Welcome to the University of Maryland Volleyblog
Senior Night/Janice's Ceremony (Nov. 11, 2008)
SENIOR NIGHT SADNESS
Well, the home portion of the schedule is officially over this season and the Volleyblog is kind of sad. It's a weird feeling going through the Senior Night ceremonies when there is still two and a half weeks left in the season, but that is how the schedule played out this year.
The Volleyblog spoke to former Terp great Beth Gillming, who finished her career here last year, before Senior Night and we talked about how she doesn't feel like it was that long ago since her last match. The Volleyblog totally agrees. It goes by so quickly. The fact that the Volleyblog has seen half the playing careers of these girls is mind-boggling. The season-opening tournament at Cincinnati last season feels like it was yesterday. Where did the time go?
The Volleyblog has been dreading this time of year for a while. Sure, senior nights are a celebration of the careers and lives of these student-athletes, but the blog has a hard time watching it. It's too emotional. Saying goodbye stinks. And it's just plain weird hearing your own words read aloud to the crowd. The V-Blog still watches and applauds, but still tries to deny that the end is coming.
With travel unlikely the rest of the season, the harsh realization has hit that the V-Blog has most likely seen Mary Beth, Maggie, Tedi, Meredith and Kathleen play volleyball for the last time. That's depressing, but it helps knowing how successful those girls are going to be in the future. Bigger and better things are in store for all five of them and the V-Blog very much looks forward to seeing that happen.
Thanks for all your help the last two seasons, girls. Good luck to all of you.
CONGRATS COACH KRUGER
I think a lot of the readers here were in attendance for former Maryland head coach Janice Kruger's retirement ceremony before the FSU match Saturday.
It was really well-done and the turnout was fantastic. The Volleyblog's one year with Janice was a great experience. She was the V-Blog's first head coach as a sports information director and it's hard to believe there could have been anyone better to wet one's feet with. She was a joy to work with and the V-Blog is glad she is still around. This University needs her.
And that was just one year as a staff member. Based on the large number of former players that traveled far and wide to attend the event, her impact on them was tremendous. (Former players the V-Blog recognized in the crowd: Beth Gillming, Jade Brown, Stephanie Smith, Stephanie Doiron, Aimee Huddleston, Sarah Treadwell, Teryn Papp and Kelli Myers. Apologies if any names were left out. Other than the players the V-Blog has worked with, we're going off facial recognition from the media guide and Facebook here.)
Director of Athletics Debbie Yow gave a nice introductory speech to kick off the event and added a nice personal memory of watching the Terps kick Clemson's butt at Clemson in the late '90s.
Janice's speech was fantastic. She talked at length about how much the University of Maryland meant to her and it was clear she meant every word of it. She talked about how special it has been to see a lot of former players move on to professional careers and become great mothers. No stone was left unturned, and she remembered to thank everyone in the athletic department for their contributions during her time here. And, yes, sports information was included, much to the relief of yours truly and my predecessor Carrie Bittman.
Coach also made sure to point out that she is now on Facebook. Friend Request her at your leisure.
Sarah Treadwell and Teryn Papp took to the podium after coach's speech and subsequent standing ovation. The two of them presented Janice with a check for her to use toward the endowment of a volleyball scholarship, as well as a memory book. The book was extremely thoughtful and must have taken a lot of time and hard work to put together. Awesome job on that, girls. Janice was clearly touched by the sentiment.
If anyone has pictures from the event they wouldn't mind sharing, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's it for today. Just wanted to share this with everyone.
Tomorrow is Signing Day. Looking forward to learning more about the future stars of Maryland Volleyball.
Halloween Fun (Oct. 25, 2008)Thanks to Tami Ores for forwarding me these pictures, taken by strength and conditioning guru Corliss Fingers.
Good stuff, overall. If the Volleyblog had to pick a favorite, it would probably have to be Maggie Schmelzle's nun costume. It looks really believable, she sells it well. Christina Paul's Laura Croft get-up is a really-close second. Love those video games. The Volleyblog wasted many a day with the Tomb Raider series back in the day.
Also really impressed that Marissa Odom owns a legit Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet. That's pretty sweet.
Honorable mention to Sharon Strizak and Maddi Lee for paying homage to a great movie. Mary Beth Brown went with the most accurate costume: a Maryland graduate with volleyball shoes and shorts. Hopefully, the actual graduation-day garb was a little more traditional.
Great job ladies!
Have you looked at the ACC standings lately? (Oct. 25, 2008)First, sorry about the Live Stats mishap last night. Duke's SID e-mailed me during the match to let me know the Live Stats were being blocked for some reason. They couldn't get it fixed, so you guys were just as confused as me. Hopefully, Gametracker works fine for the Wake match today.
On another note, have you seen the conference standings heading into today? I'm not sure I have ever seen anything like this before, in any league, in any sport, ever. Check it out:
School Conference Overall W L PCT. W L PCT. Miami 7 3 .700 19 3 .864 Virginia Tech 7 3 .700 16 5 .762 Georgia Tech 7 3 .700 15 5 .750 Duke 7 3 .700 16 6 .727 Clemson 7 3 .700 15 6 .714 North Carolina 6 4 .600 12 9 .571 Florida State 5 5 .500 13 7 .650 Wake Forest 5 5 .500 14 8 .636 Virginia 5 5 .500 13 9 .591 NC State 3 7 .300 9 16 .360 Maryland 1 9 .100 5 17 .227 Boston College 0 10 .000 6 16 .273
Yes, that's right, a five-way tie for first place halfway through conference play, with nine of the 12 teams within two games of the lead still.
Last year it was obvious at this point that Clemson and Duke were both going to the NCAA Tournament from this league, with Georgia Tech an outside possibility. However, this year it's up for grabs. Should make for an interesting finish.
Weekend Linkage (Oct. 24, 2008)Unfortunately, the Volleyblog is once again home in College Park while the team is working hard in North Carolina. Wrestling season begins tonight with the Red & Black Wrestle-Offs, so yours truly will be in Comcast Pavilion with those guys while tracking the Duke match online with the rest of you.
Anyway, wanted to share the following Maryland-volleyball related links with you.
Remember, keep an eye on Mary Beth Brown's block total. Only four more until she moves into a tie for third place in school history. There's an interesting side note to that story, which I will share when the time comes. Don't want to jinx anything. *Fingers Crossed*
LET'S GO TERPS!
Bienvenido a Miami (Oct. 14, 2008)
Assistant coach Tami Ores e-mailed me some photos from the Miami trip, so I figured I would share them below. Enjoy:
And, we're back (Oct. 13, 2008)
Sorry for the two-week lapse in posts here, but work got in the way. Don't you hate when that happens?
Unfortunately, the Volleyblog did not accompany the team to sunny Florida last weekend, so no first-hand observations here. Only what can be seen in box scores.
Despite the pair of losses in Florida, the team showed a lot of fight in the Miami match. Based on the comments in today's article in "The Diamondback," coach Horsmon was encouraged by a lot of what he saw.
Freshman Maddi Lee appears to be getting better and better with every passing match. The kill total is consistently in double figures and the errors are going down. With Lee, Lisa Scott and Sharon Strizak, that's a solid nucleus for the future of this program. Coach Horsmon is going to win here and it's going to be beautiful. Don't forget that.
As for some other odds and ends:
The media guide has been done and delivered for a couple weeks now. Personally, the Volleyblog is really happy with this year's edition. We did a lot of new things this year and it's quite an upgrade over previous versions. Parents and players, if you have not yet received one, contact the Volleyblog at email@example.com to find out how to get yours.
The Volleyblog has nominated three of our players for the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-Academic All-District Team.
To be eligible for consideration, student-athletes must meet the following requirements:
So, that leaves us with:
The Volleyblog gets to vote on this and will, of course, be voting for the Terps. Last year, Beth Gillming was selected to this team.
That's all for right now. Time to go watch the Rays-Red Sox game before volleyball practice ends.
This blog should be updated more regularly again now that other things have calmed down a little around here. Check back in soon.
Still here (Oct. 1, 2008)
Sorry the Volleyblog hasn't been updated in a while, so wanted to drop by and let everyone know this blog still exists.
Unfortunately, the Volleyblog did not travel with the team last weekend, so there's really not much to add other than what everyone else saw from the press releases and box scores.
It was a tough weekend for sure, but hopefully the team can rebound against the Virginia schools this weekend.
The Volleyblog has also been tied up in its service to some of the other great sports here at Maryland. It's media guide season for winter sports, so wrestling and women's basketball have demanded a lot of time, lately.
We will still have a weekend preview and match notes posted on the volleyball page tomorrow.
On a more positive note, how about the football team's victory at Clemson last weekend? That's a season-changing victory folks.
Also, if you thought the Volleyblog was going to ignore the Redskins' victory over the Cowboys Sunday, you're wrong. High fives to the Redskins fans on the team on that one: Mary Beth Brown, Brittney Grove, Maddi Lee, Rachel Profit and Lisa Scott. Sorry if any Skins fans were left out, but the Volleyblog knows the aforementioned are all big Skins fans. Hopefully that helped to raise the spirits of those girls a little bit after the tough loss at NC State earlier.
Here's a bonus for you guys, and I know everyone has been waiting for this, for a long time. It's the Volleyblog's Major League Baseball Playoff Predictions. Take this to the bank.
Observations from the B.C. victory
Hey guys, wanted to stop by and discuss last night's victory a little bit.
First, it always feels good to win that first conference match, 1-0 feels so much different than 0-1.
Last season's opener at Boston College was a tough pill to swallow. The Terps went into the match in first place in the league after going 8-1 in non-conference play. The Terps won the first two sets fairly easily, dropped the third and then lost the fourth and fifth sets, 32-30 and 20-18, respectively.
That was a tough loss to deal with and set a negative tone for the season. Rachel Profit admitted as much earlier this week when speaking with "The Diamondback."
After the B.C. loss, the Terps faced a tough road trip the next weekend to Duke and Wake Forest, losing both to start the season 0-3 in league play.
Moving on to last night, now.
The girls definitely came out jittery, evidenced by five service errors and seven hitting errors in first set alone. You can probably just chalk that up to nervous excitement for the ACC opener.
To their credit, however, the girls showed no panic whatsoever and really took control in the second set and carried it throughout.
The back-row defense looked better than it has all season. The Eagles didn't score many junk points and the girls really hustled for every ball. The players are starting to look more comfortable as far as knowing where they are supposed to be. Profit has been a big help in the back and made some nice plays to keep some crucial rallies alive.
The front-row defense did its thing, as well. We definitely have some talent up there. With Lisa Scott, Katie Usher and Mary Beth Brown, we're going to block some shots. There's no stopping it. Mary Beth and Katie are going to go down as two of the best blockers in school history and Lisa has the potential to re-write the record books in that department. She's scary good.
The offense was clearly the best it's been all season, as well.
Sharon Strizak really looked good setting the ball. Our middles and outsides were getting the ball in good positions and Sharon spread the wealth nicely. Earlier in the season, Lisa and Katie were providing almost all the offense, but yesterday saw Mary Beth, Michelle Kenning and Maggie Schmelzle all get involved. We'll be a lot harder to defend if all those guys can score. Yesterday, four players hit .300 or better.
Katie is simply on fire right now. She's hit better than .360 in four straight matches and better than .500 twice. We should see more of that as the offense becomes less predictable. Mary Beth had another nice offensive game after a slow start, hitting .300 against the Eagles. Most importantly, however, she has committed only one attack error in her last four matches combined. After hitting a negative percentage through the first two weeks of the season, she now has the best hitting percentage of all the Terps' outside hitters.
Got to give coach Horsmon credit for coming up with the current rotation last weekend at Towson. He's now 3-1 with the new lineup. In case you haven't seen it, he is starting Sharon and Hayley Hanson, with Hayley setting from the back row and Sharon playing right side up front. When Hayley comes out of the back row, Mary Beth comes in for her and Sharon becomes the setter. The other substitution involves Rachel Profit playing back row for Michelle Kenning and Michelle staying up front for now. It's hard to argue with the results so far.
That's all for now. Check the main volleball page tomorrow for a weekend preview.
Tim Horsmon Show: Week 3
Come back later to read the Volleyblog's thought's on yesterday's big win against Boston College.
Getting to Know: Maddi Lee (Sept. 22, 2008)
Where is your favorite spot on campus? Comcast Center
What is your favorite pro sports team? Washington Redskins
Who is your favorite professional athlete? Kerri Walsh
What is your favorite color? Purple
What is your favorite movie? "Old school," "Step Brothers" and "Anchorman"
What is your favorite TV show? "Grounded for Life"
Favorite singer/band? Mayday Parade, The Used, Nickelback
Favorite hobby? Art
Final thoughts from Towson (Sept. 20, 2008)As previously mentioned here, yours truly is a Towson graduate who cheers for Maryland. Fortunately, no taunting from any Towson friends over Friday's loss. Smart move if they want to remain friends. We're not going to play that game.
Anyway, good job by the girls to get a couple wins today. Say what you will about the profile of teams like Lehigh and North Dakota, but those wins were crucial. You always want to go into conference play on a high note and the Volleyblog saw some things that should raise everyone's spirits heading into Tuesday's ACC opener against Boston College. Let's talk about them.
That's all for tonight, unless something else comes to mind later. Looking forward to B.C. on Tuesday. Come out and support the Terps! Now, it's time to relax and get some sleep before a long day of watching the NFL tomorrow.
Friday Updates (Sept. 19, 2008)Wanted to update everyone on a couple things before the team hopefully bags three wins this weekend.
First, the Volleyblog got to check out the team's new locker room yesterday to snap a couple photos for the media guide. The lockers were very nice and will look even better when the nameplates are installed. The lounge area was also pretty sweet. Loved the red leather couch and love seat. Equipment guy Al Tiffany thought it looked like Jetsons furniture. We're going to say that's a good thing. Who doesn't like "The Jetsons"? The Volleyblog was jealous of the flat screen TV and the Nintendo Wii. While the Volleyblog does own a Wii, it spotted a driving wheel among the accessories. That can only mean one thing: Mario Kart! Get Guitar Hero or Rock Band in there and it will be a scene, man.
Second, with the photos of the locker room being taken, that means THE MEDIA GUIDE IS FINALLY DONE! Really like what we did with the guide this year and it's definitely a step up from previous versions. Patrick Fischer, our men's lacrosse and women's soccer SID did a tremendous job helping with the re-design. Hopefully, we'll get those sometime next week, though keep your eye on the Web site, as the PDF may go up sooner.
Third, have some broadcast updates for you. The broadcast schedule has been extremely late to come out this year, but based on e-mails with other conference SIDs, you should be able to track the following matches from your living room:
Nov. 15 - at Virginia Tech (hokietv.com)
That's all for now. Hope to see you at the Towson Center this weekend.
Tim Horsmon Show: Week 2 (Sept. 18, 2008)Sorry it took so long, but here is an audio clip of this week's Tim Horsmon Show from Tuesday.
About Towson (Sept. 18, 2008)Yes, it's true: the Volleyblog graduated from Towson University, the location of this weekend's Maryland volleyball action.
However, before we continue, the Volleyblog would like you all to know that there will be absolutely no conflict of interest this weekend. NONE. The Volleyblog has been a die-hard Terps fan his whole life and that will never change, no matter the sport.
The Volleyblog ended up at TU the same way most of the student body does:
I'll leave you to wonder in which category yours truly falls.
Most of the people at TU are like the Volleyblog, as in they like Towson and genuinely had a good experience there, but really don't care about the sports. No one really grows up cheering for Towson. If you love college sports and you're from Maryland, you cheer for the Terps. Simple as that.
There are maybe 37 or so people at Towson that actually truly care about Towson athletics and they have a massive inferiority complex about anything Terp related.
This weekend will be a little strange, though. The Volleyblog went to school with some of the players on Towson's roster and covered them a little when it ran the sports section at the school newspaper.
As a matter of fact, the second story the Volleyblog ever wrote for the paper was a volleyball recap. I'm scared to even look at it, but if you're bored, here it is.
Though not a huge fan of Tiger athletics, the Volleyblog is really appreciative of the education it received at Towson. It landed the blog its first sportswriting job, which in turn led to this job. Wouldn't trade it for anything.
Diamondback Linkage (Sept. 17, 2008)Good story in "The Diamondback" today on coach Horsmon and his local roots and his plans for the future of Maryland volleyball. Check out Kate Yanchulis' article here.
Also, just to update you, we should have an archived version of yesterday's Tim Horsmon radio show up here at some point tomorrow.
We're also still waiting to hear from Maddi Lee to get her "Getting to Know" feature up here.
The weekend preview and match notes will be on the main volleyball page tomorrow.
For your viewing pleasure (Sept. 16, 2008)At last, the video evidence of the "Susie Q" performance has arrived.
Take a look here.
Not bad for a Blackberry video. Also, the Volleyblog does not have video editing software, so you'll just gave to ignore coach Horsmon's finger in the beginning of the clip.
Looking back at New Orleans (Sept. 15, 2008)
Sunday was a fun day on the team's final day in the Big Easy. And, yes, we just used the word "day" three times in that sentence. Pretty exciting.
We woke up and went to breakfast a little after 10 a.m. at a great local joint named "Mother's". Fantastic omelettes and the best biscuits mankind has ever known.
Afterward, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the French Quarter to explore historic New Orleans. The team split into groups and shopped while yours truly and assistant coach Jason Oliver went to a local drinking establishment to watch the Redskins-Saints game for a while. By the way, we drank cokes. We're professionals.
At around 1 p.m. we all met back up for lunch at another local establishment, "The Gumbo Shop". The food was excellent and offered all the traditional favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya and red beans & rice. But the most interesting part of lunch, and probably the weekend as a whole, was the sing-along outside the restaurant to "Susie Q" (see above picture). The girls were rocking with their various instruments and it was pure pandemonium. There are cell phone videos of this somewhere and we will try to get them on here. It's a must see.
Following lunch, it was, sadly, time to head to the airport and come back home. There were some tense, exciting moments for the Redskins fans contingent on the team. Hope seemed lost when we left the city as the Skins were down nine in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, the Volleyblog was getting updates on his phone and yours truly, Mary Beth Brown, Rachel Profit, Lisa Scott and Brittney Grove were pretty darn excited when we learned the Skins had completed a fourth-quarter comeback to earn the win.
As for the on-court play, would have liked to come away with more than one win, obviously, but there were reasons for optimism.
Here are some observations from the weekend:
Good day so far (Sept. 13, 2008)
Well, this afternoon was kind of awesome for Maryland athletics.
First, our girls ended their losing skid with a four-set victory against Jacksonville State. And don't think for a second that beating Jacksonville State doesn't mean anything because they aren't a name team. Having seen them yesterday, the Gamecocks are a legitimately good team, which has already beaten Auburn and Mississippi this season. They play really well together and gave Tulane some trouble yesterday. Good win for sure.
Second, how about the football team? Our boys completely demolished a Cal team that dropped 66 points last weekend. FEAR THE TURTLE. That was a crucial "W" coming off last weekend's loss at Middle Tennessee State.
Anyway, the Tulane match is about to start, so we'll sign off for now. Hopefully, we can pull off the victory against a really solid Green Wave squad.
Before signing off, however, wanted to share this picture of Maggie Schmelzle and her mother, Shirley.
Shirley showed up to the team hotel Friday afternoon fresh off the plane from Cincinnati, completely unannounced to everyone but the Volleyblog, which helped create the surprise.
It was a fun moment and Maggie was definitely surprised to see mom and dad.
Safely in New Orleans (Sept. 11, 2008)
Just wanted to get something up here before the team returns to action tomorrow against North Dakota State.
It was a fairly long day of traveling as everyone was awake well before 6 a.m. No direct flight today. The team connected through Atlanta and had about a three-hour layover. We got a nice lunch at Atlanta Bread Company. Afterward, the Volleyblog played its first-ever game of Spades with coach Horsmon, Marissa Odom and athletic trainer Kristie Gage.
Got into the Big Easy around 3 p.m. and man is it windy here today. However, it's still pretty-darn hot. Also, didn't think there could possibly be a more humid place in the world than Maryland in the summer, but N'Awlins has proven me wrong. You walk off the plane and sweat immediately.
The team went to grab a quick practice at Tulane around 5 p.m. before heading to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Banquet. However, the Volleyblog had to pass on the banquet to undertake the difficult task of checking out what the city has to offer. Hey, someone had to do it.
This is just an amazing place. The people are the nicest you could ever hope to meet. The Volleyblog went to get an authentic New Orleans dinner at a Po'Boy. One of the locals at the bar regaled me with some of the city's history and gave good advice on how best to enjoy the place. Then, he tried to pick up my check. Couldn't let him do that, though. Still, pretty sure that would never happen in D.C. ... ever.
Following dinner, went and checked out Bourbon Street for a while before finishing the night at the infamous Cafe Du Monde for coffee and the legendary beignets. By the way, one of the locals showed respect for the Blog's Maryland hat with a shoutout to our beloved Juan Dixon.
Yeah, that was amazing. Then the body decided it was time to sleep. And here we are.
Excited to see the team back in action tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get some wins under our belts.
Remember, you can follow the weekend action here.
Talk to you tomorrow. Geaux Terps.
Getting to know your new Terps: Lisa Scott Edition (Sept. 9, 2008)
Welcome to the first edition of "Getting to Know Your New Terps." With the positive response this blog has gotten so far, we figured it was time to go ahead and try to spice things up with some fun new features. So, figured we'd start by giving you a brief look into the lives of the Terps' newcomers this season. The premise is as basic as can be: Volleyblog asks new volleyball player about some of her favorite things in life. Player answers questions. Questions get posted here. Everyone is happy.
The Volleyblog put names in a hat and picked them out (yes, this actually happened) to determine a random order. Freshman middle blocker Lisa Scott drew the honors of going first. Next Tuesday is Maddi Lee's turn, followed by Sharon Strizak and Marissa Odom the following Tuesdays.
So, let's see what Lisa had to say about some of her favorite things.
Where is your favorite spot on campus so far? Well, I haven't really gotten to experience that much of campus outside of my classes and practice, but I really like the South Campus Quad, it's really nice and it looks like a nice place to hang out.
What is your favorite food/restaurant? I really love The Cheesecake Factory. Their Pesto Chicken Pizza is to die for!
What is your favorite pro sports team? I actually like college sports better than pro. And before I decided to come here I really liked Duke and UNC, but now Maryland is definitely my favorite! Editor's Note: We'll just pretend she never said that first part.
Who is your favorite professional athlete? Well, on my bio on umterps.com it says it's Rick "DOC" Walker, who was a pro football player for the Redskins in the '80s, but I only put that because I'm dating one of his sons and I thought it was funny, but the truth is I don't know too much about football. I don't really have a favorite athlete, I just admire qualities of many different great athletes, such as the Williams sisters, obviously Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant ... to name a few.
What is your favorite color? I have two favorites: pink and brown.
What is your favorite movie? At the moment it's Superbad
What is your favorite TV show? I LOVE "Grey's Anatomy"!!!
Who is your favorite singer/band? Chris Brown and Little Big Town are probably my favorites.
What is your favorite hobby? If eating was a hobby that would probably be it because my friends and I got out to eat all of the time, but other than that I just really love being around my best friends.
Reminder: Tim Horsmon Show on WMUC today (Sept. 9, 2008)
UPDATE: You can listen to an archived version of today's show here. You'll have to fast forward a little bit.
Just wanted to send a reminder that the first-ever Tim Horsmon Show will air on WMUCsports.com at 3 p.m. today. The show will usually run at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, but had to be pushed back this week.
Listen to the show here.
If you can't tune in, the Volleyblog is trying to figure out a way to get archived shows online for you.
Check the blog later today for the exciting first installment of "Getting to Know Your New Terps."
Missouri photo gallery (Sept. 7, 2008)
For your viewing pleasure, take a look at the photo galleries below.
Love the new uniforms.
Never been more tired ... ever (Sept. 7, 2008)
Nothing like getting a debilitating migraine headache after a 16-hour work day doing volleyball statistics.
Needless to say, it was a rough day for the Volleyblog. Wanted nothing more than a restful night of sleep after the toughest day of the year for a volleyball sports information director. Just wasn't in the cards, I guess. Eventually passed out on the living room floor around 6 a.m. with the cat sleeping nearby. Eventually woke up around noon, did a lil grocery shopping and half-heartedly watched some NFL football.
Wanted to get something up here, though, so feel free to read the rambling below, regarding this weekend of volleyball.
Beth Gillming rules! (Sept. 5, 2008)
OK, couldn't leave on that negative a note.
Can't believe the blog almost forgot to mention the excitement of seeing former Terp great, and the program's all time leader in sets played, Beth Gillming in the house tonight, accompanied by her beautiful mother, Joann. Too bad Mark Gillming couldn't make it. Mark, if you're reading, I miss you. You're the man.
Murphy's Law on opening night (Sept. 5, 2008)
Not really going to say much about tonight's loss to Missouri other than there were glimpses in the first set of what this team is capable of in the hopefully-near future and that the Volleyblog loves Maggie Schmelzle.
Maggie was awesome in that first set, finding the empty areas in the defense and coming through with a huge block to stave off defeat.
Now it's time for the blog to vent a little.
Let's just say it was opening day for the blog, too, in its other role as the sports information director for the team.
Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong today :(.
Rolled into work around noon or so feeling good because pretty much everything needed for the weekend was finished yesterday. Really just needed to come in and print off the match notes and the tournament program which were finished a day earlier.
However, the office printer had much different plans for yours truly.
The four-page program was all set to print on nice 11x17 card stock, the good expensive paper, to make for a nicely-folded booklet. The printer must not care about volleyball or human life in any regard. Got about three of them printed before it started to eat every attempt and jam the thing completely.
Let's just say yours truly spent about an hour un-jamming the thing. So, with men's soccer needing to print programs for its match, we had to figure something out. Really, the only option left was two, boring white pieces of paper stapled together. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed it. Two stapled pieces of paper have never come at such an expense. Sitting on a dirty floor, getting covered with black ink on your hands and face is not fun.
Then, there was the scoreboard issue.
After scrambling around to find the right cord to connect the stat computer to the scoreboard that operates the dig/kill portion of the display, it decided not to work anyway. AWESOME! Hopefully, that can be fixed by tomorrow. Will probably be here a while trying to figure out what happened there. Really don't understand it.
Oh, and the Gametracker for the St. John's-Kentucky match didn't work, though ours did. Figure that one out, too.
That's it for tonight.
The blog is going to try to solve some problems for tomorrow before going home to the wife and cat.
See you bright and early tomorrow morning for St. John's at 10 a.m. Seriously, I don't think Dunkin' Donuts can possible make me a big enough, strong enough iced coffee tomorrow morning.
Horsmon hitting the airwaves (Sept. 4, 2008)
It should be a good show. The V-blog has worked extensively with WMUC during women's basketball and baseball seasons and has an excellent relationship with those guys. They really do a great job and the production value far exceeds that of most student-run stations.
Brian Kapur is going to be the host of the show. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he covered the team last year for "The Diamondback." Brian already knows the team well, so we're not getting a novice here.
Hope you guys can tune in. For those who won't be able to listen at work, we'll see what we can do about getting archived versions of the show on here.
Check the main volleyball page later for a preview of the weekend and updated notes.
Student-athlete picnic fun (Sept. 2, 2008)
With the start of the new school year today, the athletic department held its annual student-athlete picnic. Unfortunately, the Volleyblog couldn't attend due to a prior engagement. However, the blog had enough foresight to ask our superstar photographer, Greg Fiume, to snap a few shots of the girls. As always, Greg came through with flying colors, based on the fantastic photo above. (From left to right: Hayley Hanson, Maggie Schmelzle, Michelle Kenning, Brittney Grove, Sharon Strizak and a cameo by former volleyball athletic trainer Shelby Hoppis).
Here is a link to a photo gallery of the picnic. Check the front page of umterps.com in a bit for the official press release detailing the event in its entirety.
Sign up for Maryland volleyball e-mail alerts (Aug. 31, 2008)This has worked well for some other sports here, so we're going to try it with volleyball, too.
If you are interested in receiving all Maryland volleyball press releases as soon as they are finished, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading "Maryland Volleyball Alerts." These are the news items that go to the media and you will get them when they do.
Random thoughts from a long Saturday (Aug. 31, 2008)The Volleyblog is back home safely from the weekend trip and wanted to share some thoughts before going to sleep.
First, congrats to Mary Beth Brown and Maggie Schmelzle for moving into fifth place in school history in blocks and digs, respectively. They are both great kids and it's good to know their legacies will live in the record books.
Congrats are also in order for head coach Tim Horsmon on getting his first win at Maryland. It was only the first of many to come, for sure. It was very nice to see all the players patting him on the back after the win and he was definitely happy to leave Richmond with a victory.
The VCU victory was a great way to leave Richmond. The Rams looked awfully impressive in victories against NC State and Kansas and the girls fought off the loud home crowd and played to win. The defense and passing were much improved from the previous two matches and the attackers showed improved aggressiveness. It certainly made the bus ride, including dinner at the Cracker Barrel (breakfast for dinner for the win!!), that much better.
The day was made better by the fact that the Volleyblog was able to take in the Maryland-Delaware football game between volleyball matches.
There are more thoughts to be shared here, so we'll just do it in bullet form before crawling into bed.
Tough start (Aug. 29, 2008)Well, in case you haven't read yet, today was a tough opener for the Terps. Central Michigan played well and there's nothing to do but move on to tomorrow's pair of matches against Liberty and VCU, both of which looked pretty good today.
Hopefully the Terps can bounce back with a pair of 'W's and board the bus back to College Park with a better taste in their mouths.
Win, lose or draw, the volleyblog will always be here to support our beloved Terps.
It was good to see some parents in the stands, as well as Janice Kruger. Hope to see you guys back tomorrow.
Tomorrow could be a great day in Terpland. Besides volleyball, the football team opens its season with Delaware and men's soccer has an exciting season opener tonight against UCLA, which probably won't end until early Saturday morning.
Sing it with me now ...
"MARYLAND, WE'RE ALL BEHIND YOU ..."
Live from Richmond, Va. (Aug. 28, 2008)The Terps have arrived in Richmond and everyone is settling into their hotel rooms in preparation for tomorrow's season opener against Central Michigan.
The bus departed College Park a little past 1 p.m. this afternoon and made great time to Brittney Grove's house in Glen Allen, Va., arriving before 3:30 p.m. We didn't even get to finish the
As expected, the Grove's did a fantastic job feeding and entertaining everyone. A catered dinner was provided from a nice Italian chain restaurant and the homemade vegetable dip and fresh fruit were excellent. Great job Bill and Barbara. Awesome house, too.
Before, during and after food service, some spirited games of ping pong took place in the garage. Christina Paul does not mess around when it comes to tennis of the table variety. Intense.
After dinner, the team left for VCU to practice while the Volleyblog chilled in the lounge and watched some football.
That's all for now. The v-blog will try to give you some updates from the arena tomorrow, but you can get live scoring updates here.
Wednesday afternoon tidbits (Aug. 27, 2008)It's been eight long months, but the start of a new season is less than 48 hours away.
The team bus departs tomorrow afternoon for Richmond, Va. and the Volleyblog will be along for the ride.
After a brief practice at VCU, the team is going to dinner at Brittney Grove's house, near Richmond in Glen Allen, Va. Maggie Schmelzle's parents held a similar event last year in Cincinnati. The Schmelzle's did an outstanding job and there's no doubt Bill and Barbara Grove will do the same.
The Terps held their final full practice of the week this afternoon and coach Horsmon finished the session with a reminder not to overlook any of this weekend's opponents. Despite none of the teams playing in a BCS conference, they are all good teams. Central Michigan was 22-10 a season ago and is predicted to finish second in the MAC, Liberty nearly toppled the Terps last season and made the NCAA Tournament and VCU is playing on its home court and also gave Maryland a tough match last season.
Horsmon used his experience beating big-name opponents at Robert Morris and Dayton to provide perspective.
Afterward, the talk turned to movies for the bus ride. Coach Horsmon ruled out chick flicks, particularly "Pretty Woman," but Mary Beth Brown is pushing for "A League of Their Own." We'll see what happens. The Volleyblog will keep you updated on this vital piece of information.
The Volleyblog is actually fine with either of those two choices. As far as Pretty Woman is concerned, you have Richard Gere putting a twist on the 1980s money-grubbing business man role by adding a conscience to the character. Julia Roberts's laugh: Infectious! And lest we not forget the brilliant supporting roles of a pre-"Seinfeld" Jason Alexander and the vastly-underrated Hector Elizondo. In A League of Their Own you have Geena Davis, who's very believable as an athlete. And, of course, there's the infamous "There's No Crying in Baseball!" scene.
That's all for now. The next blog post will probably come from Richmond. Hope to see you there!
New Headshots are up! (Aug. 27, 2008)If you haven't already done so, take a look at the bios and check out the brand-new headshots.
All of them turned out great in the opinion of this blog. The new unis are unbelievably fresh. Love that gold trim and white sleeves. Can't wait to see the other color schemes.
Check the main volleyball page later today for a weekend preview and the first match notes of the 2008 season.
Fear the new uniforms (Aug. 26, 2008)
For those wondering why the player and coach headshots have not yet been updated, the reason is the team has been waiting for its brand-new Under Armour uniforms.
Well, the new threads came in late last week and the Volleyblog got its first look this afternoon for team photo day and it was well worth the wait. All four school colors are now incorporated.
Be sure to check the bios for the new headshots soon so you can get a first look at what the Terps will be sporting in '08.
Rule Changes (Aug. 26, 2008)
The following explanations are straight from the NCAA:
Coaches Position. When the ball is in play, coaches will be asked to stay at least 1.75 meters from the court's sideline. An imaginary line perpendicular to the outside edge of the extended attack line indicates this distance. If a coach doesn't comply, the referees may assess a team delay sanction.
Terminology. The term "game" will be changed to "set." A match still consists of the best three out of five sets.
Points Required to Win a Set. Instead of 30 points, the number of points needed to wins sets one through four is now 25 (and a two-point lead). Fifteen points is still the requirement to win the fifth (deciding) set.
Substitutions. Each team is now allowed a maximum of 12 substitutions per set.
Welcome to the University of Maryland Volleyblog (Aug. 26, 2008)
The blog will be updated semi-regularly with stories, features, athlete profiles, tidbits, photos and more to keep fans updated with a look at Maryland Volleyball beyond the scope of normal coverage.
A link to the blog will be easily accessible on the right-hand sidebar on the umterps.com volleyball page.