Bremerton’s Keith Peden beats out nearly 1,000 other contestants to claim top prize
Friday, December 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
There’s a spot in Southern California, just south of the San Clemente pier, and just up the shore from Richard Nixon’s former Western White House.
6’4 hitter from Ontario, California is rated one of the nation’s top recruits
Carly DeHoog figures she got into the game a little late. No one recruited her until halfway through her sophomore year at Southern California’s Ontario Christian High School.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
We’re back from 12 days in the Midwest, soaking up Sweet 16/Elite 8 volleyball in Omaha, the Final Four in Louisville, with a few days in Chicago in between. Here’s what we learned:
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Washington (25-7) gets the most respect of teams that missed the Elite 8
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Nebraska 3, Washington 0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-23)
OMAHA—There was a point, more than halfway through the second set, when the Washington Huskies came alive.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Washington vs. Nebraska @ Omaha | December 7 |4PM (Pacific) | ESPN3
OMAHA—The billboard was our first clue.
It was our inaugural visit to Lincoln, Nebraska, part of a cross-country summertime journey. Looming next to the freeway was a huge outdoor ad: an image of a hard-hit volleyball, splintering a gym floor.
The message: Get your Nebraska Volleyball season tickets before they’re all gone.
Here in Nebraska, volleyball long ago arrived. It ain’t football, but it’s at least as big-time as any other collegiate sport here. Our hotel bellman knew the heights and blocking stats of the Huskers’ front row.
We’ve covered NCAA volleyball tournament matches across the country, and one thing is constant: Nebraska fans turn out in droves. Folks book their Sweet 16/Elite 8/Final 4 tour packages months in advance, even with no assurance the Huskers will still be in contention.
In 2010, there were busloads of Nebraska backers at the Kansas City Final Four, even though their team wasn’t there. The same was true last season in San Antonio, where the Riverwalk was a sea of red windbreakers and ballcaps, each sporting a bold “N”.
We saw that same red wave at championships in Tampa and Sacramento, and should expect to see them again next December at Seattle Center when the Final Four comes to Key Arena.
So, who are these fans? Mostly, they come in pairs—husbands and wives—most born before JFK was President.
“Many of us are in agriculture,” one woman told us. “In December, the fields are frozen. It’s a good time to travel. And many of us consider volleyball our second-favorite sport.”
“When the football team isn’t so hot,” her husband said, “volleyball is number one.”
In 2006, Washington reached its third consecutive Final Four, hosted that year by Omaha. Two other Pac-12 schools—Stanford and UCLA—also qualified, but it was Nebraska that won its first title since 2000. As you might guess, it seemed every seat was filled with someone wearing red (and not Stanford’s cardinal red.)
But if there were any Nebraska students in the 2006 crowd, we had to strain to see them. Mostly, they were middle-aged (or older), and enthusiastic without being raucous. In truth, they weren’t even loud. Supportive? Yes. Respectful? Absolutely. Intimidating? Not really.
And when the Huskers won the 2006 title, a Seattle contingent gamely headed for Omaha’s bars and restaurants, expecting a post-championship celebration. But to our collective surprise, all that red had simply vanished, leaving Husky purple, Bruin blue and Stanford cardinal at the barstools and on the dance floors.
“Oh,” a lone Nebraska couple explained, “folks gotta get home. Many got a long drive. And there’s church in the morning.”
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Washington vs. Nebraska @ Omaha | December 7 | 4PM | ESPN3
[12.06.12: CLARIFICATION: Nebraska's Bob Devany Center is being renovated to accommodate the volleyball program. The NU Coliseum will no longer be used for home matches.]
The Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn’t play in their own gym this weekend if they wanted to.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
A 2010 confrontation between Washington’s Jim McLaughlin and Nebraska’s John Cook set the sports world buzzing. On the eve of a rematch, McLaughlin expresses regret.
by Jack Hamann, Volleyblog Seattle
Special to the Seattle Times
|Assistant coaches step between Nebraska's John Cook and|
Washington's Jim McLaughlin on December 10, 2010 in Seattle
-Omaha World-Herald photo by Matt Miller
They should, you would think, be two mellow dudes.
Nebraska coach John Cook grew up playing volleyball on San Diego beaches. Up the coast in Santa Monica, future Washington coach Jim McLaughlin was rippin’ waves and setting quicks.
Both married athletes. As acclaimed coaches, both won multiple championships. Neither has ever been terribly comfortable in the spotlight.
But on December 10, 2010, the two former beach boys kicked sand in the face of the volleyball world by doing something totally gnarly.
They nearly came to blows.
Of the 16 teams still in the hunt, 12 earned seeds from the NCAA Tournament Committee. The only region where all four seeded teams survived was Omaha:
WEST LAFAYETTE REGIONAL
(1) Penn St vs. (16) Kentucky
(3) Texas vs. (14) Florida
Purdue vs. (8) Minnesota
Wichita St vs. (6) Southern Cal
(5) Oregon vs. (12) BYU
Michigan St vs. Michigan
(13) Washington vs. (4) Nebraska
(15) Iowa St vs. (2) Stanford
Sunday, December 2, 2012
#5 Washington 3, #8 Hawai’i 2 (25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 27-25, 15-11)
- next: #5 Washington @ #10 Nebraska | December 7 | 4PM (Pacific) | ESPN3
On the court, she’s her team’s shortest player.
Junior Jenna Orlandini may also be Washington’s most talkative player, even if fans could be forgiven for not hearing her above the din of an often frenetic Alaska Airlines crowd.
For most of the week, Hawai’i coach Dave Shoji stewed in silence.
Four seeded teams go down; Big Ten is dominant
And then there was one.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
#5 Washington 3, #8 Hawai’i 2 (20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 27-25, 15-11)
From Terry Wood’s print/online report for the Seattle Times …
|Washington's Krista Vansant (16) and|
Katy Beals (7)
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
- #8 Hawai’i 3, Santa Clara 0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-19)
- #5 Washington 3, Central Arkansas 0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-18)
- next: #8 Hawai’i @ #5 Washington | December 1 | 7PM
Mita Uiato had 114 decisions.
The Hawai’i setter, facing Santa Clara in the NCAA Tournament first round, put up 114 sets. 40 times, she targeted outside hitter Emily Hartong. 43 times, it was outside hitter Jane Croson.
Hartong responded with 17 kills on just 2 errors (.375), and Croson with 22 kills on 4errors (.419), in a 3-0 sweep of the Broncos.
That means 73% of Uiato’s offense went through just two players on the left side of the Rainbow Wahine offense.
Your Volleyblog Seattle correspondents have been attending NCAA post-match press conferences for ten years, including eight Final Fours.
Arizona State loses; disastrous day for West Coast Conference
The Big Ten is smilin’. The West Coast Conference, not so much.
The Big Ten sent seven teams to the tournament, and all of them are still dancing. Four are still alive in the West Lafayette Regional, where we’d consider three of the four (Penn St, Minnesota and Ohio St) favorites to advance to the Sweet 16, where Nebraska and Michigan have already landed.
next: #8 Hawai’i @ #5 Washington | December 1 | 7PM
by Terry Wood, Special to the Seattle Times
The Washington volleyball team knocked off Central Arkansas, a newcomer to NCAA tournament play, 3-0 Friday night in a first-round match before 3,588 at Alaska Airlines Arena.