Canada has historic win in men's volleyball Thursday

In a colossal upset, team Canada delivered a victory for the ages on Thursday by shocking Russia in men’s World League volleyball action in Mar del Plata, Argentina, 20-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-11 according to the International Volleyball Federation website.

Among the team Canada players were two Calgarians–Rudy Verhoeff who had ten points and Graham Vigrass with one point.

John Gordon Perrin of Creston, British Columbia had the game of his life with 20 points, followed by Gavin Schmitt of Grande Prairie, Alberta (who is back from a knee injury) with 13 points and captain Frederic Winters of Gatineau, Quebec with 11 points.

Just how massive was the Canadian victory on Thursday? Russia is a men’s volleyball superpower, having just won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, while Canada, who is ranked 18th in the world, was playing its first ever World League Finals match.

The task does not get any easier for the Canadian team however because Friday they will play Brazil, who is ranked number one in the world.


Roadrunners stay top of CUSA Volleyball with sweep

UTSA have remained perfect in Conference USA Volleyball play as they recorded an impressive sweep against Louisiana Tech in Ruston on Sunday afternoon.

It was all out attack from UTSA as they won 25-12, 25-20, 25-14 recording a team hitting percentage of .468, the sixth best in league history.

Danjana Boskovic managed the highest individual percentage with .579 on the back of 12 kills while McKenzie Adams lead that statistic with 13 and a .458 with Brandy Huskey vital with her 38 assists.

UTSA went for the match from the start managing a .545 hitting percentage in the opening set as they made just one attack error in an impressive performance that saw Adams and Dempsey Thornton manage four winners with Huskey making 11 assists and three blocks.

The second set was comprehensive again even though it wasn’t as dominant as the first set with a .448 hitting percentage while Adams managed seven kills and three blocks, Huskey was again vital with her 14 assists.

It was tight in the second at 20-19 but UTSA pulled away and claimed the crucial two set advantage with a 5-1 run to win 25-20.

The third saw UTSA build a formidable lead and from there they never looked back as they shot out to a 12-4 lead, hitting .429 in the set with Huskey vitally contributing 13 assists and two aces on her serve.

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From Samoa to Louisiana: Christabell Hamilton Takes Volleyball Reins at Xavier

When Christabell Hamilton officially took the reins of Xavier of Louisiana’s women’s volleyball program Tuesday, it was just another profound change for the former Tulane assistant coach.

Replacing Al’lisa Hale, who resigned after one year of helming the Gold Nuggets, Hamilton had to resign her spot as a player for her native American Samoa national volleyball team which was set to compete in the Pacific Games in New Caledonia in August. But, Hamilton wasn’t sad about it.

“Samoans are known as happy people,” she said. “We are very family-oriented, always put God first and respect others.”

Truth be told, the XULA position is just another part of Hamilton’s continuing journey that might just take her around the world. Certainly, she seems to be moving further and further east.

After starring at and becoming valedictorian for Tafuna High School in Pago Pago, Hamilton went on to set several school records in kills for a season and a career for the Zias of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. She took her volleyball talents further east to Stephenville, Texas to be an assistant at Division II Tarleton State.

She finally landed in New Orleans two years ago when her husband, Ronnie, took over as an assistant men’s basketball coach for the Green Wave of Tulane. After stints at a local middle school, high school and club program, Hamilton finally landed the job with Xavier.

“We are confident that Christabell will do an outstanding job,” said Xavier Athletics Director Dennis Cousin. “She impressed our search committee with her knowledge, her enthusiasm, her confidence and her personality. She’s a great fit for Xavier.”

If Xavier is to improve upon its 11-26 mark last season, its first since Hurrican Katrina halted the program in 2005, it can certainly benefit from Hamilton. As assistant coach with Tarleton State, she helped take the TexAnns to their first winning season, in 2008. She also helped guide the team to the semifinals in the Lone Star Conference tournament twice in three seasons.

In 2010, as an assistant coach at Louise S. McGehee School, she proved instrumental in leading the school to the semifinals of the Louisiana Division IV state playoffs.

And Hamilton, niece of two-time Pro Bowl San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu, does have some glowing accolades from former coaches and colleagues to back her up.

“You couldn’t have gotten a better coach,” said Eastern New Mexico volleyball head coach Mike Maguire. “Christabell is an extremely fine young lady. She did a great job when she coached at Tarleton State. I know she’ll do a great job at Xavier. You guys are extremely lucky to get her.”

Mary Schindler, head coach at Tarleton State, added: “She wants to win and she’s driven to win, but she wants to do it the right way. She wants her kids to graduate and do the right things.”

And Xavier of Louisiana is hoping Hamilton will put down some permanent roots in New Orleans and guide the Gold Nuggets back to its winning ways on the court.



Team Canada part of world's best in men's volleyball

Team Canada might have lost to Brazil in straight sets in World League action on Friday, but it has been an excellent year for the Canadian men’s volleyball team.

On Thursday, according to Sportsnet, team Canada shocked the volleyball world with a five set victory over team Russia, the defending Olympic champion. It should be considered the greatest moment in the history of Canadian volleyball. That is Canadian indoor volleyball. On the beach, one cannot forget about Mark Heese and John Child winning the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Seeded 18th, the Canadian men’s indoor volleyball team, should see their rankings increase significantly. They are a team on the rise and should be praised for playing competitively against the world superpowers in the sport this week.

The players who deserve the most credit for the Canadian success are leftside Gord Perrin of Creston, British Columbia, right side Gavin Schmitt of Grande Prairie, Alberta, and middle player Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary, Alberta. With these three as the nucleus of the Canadian team, one might think the Canadian men’s volleyball team could contend for a berth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Three times team Canada have participated in the men’s volleyball tournament. Their best finish was fourth at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


King of the Beach: An inside look at the Spalding 72-083 All Weather

Have you been searching for a great volleyball for beach play without success? Or maybe that old Wilson AVP ball is in its final days and it is time to consider buying a new one. As most smart shoppers tend to do, you may be looking for information and user reviews on the best equipment to choose. But after reading this article, you may find that the research has already been done for you.

With the recent collapse of the AVP tournament in late 2010, many players have turned away from the Wilson AVP volleyball, which still appears to be in production, yet has received only average reviews. In addition, the AVP ball can no longer be manufactured to AVP tournament standards, since the tournament no longer exists, and at this time has not announced a return for 2011.

When trying to get the most out of your volleyball game, you probably want to use the same or similar equipment the professionals use. After all, they are the best at what they do, and chances are they have good reason for using the equipment they use.

The Spalding 72-083 All Weather, hereafter referred to as the Spalding King of the Beach, is the official volleyball of the King of the Beach and USA Beach Tours, as well as our very own Florida Beach Volleyball Tour. Furthermore, it has received great reviews from players around the country.

The Spalding King of the Beach volleyball features a stitched, ultra durable, all-weather Corley PU composite cover, which is a soft-touch leather cover that’s optimized for true flight and control. The stitched 18 panel construction of this ball is a signature characteristic of Spalding balls, and is designed to maximize playability. The Spalding King of the Beach is ideal for high level outdoor competitive play.

Many players who have used the Spalding King of the Beach volleyball in comparison to the Wilson AVP have said that it provides better playability for beach environments, where there are typically high winds. Reviewers have said that the Wilson AVP is sometimes like a “ping pong ball in the wind” at a beach environment.

The only negative factor that research produced for the Spalding King of the Beach was that the seams appeared to be more rigid than the Wilson AVP ball, which took some getting used to. However, if you plan on playing in any tournaments in the near future, you will probably want to start getting used to the Spalding King of the Beach volleyball, as it is quickly becoming the official ball of most American tours, as the 2011 beach volleyball season will soon be upon us.

In summary, the Spalding King of the Beach appears to be a player favorite, as well as a tour favorite. When purchasing a Spalding King of the Beach volleyball, it is important to stay away from replicas. You should be able to pick one up for a fair price of around $40 – $50 USD depending on where you shop. This price is very competitive in comparison to other top-selling, comparable outdoor beach volleyballs, making the Spalding King of the Beach a solid choice, even in this writer’s opinion. For other reviews of beach volleyball equipment, please visit www.floridavolleyballplayer.com.



Huskies sweep No. 16 Arizona State in volleyball

The sixth-ranked Washington Huskies ground out a sweep over No. 16 Arizona State on Sunday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Washington outhit the Sun Devils .234-.169 in the 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 sweep, moving the Huskies to 13-1 overall and 5-1 in Pac-12 play.

Kylin Munoz led the Huskies with 11 kills, while Kaleigh Nelson and Krista Vansant each added 10 kills.

Jenni Nogueras led Washington with 22 assists, while Jenna Orlandini had a match-high 21 digs and Cassie Strickland registered 13 digs.

The Dawgs were remarkably consistent throughout the match, committing just five errors in each of the three sets. The Dawgs also were able to sideout 66% of the time, limiting the ability for Arizona State to go on extended runs.

Macey Gardner had a match-high 13 kills for the Sun Devils, but she needed 49 hits to reach that number and committed nine errors, resulting in a .082 hitting percentage.

The Dawgs return to the court Wednesday when they host the California Golden Bears.

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Cabrillo College volleyball team advances to state championship tourney

North bracket top-seeded Cabrillo College Seahawks volleyball team defeated San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs 3-1 (27-29, 26-24, 25-13, 25-19) in the final round of the regionals on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at the Cabrillo College campus in Aptos, CA. The win propelled the Seahawks to the state championship tournament at Shasta College in Redding, CA on December 3-4, 2011.

Cabrillo College players celebrate after the winning point of the volleyball match between the Cabrillo College Seahawks and the San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 in Aptos, CA.
Alex Baranda



Courtney Thompson helps Team USA volleyball to shutout of the Dominican Republic

Team USA women’s volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon may have known that Courtney Thompson was class valedictorian at Kent High School in Kent, Washington. He knew for sure, though, that he wanted Thompson on the court when the Dominican Republic drew close in their match against Team USA Tuesday evening at Earl’s Court. Eighteen times Thompson went behind the service line. Each time, she faced down the challenge, refusing to service fault. Sixteen times Team USA scored while she was on the court. Thompson’s steadying influence helped Team USA to defeat the Dominican Republic in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21, and 25-22, to advance to the semifinals in Olympic competition.

Thompson, who followed up her high school exploits by starring for the University of Washington, set the NCAA record for career assists per game during her years in Seattle. Tuesday, she used that same savvy court sense to guide the ball to the net. The end result? Team USA scorers Destinee Hooker and Jordan Larson combined for 61 spikes in the whitewash of the overmatched Dominicans.

Thompson began the Olympic effort as a backup setter, but has seen her playing time increase as the Games have continued toward the medal matches. Due to her stature the 5’8″, 150 pound, three time collegiate All-American has been nicknamed “Stumps” by Coach McCutcheon. She stands tall enough, though, and hopes that this weekend will find her several inches taller, atop the gold medal podium.

The next step toward that goal will be the semifinal match against South Korea That match tips off Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. PDT. The semis and the finals can be seen on the NBC family of stations as well as on nbcolympics.com.



Pro beach volleyball signs multi-media agreement with CBS Sports Network

There is a place for just about every sport on television. With that in mind, the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) has reached a multi-media agreement with CBS Sports Network and CBS Interactive to showcase the 2013 AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. CBS Sports Network will air live men’s and women’s Championship round action from each of the five Tour stops which includes an event in St. Petersburg. CBS Interactive will provide a live stream of the preliminary rounds from each event on www.AVP.com.

Pro beach volleyball signs multi-media agreement with CBS Sports Network