Tournament Play Continues Through Holiday Weekend
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10 VB Release-Week 2
LBSU Breaks Into Top 25
It only took one week, which included a perfect 4-0 record, for Long Beach State to be ranked among the best in the country. After receiving votes in the AVCA preseason poll, the 49ers are now ranked 23rd after an impressive season-opening showing at their home tournament, which includes a 3-2 win over No. 25 Saint Mary's. Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara also received some recognition in the receiving votes category.
Up Against The Best
This week two Big West schools will face-off against Top five opponents. No. 23 Long Beach State travels to the Lone Star State for the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational where it will take on Florida A&M and host No. 2 Texas. This marks the second straight week the 49ers play a nationally-ranked opponent. Last weekend they toppled then-No. 25 Saint Mary's 3-2.
UC Irvine heads to Northern California for a tournament hosted by Stanford. The Anteaters open the three-day event Thursday, Sept. 2 playing the third-ranked Cardinal. Thursday's showdown is the Anteaters' first match against a top 25 team since Oct. 16, 2009, when they defeated then-ranked No. 25 Long Beach State, 3-2.
Other Big West schools facing ranked opponents this week are Cal Poly and UC Riverside. The Mustangs take on No. 7 Nebraska in a tournament hosted by BYU and the Highlanders gear up for the 14th-ranked UCLA Bruins at the San Jose State Classic.
Fullerton, Pacific Hosts Labor Day Tournament
Cal State Fullerton returns home Labor Day weekend to open the home portion of its schedule with the annual Crowne Plaza Fullerton Titan Classic Sept. 3-4. The Titans welcome Montana to Titan Gym Friday night and Georgia State and Colorado Saturday.
The Pacific Tigers are also spending the holiday weekend in front of their hometown crowd as they entertain Idaho and Santa Clara for the 32nd Annual Community Bankers Classic. The Tigers and Vandals face off Friday at 7:00 p.m., and the Tigers and Broncos take to the Alex G. Spanos Center Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Stork, Stevenson Eyeing Century Mark In Career Wins
Cal State Northridge head coach Jeff Stork enters the 2010 season with the 100th career win milestone well within reach. Over the past eight years at the helm of the Matadors program, he has tallied a 94-136 overall mark.
Also approaching the 100-win plateau is Cal Poly's Jon Stevenson, who is just eight wins shy. The Mustangs opened the 2010 season with a 2-1 mark at the Shamrock Invitational to improve his record at Cal Poly to 92-54.
Only 11 Big West Conference coaches have collected 100 or more overall wins during their time in the league. Three of the 11 coaches are still coaching in the Big West - Long Beach State's Brian Gimmilaro (678), UC Santa Barbara's Kathy Gregory (606) and Cal State Fullerton's Carolyn Zimmerman (108).
Cal Poly Opens Season With A Bang
The Cal Poly volleyball team opened the 2010 season in smashing fashion, coming back from a two-set deficit to defeat No. 18 Arizona, 3-2, in the opening match of the Shamrock Invitational hosted by Notre Dame. Cal Poly went on to defeat Marshall, 3-1, before falling to host Notre Dame, 3-2, to conclude the tournament with a 2-1 record.
Last weekends win over the Wildcats was the Mustangs first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent since Sept. 6, 2007, when they defeated BYU 3-1. Following Fridays win, Cal Poly is now receiving votes in the AVCA poll.
LBSU Tabbed Preseason Favorite
The Big West Conference head coaches selected Long Beach State to claim the 2010 women's volleyball title after receiving seven first-place votes and 79 total points.
If the coaches' prediction reigns true, the 49ers would capture their third straight championship, 11th overall. Long Beach State (22-9) is coming off a stellar season where it won the Big West title with a 12-4 mark and advanced to its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament, 24th overall.
The UC Irvine Anteaters received one first-place vote and a total of 68 points to secure the second spot. UC Santa Barbara nabbed one first-place vote and 65 overall points to claim the third spot in the poll.
Cal State Fullerton was selected fourth after picking up 47 points, followed by Cal Poly and UC Davis, who were tied for fifth with 45 points. The Tigers of Pacific secured seventh place with 28 points and Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside were knotted in the eighth spot with 14 points apiece.
Pacific Begins New Era With Gibbons
In the offseason, Pacific hired Greg Gibbons as head coach of the Pacific women's volleyball program. Gibbons has spent the last four seasons at UC Santa Barbara, including the last two as associate head coach. He was the primary recruiter for the Gauchos, and was involved in all facets of running the program. Prior to his time in Santa Barbara, Gibbons emerged as an outstanding club coach. He was the co-director and coach of the Los Angeles-based Sports Shack Volleyball Club from 2004-07.
Greg Gibbons becomes the third head coach for the Pacific Tigers women's volleyball program in as many years after Charlie Wade resigned in 2008 and David Johnson was named the interim coach for the 2009 season.
Anteaters Led By Veteran Squad
UC Irvine tallied an overall mark of 22-8 and an 11-5 league record in 2009, tying for second in the Big West. Last season marked the Anteaters' third 20-win season since competing in the Big West. The previous two years where the 20-win plateau was reached were 2007 (21-11) and 2003 (24-10). Returning three All-Big West selections, including AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans Kari Pestolesi and Juliane Piggott, and seven upperclassmen, five of which are starters, gives the Anteaters the needed arsenal to fight for the Big West title in 2010.
Live On The Net
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. If you can't make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!