Tuesday, May 14, 2013
As another year of collegiate and high school volleyball winds down, people who work in athletics tend to not reflect on the year but instead look ahead to next season. How many stories do you hear of coaches within days of winning a national championship get right back in the office and begin next season's prep?
Well, that's not why I'm here. I do have one message for every single one of our members, administrators, players, parents, fans, SID's/media, and countless others for the year 2013: thank you.
Thank you to our 6,000+ members who have helped our sport we love so much by joining this tight-knit community of volleyball coaches. Additionally, the administrators who have done everything in their power to continue to add more volleyball programs.
Thank you to all of the players who pour their heart and soul into volleyball. It probably goes without saying, but when you boil everything down all you have left is a team of six on each side of the net (or two for sand).
Thank you to the parents of those players. Without the dedication, love and support of your children none of this would even be possible.
Thank you to all of our social media fans. Simply by liking or following our accounts, we are able to grow the sport of volleyball and help spread the word about this awesome sport.
Thank you to everyone who attended a match, watched it on TV, streamed it on your computer or contributed to a forum. Though we may not always agree on VolleyTalk, continuous healthy debate about the sport is what will keep it moving forward. Every time you tune in or click a volleyball link, you are doing your part.
Thank you to the media and Sports Information Directors who give everything they have to promote volleyball. They are the ones in the gym looooooooong after everyone has left typing up the game stories or working on some sort of media kit. Those volleyball websites don't update themselves!
Now on a more personal note from someone who handles different committees for polls and awards, a big time THANK YOU to everyone who was on an AVCA committee this year. Many may not realize, but the coaches who vote and debate our awards, vote in our polls or on our Board of Directors do not get special AVCA benefits for doing so other than our gratitude.
They do it for a genuine love of the sport. They go above and beyond the call of duty of coaching their volleyball teams to put in the extra work for everyone's benefit. If you browse our committees you'll find many of the top coaches in the sport. Coincidence? I think not. The top coaches seek us out. They are some of the best because they have a strong desire to grow the game and make it the best it can be.
So if you're a coach that wants to get more involved in one of our many committees, shoot me an email at email@example.com! If it's not something of great interest at the moment, there is still plenty you can do to give back outside of the AVCA!
Once again, the sport has grown so much due to everyone's continued support that a simple thank you almost doesn't do it justice. But that's the forum I have right now so I'm going to take it!
Okay, now get back to work! We have another year of growing to do!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
by Jackson Silvanik, AVCA Editor of Publications
Pepperdine and LBSU squared off three times throughout the 2013 season, with Pepperdine winning each time by scores of 3-2, 4-1 and 3-2. Pepperdine, undefeated as a program since starting competition in 2012, looked to defend last year's National Championship. LBSU would take the day, however, winning the title in a deciding third set in the last flight of the match, putting Pepperdine away by a duals score of 3-2.
LBSU began the match with a 1-0 overall advantage due to an injury sustained by Jasmine Orozco of Pepperdine's top pair. The format of the match dictated that the rest of the flights would compete in staggered starts, with Flight 2 kicking things off on Court 1. LBSU's Aigner-Swesey and Cabrajac jumped out to an early lead in Set 1 in Flight 2, claiming the victory before Pepperdine's duo of Racich and Dykstra battled back to force a third set, which they won decisively by a score of 15-9.
|The final match, about to begin.|
Meanwhile, in Flight 2, Pepperdine's Larsen and Woolever defeated Fontanilla and Mackie of LBSU by a score of 21-17, 21-18 to take a 2-1 overall lead.
With Pepperdine leading the dual 2-1, the Championship would be determined at Flights 4 and 5. In the three previous meetings between LBSU and Pepperdine this season, LBSU's 4/5 pairs went 5-1 against Pepperdine's 4/5's.
A straight set sweep on Court 1 by the undefeated LBSU pair of Jackson and Johnson evened the duals at a score of 2-2, meaning that once more the outcome would be determined in the final flight. LBSU claimed the first set by a score of 21-19. Not to be outdone, Pepperdine's Adelhelm and Racich stormed their way to a dominating 21-9 win in set 2.
As the championship hung in the balance, LBSU pulled through with a decisive 15-10 victory, putting a stamp on the Team Championship and claiming the school's first AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Title.
|LBSU wins the title!|
To get to the Team Championship, Pepperdine defeated Florida State in a hard-fought match earlier in the day. After being forced to forfeit at the top flight due to injury, FSU began play with a 1-0 overall advantage. Pepperdine persevered, however, and claimed victories on three of the four remaining flights to advance to the Championship.
In the other bracket, LBSU had to stave off an inspired squad from the University of Southern California. The Women of Troy fought hard, but ultimately fell just short of the title match by a score of 3-2. LBSU claimed wins at flights 2, 3 and 4 to advance.
In addition to the Team Championship action, the AVCA is honored to announce the 2013 AVCA Sand Volleyball All-American team. This team is comprised of players that, throughout the season, have demonstrated extraordinary talent and recorded impressive results. The All-American team, as well as the AVCA Sand Volleyball National Coach of the Year, is voted on by coaches in attendance at the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. This is the first year that a Coach of the Year has been named.
2013 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball All-Americans
Kate Stepanova, FIU
Jace Pardon, FSU
Sarah Wickstrom, FSU
Lane Carico, GSU
Caitlin Ledoux, LBSU
Tara Roenicke, LBSU
Kim Hill, Pepperdine
Lilla Frederick, Pepperdine
Lara Dykstra, Pepperdine
Caitlin Racich, Pepperdine
Kelly Reeves, UCLA
Zuzana Markova, ULM
Kirby Burnham, USC
Stevi Robinson, USC
2013 AVCA Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year
Nina Matthies, Pepperdine