Thursday, October 7, 2010

This just in...

Jacquie dislocated her shoulder yesterday afternoon. How she did it will be revealed after I tease you with this multiple choice quiz:

Question: So how did Jax dislocate her shoulder?
1. Hitting the Sport Court while making an epic dig in practice
2. Diving into a shallow hotel pool in Dallas
3. Getting off the trainers table

She's got an MRI today. Don't look for her on the right side this weekend against Marshall.

Correct Answer: #3.

Monday, September 27, 2010

On Sweeps and Stephanie

The Miners arrived in Greenville, North Carolina around 3 am early Friday morning. They left El Paso around 11 am Thursday morning. Welcome to the CUSA travel schedule. This weekend they will travel to Houston to play Rice on Friday, then return to play Houston in El Paso on Sunday. At the end of the season, the Miners get to travel all the way out to Orlando for game one versus UCF only to turn around and hustle back to host UCF in El Paso days later. Killed our plans to make the most out of week at Disney.

We were able to watch both ECU matches on CSTV and it wasn't a bad connection. Stephanie Figueroa was outstanding, and the dummies at CUSA HQ in Irving are finally noticing. Stephanie was selected CUSA Defensive Player of the Week. What an honor it must be for Stephanie to be allowed a spot in the Friends of Tulsa-Tyler Henderson admiration society.

Jax had a great weekend as well. She logged 13 kills and zero errors during the Saturday's match. ECU made an adjustment on Sunday moving ECU 6'3" Brittany Roper to front her. On Saturday, ECU had no answer for Jax. On Sunday, they had no answer for Jeane Horton. Even on the constantly lagging CSTV video stream, Jeane still looked incredibly quick and powerful.

Great opening weekend. Tough weekend awaits with conference tournament champs Rice on Friday night. Ashleigh McCord crushes the ball, but she's a low-ball, seam-splitter. Close up the block and you can shut down McCord. Tracey Lam used to be the best Libero in the conference...used to be now that Stephanie Figueroa anchors the Miners big D. Imagine how great Stephanie's dig numbers would be if the Miners didn't block so well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arizona's 2010 Senior Aces

Heading into weekend four of the college volleyball season, here is a statistical summary that focuses on Arizona's 2010 Senior Aces (click on the table to expand):

Chanel has been lights-out great for the Gators. Do a search for women's college volleyball on your DVR and you'll see Florida games offered around 15 times. Betsi is listed as an OH on the LMU site, but looking at her stats, she must be playing DS so far. I think Katie Rutherford might be redshirting. Not sure what happened to Erin Truett. She blew her knee out last winter, and left high school early to report to K-State, but I can't find her on the roster.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Miners and NCAA Div I Stats

Out of 368 Div I teams in the database, here are a few select rankings three weeks into the season:

  • Blocks per set-21st
  • Hitting Percentage-29th

UTEP Individual
  • Blocks per set: Kyla Muela-29th
  • Points per set: Melissa Toth-46th
  • Kills per set: Melissa Toth-58th
  • Hitting percentage: Jacquie Cason-118th

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

UTSA Classic Recap

It's still very hot and humid in San Antonio. The freeway network in San Antonio is also abysmal. Never heard of frontage roads that function as freeway parallels before I got to SA. Forget about crossing to the west side of I-10. We drove by the hotel on a frontage road we couldn't turn out of and had to re-cross under the freeway bridge and loop back around from the north. Took us more than 30 minutes to drive the 4 miles to UTSA from our Hotel north of the 410.

The UTSA/Miners tilt on Friday night was a classic five-setter. Two very evenly matched squads. UT Pan American was a gutsy team that dug everything on Saturday. Stephanie Figueroa was outstanding all weekend. Taylor Nix also stepped in on the left side and delivered on Saturday. The Miners left the A-game on the court Friday night. I was surprised that Davidson handled UTPA so easily.

Three Miners were selected to the all-tournament team:
  • Patty Jarmoc, S, UTEP — Most Valuable Player
  • Jacqueline Cason, OH, UTEP
  • Stephanie Figueroa, DS, UTEP
  • Meghan Fichtel, OH, Texas-Pan American
  • Elise Huskey, OH, UTSA
  • Sarabeth Peele, OH, Davidson
  • Kelsey Schwirtlich, S, UTSA

Jax is number five in CUSA in hitting percentage this week at .344. She also has the second-most kills in the top five.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Big Girl Volleyball

I remember back in club ball when you would see one, maybe two kids booming the ball during warm ups. As I watched the Aggies warm up, it didn't take long to see that everybody on that front line could crush the ball. It hit me for the first time last night. This is big girl volleyball. Skinny little Stephanie Ziegler is now muscular little Stephanie Ziegler. She could hit a nice top spin ball in high school. She can absolutely crush the ball now. Hitting for the Aggies is a whole-body experience. Explode into the air, swing with every ounce of juice in the tank, then pose arrogantly and admire your work.

A lot of energy in Memorial Gym last night. The septuagenarian Aggie fans were in the house and they were vocal, but Miner fans far outnumbered them. The Miners showed grit and battled back bravely in games two and three, but too many unforced errors still kill too many comebacks.

Jax has jumped to #2 on the CUSA hitting percentage charts. She's the only freshman in the top 15.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week Two of the 2010 Season

Tulsa sweeps the weekly awards again. Tyler Henderson has taken a ginormous 298 swings.

Good News: UTEP remains tops in the conference in blocks and htting percentage

Bad News: The Miners are near the bottom in digs and just got run by their arch-rivals

East Carolina and Tulane look to be the weakest sisters of the conference at the two-week point. UCF has wailed on some weak sisters, so don't let that record fool you. The top 10 in CUSA hitting percentage includes three Miners:

  • #2 Kyla Muela

  • #3 Jax

  • #7 Bridget Logan
Bridget played great on Friday night against the Aggies. Jax once played for a martinet of a coach who would yank players (especially Jax) out of a set if he thought they didn't swing hard or weren't prepared for a set. No fear of that with Bridget.

The Miners need to put Friday night on the shelf and come out fresh and fierce. Control the first pass, move the ball around to keep the Aggies off balance and take full swings on the attack.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Aggies/Miners Round One

Tried to set up the laptop to watch the stream of the game on ESPN3 from the comfort of my big chair only to find out that my local ISP wasn't an authorized sponsor/partner with the Mothership online. Jumped in the car and drove to work to watch it in the office. Horrible connection all night long. Nothing but a stupid Gillette commercial would play for more than 15 seconds before locking up. I will never buy a Gillette Pro Glide razor. Never saw my kid touch a ball over the span of 90 minutes of trying to watch the game.

Got up this morning to watch the Fox Sports AZ broadcast. Kinda glad I knew how miserable the Miners did before we started watching. That way, we just got to enjoy watching our kid play ball. And the Aggie homer broadcasters got her name right.

Will this be the team that breaks the Aggie choke hold on the I-10 rivalry? See you all in El Paso on Tuesday night. I'll be the guy in an orange shirt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Aggie Smack

This quote in today's Las Cruces Sun-News:

Right-side hitter Whitney Woods on playing the Miners
"We play them like it's a conference game. It's bigger than conference to be honest. We lost to them in the spring a couple years ago and I feel like we need to get revenge from that....I haven't forgotten about it."

So, Whitney is still sore about a loss in the spring, at some undetermined time in the past...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Miners at the Aggies-The Tucson Angle

This year's away-and-home I-10 series will feature several Arizonans-three of whom are Tucson kids. Aggie Freshman MB, Desiree Scott, played the spring club season at Zona with Jax. Desiree is all arms and legs and is very quick in the vertical plane.

Sophomore Stephanie Ziegler is a great athlete who will probably play in the back row this year. If Stephanie were 6' or taller, she'd be a #1 OH on another top-25 team. Look for her to absolutely rip a pipe if she gets the opportunity. Her jump serve is also very nasty.

Program Note: Tune in to the Miners/Aggies tilt on Fox Sports AZ HD (Direct TV Channel 686) Saturday, 12:30 am. I believe this will be a re-broadcast of the Aggie Vision telecast of Friday night. It will probably look and sound like public access TV, but I guess we should just celebrate the fact that that TV has finally come to Las Cruces. Aggie Vision. Excellent...Schwing!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Set Your DVR's-Miners on Fox Sports AZ this weekend

I just did my usual scan of the Direct TV search function and found that Fox Sports AZ-channel 686-will broadcast the Miners vs. Aggies Friday night tilt at 12:30 AM (CT) on Saturday. We'll be watching the match online Friday night, then we'll fire up the old DVR for coffee, Kringle and Miners volleyball on Saturday morning!

For you Texans and Las Crucians who've never heard of Kringle, it's a decadent Danish pastry you can get online or in HyVee stories in the upper midwest.

Durham and the NCCU/Hilton RTP Tourney Recap

Pretty good opening tournament for the Miners. The base rotation for the weekend was as follows:
  • OH-Melissa Toth, Bridget Logan (Taylor Nix registered a very crisp kill in one set of play)

  • MB-Kyla Muela, Jeane Horton (Cassandra Burrel in for one set)

  • S-Patty Jarmoc (Malia Patterson set for a couple of points on day one)

  • RS-Jax

  • DS-Victoria Valencia, Jenny Nolasco and Ashley Mullens

  • L-Stephanie Figueroa
The only blemish was a four set loss to Elon on day one. Elon was a very junior/senior heavy team and they played with a lot of fire and precision.

Melissa and Patty were selected to the all-tournament team, and my MVP was Victoria Valencia. The true freshman started in every set and was the first server in every set. What a joy to watch Victoria play the whole weekend with a big smile on her face. Great catch for Ken and Angela keeping Victoria in El Paso.

Jacquie finished the weekend third on the team in kills and second in hitting percentage. After the first week of play, UTEP is number one in CUSA in the hitting percentage category and Kyla (.449) and Jax (.397) are in the top four.

Note to UTEP Sports Info: Her first name is spelled "Jacquie" not "Jackie."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Durham Update

Got in at around 10 pm. Started the day at the University of Louisville with our oldest son. Liked it a lot. Tried to stop in at UK but the traffic was miserable. New Dad rule in the college selection process-If I can't get to campus on a Thursday afternoon without getting into a jam, no kid of mine is going to that school.

Stopped for lunch in Huntington. Got a Frostop Root Beer. The place reminded me of the A&W stand my dad used to take us to after knothole baseball games.

Miner vball season kicks off first thing in the am. Jacquie texted us this afternoon to say national champion, Penn State, and CeCe Twitty's Villanova Wildcats are in the same hotel. Both are in town for a tourney at UNC. Good luck CeCe. You are going to need it against Blair Brown and co.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Durham Bound!

The 2010 season starts on Friday at NC Central in Durham! We'll head out tomorrow evening and try to make it to Louisiville tomorrow night. We'll be back in our old Raleigh/Durham stomping grounds Thursday night. Bojangles country ham biscuits and the sweetest sweet tea on earth await.

Nice article about senior setter Patti Jarmoc on the Prospector today. The caption for the image in the article reads: "Senior setter Patty Jarmoc enters her third year as a starter." Too bad they used a picture of Cassandra Burruel. Bet they would have known the difference between the Miner's punter and place kicker. That's OK, I'm sure the El Paso Times and the UTEP Athletics web sites will be rolling out their Miners volleyball previews any day now. Yup, any day now...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Volleytalk Talk About CUSA Vball

So today I see "Zomofo's" take on CUSA volleyball over at Volleytalk. Zomo's got our Miners dead last:

I don't see a preseason poll for Conference USA. Did they eliminate it ?
Here are my predictions:

1) Tulsa -best talent and high level coaching

2) Rice-returns several top players, could be #1

3) Marshall-Plenty of key returners and great coaching

4) Tulane-Lost key starters to transfer, will likely get more.

5) SMU- Returns most of their top players

6) Houston- New coach, but gets players
back from injuries

7) Southern Miss- Conference champ last year, new coach, could
be higher or lower.

8) Memphis-Returns injured players, and upperclassmen

9) ECU- should make the move out of the bottom this year

10) UAB- several new players

11) UCF- lost best players to graduation, still bottom dweller.

12) UTEP- Could be really bad this year*

*UTEP goes into this season with a senior setter, an Andi Collins finalist setter backing her up, a NJCAA First Team All American backing up a solid senior on defense and two 6' 2" Seniors Aces in the front row. Don't sweat it Miner fans. This team will be markedly better this year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CUSA Volleyball Preseason Rankings, Says Me

The progosticators on volleytalk have been real busy this summer chattering about the usual suspect programs. One strand a few months ago was started by some hoser who asked what was up with "the USA Conference?" I've waited somewhat patiently for one of the anonymmous experts to offer their take on that USA Conference...crickets.

Here is my take as a rookie dad in D1 Vball:

1. Rice-Returning studs at setter, OH and Libero.

2. Tulsa-OH Tyler Henderson is a girlie toy cannon (Jimmy Wynn old school baseball reference)

3. Southern Miss-2009 regular season champs say they are on a mission after getting whacked in the CUSA tourney...with a rookie coach who has had the job for around three months

4. UCF-Injuries kept this squad from doing more damage last season. Dr. Evil, aka Todd Dagenais, is a top-notch coach.

5. UTEP-Veteran leadership, improved defense and much more physical attack and block packages

6. Marshall-Coach Ratigan's kids are scrappy (my observation from watching them play UCF on TV last season)

7. SMU-Guessing-they have a preseason conference all-star shorty OH in Dana Powell and my wife met the mom of their Libero at a tournament, and mom thought they would be pretty good.

8. UAB-Sister Messerschmitt is down a couple of Euro ringers

9. Memphis-The new collegiate home for Serbian ringers

10. Tulane-Two key Serbians are now Florida State Seminoles

11. Houston-Brand new coach and I think their setter from last year bailed.

12. ECU-Two freshmen setters and all but one of their recruits played club ball for the Lollipop Guild

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dreaming On...About Conference Realignment

Fresno State and Nevada announced today that they will join the Mountain West in 2011. BYU might join the WAC in all sports not football. This leaves a smushed WAC, a somewhat depleted Mountain West and a previously depleted Big 12. Then let's say some eastern conferences can be coerced into stealing UCF, Memphis, Marshall and ECU. How about this for a new Texas dominated athletic conference? And they called it the Wild West Conference...or the Hook' em Who(?) Conference.

Southern Miss
Texas Tech

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Conference USA Media

Conference USA is out with their pre-season all conference team-as voted by the coaches-zero Miners on the list.

The CUSA web site also has a link to 2010 signees. No Jacquie and no Taylor Nix on that list. Crackerjack staff over there at CUSA HQ.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Transitions and Introductions

Jcasonvball was created to host recruiting videos. Jacquie left for UTEP on Thursday. Practice for the 2010 UTEP Miners begins tomorrow, and even though this site has served its purpose, I think I will keep using it as a vehicle to chronicle Jacquie's collegiate career.

For you Miner fans, I can tell you without hesitation that Jacquie is all about...

1. Joy: The smile that rarely leaves her face on the court is an expression of the joy she feels when the game is on. Check out the header for this blog and you'll see what I mean.

2. Competing: Boys in gym class didn't want to play against her because she had a tendency to run them over in pursuit of the ball, the puck...whatever. She was the unanimous MVP of a high school tournament last fall in which her team finished 5th.

3. Toughness: She played several tournaments this spring and led her club team to a Junior Olympics bid while fighting off pneumonia, pleurisy and patellar tendonitis so bad she could barely bend her knees.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Miner for 2011

Picked this up on the Miner Rush fan page. Madison Morris is a 6' middle from Killeen, Texas who will join the Miners in 2011. Watched a couple of video clips of Madison on YouTube. Looks like the Miners are going to get even more physical a year from now.

Madison will join DS/L Ashley Peak of Colorado Springs in the 2011 class.

Welcome Miner Rush'ers

Thanks to the folks at Miner Rush for picking up this blog. Miner Vball practice kicks off next week. Several new faces on a 2010 team that should be physical up front and very skilled on defense.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Battle of Tucson 2010

May 2010-Tucson's best juniors (Dinamo) vs. best seniors (Zona). Seniors win 2-1. Double click on the video to watch it on YouTube.

Friday, July 16, 2010

UTEP's 2010 roster is up

Jacquie will wear #15 for the UTEP Miners this year.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rest of the UTEP 2010 Schedule

The August 27-28 NCCU tournament will involve Charleston Southern, Delaware State, Elon, NCCU and UTEP.

The border battles between New Mexico State and UTEP will be in Las Cruces on September 3 and in El Paso on September 7.

The missing piece of the puzzle is now revealed. The Miners will be in San Antonio September 10-11. Teams scheduled to participate include Davidson, UT-Pan American, UTEP and the host team, the UTSA Roadrunners. Might be making a return trip to the Little Rhein steakhouse.

On September 25th, the Miners begin Conference USA play on the road at East Carolina.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

UTEP Road Trip to UT Arlington Sep 17-18

UTEP will play in UT Arlington's tournament Sep 17 and 18. Teams expected to participate include:
  • UT Arlington
  • North Texas
  • Texas A&M Prairie View

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Looking ahead to UTEP's Fall Schedule

UTEP's first regular season event this fall will be the August 27 in Durham, North Carolina at the NC Central tournament. Teams expected to participate include:
  • NC Central
  • Elon
  • Charleston Southern
  • East Tennessee State
  • Delaware State
  • UNC Asheville

Go Miners. Bring home some hardware.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Zona 2010's

Zona 2010 Commitments to Date:

Zoe Calhoun - Hendrix College

Jacquie Cason - University of Texas El Paso

Haleigh Householder - Eastern Arizona CC

Nicole Kalinowski - University of New England

Desiree Scott - New Mexico State University

Kayla Wang - Pima CC

Thursday, April 22, 2010

UTEP's 2010 Recruiting Class

UTEP's 2010's

  • Taylor Nix, OH, Crawford, TX
  • Jacquie Cason, OH, Tucson, AZ
  • Stephanie Figueroa, L/DS, Dorado, PR and Iowa Western CC
  • Malia Patterson, S, Honolulu, HI
  • Rachael Scott, S, Leander, TX
  • Victoria Valencia, DS, El Paso, TX

Zona 18-1 News

1. Zona 18-1 will compete in the American Division at this year's Junior Olympics in Reno, Nevada.

2. Congrats to college-bound Zona 18-1 players Haleigh Householder (Eastern Arizona CC) and Desiree Scott (arch-UTEP nemesis, New Mexico State). Expect an announcement in the next couple weeks about Zoe Calhoun's next stop.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

UTEP VBall vs. Tulane Last Season

This is a nice Web slide show with some very crisp pictures.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Senior Season Recap

Looking forward to one last club season with Zona. Jacquie's senior season summary:

2009 Senior Ace

2009 AVCA Senior Watch List

Az Central Class 4A All-State First Team

Az Star's All-Southern Arizona First Team

Tucson Citizen First Team All-Star

State 4A-I Playoffs, second round (first time in Cienega history)

Kino Region Champions (undefeated in conference)

Cactus Shadows Falcon Classic Tournament MVP

TUSD Tournament Champions