Sept. 15, 2009

By Amy Farnum

SEA WORTHY: Sonoma State is off to its best start in program history after starting its California Collegiate Athletic Association slate with a 2-0 mark last weekend, and for remaining undefeated, the Seawolves crept up two spots to No. 13 in the latest AVCA Division II Top 25.

Senior setter Lindsay Brown combined for 71 assists, 13 kills and 14 digs with a .480 hitting percentage as the Seawolves downed Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A., earning the league’s Player of the Week award for her performance.

Sonoma State is one of four teams in the national poll.   No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino is also unbeaten at 9-0, while No. 4 UC San Diego’s only loss was to CSSB.  Chico State, which started CCAA play at 2-0, broke into the latest Top 25 at No. 24 this week. 

The Seawolves will put their flawless record on the line when they host Humboldt State on Sept. 16 for a CCAA match-up.

CLASSIC PERFORMANCE:  After a perfect weekend of play at the UCM Peggy Martin Classic, Pittsburg State worked its way into the latest AVCA Division II Top 25 at No. 22 – one of seven teams from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to appear in the national poll this week.

The Gorillas went 4-0 to win the Classic as they lost just one set in four matches.  Senior outside hitter Pamela Cartagena sparked the Gorillas, posting a .310 hitting percentage and 54 kills, including double-doubles against then-No. 8 Central Missouri and Missouri-St. Louis.  In the UMSL match, the native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, became just the third player in program history to record 1,500 kills, and is one of only two players in school history that has also registered at least 1,500 digs.  She was voted Most Valuable Player of the Classic, and selected MIAA Hitter of the Week for her outstanding play.

Cartagena leads the MIAA with 4.27 kills per set, and ranks second in the league with 4.52 points per game.

Pitt State resumes league play at No. 20 Nebraska-Omaha on Sept. 18, and then travels to Fort Hays State two days later.

SPECTACULAR SPARTANS:  The University of Tampa rolled to three victories at the Hemingway’s Island Grill Regional Crossover last weekend, moving to No. 5 in the latest AVCA Division II Top 25 to extend its nation’s second-longest active streak to 59 weeks in the top 10.

Junior outside hitter Melissa Vanderhall, a native of Hempstead, N.Y., was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and Sunshine State Conference Offensive Player of the Week for averaging 4.0 kills and 1.9 digs per set with a .349 hitting percentage.

The Spartans’ only loss of the season came to top-ranked Concordia-St. Paul.  They open Sunshine State Conference play at Lynn and No. 23 Nova Southeastern on Sept. 19-20.

300-CLUB:  University of Indianapolis head coach Jody Butera and Washburn head coach Chris Herron each collected their 300th career victories over the weekend as their respective squads remained unbeaten on the season.

Butera and UIndy swept through the Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational to run its season-opening mark to a school-record 14-0.  The No. 9 Greyhounds will open Great Lakes Valley Conference action against No. 17 Lewis on Sept. 18.

Herron improved his career mark to 301-73 in 11 seasons as a collegiate coach over the weekend as the No. 6 Lady Ichabods remained percent.  He boasts a 226-44 mark in eight years at Washburn.