Michell Waber was the 2012 Mountain West Newcomer of the Year
Aug 29, 2013
LET THE SEASON BEGIN
San Diego State will begin its 2013 volleyball season on Friday, Aug. 30, when it faces UC Davis as part of the four-team LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La. That match gets underway at 4:30 p.m. (CT) in the Maravich Center on the LSU campus. The other tourney participants include Texas-San Antonio and Louisiana State, the host school. The complete tourney schedule is as follows (start times are Central time):
Friday, August 30
San Diego State vs. UC Davis.............4:30 p.m.
Texas-San Antonio vs. LSU................7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 31
UC Davis vs. LSU........................10:00 a.m.
San Diego State vs. Texas-San Antonio...12:30 p.m.
Texas-San Antonio vs. UC Davis...........5:30 p.m.
San Diego State vs. LSU..................7:30 p.m.
San Diego State's record in season openers stands at 20-17 since the sport began at SDSU in 1976. This will mark just the Aztecs' second season opener away from home since 2000. SDSU has a record of 4-4 when it begins the season on the road.
For the third consecutive season San Diego State has received votes in the American Volleyball coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll. Colorado State is the only other Mountain West receiving votes heading into the 2013 campaign.
SDSU returns five starters from a team that compiled a mark of 23-8 and tied for the Mountain West championship with a 13-3 mark in league play. Among the returning starters are outside hitters Raegan Shelton (3.17 kps, 0.98 dps), Michelle Waber (2.55 kps, 1.09 dps) and Chaiymin Steel (1.89 kps, 0.84 bps) along with along with middle blocker Emily Harris (1.69 kps, 1.28 bps) plus setter Johnna Fouch (9.27 ast/s). Other returnees who saw significant playing time include outside hitters Summer Nash (2.96 kps) and Halle Aiken (0.33 kps) plus defensive specialists Kyla Oropeza (1.33 dps) and Courtney Vaccarello (1.63 dps).
SDSU has added five freshmen for the 2013 campaign, a number that includes the daughter of a prominent former Aztec athlete, an All-American honoree, an all-state performer, a district player of the year and a league player of the year.
Alexis Cage, an all-league honoree from Corona del Mar HS in Newport Beach, is the daughter of former SDSU basketball al-American and NBA player Michael Cage.
Middle blocker Cassie O'Hara was named an honorable mention All-American as a senior at Victory HS in Victory N.Y.
Middle blocker Baylee Little earned honorable mention all-state honors at Highland HS in Gilbert, Ariz.
Libero Alexa Saba was named the district player of the year last season at Hamilton HS in Chandler, Ariz.
Defensive specialist/libero Danielle Bolden was selected her league's co-MVP during her senior year at Capistrano Valley HS in Mission Viejo.
Rounding out the 2012 squad is middle blocker Jessica Pino, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara who did not play volleyball for the Gauchos in 2012. A native of Temecula, Calif. (Chaparral HS), signed with UCSB to play basketball and appeared in three games during the 2012-13 campaign. As a high school senior in Temecula, Pino was a first-team all-league and second-team all-valley selection as a volleyball player.
Senior setter Johnna Fouch and outside hitter Raegan Shelton have been named to the preseason all-Mountain West team. Fouch, who has been selected the conference Preseason Player of the year, is a three-year starter for the Aztecs and was the league's Setter of the Year as a junior. Shelton, who was an all-MW honoree last season, ranked among the top 10 in the league in kills and points in 2012.
FOUCH MOVING UP THE CHARTS
Setter Johnna Fouch's three-year mark of 3,514 assists places her third on the SDSU career list. The second spot is held by Melissa Wright (2000-02) with 3,865. (2005-08). Fouch ranks 16th on the Mountain West career assist list and needs just 443 assists to break into the top 10. Her 33 double-doubles in the most among active players in the mountain west and is tied for 11th on the all-time conference career list.
The Mountain West coaches' poll has predicted the Aztecs to finish first in the 11-team league. It is the first time that SDSU has been picked to win the conference title. Colorado State, 2012 co-champion with San Diego State, has been chosen to finish second. The results of the preseason poll are as follows:
Team (1st-place votes) Pts.
1. San Diego State (9).......99
2. Colorado State (2)........90
4. Utah State................68
5. New Mexico................66
6. Fresno State..............65
7. Boise State...............51
9. San Jose State............27
10. Air Force................17
San Diego State finished the 2012 regular season with 12 straight victories. The Aztecs have won their last 17 straight home matches in Peterson Gym going back to the 2011 campaign. Their last loss came on Oct. 30, 2011, when they fell to Colorado State in three sets.