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Volleyball- 2018/19 off-season news & awards (Black & Gold scrimmage, Sat. 8/24, 3:00)


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With the season over, time to start this thread up.

1st news- BIG congrats to seniors Abu and Smith for the well earned honors!

Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2018/12/4/volleyball-abu-and-smith-named-avca-all-region-first-team.aspx

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For just the third time in school history, the University of Colorado women's volleyball team has a pair of players named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Pacific South Region First Team with Alexa Smith and Naghede Abu being named to the honor Tuesday morning.

The is the second-straight set of honors for the senior duo as both were named to the All-Pac-12 First Team a week ago.

Smith becomes the first player in the Pac-12 era in CU history to be named back-to-back All-Region First Team honors and just the seventh player to do so in program history. She is the first since Allie Griffin in 2005 to earn two-straight honors and could join Griffin as the only players to earn two AVCA All-American honors in a career.

Smith closes out her career with Colorado with the seventh-most kills in school history with 1,329 in just three seasons. She took the seventh-most swings in school history with 3,732, had the 15th-most digs in a career with 991, finishes 34th in school history in blocks, 24th in aces and 26th in career hitting percentage. Smith also finished with the second-most kills and attacks in the rally scoring era, eighth-most aces, 19th-most blocks and fourth-most digs.

Abu earns her first All-Region First Team honor, becoming just the 14th player to earn such an honor for CU. Abu capped off her senior season with the most blocks in conference play in school history with 114. She also had the second-highest season hitting percentage ever at .394, trailing only setter Kelly Campbell, and set the match-record in blocks with 17 against Oregon State this season.

Abu finishes her career as the all-time career block leader in school history with 582. She also passes Campbell in career hitting percentage with a final mark of .332 to finish as the school record holder. Abu tied the school record in conference sets played in a career with 317, missing only a single match in the Pac-12 her freshman season. She also finished with the best plus-minus advantage in school history, putting her name on 1,415 points scored with only 269 errors in her career for a plus-minus of 1,146 total points.

Abu joins Smith in an elite group of women to have been named All-Region First Team. Since the beginning of the rally scoring era in 2001, six women have earned All-Regional First Team honors for CU eight times, with Abu and Smith making the mark seven women for 10 honors. All six of the prior women were named AVCA All-Americans at some level of honor and tallied seven total AVCA All-American honors in that span.

This is just the third time in school history that a pair of teammates were named All-Region First Team. The last occasion happened in 2001 with Elizabeth Gower and Meghan Barkman, with the first-time happening in 1993 with Karrie Downey and Nicole Vranesh.

BYU swept the regional awards with the Player of the Year (Roni Jones-Perry), Freshman of the Year (Heather Gneiting) and Coach of the Year (Heather Olmstead). The Cougars tallied five of the 14-person Pacific South Region Team, with USC taking three honors.


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Interview mainly with senior Gabby Carta-Samuels, but also with snippets with Naghede Abu and Alexa Smith, going over the last match and season as a whole.



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3 Buffs will be trying out. They are Rachel Whipple, Leah Clayton and Jenna Ewert

218 Athletes Taking Part in Women's Open Tryout

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (updated Feb. 21, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout takes place March 1-3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with 217 athletes vying for spots into the elite high performance pipeline.
The tryout will evaluate athletes from 87 colleges from across the country for spots on the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. The breakdown for the tryout includes 56 outside hitters, 46 liberos, 43 setters, 42 middles and 30 opposites.
A vast majority of the current U.S. Women’s National Team athletes have participated in past open tryouts. As an example, Pepperdine alum Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) has been a big success story. She took part in the 2013 open tryout and was asked to train with the team in May 2013. Hill started much of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix and by 2014 earned the most valuable player award at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in which Team USA won for the first time. Hill would go on to help Team USA win bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 2010 Women’s National Team Tryout had three future Olympians that won bronze at the 2016 Olympics. Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) and Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) all were picked to compete in the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program (now referred to as U.S. Collegiate National Team). All three used their High Performance pipeline training to earn spots on the National Team and eventually the Olympic Games roster.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly will direct the entire tryout process. The list of athletes attending the tryout can be viewed at the bottom of this release.
The tryout will involve four sessions with three waves per session. Friday’s first session goes from 2-8 p.m. MT, while Saturday’s sessions are at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The final session on Sunday begins at 7:30 a.m. MT with tournament style play, along with 16-18 athletes selected by the U.S. Women’s National Team staff to participate in a “USA” training session. The Sunday session wraps up at 10:30 a.m. MT.
All sessions minus the USA training session on Sunday morning will be streamed live by clicking here. USA Volleyball will use #USAVtryout as the event hashtag for photos, notes, quotes and stories posted to its social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram under the handle @usavolleyball.
Selected athletes for the U.S. Women’s National Team may begin their training in Anaheim, California, as early as the spring of 2019, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded.
The U.S. Collegiate National Team program has three competition options:
  • U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team – World University Games, Italy, June 30-July 14
  • U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team – Japan, May 19-30
  • U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team – Anaheim, Calif., June 23-29
Selections for the U.S. Collegiate National Teams will be made by the end of March.
For additional information on the team and to follow the tryout throughout the weekend, click here.
U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout Participants
(Note: * = U.S. Women’s Junior National Team eligible)
Liberos (46)
Jersey # - Athlete (Position, School, College Eligibility Years Remaining)
N1 - Akiu, Reyn (L, Hawaii, 0)
N2 - Angello, Lacey (L, Kansas, 3)
N46 – Baker, Berklie (L, TCU, 2)
N3 - Barnes, Lauren (L, Minnesota, 2)
N4 - Bradley, Adele (L, Duquesne, 2)
N5 - Cianciulli, Raigen (L, LSU, 2)
N6 - Clarke, Caitlin (L, Wake Forest, 1)
N7 - Curtis, Emily (L, Clemson, 1)
N8 - Daniels, Jordan (L, Air Force, 2)
N9 - Dennison, Danielle (L, TCU, 2)
N10 - Dirige, Alexis (L, Washington St., 1)
N11 - Friesen, Celeste (L, Point Loma Nazarene, 1)
N12 - Glover, Kendall (L, Georgia, 2)
N13 - Harty, Aysia (L, Oklahoma, 3)
N15 - * Hinkle, Loren (L, Kansas St., 4)
N16 - Honahni, Sophia (L, Haskell Indian Nations, 2)
N17 - Horsfall, Taylor (L, Tulsa, 1)
N18 - Howell, Madison (L, Clemson, 3)
N19 - Jacky, Taylor (L, William Jessup, 1)
N20 - Johnston, Halle (L, Iowa, 2)
N21 - Knop, Katherine (L, California, 2)
N47 - * Kuper, Taylor (L, Illinois, 3)
N22 - Lake, Mary (L, BYU, 1)
N23 - Larson, Megan (L, North Dakota, 3)
N24 - Lawmaster, Lindsey (L, Long Beach St., 0)
N25 - Lishman, Dallas (L, Pepperdine, 2)
N26 - Litzau, Lauren (L, Minnesota, 1)
N27 - Love, Amanda (L, VCU, 0)
N28 - * McGraw, Caroline (L, Minnesota, 3)
N29 - Miller, Kelsey (L, Virginia, 1)
N30 - Motes, Kelly (L, Air Force, 2)
N31 - Nelson, Allie (L, Kansas, 1)
N32 - Perosa, Avery (L, Pittsburgh, 2)
N33 - * Petersen, Sydney (L, Texas, 3)
N34 - Raffety, Carol (L, Virginia Tech, 1)
N35 - * Rivas, Allegra (L, Maryland, 3)
N36 - Rizzo, Allyssa (L, Montana St., 1)
N37 - Rosenthall, Isabella (L, Auburn, 3)
N38 - Roumeliotis, Alexa (L, Creighton, 2)
N39 - Salvador, Averi (L, Temple, 2)
N40 - Seimet, Kallie (L, Bowling Green St., 0)
N41 - Slagle, Madison (L, Iowa, 3)
N42 - Smith, Emma (L, California, 1)
N43 - Tankesley, Brienna (L, Middle Tennessee St., 1)
N44 - Thompson, Hannah (L, Bradley, 3)
N45 - Whipple, Rachel (L, Colorado, 1)
Middles (42)
Jersey # - Athlete (Position, School, College Eligibility Years Remaining)
R1 - Anderson, Preslie (MB, California, 2)
R2 - Aspen, Aubrey (MB, Viterbo, 0)
R3 - Cook, Callie (MB, Tulsa, 2)
R4 - Cooper, Lily (MB, Duke, 4)
R5 - Della, Caitlyn (MB, Wake Forest, 2)
R6 - Eaton, Anna (MB, Green Bay, 2)
R7 - Eschenberg, Kennedy (MB, BYU, 2)
R8 - * Evans, Kennedi (MB, Utah, 3)
R9 - Forte, Lauren (MB, California, 3)
R10 - Gates, Madeleine (MB, UCLA, 1)
R11 - * Gneiting, Heather (MB, BYU, 3)
R12 - Grace, Phoebe (MB, Utah, 3)
R13 - Griffin, Jha'Meisheia (MB, Georgia St., 2)
R14 - Gross, Jasmine (MB, Southern California, 1)
R15 - * Hammontree, Faith (MB, Kansas St., 4)
R17 - * Langs, Rachel (MB, Kansas, 3)
R18 - * Manyang, Afedo (MB, TCU, 4)
R19 - Mohler, Blake (MB, Purdue, 1)
R42 – Morgan, Taylor (MB, Minnesota, 1)
R20 - Myers, Kaitlyn (MB, Maryland, 3)
R21 - Niece, Avalyn (MB, Washington, 1)
R22 - Oestreich, Jacquelyn (MB, Ohio Dominican, 0)
R23 - Omazic, Tyanna (MB, Missouri, 2)
R24 - O'Neal, Asjia (MB, Texas, 4)
R25 - Pittman, Regan (MB, Minnesota, 2)
R43 – Richards, Alliyah (MB, Haskell Indian Nations, 1)
R26 - Roe, Piper (MB, Louisville, 2)
R27 - Ryan, Emily (MB, UCLA, 3)
R28 - Sanders, Lauren (MB, Washington, 2)
R29 - Sneed, Jasmin (MB, VCU, 1)
R30 - Speech, Symone (MB, Georgetown, 1)
R31 - * Starks, Sabrina (MB, Pittsburgh, 3)
R32 - Stevenson, Anna (MB, Auburn, 2)
R33 - Swanson, Sarah (MB, TCU, 2)
R34 - Terry, Lauryn (MB, North Carolina St., 1)
R35 - * Turner, Lauren (MB, San Diego, 4)
R36 - * Van Driel, Gracie (MB, Kansas, 4)
R37 - VanBeek, Sydnee (MB, Ball St., 1)
R38 - White, Kelsie (MB, Montana St., 2)
R39 - White, M'Kaela (MB, James Madison, 1)
R40 - Williams, Madeline (MB, Indiana St., 3)
R41 - Wylie, Tarah (MB, Pepperdine, 1)
Opposites (30)
Jersey # - Athlete (Position, School, College Eligibility Years Remaining)
B63 - Ardila, Athena (OPP, Northeastern, 3)
B64 - Bannister, Taylor (OPP, LSU, 2)
B65 - Billiard, Sarah (OPP, Virginia, 2)
B66 - * Cole, Danielle (OPP, Washington, 4)
B67 - Drechsel, Samantha (OPP, Washington, 2)
B68 - Evans, Melissa (OPP, North Carolina St., 3)
B70 - Fitzmorris, Audriana (OPP, Stanford, 1)
B71 - Goodwin, Casey (OPP, Liberty, 1)
B72 - Graham, Corinne (OPP, Memphis, 0)
B73 - * Hickman, Rachel (OPP, Kansas, 4)
B74 - Hill, Zoe (OPP, Kansas, 1)
B75 - Huizenga, Bailee (OPP, California, 1)
B76 - Kanas, Brooke (OPP, Texas Tech, 3)
B77 - Koerber, Kenzie (OPP, Utah, 2)
B78 - Langga, Vivi (OPP, San Jose St., 0)
B79 - * Lewis, Morgan (OPP, Oregon, 4)
B80 - Madison, Kennedy (OPP, Charleston, 0)
B81 - Maxwell, Brittany (OPP, DePaul, 1)
B93 - * Mutiri, Gloria (OPP, Kansas St., 3)
B82 - Rice, Megan (OPP, Loyola Marymount, 2)
B83 - Samedy, Stephanie (OPP, Minnesota, 2)
B84 - * Schriner, Emma (OPP, Maryland, 3)
B85 - Shields, Mikayla (OPP, South Carolina, 1)
B86 - Teran, Evelina (OPP, Montevallo, 2)
B87 - Thompson, Jordan (OPP, Cincinnati, 1)
B88 - Tolbert, Jaila (OPP, Virginia Tech, 0)
B89 - Van Winden, Torrey (OPP, Cal Poly, 1)
B90 - Watson, Anne-Marie (OPP, UCF, 2)
B91 - White, Nikkie (OPP, Indiana St., 2)
B92 - Wolf, Taylor (OPP, Green Bay, 2)
Outside Hitters (56)
Jersey # - Athlete (Position, School, College Eligibility Years Remaining)
W1 - Bailey, Brooke (OH, Clemson, 2)
W2 - Bajema, Kara (OH, Washington, 1)
W3 - Botkin, Brooke (OH, Southern California, 2)
W4 - * Boyd, Peyton (OH, Temple, 3)
W5 - Brown, Logan (OH, Arkansas, 2)
W6 - Carlson, Brynn (OH, Kansas St., 3)
W7 - Chastang, Lauren (OH, Kennesaw St., 3)
W9 - Clayton, Leah (OH, Colorado, 1)
W10 - Crenshaw, Shannon (OH, Washington, 3)
W24 - * Davis, Keeley (OH, Creighton, 4)
W11 - Dirrigl, Hailey (OH, Arkansas, 2)
W12 - * Dixon, Anna (OH, Kansas St., 4)
W13 - Drews, Danielle (OH, Utah, 2)
W14 - * Eggleston, Logan (OH, Texas, 3)
W15 - Freeman, Abigail (OH, Greenville, 2)
W16 - * Hadrych, Lexi (OH, UCLA, 4)
W17 - Hart, Alexis (OH, Minnesota, 2)
W18 - Haynes, Madeline (OH, California, 1)
W19 - Hernandez, Mallory (OH, Georgia, 3)
W20 - Hill, Emily (OH, Texas Tech, 1)
W21 - * Hoffman, Claire (OH, Washington, 3)
W22 - * Holthaus, Eleanor (OH, Iowa St., 3)
W23 - * Keith, Bailey (OH, Air Force, 3)
W25 - Kuhn, Caroline (OH, Wake Forest, 3)
W26 - Kuyava-DeBerg, Kylie (OH, Missouri, 2)
W27 - * Lukes, Katie (OH, San Diego, 3)
W28 - Lund, Kayla (OH, Pittsburgh, 2)
W29 - Martin, Jasmyn (OH, Minnesota, 2)
W30 - * McCall, Elan (OH, TCU, 3)
W31 - McClure, Meghan (OH, Stanford, 2)
W32 - McHenry, Melanie (OH, Louisville, 1)
W33 - McLean, Brittany (OH, South Carolina, 1)
W34 - * Melville, McKenna (OH, UCF, 3)
W35 - Member-Meneh, Leketor (OH, Missouri, 2)
W37 - O'Connell, Gabrielle (OH, North Florida, 2)
W38 - * Owokoniran, Adeola (OH, Duke, 3)
W39 - * Powell, Adria (OH, Ohio St., 3)
W40 - Pritchard, Erika (OH, Maryland, 2)
W41 - Quade, Jacqueline (OH, Illinois, 1)
W42 - Ritchie, Rachel (OH, Georgia, 2)
W43 - * Robinson, Madelyn (OH, BYU, 3)
W44 - Rollins, Adanna (OH, Minnesota, 3)
W45 - Sanders, Sarah (OH, Oklahoma, 2)
W46 - Scully, Shannon (OH, Pepperdine, 2)
W47 - Sheehan, Claire (OH, Minnesota, 2)
W48 - Smeathers, Madison (OH, Ohio St., 1)
W49 - Smith, Ashley (OH, Kansas, 1)
W50 - Stroud, Sydney (OH, Georgia St., 1)
W51 - Stroup, Emily (OH, Mississippi, 1)
W52 - Taylor, Maya (OH, Saint Louis, 2)
W53 - * Thomas, Solei (OH, Clemson, 3)
W54 - Valerian, Valerie (OH, North Texas, 2)
W55 - Wiblin, Roxanne (OH, San Diego, 2)
W56 - Williams, Kashauna (OH, Long Beach St., 3)
W57 - Williams, Stephanie (OH, Pittsburgh, 1)
W58 - * Yett, Megan (OH, Utah, 3)
Setters (43)
Jersey # - Athlete (Position, School, College Eligibility Years Remaining)
G51 - * Adams-Kaonohi, Teana (S, Kansas St., 4)
G52 - Ahlers, Miranda (S, Air Force, 2)
G53 - Alford, Nicole (S, Maryland, 2)
G54 - * Allison, Mica (S, Illinois, 3)
G55 - Brandt, Jenna (S, Iowa St., 3)
G57 - Brown, Ashley (S, Washington St., 1)
G94 – Brown, Diana (S, Illinois, 4)
G58 - * Chang, Devon (S, UCLA, 3)
G59 - Cole, Madelyn (S, Creighton, 1)
G60 - Dilfer, Victoria (S, Louisville, 2)
G61 - Dixon, Sarah (S, Kansas St., 2)
G62 - Dockery, Tamia (S, Howard, 0)
G63 - Donovan, Mary (S, Georgia, 1)
G64 - Easton, Gabrielle (S, Clemson, 3)
G65 - Ennis, Camryn (S, Kansas, 3)
G66 - * Ewert, Jenna (S, Colorado, 3)
G67 - * Fitzner, Emily (S, Indiana, 4)
G68 - * Gabriel, Jhenna (S, Texas, 4)
G95 – Garard, Mamie (S, San Jose St., 3)
G70 - Hammill, Taylor (S, Tennessee, 1)
G71 - Holt, Madeline (S, Wake Forest, 2)
G72 - Jefferies, Janiece (S, East Carolina, 3)
G73 - * Kaahaaina-Torres, Saige (S, Utah, 3)
G74 - Kirby, Alexandria (S, Texas Tech, 3)
G75 - Koehler, Courtney (S, South Carolina, 1)
G76 - * Kwiatkowski, Parker (S, Wake Forest, 4)
G77 - Lee, Jaimeson (S, George Washington, 1)
G78 - Levers, Kylee (S, Pittsburgh, 2)
G79 - Martin, Shelby (S, East Carolina, 2)
G80 - McLaughlin, Kylee (S, Oklahoma, 2)
G81 - McMenimen, Bayley (S, Minnesota, 3)
G82 - Miller, Kylie (S, Minnesota, 1)
G83 - Neelon, Meghan (S, Alabama, 3)
G84 - Nielsen, Sara (S, Minnesota, 2)
G85 - Orr, Gabrielle (S, Iowa, 2)
G86 - * Podraza, Mac (S, Ohio St., 4)
G87 - * Powell, Ella (S, Washington, 3)
G88 - Reid, Tess (S, Loyola Marymount, 1)
G89 - Rippee, Rachel (S, Arkansas, 1)
G90 - Ryan, Grace (S, Arkansas, 3)
G91 - Seaman, Amber (S, Ball St., 1)
G92 - Thompson, Cali (S, UCLA, 1)
G93 - Westbeld, Brooke (S, Dayton, 2)


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Spring training match schedule released -

Summarizing the schedule -
At Denver This Saturday (3/16) at 3:00

The rest are In Boulder next month:
CSU April 4th at 5:30 p.m.,
Denver on April 12th at 5 p.m. and
Northern Colorado on April 19 at 4:45 p.m.

Also wanted to note at the end of the article, sounds like the team is still planning on additional/ more player(s) "... being added to the roster later this spring.". (EDIT - Now that I think about it, there are 3 other commits known about in the Recruiting thread, 2 or 3 of which are libero/ defensive specialist types (who usually aren't on scholarship, at least as freshmen), so THAT may be who they are talking about in more players being added.)
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This shows how much the team will be depending on incoming freshmen to fill hitter positions since for the3 scrimmages being played on the CU campus, article says that senior Alexa Smith will be participating


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Obviously matters next to nothing, but I guess it's always better to get a W than the alternative.

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Congrats to next year senior libero (probably) / defensive specialist Rachel Whipple!

COLORADO SPRINGS – The University of Colorado women's volleyball team's libero Rachel Whipple has been named to the U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team's Anaheim roster, USA Volleyball announced Monday afternoon.

"I find this honor to be both very rewarding and humbling," said Whipple. "A lot of hours have been put in and a lot of sacrifices have been made to play volleyball, so it's rewarding to be recognized. But it's also humbling to be chosen when there were so many great players at the tryouts. I am very grateful and excited for this opportunity."

Whipple, a Colorado-native from Centennial, was named as one of four liberos to the 28-player team that will train June 23-29 in Anaheim, with a Red-Blue scrimmage scheduled for June 28th.

"I'm very excited for Rachel," said head coach Jesse Mahoney. "This is an awesome opportunity for her continued growth and development and she is very deserving of the selection. It's gratifying to see Rachel's hard work pay off."


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Best wishes to the team this Thursday, and in all the upcoming spring matches. Hope all get some good work in and stay healthy!



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It's match-time tonight. Not nearly as high of stakes as usual, but there's never a bad day to beat the rams.



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Thankfully doesn't mean anything, but just from the twitter posts, looks like the Buff lost to csu 17-25 18-25 25-23 20-25 in their spring scrimmage. From only seeing the scores, obviously can't discern anything, but looks like the Buffs had big problems later in sets, especially the 1st 2, where they were outscored at minimum 4-12 and 6-15, respectively, from points they either led or were tied midway through each.

And, since this is the volleyball discussion thread- did want to put here that, as already posted in the transfer thread, looks like the team has picked up a new player for next season in 6'2" middle blocker Meegan Hart, who will be joining the Buffs (assume as a redshirt sophomore) from Iowa State. (See post #145 at https://www.allbuffs.com/threads/olympic-sports-transfers-incoming-and-outgoing-and-other-roster-news.105930/page-5 for more detail.)


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Re probable incoming transfer Meegan Hart (see my last post above), looks like she is still playing with Iowa State during this spring's training period. From live stats (http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=261304) , she had a solid match for the Cyclones in a match against Iowa this morning tallying 8 kills while hitting .375, along with 6 block assists, in a 4 setter. (Looks like they only have 10 players on their prelim 2019 roster (https://cyclones.com/roster.aspx?path=wvball), so assume she agreed to play with them this spring to help out, while of course also getting some good work in to improve her own play.)

(Thanks to the Volleytalk forum (In an Iowa thread) for alerting me to this.)


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A few different things-
  • Congrats to Coach Sanders for the well-earned recognition!
  • Love that they gave at least a little recap for their spring match against csu. (Seeing this kind of thing for almost all of the Olympic sports; at minimum for home competitions. Hope it continues!)
  • And the team is back in action for the 3rd of 4 spring matches this Friday afternoon vs. DU. (I assume since this was Coach Mahoney's old school, don't believe we've played them the last few seasons during the regular season. (Believe the tradition is not to play against players that a coach coached in a prior job?) With next season being his 4th with the Buffs, hopefully they will soon get to be an annual regular season foe, as they are a good local team, and could be great for RPI. (They've finished 23-6 and 27-3 the last 2 seasons.))


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Last spring match this afternoon. (Forgot to mention in this thread that, in a thankfully meaningless match (at least as far as score goes), the Buffs, per their Twitter posts, lost to DU in 4 sets last Friday 25-22 22-25 14-25 21-25.)



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was at the scrimmage. Hope some outside hitters come in the fall. Alexis Smith will not be there to bail them out


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Here's the articles from cubuffs.com for the 2019 VB recruits. In the first article there are 2 outside hitters, Jill and Elissa. They are both ranked in the PrepVB top 100 senior aces. In the second article there is a third outside hitter that the coach describes as a "late bloomer". As you saw at the scrimmage, CU desperately needs pin hitters so hopefully these 3 freshmen are quick learners and the coaches can coach them up to the level CU needs



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Congrats to the coaches and all others who assisted- the team's 2019 recruiting class has been ranked #10 in NCAA D1 by Prepvolleyball.com (the premiere volleyball website for this kind of thing). Hope all on the team, new and old, all ready to hit the ground running and the ball hard from when they arrive sometime this summer!

Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2019/5/8/volleyball-cu-recruiting-class-named-top-10-in-nation.aspx

Just quoting the WHOLE article for anyone interested -

By: Shaun Wicen, Assistant SID

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The University of Colorado women's volleyball team's 2019 recruiting class was named the No.10-ranked class in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon.

"This group has the potential to impact the program as much as any class we've ever had here at Colorado," said head coach Jesse Mahoney. "Not only does each player have tremendous volleyball ability but they are all great people who come from good families as well. Our team can't wait to get started with them."

The Buffaloes have added nine new faces to the program, seven incoming freshmen and a pair of transfer students. They are: Jill Schneggenburger, 6-0 OH, Beckman (Tustin, California); Elissa Alcantara, 6-2 OH, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Florida); Alexia Kuehl, 6-6 MB, Bartram Trail (St. Augustine, Florida); Sterling Parker, 6-2 MB, Alhambra (Martinez, California); Katie Lougeay, 5-10 DS/L, La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, California); Savannah Perry, 5-6 DS/L, Ames (Ames, Iowa); Kelley Levaggi, 6-0 OH/RS, Saint Francis (Portola Valley, California); Leah Clayton, 5-11 OH, East Tennessee State University (Dansville, Virginia); Meegan Hart, 6-2 MB, Iowa State University (St. Charles, Ill.).

Colorado's 10th-ranked recruiting class of 2019 fills all the needs for the Buffaloes with young, talented individuals at nearly every position. With three incoming freshmen ranked in the top-100 in the PrepVolleyball Top-100, CU adds three talented players up front including a six-rotation outside in Jill Schneggenburger. Count the additions of redshirt junior Leah Clayton as the Big South Conference Player of the Year and Hart, a 6-2 middle blocker that is a former Top-100 Senior Ace, Colorado has depth and talent for years to come. This incoming front row players have great size, skill and athleticism that will fill the holes left by All-Americans Naghede Abu in the middle and Alexa Smith at the pin.

Schneggenburger is the 54th-ranked recruit and is a premier six-rotation outside hitter. She has a great arm and range of shots but can also defend pass and ball handle like a libero. Elissa Alcantara, the 82nd-ranked recruit in the nation, is a 6-2 outside that is a dynamic attacker with a heavy arm. Her versatility will allow her to work from both the left and right side for Colorado. Alexia Kuehl, the 92nd-ranked recruit, is a 6-6 middle that has great agility and body control despite her size. She has great feet and length to become an elite blocker in the Pac-12. She is joined by Sterling Parker, a 6-2 middle with exceptional athleticism and matured skill-set. She has the quickness and speed to play on the pin as well as the middle.

In the backrow, Colorado has added 5-10 defensive specialist/libero Katie Lougeay that played the majority of her career as an outside hitter but has one of the most natural passing platforms and has the size and range to be an elite defender. Savannah Perry will also help the Buffs in the backrow as a 5-6 defensive specialist/libero that is fearless, flying around the court and sacrificing her body to keep plays alive.

The final incoming freshman is Kelley Levaggi, a 6-0 outside hitter and rightside that is a bit of a late bloomer with the potential to be a very talented six-rotation outside. She is a very good passer and defender, as well very athletic with a strong arm.

The defending national champions Stanford took the top spot in both the Pac-12 and the nation in the recruiting rankings. Oregon and USC both cracked the top-10 at seventh and ninth, respectfully. Behind Colorado, Washington State is the only other Pac-12 team ranked in the top-30 at 28th.


Club Member
Club Member
We are in the Pac and we will be competitive. Hoping the pins can contribute quickly.


Well-Known Member
Really nice to see this. That was my one question about Mahoney when hired was could he recruit. I think he is clearing up those doubts. He and the staff has done a great job


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Club Member
With the Pac 12 usually the last to release its volleyball schedules, usually in July (at least a month or two later than almost all other schools), it's usually necessary and possible to get a good idea of most if not all of the Buff non-conference matches as other schools release their schedules.

So far, I have only seen one school that's released a schedule with a Buff match on it, Iowa (https://hawkeyesports.com/schedule.aspx?path=wvball), which is hosting the Pac 12/ Big 10 Challenge series this year that started last year (which also featured Washington and Illinois, in Washington). Per the schedule:
  • The Buffs will play the Hawkeyes on Friday, Sept. 6th, at 7:00 PM local/ 6:00 PM MT.
  • Iowa doesn't list when the CU- Illinois*** match is, but since the Iowa- Washington match is the next (Saturday) evening, I'd guess the Buffs would likely be playing the Illini before that evening match (somewhere around a 4:00 PM - 5:00 start?).
(***I don't SEE Illinois on any schedule yet, so it's not a 100% sure thing they're playing, but since they and the Buffs have only been in this series one year, I'd think the odds are good they will also be participating this season.)

Mainly for myself, a couple resources to keep up with schedule releases -

Note - The Buffs' unofficial schedule can be found on the "Pac 12" tab of the 1st schedule linked to in the above tweet.


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Club Member
I plan to be in Iowa City for the matches against Iowa and Illinois. I knew it was a football weekend when I checked hotel prices and my go to Iowa City hotels were over $500 per night. So I will stay in Cedar Rapids.


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Wanted to mention a couple more weeks of the preseason schedule have now appeared based on other teams' schedules-
  • Per the consolidated schedule file I noted in post #27, the season looks to be starting with the Buffs hosting a tournament playing UC- Santa Barbara and Wyoming on August 30th, and then LIU (Long Island U.)- Brooklyn on 8/31.***
  • And, CSU just released their schedule (https://csurams.com/schedule.aspx?path=wvball). Per the article announcing it (https://csurams.com/news/2019/5/16/colorado-state-volleyball-releases-2019-schedule.aspx), It sounds like the Buffs and Rams tried to find another team or two for a tournament weekend, but they couldn't find any willing to head to the mountains. However, in what fans should love (and should be a good "iron sharpens iron" situation for the team), their schedule shows what should be a fun and TOUGH back to back home and away match series between the two teams, with CSU hosting on Thursday, Sept. 12th (7:00 PM start) before the teams head to Boulder to play on Friday, September 13th (time TBA).
***A couple notes on the opening season tourney-
  • The Buffs lost to the Cowgirls in Laramie last season, so I'm sure the team will be looking for a better result this time around. (They didn't have what I would call any really "bad" losses (say to teams below the top 100 in RPI) last season, so the loss to Wyoming (who ended up at RPI #90) was one of their worst (at least RPI - wise) in 2018.)
  • For an opening tourney, it looks like it's not a bad one, especially with the Buffs, I'm sure, looking to give what will have to be some inexperienced starters** their 1st college match experience this season. Last season, the RPI for the 3 teams were #90 (WY), #106 (UCSB (returning the bulk of their players this season) and #175 (LIU- Brooklyn).
**For those who don't follow that closely, the Buffs will have at minimum 3 (if they run a 5-1) or 4 (if in a 6-2) new starters out of the 5 or 6 front row positions this season, with senior outside hitter Justine Spann and redshirt- sophomore Danielle Price being the only returning starters with much front row match experience.

Also wanted to note- The Buffs hosted a tourney featuring 3 other "Power 5" conference schools (Georgia, North Carolina and Oklahoma) last season. With none of those schools having released their schedules yet, and all showing the last non-conference weekend (9/20-9/22) slots open in the worksheet linked to in post #27, be interesting to see if that tournament is set up again this season. If that happens, and it moves to another school after being in Boulder last season, that would leave the Buffs with possibly only 4 home non-conference matches.

Also, especially with the Buffs having a young team, assume they have to do what they can to give themselves a good chance at a .500+ record to at least be in consideration for the NCAA tourney. (Assume no team wants to have what happened to UCLA last season, where their RPI (#43) at minimum given them a good chance at being selected, but they only finished 13-14 so couldn't be considered for the tourney.)
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