Sunday, September 29, 2013

That's some weekend, right? With all the winning and stuff?

"Is he still looking at us? Someone check. Not at the same time!"

SPARTA! - How 'bout Sparty knocking off #1 PSU in Happy Valley? Is there any chance Michigan saw that result and thought, "Oh, great, thanks for nothing..."

Colorado beats UCLA? - Remember when Colorado didn't win a game in the Pac 12? And they would do that weird interpretive dance number before their opponents would serve? Oh Sealy...

It's the NEW and IMPROVED Cal Poly! - It slices, it dices -- it's 90% dolphin-free -- and now approved for sweeps in the Big West over UCI and LBSU!

Mizzounds! - Just a heads up. Don't want you to get overly excited, but Missouri is 16-0 and 48-2 in games. Again, not getting ahead of ourselves, just putting it out there.

...and it's polar opposite - Cincy. Oh, dear beloved Cincy: 0-15.

Then there's DePaul - DYK, their 5-game loss to Shymansky, Bond, was their first of the season?

UGA VB predicts the future - A day before the football team knocked off LSU in a shootout, volleyball did the same. Corso still picked the Tigers.

Latest report from the Valley: Still bitchin' - After a brief setback against Washington, the Matadors are back on track with a win over UC Davis. Moon Unit should come sing the National Anthem sometime.

The Fickle 2-Balls of Saint Mary's  - Not good enough to beat BYU, but good enough to give USD another loss.

So whatever happened to Quinnipiac? - Remember the Little Program That Could? Won that lawsuit against their own school when it tried to get rid of them and claim cheerleading was a varsity sport? 2-13, Pablo 320. Well played, Quinnipiac Athletic Department, well played.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Let's play "Guess the Talking Point" with Mick Haley

Sometimes you can pick up on themes when listening to coaches. See if you can figure out what idea Mick's trying to get across in these quotes from Wednesday's article in the Daily Trojan:

"What I'm expecting to see [in UCLA] is a team that's been practicing for eight weeks without having to go to school."

"We had two weeks of preseason practice before school started, and then we traveled three weekends in a row, so we're still trying to utilize our talent correctly and get a rhythm going."

"UCLA should be far ahead of us and that's the way it usually is with these quarter schools."

"We have to overcome quite a bit to stay with these quarter schools that don't start school until late September."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some quotes, but people still aren't funny enough...

"After an utterly heartbreaking loss to Oregon State on Friday evening, there could have been some question as to how the Long Beach State women's volleyball team would bounce back against an overmatched Prairie View A&M team on Saturday." - (Long Beach Press Telegram) Yeah, no there couldn't.

"We are playing Army on Friday." - an actual quote from Bob Bertucci at Not that we find it hard to believe he said it, but that thought this was a choice quote to publish.

"[A poke bowl is] one of my favorite things with poi that comes from a taro plant and is sort of like a potato paste that you dip it with. The food is good here too." - Missouri frosh Loxley Keala -- from Hawaii -- doing a culinary version of "But it looks good on you."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Let's go barefootin' with Geoff Carlston!

Last week Ohio State's Lantern did a spiffy little profile of Head Buckeye Geoff Carlston. Let's see what happened!

"From being a 19-year-old college sophomore coaching 17-year-old girls..."

Uh, what's happening right now...

" working with the Belize National Team while in the Peace Corps, volleyball kept finding its way into Geoff Carlson's life."

Oh. OK. That was an awkward start, but it's OK. The article states that Carlston said that he never thought volleyball would be his career.

"I can't sit here and say I planned this out. That would be a flat out lie."

Also a flat out lie? That Belize has a National Team. C'mon, no one's falling for that one. We've all seen Wild on E! with Brooke Burke.

Then there's the boilerplate (buckeyeplate?) bio stuff and background, before we learn that Carlston recently got win 300.

The team surprised him in the locker room with cheers and noisemakers, apparently, which must have been nice for the coach.

"He was just awkwardly laughing," senior DS Julianne Mandolfo said. "He didn't know what was going on."

"I actually didn't even know [about the record]," Carlston said.

Oh, so it was just really awkward instead. Whoops.

So let's dig deep, get below the esoteric stuff and find out what makes this guy tick!

"He's very hippy-dippy," Andrea Kacsits said. "It's not uncommon to go into his office and see him without shoes on and just walking around."

Dude. C'mon.

"He's very go with the flow off the court, but on the court he's very inspired, very detail-oriented," Kacsits said.

It doesn't say so in the article, but I assume Carlston is also shoe-oriented on the court. Because...gross.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's only getting weirder.

"No matter what happened, Lauren would not clap. Maybe a casual whistle, but there would be no clapping."

What does Mick say now? - USD was riding high, totally minding their own business after knocking off USC and vaulting to their highest ranking. THANKS FOR RUINING IT ALL, BYU.

Mick and Terry would've been proud - Elliott knocks off Cook in 5, sending thousands of people to their keyboards to lament the demise of the Big 12 on their LiveJournal accounts.

UC Whaaa? - Aggies knock off Cal in 4 games, which now makes Berkeley ineligible to be part of the UC system for the rest of 2013.

Santa Clara's weird weekend - They knocked off the Waves! It's 2005 again in Santa Clara! ...right up until their next match when they get bumped off by Loyola Marymount. Leave the box scores; Take the cannoli.

What's a girl gotta do? - Speaking of Pepp, Katie Messing hit over .300 for the weekend with 36 total kills, and still the Waves dropped 2 matches this weekend. "That's it, I quit," she was totally not overheard saying.

Tar Heels defeat the Midwest - With wins over Indiana and Illinois, North Carolina is apparently this year's "for real" ACC team, replacing Florida State who replaced Duke who replaced North Carolina, etc. Tar Heels are undefeated at 11-0, which makes their next match against NC State in no way a trap match.

Today in Irony - Syracuse nips Florida International. You see what we did there?

Stetson, for no real reason - I wanted to do a joke about how Stetson really should be the Fightin' Hats. Well, imagine my surprise... I now want them to be the Golden Chapeaus.

Checking in on Cincy - Oh boy. Well, uh...Get well, get well soon, we wish you to get well!

Someone explain Pittsburgh to me - This is still the transition phase for the Panthers, but losing to Cornell, beating Rutgers, and then losing to Morehead State AFTER extending Purdue to 5? Dan Fisher was last scene shuffling around campus, alternately cackling and asking strangers where all the pigeons were.

Let's hear it for tartar control! - Colgate might have had the upset of the weekend when they left NC State with bloody gums after a five-set win.

It seemed like a good idea - "Who? Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Jacksonville State? Sure, sounds good." - From the Secret Rob Patrick Audio Files.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here's what you missed on VolleyTalk

I thought only the tongue was forked.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Let's learn about the intersection of wakeboarding and volleyball, and the broken bones therein

Hey did you know that FGCU's setter, Gigi Meyer, is a national championship collegiate wakeboarder? Did you know that the Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships even existed? Well she is and they do. Let's learn more!

Apparently at last year's Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships (See, told you they were a thing), Gigi wiped out and landed on her head. But she got back up and won the top women's amateur title.


"It wasn't until a week or so later that Meyer learned she'd fractured a vertebra in her back."

Oh. I suppose vertebrae are important, aren't they.

"Being the national champion is probably one of the coolest things I've done in my life. Maybe No. 1," Meyer said.

Well, what about fracturing a vertebra and still being able to wakeboard. That's pretty cool, too.

"She's been that way since she was a freshman," said FGCU coach Dave Nichols.

Oh man. So Coach Nichols has had three years of broken bones outside of season to deal with? Not to mention that Meyer is FGCU's only setter. What happened when she told him?

"I called her and said, 'Gigi, don't worry about [it]. It's part of what you love.'"

Wow. Really? Dave Nichols might be the most understanding coach on the planet.

"I was a surfer my whole life when I played," Nichols said. "I would have been bitterly angry if my coach took surfing away from me."

Surfers: so empathetic. But it also turns out that Gigi agreed not to wakeboard during the season. How do her parents feel about all this?

"My mom is very worried...My dad loves it."

And Gigi's parents are...?

"Meyer, the middle of Urban and Shelley Meyer's three children..."

Wait. URBAN Urban Meyer?

"(Gigi) thrives off wakeboarding's mix of adrenaline and--"

Yeah yeah yeah, we get it, it's a rush. URBAN Meyer?

"He's terrified of heights."

Big Ten football, I give you the key to defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes: get Urban Meyer up high somewhere.

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I was to learn that this was not an article about the Falmouth volleyball team taking five games to finish eating a gigantic sandwich.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's every Tiger, Eagle, and Longhorn for themselves

"No, this is where your kidney is, in this area."

Maybe Mick wasn't messing with us? - When Mickey was the sole voter to rank USD #1 in the polls last week, some people (most) saw it as a tremendous mind game to play the week before the Trojans had to play the Toreros. But the funniest thing happened: USD beat USC in 4 games in the USA while people charged their phones via USB ports. So was Mick that prescient? Could the Fightin' Petries really be the #1 team in the nation?

Sun Devils are screwing with Vegas oddsmakers - What was that? Was the sweep of Texas -- SWEEP -- a fluke?  A three-game, hour-plus-long fluke? Because that was the follow-up to a five-game loss to the Illini, which sorta / kinda made sense. I hope Texas is this much "fun" all year long.

Where were you 34 years ago? - Because that's the last time East Tennessee State beat Tennessee before this weekend. So apparently those transfers haven't really affected anything.

Don't sleep on UALR - The defending SBC champs are rollin' in the deep, with wins over Ray Gooden University as well as New Mexico State. Honestly, I thought Arkansas Arkansas was in Little Rock, so...

Army wins covert bragging rights battle with Air Force at the Pentagon - Where do you play volleyball in the Pentagon, anyway? Aren't those hallways kinda narrow? Please tell me the W.O.P.R. provided LiveStats. Or was that somewhere else.

Northridge: Still hip! - There's a renaissance afoot at CSUN the likes of which haven't been seen since Bob Samuelson was roaming those hallowed halls. The Matadors almost pulled off an upset of the Reeves & Lowe Show, losing in 5 games.

So apparently it's not the Year of the Bearcat - 0-10 start for Cincy. Oof.

Ray Bechard cares not for your Badger hopes - Kansas knocks off Wisconsin in 5, causing many a VolleyTalker to question their previously unquestioning faith in the Kitchen Sink.

So Kentucky is good, not good, what's the story? - Lose a disheartening 3-0 match to the Waves, but then turn around the next night and beat Minnesota in 5? Oh like that makes a whole lot of sense. Make up your mind, UK. Sheesh.

I've seen this movie before - Miami goes up 2-0 on LSU, loses in 5. The next day, Miami goes up 2-0 on LSU and wins in 5. It was like watching The Hangover and The Hangover 2, but with less Mike Tyson.

Well, at least it wasn't Akron - Michigan lost to the Seminoles in 5, but that's OK because they beat the Aggies in 5...? I guess? I don't know, I need to lie down.

Latitudinal adjustment - Northern Illinois beat Southern Utah in 5 games. The Huskies now get absolute control over the 40th parallel.

That's one way to win - Say! You know what's a new and exciting way to win? If you're K-State, hit sub-.200 for four games against Cal and then explode for .423 in the fifth! Wheeeeeee! Vukasovic hits .428 and Schonewise hits .348, but just like at Camp North Star, it just...doesn't...matter.

Square that gold medal -  Dayton's had a tough start to the year facing a difficult skedge, but they looked St. Mary's 2-ball offense in the eye and walked away with an 18-16 fifth game win.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Someone on the Internet is unhappy

Grassroots, people. Takin' it to the streets.

Monday, September 9, 2013

People gotta start saying funnier things...

"I may also be labeled as that girl who sits on the bench and catches scarves, books, pens and sometimes even heavy necklaces that Susie throws when she gets frustrated." - Katelyn, UWM's manager from her blog "Katelyn's Corner". Susie Johnson throws scarves?

"I have lived in Indiana, Massachusetts and Kentucky, but I really wanted to live in the Southeast." - Mike Swan, over-selling it on the Valdosta State web site.

"No. 19 Volleyball Welcomes Louisville for In-State Clash" - I don't know about "Welcomes." Did the Hatfields ever welcome the McCoys?

"Olympic Champion Misty May-Treanor Joins USC Sand Volleyball Staff" - Oh, that's gotta sting, Long Beach. Your greatest export since the Carpenters is coaching for U, S, C. Ouch.

"I will continue as long as I feel I want to continue." - Dave Shoji, after becoming the career wins leader, on the prospect of retiring, or not retiring, depending on how he's feeling.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 2, wherein we discover that nothing is what it seems

Anyone need a timeout? No? Just me?

Of course, this week's big news was that Alabama State beat North Carolina Central. But in other news...

The Big Four thing went well? - Texas beats Penn State, who beats Florida, who beats Stanford. Then Texas beats Stanford, too. So, mathematically, T>PSU>FLA>S. But, does T-S = PSU/FLA? And what about H?

Michigan 4, Oregon 0 - "And no one understands 'Portlandia,' either!"

Your Kansas beats Ar-Kansas - It's a play on words.

But then Ar-Kansas beats your Kansas? - It's the worst variation of Rock Paper Scissors ever.

Careful, Trojans! - USC wins game one against TCU, 25-9, then they almost drop the ball, barely winning in four. It's like they suddenly discovered the horned frog is actually a lizard or something.

Whoa. Air Force. Dude. - The Falcons go all "Get. Off. My. Plane." on Long Beach. Yes, we knew they'd be better with McShane, Swindle, and Maxwell at the helm, but... this is way more impressive than when the stealth bomber flies over football games.

Thanks, Ray? - Since almost losing to Northern Illinois in 5, the Buckeyes have since defeated Western Kentucky and Florida State.

Good things come in Serbian packages - Jovana Bjelica is a big reason why the Tar Heels are 6-0 right now. Bjelica graduated from Zemunska Gimnazija. You know Zemunska Gimnazija, right? The Fighting Czonsjanatzs? They have the BEST Sadie Hawkins Dance.

The Valley is way hipper now - Also 6-0? CSUN. Let's go to the Galleria for pizza, you guys!

From the Land of Petrie - Don't look now, but the Toreros are in danger of escaping the First Round of Doom if they keep up this level of play. USD's only loss is to the Horns that are Long, with wins over Illinois, Hawaii, and Iowa State.

Illinois slowly driving Hambly insane - Beat Florida State! Lose to Long Beach State. Beat Kentucky! Lose to San Diego. Beat Iowa State! Captured spies don't have to endure this kind of abuse.

Welcome to "This Week in Irony" - College of Charleston beats Indiana. Tune in next week, in case Pacific beats Stanford.

Walking Dead: Wisconsin - The Kitchen Sink is back! And the Badgers continue to win, sweeping L'ville and beating UNI.

Autumn Bailey, ladies and gents - Marquette's frosh from the Maple Leaf Nation had 20 kills and hit .378 against TCU. Plus, she's really more of a Winter.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A quote for Friday

“We haven’t looked as I’d like us to look. At this early stage of the season, I think that the things we’re trying to accomplish haven’t been lost, but I think we’re just not nearly as engaged in what I think we need to do.” - Dave Rubio

For some reason I'm mesmerized by this quote. Is it the specific vagueness? The vague specificity? It's got it all, and yet it's got nothing. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's the second week and already the season makes no sense.

Well of course Auburn lost to UW-Green Bay after beating Nebraska because volleyball. Tune in next week when Aquaman beats up Batman before losing to Scooby-Doo.

DISCLAIMER: No, I'm not saying UW-Green Bay is Scooby-Doo; I'm saying Auburn is Aquaman.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Totally Unfair Photo Caption with Minnesota

Cool. I think Iowa opens with Mr. Pibb.

Monday, September 2, 2013

All! Brand! New! Quotes!

"I said, ‘Hey, what do you think about hitting today?’ She's like, ‘Let's f… ing do it.’  I looked at her, and I said, ‘Are you sure? Anything you want to talk about?’  She goes, ‘No, we done?’  I said, ‘We're done,’ and she turned around and walked out." - Apparently Quentin Tarantino is scripting all Wisconsin press conferences now.

"UCI aiming at relevance" - from the completely uninspiring headline department of the Daily Pilot, talkin' Anteater volleyball. 

"In volleyball parlance, it won’t be a bad thing if UCSB’s women get off to a bumpy start." - from the Santa Barbara Independent, which apparently hates us.

"I think we’re light years ahead of where we were offensively last year." - Virginia coach Dennis Hohenshelt, who clearly doesn't understand the physics involved in space travel.

"It's a huge win." - Auburn skipper Rick Nold on beating Nebraska. Yes it is, Rick. Yes it is a huge win.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"OK, who had the pastrami? Oh, I did. Veal cutlet? On wheat?"

We're back! You're back? My back. Outback. Steakhouse. It's been a while, so...what'd we miss? I assume Washington won the national championship last year? No? Back to the drawing board, GM2.

Opening weekend! I love the smell of leaves in the air, the ridiculously over-heated gyms, the wa-- HOLY CRAP AUBURN BEAT NEBRASKA. Auburn. AUBURN. Auburn? This program has come a long way since...well, since Thursday, right? All other upsets this opening weekend, sorry, but nobody cares, you know, about someone beating UNI, blah blah blah.

But I suppose, being the first day back, we'll go through the motions.

Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' Badgers -- How many starters does first-year coach Kelly Sheffield have to lose before Pepperdine can beat them? Wisconsin lost everyone and the Kitchen Sink ("Kitchen Sink" being Carlini's new nickname), yet still went 3-0 in the 'Bu.

Illini sweep 'Noles! - Illinois's back! They hit a bump last year but with this win, they're obvio-- oh, wait. Hold on.

Long Beach sweeps Illini! - Please tell me we don't have to take the 49ers seriously this year. I just got back. Cut me some slack.

Let's all be disappointed in Texas again! - Speaking of cutting someone some slack, I'm more than willing to look the other way after Texas lost to the Rainbows: the match was in Hawaii, there's all that dewy south Pacific air, papaya everywhere; it's a madhouse.

Kansas had an interesting weekend - Lose to Central Arkansas (YIKES) then beat Gregg Whitis' Arizona team. We always pull for Ray. Or is it push. So when something like this happens we're torn. HA. Natalie Imbruglia.

Battle for Chicago won by Kalamazoo - Western Michigan establishes a beachhead on the shores of Lake Michigan! Wildcats almost lost the northern front to UWM, too. Batten the hatches, Keylor!

Indiana sweeps Rutgers - Good luck with that whole Big Ten thing, Scarlet Knights. Just remember all that football money you guys'll get.

Speaking of which, Tar Heels sweep Irish - If this were only the future, UNC would now be 1-0 in the league.

Not Northern Iowa's favorite start, is what I'm sayin' - Bobbi gets beat by Beth and Dubose. Be bamboozled by this befuddling bloodletting.

DUCK(S)! - Wait, weren't the Ducks in the title match last year? Yes, Texas won that title match and lost to Hawaii this weekend, but -- with all due respect to Captain Theis -- Ohio ain't Hawaii; no papaya anywhere.

Lee Daniels' other story about the Butler - It's the one where the Bulldogs beat Cincy and Tennessee. I would've thought the only way the Bulldogs could beat Tennessee is if most of the Vols' 2012 starters transferred. Wait, they did? How long have I been gone?