Sunday, September 19, 2004


It is hard to call a bus trip to Stockton a ride to Broadway but for Niner women’s volleyball the dress rehearsals are over, the reviews are promising, but now the act must open on the road in front of a usually critical crowd.

Like Long Beach the folks at Pacific don’t have a lot of autumn options, no football in the place that once claimed Amos Alonzo Stagg. The Beach of course had a version of that gridiron legend in the late George Allen but until basketball season starts these schools count on their volleyball programs for alumni and student excitement and a little infusion in the cashbox.

Finishing a nine game homestand with a flourish, the 2004 edition of our Ladies of the Spike seem to have solved the sidelining of team leader Erika Chidester with a rotation of rookies including freshmen like Heather Hetzer, Kristen Voyson, Dyanne Lawlor and especially Alexis Crimes. Mix in sophomore smashers Mariko Crum and Robin Miramontes and give them targets from senior setter Jillian Mazzarela and this baby boomer edition looks pretty darn good. The backrow business is anchored by juniors Heather Laudato and Sarah Kroneberger so if Chidester takes a red shirt year to heal a sore shoulder this bunch might run the table in 2005 and make a bid this season.

NET DUST--Back to the present, volleyball’s Big West road gets bumpy away from the home grounds starting Thursday in Stockton and then Saturday at Northridge.
This from web board wiseman LB Rob on the work of Robin Miramontes. “overall she reminds me of former great Veronica Walls in what she could bring to this team, and her demeanor reminds me of Jessica Alvarado, a vocal leader type. When she is hitting from the right side she is money. I hope she develops that left handed control that Walls did by her senior year.”

More net notes, the Food Doppler was so well received I have elected to keep balancing a plate in one hand and a paper and pen in the other. At the Sideline Spikers deal on Saturday Tayyiba Haneef was saluted for her Olympic work in Athens and for her new pro team in Japan. They play in suburban Tokyo and go by the team name, “The Bamboos”. And her teammate is also tall and talented, Elisha Thomas another Niner ex.

More Haneefing- her dad Mo credits her high jumping background for “giving her great body presence, something we call catting.” Translated, athletes in that sport need to be able to adjust in the air and land on their feet, like a falling cat. And does he see some of his daughter in freshmen Alexis Crimes. “I’m too close to really say but they both have a lot of enthusiasm”, And hops.

This note on Crime time. Coach G has decided to hold his 6-3 freshmen phenom out of the late rotation in game threes when the Beach has a comfortable lead. The idea to give the remaining players the feel of life without the new jumping jack. This theory may have to be put on hold with the tough Tigers of Pacific looming on the road.

Last volley, Gimmillaro likes the “sound and lights” at the Long Beach Arena in that practice match for the 2004 NCAA Final Four venue. “You can really hear the ball and see it so well on that dark court and with those lights.” Okay, but how about court level scoreboards so fans and coaches don’t get blinded staring at the scoreboard raised so high about center court?

Moping up some baseball stuff. Last week mentioned a mystery pitcher from an Orange County; he is Cody Evans, a Weaver-built 6-4 righty from Golden West CC. Final new guy is Oklahoma transfer Kyle Bradbury who will walk on with a dream of being a Dirtbag. He had only 30 at bats for the Sooners last season.

Closing nautical note. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested? Answer-Obsession.--DR. DAN


Blogger Jeff Agnew said...

Dr. Dan...thanks for the info on Cody Evans. We may have lost Weaver, but we are looking fairly deep in pitching.

September 23, 2004 at 7:57 AM  

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