador!

"Volleyball hoping to rebound at Texas"

Yeah, good luck with that. That's like saying "Brett Favre to seek moral guidance from Snookie."

What does coach Trish Knight have to say?

"All I can tell the kids is that they'll probably be a little more ready for us than they were last year because last year I think they were just like, ‘Ah, it's just Texas Tech, no big deal,' but this year they'll know that we're going to come down and at least try to play a match."
Yes. There's that. I know there's nothing more terrifying than a team that's promising to "at least try to play a match." (shiver)

But Tech does have some momentum on their side. They've already won one more Big 12 match this year than all of last year, and last year they went to Texas and shocked the Longhorns by winning the first game. Senior Jackie Vincent, you know what I'm sayin', right?

"(Winning the first set at Texas last year) boosts our confidence so much."

See! That's the spirit! Give it the good ol' college try! Rah rah sis-boom bah, etc.!

"If we can take a game away from them, then surely we can take the whole match from them."

Right! WAIT --  okay, I don't think the "good ol' college try" includes extrapolating outside the accepted realms of, you know, probability. And who is this Shirley thou hast spoken of? (I think that had to be done, right? You don't get a lot of "surely" these days. Plus I'm a hack. Happy?)

 "I think our real is goal is to take it point-by-point and just push everything we have."

Now that's Raider wisdom I can get behind.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday night's matches: anything interesting?

Colorado upends Texas Tech 28-26 in the fifth game to move to 3-6 in the Big 12. 


And wow, 28-26 in the fifth?! Liz Kritza, talk to us! 
The final set was a stoic example of sheer determination and a complete team effort.
Really. The fifth game was a restrained example of determination. An impassive example.
At the onset of this match, we intended to put forth our maximum effort...
As opposed to... the usual minimum effort?
...and to really get back to progressing towards our goal of being a championship level team. This hard earned victory tonight was a good step towards that goal and I am proud of the way this group of young players fought with all they had to get the outcome they desired.
I think Coach Kritza is running for city council or something in Boulder.  
Again this young squad pushed their way back in to the match after being down 2-0, and in that fifth set revealed our true character, which will be something that we can look back to as we push ahead in this tough conference season.
Ask not what Colorado volleyball can do for you. Ask what you can do for Colorado volleyball. 

Ich bin Buffalo.

Totally Unfair Picture Captions with Mark Rosen

"Whaddya mean my pinstripes are disorienting!? Your face is disorienting!" 

Tuesday quotes, Wednesday edition.

“I don’t think Purdue had beaten us in [23] years and I don’t think Indiana had ever beaten us, so in a way it’s the law of averages.” - Russ Rose. Yeah, once every 23 years and never doesn't really fit the definition of the law of averages, does it?

"Vulcans pummel Penguins" - Headline from Wahine Sports Network. Funny, it doesn't sound like something a Vulcan would do.

"We took the lead (against Cal) and all of a sudden we just … I don’t know, we just bonked." - UCLA frosh Kelly Reeves. "Bonked"? Isn't that the PowerBar slogan from, like, 1999? If UCLA blows out their next opponent and Reeves says, "We really destroyed that team. Where's the beef?", we'll know something's up.

"Rebarchak is a great athlete. She doesn't know if we're playing Penn State or if we're playing Morehead State. She just plays." - Purdue's Dave Shondell on frosh Catherine Rebarchak. Well, sure, but I think she'd notice it the first time she hit into a blocker she thought was from Morehead State, only to discover it was Arielle Wilson, right? Am I right?

"The team was really helpful the first time I had to come in and play for Laura." - Illinois' Jazmine Orozco. The first time. Now that she's gotta fill in for DeBruler again, she's on her own. No more free rides, snookums.

"Bears extend win streak despite missing Pang" - Headline from WashU's Student Life newspaper. So they weren't having Pang pangs? Ha, get it? "Pangs" for pang? 'Cause, you see, there are "pangs" and...
...oh like you had something better.

"We were outplayed in every facet of the (Arizona State match), yet we won." - Oregon's Jim Moore, stickin' it to ASU. Stickin' it to 'em!

“He always asks, ‘What would Cindy and Farok do here?’ ” - Sarah Elliott, wife of Jerritt Elliott, who played for Cindy and Farok at Washington State. I wonder if Sarah ever says, "Move to Iowa where our son will become a basketball legend"?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Penn State: The end is...nigh?

What, me worry?
Thankfully no one overreacts when a streak like Penn State's comes to an end, right? Like in the Penn State Daily Collegian's article headlined, "Reign could be at its end."

Nice title. Couple of lousy losses and the paper's proclaiming the End of Days (which if the losses were anything like that horrible Schwarzenegger movie, maybe they're right).

"The cracks of Penn State's dynasty were starting to show -- perhaps even before this season began."

OK, slow your roll, there. Hodge and Glass graduating doesn't really constitute "cracks," does it? Isn't that a natural progression, graduating? (Huggins Era Cincinnati basketball excluded, of course.)

The article continues, citing "new faces" shouldering "new burdens," before giving the current state of the Nittany Lions, which is a mere 13-4, 3-3 in the Big Ten, and not being the #1-ranked team for the first time since 2007. Again, after not losing for three years, winning three titles, that's not too shabby, is it?

"The cracks are growing deeper, and some are beginning to question: Is this the end of the Penn State juggernaut and its reign over collegiate women's volleyball?"

Um... yes? It may be the last time for ANY school, EVER, forget Penn State. You graduate the talent they've graduated in the past two years, yes, the reign is over. But COME ON, what were the odds it was going to continue at this pace anyway? And it's not like they're going to stink from now on.

The article then attempts to show a) how the dynasty is over, b) might not be over, or c) will recover, with quotes from ESPN's Buster Olney, New York Times journalist Dave Anderson, and New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy, respectively. 

WOW. That's quite a list of sports journalism muckety-mucks to discuss li'l ol' PSU. 

First, Olney:

"When you see the players that were so important leave, it’s like a colony of ants. They all had their specific roles in the clubhouse, and when they leave, the culture is different."

So, the program is on the decline? Anderson, weigh in here.

"The end of a dynasty comes if all the good players or coaches who were a part of that get old, retire or are not there anymore."

So, the program's OK because Russ is still there? Bondy, how about you?

"These things can be revitalized as long as the people who are still doing the recruiting and established the program are still there. They will still be a magnet school for talent and interest."

So, there's still hope?

And I must say that I'm impressed with the sources this author contacted to talk about the poor, poor plight of the woeful Nittany Lions. Will they ever win again? Is this the last we've heard of the Penn State dynasty? Will Ridge marry Gwendolyn and give up his affair with her twin sister??? Whatever shall they do?!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So, THAT happened...

"14 Ladies" drop 5-game match to 20 Bruins - Clunk. Stanford misses 10 serves v. 0 aces, which might have been enough to tip the scales toward the Mike Sealy Era Bruins. Ever think maybe Dunning needs to grow back his cookie duster?

No one make eye contact with Russ today - In fact, just don't go into the office at all. The day after Penn State lost to Purdue for the first time since 1987 -- 1987 people! Parachute pants! -- they lost to IU for the first time EVER. I find it shocking that Tom Shoji never got a piece of Russ.

Enough of these matches, Coach Sheffield has diapers to change - Flyers had two sweeps this past weekend, and half of those games the Flyers held their opponents to single digits. 25-5 and 25-9 against Temple, and 25-7 against La Salle.

Big win for the Arizona athletic trainers - Karst and Weber made "miraculous" recoveries from a Rubio-diagnosed broken leg / ACL tear and sprained ankle, respectively, to notch 22 kills and a near double-double, respectively, beating the Ducks. This was right after almost losing to the Beavers in 5. The trainers must have done that Mr. Miagi-hand clap-hand rubbing-thing.

What nationality is Jupiter, anyway? - French? But she went to high school here? I never understood that. Doesn't really matter, as elle a recu 26 kills, et avait 18 digs. Bon? Bon. And this time the Trojans were on the right side of a five-gamer. Oh and the Fonoimoana kid had 15 kills. She's not too shabby.

The Revenge! The Crimson Tide has it! - Take that, Gamecock football! Alabama's volleyball team beat your volleyball team, which is the sporting event that really mattered, so.... nanny-nanny boo-boo.

Georgia Tech beats Foreigner State - The Wreck rocks a .319 hitting percentage on its way to sweeping the Seminoles.

Sabel Moffett good, possibly part cyborg -  Three solo blocks and 11 block assists in 4-game win over Gophers. Strangely enough, she hit .000 for the match with 3 kills, 3 errors. Would've been more fitting if she'd been 7 of 9. (That's for you, nerds.)

Rock, Chalk, Manda? - 32 digs in 4 games by libero Melissa Manda is good enough to lead Kansas to upset of Iowa State. Not to mention that Karina Garlington went. Off. 18 kills, hit .378.

Zimmmmmmmerman - She messed around and got a triple-double, that's all, to lead Michigan past Illinois, so yeah, the Big Ten is completely unhinged.

Beth Launiere now hates the numbers 13 and 7 - That was the score in game five against San Diego State, before the Aztecs ran off 8 straight points to win the match. Ulcer futures in Salt Lake City were up, 13.7% in heavy trading Saturday night.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Did Stanford "jump the shark"?

You tell me.

I've polled the dotyoureye offices, and some people think it's "cute," while others think it's "a train wreck." (And most of those answers breaking down along gender lines.) What do you think?

My one true problem is... what is this rhyming scheme? "Gymnastics" and "robotics" do NOT rhyme, at least not as performed here. Also...
Indiana Illinois Ohio California. 
Michigan and Hong Kong, that's where Steph's from. 
She keeps it in the family as her younger brother 
...he's coming to Stanford.
I don't want to poo-poo any effort to promote volleyball, especially one that's obviously had a lot of effort put into it, but, dude, get some help for your funky fresh rhymes.

Dribs and drabs

From a Q&A with Stanford's Lydia Bai on
GoStanford: How have you liked living in the dorms?
LB: My dorm was really fun during freshmen orientation week. We all really bonded because we talked to each other about our insecurities.
"Talked to each other about our insecurities"? What happened to, you know, "I Never..." and "Drinking until you can't stand up"?
LB: In my dorm we talked about how sometimes student-athletes feel that they aren’t as academically smart as the other students at the school. The people in my dorm were very supportive about this and said that we shouldn’t feel that way because we are all at Stanford for a reason.
(They're just saying that to be nice.)

From a Daily Pilot article about UC Irvine:
 In a season that has been nothing short of depressing,  
POW. Start off the article with a little chin music. Nice
The Anteaters, who had lost six straight and have been working with noted sports psychologist Bill Parham...
Yikes. That is depressing. 

From Columbia Tribune article about Catie Wilson:
Wilson, MU’s eternally upbeat middle blocker, was christened the “Smiley Pink Princess” by her middle school coach and has..."
...never forgiven the coach since?
"...not stopped beaming since."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Totally Unfair Photo Captions with Duquesne

Steve Opperman for Gap khakis: "If I'm not comfortable, my team's not comfortable."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quotes for a Tuesday!

"Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook said the Big Ten heckling factor is very much alive in Big 12 volleyball. Cook said Oklahoma fans chanted “Big Ten (stinks)" and other choice phrases last Wednesday night in Norman." - Omaha World Herald. How did they chant the parentheses? Was that a hand signal of some kind?

"We're not going to panic as a coaching staff." - Rutgers' CJ Werneke saying what you usually say... rrright before you panic.

"Rubio feared the worst for both players, he said. Weber had to be taken from practice in a wheelchair, and Karst was writhing in pain on the McKale Center floor. Rubio said he was sure that she had broken her leg or torn her ACL." - Arizona Daily Wildcat on injuries to the volleyball team. Eek. That doesn't sound good. I wonder how they recov--
"However, both played on Friday." - the same Arizona Daily Wildcat article, showing why Rubio never pursued a degree in emergency medicine.
"This is the greatest night of my career." - Kathy Gregory, on her team's come-from-behind win over Long Beach State.
"LBSU head coach Brian Gimmillaro met with his team for more than an hour after the match and was unavailable for comment." - from the Long Beach State Daily 49er's article about the same match. 
"This is a surprise to me. I’m shocked that we’re in this situation." - BYU coach Shay Goulding on the team's 3-0 loss to Utah. In fairness, maybe the previous seven straight losses should have raised some kind of red flag?
"Still, when asked what she wants the world to know about BYU women’s volleyball, Hartsock shared just one thing." - from the BYU Universe. "What she wants the world to know"? I assume by "world" the reporter means "Utah"? Or is BYU volleyball fever more prevalent across the globe than previously thought?
"Cal was awesome. Cal played unbelievably well, and they handed it to us." - Oregon's Jim Moore, giving credit to Cal for their Duck dismantling. That's nice of hi--
"We weren't prepared. We looked like a very young team on the road." - More from... Moore on the Cal match. So, OK, weren't prepa--
"Our blocking struggled a lot. We didn't serve well enough." - Cal played well, you weren't prepared, you looked young, your blocking struggled, you didn't serve well enough. Anything else?
"We didn't put any pressure on them to allow our defense to play. If you don't put pressure on them serving right from the beginning, then you're in trouble." - I'm beginning to sense that. So were you able to correct any of that the next night against Stanford?
"I was very concerned during the Stanford match that we had completely lost all of our confidence." - I don't know why that would be.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend wackiness.

You know how programs have peaks and valleys? - Yyyyeah, UK is in a deep valley right now, actually more of a crevasse, after getting swept by Ole Miss. At home. Look for head coach Craig Skinner to invest in spelunking gear, and soon.

Stop it. Just... stop it.  - Northwestern is THIS close to being alllll alone in first place in the Big Ten, after sweeping the Badgers and losing to the Illini in five. You heard me, sparky. Don't make me say it twice.

You Zip your face. - Akron, America's home of tires and stuff, is also home of the Zips, who beat Ohio for the first time since 2003. Life stinks without Herman, don't it?

Worst. Hat trick. Ever. - Indiana loses in five against Iowa, but that's not the worst part: They hit .000 in the three games they lost.

Who yanked Fullerton's chain? - Erin Saddler racks up 40 kills over two matches, and Cami Croteau goes completely bonkers, getting 29 digs in the sweep of the Gauchos.

Gauchos must've been hung over - 'Cause they beat their archenemies, Long Beach, the night before in five games, after being down 0-2. Debbie Green III had 54 assists and 15 digs.

Whatever happened to Zoe Garrett? - Yeah, USC lost to Washington, blah blah blah, but, seriously, remember Garrett?

Georgia's technology is superior to Virginia's, apparently - Ramblin' Wreck trumps Hokies in five. Now if only that technology could engineer them up a few spots in the ACC.

In other technology news... - Texas Tech's streak of 64 straight Big 12 losses is over after they clipped the Jayhawks on Saturday. How did we not know about this streak before? Were we blinded by NC State's?

Remember when Toledo beat Michigan? - Unfortunately, the Rockets don't appear to, as they've lost 8 in a row -- 4 in the MAC -- including matches against Eastern, Western, and Central Michigan, and Michigan State.

Huh...that's weird - One year later, Nebraska / Texas is just another 4-game win for the Huskers. Weird, isn't it?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mike Sealy: College volleyball's Phil Jackson

I think it's clear that Sealy has been frustrated about his team's ability to be really good sometimes, and very average others. So much so that he's looking for new ways to prepare his team. The latest? Don't tell them anything until the day before the match.

Sealy has stressed that the Bruins’ intensity needs to be at a higher level, and hopes that by not allowing them to get distracted by what’s ahead, they can focus on themselves.
Introspection. I like it. Very Buddhist. That light at the end of the tunnel? Pay no attention. It's probably not a train coming the other way...
“It’s not a switch that we can flip. … I told the girls, it’s a universal law that you can never get something for nothing,” Sealy said. 
Clearly Sealy isn't familiar with Heidi and Spencer.

But since the Bruins loss to USC, they've apparently been focusing on one thing. Lainey Gera, tell us what that is:
It’s more mentality-wise, we need to get stronger.
Mentally strong, as in "The trick is to realize there is no spoon"?
We need to get stronger and be ready to fight every single day in the gym and not just on game days. 
Ladies and gentleman, Sealy has started a fight club.

Great moments in headline writing

Hm. I guess winning will do it. I'm motivated by a good piece of toast, and the daily Jumble.