Friday, September 30, 2011

What just happened...?

Boston College SWEEPS Virginia Tech? I know it was a home match for BC, many people could've been there? But then it's not like Siena beat Marist. OH WAIT, that happened too.

We're being awfully generous with the term "losing streak"

It's a whopping two matches. TWO. Is it possible Stanford's athletic program has had too much success?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

...and you can quote me on that.

"We’re really bonding and getting along great. Our chemistry is really good on and off the court.” - UNC's Cameron Van Noy. On AND off the court? C'mon. 

"The second set did come with a scare, though. Toward the end of the set, freshman outside hitter Tirah Le’au went down with an apparent injury to her right ankle." - From Georgia's student newspaper, the Red and Black. "Apparent injury" to her ankle? That's your scare? I thought it was going to be more like "Freshman outside Tirah Le'au got a scare when she was discovered running with scissors dangerously close to the North Korean border." THAT's scary.

"Everyone feels a whole lot better after..." Tim Horsmon. After sundown? After a good cigar? After the expiration date? "...after [sweeping NC State]." Oh. I keep expecting more out of these quotes.

"Volleyball trounces Fordham in five sets" - from the Stony Brook Statesman. A five-set "trouncing"? How does that work?

"If one area of Oregon’s game stood out against Utah, it would be assists, the one phase of volleyball that stands out as a measure of scoring." - from the Salt Lake Tribune. Yeah but... eh, never mind.

"Following the loss to the Gauchos, Gimmillaro stayed up till 4am making adjustments." - Long Beach Gazettes. 4 a.m. Kathy realllly got under Brian's skin, didn't she.

"We call it winning creatively." - WMU's Colleen Munson on her team's uneven performance against Central Michigan. I'm sure there are a lot of coaches out there who wished all their matches' scoring was based on artistic impression.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So NOW who's #1?

LA doesn't care for your NorCal ways, nerds - USC took a more direct route to beating Stanford and Cal than UCLA, but the result was the same: Stanford and Cal come up empty in LA. Oh and Hagglund and Gera are the two best liberos in America. Discussion over.

First running of the Awkward Games goes to Huskers - Two more uncomfortable handshakes still to come.

Hey when's Jenn get back? - Cheap shot, absolutely, after USD loses to San Francisco. Hilliard's previous tenure was stellar, and the Toreros have a history of taking the Struggle Shuttle to San Fran.

Non-shocker of the Weekend - Villanova beats Notre Dame in South Bend? You can hardly blame the Irish, what with their conference imploding. But then again, the football team is winning, so that's something, right?

Check out the big brain on Auburn! - New coach? New sweeps of Alabama and Ole Miss!

Hitting .295 means 0.00 - Sorry, Charlie. Despite good offense from the Gators, Tennessee serves notice by winning a 5-game thrilla in Gainesvilla.

Whew, right? - Badgers defend Camp Randall against those Wascally Wildcats, much to everyone's relief. Well, not to Keylor's, sure.

Arizona State loses to WSU? - Dude.

Coaches Poll Conundrum - It's gonna be hard to keep LBSU in their default 21-24 spot after their loss to the Gauchos, but I have faith that the coaches can make it work somehow, since accuracy is rarely a characteristic of the poll...

Boilers ain't playin' y'all.  - Purdue sweeps Michigan! Of course, you do understand that this means Rosen and Rosen will be waiting behind a door in Ann Arbor with a sock full of pennies. Better get out the reverse peep hole.

Fun with names. Tee-hee. - William AND Mary loses to George Mason. That should count as two wins for GMU, right? A-HAHAHAHA.

Sneaky Team of the Week Alert - Just in case no one's noticed, UC Davis is 16-1. Watch your backs. That's all I'm sayin'.

Rock Chalk Schmay Schmalk - Texas not impressed with Captain Ray Bechard's 11-1 start to the season, wins in 3.

Hey everybody, what's the deal with Clemson? - I'm sure Head Coach Jolene Hoover is wondering the same thing after losing to Jacksonville, but taking Duke the distance before falling 25-23 in the fifth.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Totally Unfair Picture Captions with Cook and Russ

Cook: That ball was out.

Rose: What?

Cook: Oh, sorry, uh, just a reflex thing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A good quote is hard to find

"We welcome the opportunity to compete in one of the best volleyball conferences in the country." - Toby Rens, Pitt. Suckup. Have some pride, man.

"I think it definitely raises the bar. Playing Penn State raises the bar and being in a conference that’s this deep and competitive is going to raise the bar. Maybe ... we didn’t have to play our best to win, but now the bar has been raised." - John Cook going on and on about being raised in a bar or something.

"To err is human, but the Gators are slowly overcoming that." - Intro sentence from article in the Independent Florida Gator. I'm gonna go ahead and strive for the divine and forgive the journalist for writing it.

"Anything that is thrown our way — fast, scrappy, savvy, powerful; you name it, we've seen it." - Georgetown head coach Arlisa Williams.

"Northwestern High School seniors and identical twin sisters Whitney and Courtney Grimm are also Clark State Community College freshmen. At the same time!" - (Springfield News-Sun) I'm officially protesting the use of an exclamation point in that last sentence.

"I can’t make people who don’t listen, listen, and I can’t make people talk who don’t talk, and I can’t make people not be spacey who are spacey." - Russ. And I can't make you love me, if you don't. You can't make your heart feel, something it won't. ...and other various Bonnie Raitt lyrics.

"At this time last year, it was more like, 'Oh crap. We've got holes." - FGCU's Dave Nichols. You know what's good for that? Spackle.


That's about the saddest headline I've ever seen. Poor conference leftovers...

I believe the name of the new conference will be "Oates."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Totally Unfair Photo Caption with Dave Rubio

"Here I come to save the daaaaaay!"

Andy Kaufman? Anyone? No?

It's Monday: Big East staff should probably spruce up that resumé

"Who are you people?"
Beating Nebraska was the worst thing they could've done - What's up with CSU? This weekend they lost to Denver at Denver. Is it that big of a home court advantage for the Pioneers? Especially with the 613 in attendance? (Which we all know via sports info director math means there were actually 421 at the match.)

No one wants to be second in the Pac 12 - Someone explain how UCLA can sweep USC, who then sweeps Washington, who out-and-out clobbers the Bruins? Then explain String Theory. I don't get that, either.

Status quo? - I'll give you $100 if you can explain the significance of Notre Dame beating Wisconsin. I think we're pretty much in the same place, right?

Ohhh! 25-16! That's different - A typo made Long Island on the receiving end of a 25-1 game loss to FGCU. I know FGCU took a game off of Penn State, but that would've been ridiculous.

Speaking of which, aren't we over this "Russ Rose Experiment"? - Clearly the glory days are over if they can't beat FGCU in 3. The guy had a good run, but I think we need to end the charade and hire a real coach already.

Good luck in your new conference! - Colorado gets swept by Utah, Cal, and Stanford. Perhaps this season will be titled "We're Dancing as Fast as We Can"?

This is how the Hatfields and McCoys got started - "The feud between Little Rock and Pine Bluff? Weeell, that there conflict started back in '11, before the formation of the BigPacSEC in '12, when the former took the latter to the woodshed on a September day, 25-7, 9, and 9."

Hope you enjoyed the Big East / Big Ten Challenge - Illinois and Purdue went 2-0 in what we'll refer to next year as, "Hey remember when there was a Big East? That was fun."

You've had your fun, MAC. Now pipe down. - Michigan State stops their MAC losing streak at one with a 3-0 victory over Ball State.

Look out! It's...UCONN! - After a 2010 season that everyone involved with would like to forget, the Huskies are 8-5 after a win over the Wahoos.

Go ahead and take the long way. I've got time. - Two matches in a row, the Hoyas got down 0-2 before coming back to win in 5.

Let's lose to Northern Illinois more often! - Marquette won six in a row after their loss to Ray Gooden's Goodies, a streak snapped only by a 5-game loss to Minnesota.

I can't see the Forest for the Wake - That's my tortured intro to mentioning that the Demon Deacons bumped off Duke. Like it? Me too.

I know it's early...

...but I'm thinking Athletic Director of the Year goes to the two knuckleheads at Cal Poly.

If these two were park rangers at Mount St. Helens, they'd have been sitting there saying, "No, I haven't noticed anything unusua--" KABLAM.

By the way, in terms of "dotting the eye" on this story more thoroughly... where do you start? Is it with the alleged instance when, while watching "Fast and Furious" in his office with a player, Stevenson -- again, allegedly -- said, "Paul Walker, he masturbates fast and furious"?

Now, this doesn't upset me as a volleyball enthusiast nearly as much as it upsets me as an appreciator of solid humor.

"Masturbates fast and furious"? REALLY? That's your go-to material? Ignoring for a moment that there are no discernible lessons to be learned, volleyball or otherwise, from "Fast and Furious," so I don't know why you're watching it in the office, that's just poor craftsmanship.


Q&As: A sports info staple

This one's from Florida State with Fatma Yildirim and Sareea Freeman. Anything interesting?
3. Do you have any nicknames from the team?
On the team they call me Fat or Fauti. I do not know how they originated but I like my nicknames.
"Fat"? Look, I don't want to make any judgements about your friends, but...
6. What motto do you live by?
Whenever I feel down, or whenever something bad happens, I say to myself if I am still alive I will find my way out of this situation.
Coincidentally, that's MacGuyver's motto, too.
7. Finish this sentence: When I found out we were playing Miami on ESPNU, I...
...asked "Why?" Wondered what ESPNU was? Immediately assumed that a cheerleading competition had been rained out?
I was shocked/surprised. This game is going to be big and Miami is going to be great competition for us.
That makes more sense, except for the "great" part. FSU swept.
5. What type of music do you listen to before a big match?
I listen to music with beats.
Huh. "Beats."
6. Have you gotten into any shows lately? If so, which shows?
I have gotten into Pretty Little Liars. The actresses' personalities remind me of my group of friends back home!
The characters on a show called "Pretty Little Liars" remind you of your friends? The show's called "Pretty Little Liars."

Analysis of a 25-9 game

The FGCU / LIU score was a typo. The 25-9 game two win by Hawaii over Pepperdine was not, however.

How does this happen? This isn't one of your crazy Pablo mismatches we're talking about. These are two good teams with talent and coaching. Thankfully the Hawaii website has a play-by-play, so we can get some idea of what happened... besides the development of a new facial tic for the Pepperdine coaching staff.

We analyze this not to invite scorn, but out of sheer curiosity. A 25-9 game is kinda like Bigfoot: I've heard about it, but have never seen one in person. 

Things started innocently enough with a Jane Croson kill putting Hawaii up 2-1, but the floodgates open as Hawaii goes on a 10-1 run. Seven of the 10 points come off of Wahine kills.

Pepper and the Dine hold Hawaii to only a 2-point run, but by the time Mita Uiato is done serving, it's 19-4, and Nina's already filling out her lineup sheet for game 3.

Hawaii gets to the doorstep at 24-6 and then strangely enough gives up three straight to Pepperdine, before finishing off the game.

All in all, Pepperdine hit .000 with a twin set of 7s in kills and errors on 33 swings. The Wahine, on the other hand, had 15 kills and 1 error on 32 swings for .438.

Well that's not as interesting as I thought it might be, but what can you do.

And this wasn't the only blowout game of the weekend, of course. Albany dropped a 25-8 bomb on Maryland, San Diego treated GW rather harshly, 25-9, as did Cal with Utah, Arkansas with Alabama, and UNLV with Fresno State.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coming soon from Paramount Pictures...

Paul Giamatti IS Chuck Erbe in...

"USC: the Boogie Down Years"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Totally Unfair Photo Caption with

This is the kind of promotion usually reserved for Quarterflash / .38 Special concerts.

Week 2 and Northern California is makin' a move

SPOOKY - Get a load of this: Notre Dame beats Lipscomb. Lipscomb beats Portland. Portland (dramatic pause) beats Notre Dame. Weird, right? It's like trying to figure out the timelines from "The Terminator." "If John Connor's dad, was sent back in time, by John Connor, so that he could become his dad..." I think this is called the Circle of Futility.

Stanford - Cal match should be a real dilly - Stanford's wins over PSU and FLA, and Cal's wins over, uh, Sac State and UT - Arlington, make Tuesday's NorCal showdown reaalllly interesting, despite the conflict with the penultimate episode of America's Got Talent.

Westwood goes to Watts, wins - UCLA got its first sweep at USC since 1993 in front of a Galen Center-record 5,385, breaking the old record by probably about 4,400. I assume they were giving out extra credit at the door.

Dear Selection Committee: Get us the hell out of here. Signed, USD - I think San Diego is trying to send a message to that austere group (COUGH HACK GAG!), the NCAA Selection Committee. The Toreros have played LIU, Missouri State, Duke, UNC, and will also take on GW and Indiana, in what's known as the "We're Tired of Playing UCLA or USC in the First Two Rounds" Tour.

Looks like Pepperdine is serious this time - Waves should lose to Miami (Fl.) before every big road trip.

Hey, hey, Paula - Aneaters beat Portland State for their second decent-slash-good win of the year.

How 'bout those Falcons! - Michigan State walked into an ambush in Bowling Green, OH, when nearly 3,000 fans came out to see the Orange and Brown (ugh) go all "Sparta!!!" on the Spartans.

Central Arkansas? - In all honesty, I didn't even know they were a D1 school, but then I don't get out much. I know now, as does Northwestern, after losing in five to the Sugar Bears. ...Sugar Bears? This school was founded by the inventor of Post Super Sugar Crisp?

Siena: Not just for crayons anymore - Saints beat Colorado for the MAAC's first win over a Pac 12 team! Good luck with allll that, Buffs.

B-Y me? BYU. - And it's BYU over Utah for supremacy in the Osmond State! Last time the Cougs won at Utah, "Good Luck Chuck" was entertaining weird little pockets of people across America.

Purdue, Ball State reenact Cain and Abel (but not really so don't freak) - Purdue beats Ball State in four games. Hey, did you know, that the Purdue coach, and the Ball State coach, are brothers?! You didn't? Then you're the ONLY one left in the world without that knowledge.

Rock, Chalk, Jay Block - Gophers were flying high last week after pulling a reverse Alamo in Minneapolis against Texas. But KS out-blocked MN 18 to 9.5 en route to a 5-game winner, winner, Ray's buying dinner.

"We beat Nebraska! We beat Nebraska! We-- wait, what just happened?" - Hilbert's Harbingers of Doom, after upsetting Nebraska last weekend, lose to the Lamb Shockers!

"We beat Colorado State! We beat -- what's this now?" - Then the Lamb Shockers totally lost to Northern Colorado!

"We beat Northern Colorado, so...(sigh)." - CSU beat NCU, thus completing another Circle of Futility.

This is where it gets ugly

Stevenson has been fired. We know that. There are allegations of sexual harassment. We know that. Everything else is being left to the wonderful world of conjecture, inferring, guessing that lives deep within VolleyTalk.

It's a glorious time.

Sure, it's not glorious if you're looking for actual facts, or the bottom line, or any of that (and if you are looking to VolleyTalk for facts on a story like this, you, you''re not good). And so far, we've yet to get a follow up from Stevenson on Twitter or his blog. But if you're looking for pure entertainment, BEHOLD, THE POWER OF VOLLEYTALK:
If,...every college coach that ever hugged and/or kissed a player was dismissed,...half would be out looking for a job. 
Yikes. Frightening mental images occurring...
...this is actually reverse sexual discrimation (sic)

Nice! Change the argument, go on the offensive. Bonus points for leaving out the "in" in "discrimination." you think those kids were fully apprised of what was at stake when they were interviewed by the employment equity people?
You mean when the kids were asked a series of what I can only assume were probing questions concerning the behavior and comments of their head coach? Those interviews?

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that they were smart enough to suss out what might occur.
Jon is so full of crap...
How full of crap is he?
He tells you what you want to hear and tries to play dumb about his action toward his players.
Oh, that's...that's kinda not what I was expecting.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pepp beats Bruins, tries to erase everyone's collective memory of Miami loss

I have no idea what to think about this. All this means is there are more questions than answers, such as, "What?"

Sam Cash was one of two players to hit over .300 in the match, obviously making Johnny proud. She's got rhythm. Walk the line? She must have hit it. Those shots are surrounded by a ring of fire. I hear she's dating a new guy, a boy named Sue. It is annoying though when she's called for being in the net, she always says the same thing: It ain't me, babe.

(...OK that's probably enough, right?)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh boy...

Anyone think we'll ever see "the TRUTH" posted at the blog coachjonnystevevolleytruth? I'm thinking any lawyer worth his salt is going to advise against his client posting anything that could remotely be deemed "admissible."

Sunday, September 4, 2011


This is like every M. Night Shyamalan movie after "The Sixth Sense": I don't really care what happens, just tell me how it ends.

Peter Parker missing after CSU fans storm court

Nebraska vs. Colorado State was such a big match, even Spider-Man took time away from wrecking Broadway to watch. (I can't tell from here if that's Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield.)

Tennessee is in no rush - Four out of six Volunteer matches have gone five games, with Rob Patrick's People winning three of them, but losing to Houston.

Double down on UNLV! - Oh, the Runnin' Rebs caught a couple of aces on the river on the way to wins over Central Arkansas and Morehead State! Now they're flush with confidence to up the ante on an inside straight path to a full house of...blinds, or something.

Hawaii def. LBSU in 5! - That kind of match used to happen a lot more often. Remember?

When you say Wis-consin! - I, I can't. It's too painful...

Gee this is fun - The AEC defending champ Albany is 0-6 after scheduling such lightweights as Kentucky, Tulsa, Florida State, Nebraska, Colorado State, and the closest to them RKPI-wise, Colorado. Right now they're back home, packed in ice.

Apparently RKPI might not be very accurate

How about some easy ones for starters:

Arkansas (136) beats Wake Forest (48).
Utah Valley (130) beats Cal Poly (34).
Gonzaga (177) beasts Portland State (81).
Arkansas State (163) beats Lipscomb (61).
Boston College (153) beats Utah (50).
Houston Baptist (218) beats UTSA (106).

Now let's get nutty:

UCF (122) beats USC (4).
Stephen F. Austin (214) beats UAB (95).
UTEP (235) beats American (90)
Georgetown (199) beats Wake Forest (48).
Northern Arizona (216) beats New Mexico (44).

And the grand champion of the weekend, with an RKPI difference of 190, is:

Jacksonville (242) beats Clemson (52).

Don't look now, but Todd's got yer pebble, Mick.

"It's a nice gym, Todd, but the lighting's a little odd."
You have to go with a "Kung Fu" reference for this one, right? The former assistant improbably knocking off his former boss? Student - teacher relationship?

One thing's for certain: Should Cookie Stevens ever get a head coaching job, Mick will never schedule them.

Something's afoot at the Cal Poly...

So last year -- you remember last year? -- we had a couple of mid-season firings, something we don't normally get in volleyball. Well, this year it took only two weekends for one to occur, without explanation, via this press release:

The mystery deepened when this turned up on Jon Stevenson's alleged Twitter account:
Watching the team I built, trained, and prepared lose to inferior teams i.e. santa clara and university of utah but I have no access.
Still no explanation. What's the story here? Then that tweet was followed by this one:
look for the truth (when the time is right) on This is sad, sad, sad. I feel horribly for the kids. Folks can call anytime...
This is a little stranger. Where on are we supposed to look? I wasn't aware that Stevenson had a account, and I'm part of the community! I've seen no references to this in our weekly meetings. 

And who are these "folks" that have been given the OK to call? Is he expecting phone calls but maybe was on a long-distance call for a long time, so now he wants to let you know, "Hey, if you tried to call earlier, I was talking long-distance. But I'm off the phone now, Folks. Anytime."

As we said, this is allegedly Stevenson's Twitter account. You're never 100% sure about these things, so we looked at the other tweets.
"Ky Athersone joined our practice yesterday and we had a very spirited workout."
OK, that seems to be a solid indicator that this is Stevenson's account.
"I WAS able to spend time with the Dodd's - Mike, though my friend, has been a great mentor to me."
Has to be Stevenson, right? Atherstone reference, Dodd reference
"It's complicated"...a "chick flick" or reality?
No way this is Jon Stevenson's Twitter account. I refuse to believe he ever watched the movie "It's Complicated." 



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nebraskans on the loose in Kansas?

The Daily Kansas ventured out to do a story about a couple of Ray Bechard's freshmen charges. What's the opening volley?

"They're both outside hitters. They're both from Nebraska. They're both freshmen..." And they're both cousins! Identical cousins all the way!

"And they're both starters on the Kansas volleyball team."

The Patty Duke Show never gets its due.

So we're talking about Nebraskans Sara McClinton and Chelsea Albers, freshmen for the Jayhawks. Let's learn more.

"To secure her role as a starter for the season's first three games, McClinton had to play catch-up with the upperclassmen who stayed over the summer."

Yes, plus she has to play catch-up because, you know, she was born 1-3 years later than the upperclassmen...

"Starting so early is an unexpected perk for Albers."

Like free dry-cleaning or your own parking space.

"Both freshmen had to work hard just to avoid being redshirted by Bechard."

Well that's rather ominous, isn't it? "You work hard or I'll put this red shirt on you!" I wonder if Ray keeps one hanging from the rafters in the gym, throws it at someone if he thinks they're slacking. "Redshirt!"

"'(Redshirting) is a tough call,' Bechard said. 'Sometimes a year of development, like in Caroline Jarmoc's case, is a good move.'"

Right, Caroline Jarmoc...

Um, look. This is embarrassing, but I'm only in my first year of volleyball case work, so I haven't gotten to Big 12 precedents such as Jarmoc v. Jayhawk.

The article goes on to say that chemistry is another challenge the two frosh face. Why are they treating being a freshman like it's akin to having leprosy?

"OH MY GOD! These two are YOUNGER than the others!!!" Thousands of people across America face this same "dilemma" every year, you know.

"'Growing up in Nebraska, I think it gave us a huge advantage,'" McClinton said."

I believe that's the first time growing up in Nebraska has been cited as an advantage of some kind. (Settle down, I kid, don't get bent out of shape.)

Let's meet...someone

Hey there's an article about Colorado State's Kelsey Snider titled "Patience pays off for CSU volleyball player Kelsey Snider"! So what's she been so patient about, like patience is sooo important?
"Kelsey Snider received questionnaires from 67 college volleyball programs."

Ah, so she was patient with all the paper cuts she got from the questionnaires, or...?

"And now, after sitting out last fall as a redshirt..."

OK, scratch that, scratch the paper cut statement. I'm with you now: She was patient about having to launder all those red shirts, you know, separate them from your whites. Gotcha.

And now, now she's ready to play for the Rams as their starting right side. So besides washing all those shirts, what was Snider doing last year?

"It helped me understand CSU's system, the blocking system, stuff like that."

Really? How complicated is Hilbert's blocking system? Is this a card-counting scenario? Is a working knowledge of Visual C++ needed? It's blocking.

At any rate, she seems to have it figured out, being a starter and all. What's Hilbert say?

"She has these incredible days, where she shows flashes of brilliance."

Uh-oh. I'm sensing an "On the other hand" coming.

"And she has days where..."

I knew it. Here we go. This is gonna hurt.

"...she shows a lot of youth."


"What really sets her apart, though, Hilbert said, is her blocking ability."

You mean the blocking she does in that complicated system?

"I just love the act of blocking."

Ah so it's all just an act. Snider doesn't really care about blocking at all, does she. DOES SHE.

"She plays very hard all the time, though," Hilbert said. So I guess she does care. But how much does she care?

"Sometimes she's calling for sets that she's not really ready to take."

If there's anything a coach hates, it's players calling for a set on the right side while sitting on the end of the bench. Soooo annoying.

"There are times when I have to rein her back in and tell her, 'Hey, be a a little more patient,'" Hilbert said.

Aaaand we're back to the patience thing. I thought we were past this.