Category Archives: Volleyball

Denver Athletics Update

  • DU’s men’s soccer team is a surprising 0-3-1 after the first four games of a brutal six-game road stretch.  LetsGoDU will be covering Denver soccer live in Palo Alto and Berkeley, California as Denver finishes up their long road trip against Stanford and Cal this weekend before returning home. Goal scoring has been this team’s Achilles heal. They could use the graduated Andre Shinyashiki, just named MLS Player of the Week. DU is the Summit league coaches pre-season favorite to win the conference with second place Omaha (0-3-1) currently holding the same record as the Pioneers.

Continue reading Denver Athletics Update

Pioneer Athletics officially off the air

Looking forward to watching DU soccer, volleyball, hockey on TV this fall? Well, unfortunately, DU athletics are now off the air along with the rest of Altitude TV’s programming in its 10 state region if you have Comcast/Xfinity, DISHTV or Direct TV. And, Altitude TV claims that streaming content is not a feasible, economic option to do an ‘end run’ around the Big Three.

Altitude is also the home network for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, MLS’ Colorado Rapids and NLL’s Colorado Mammoth. Should it last that long, the dispute ratchets up on October 3rd when the Colorado Avalanche are scheduled to return to Altitude’s lineup with their regular season opener and October 5th when DU hockey hits the ice.

Altitude’s coverage-area includes Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming. DirectTV and Dish Network also provide nationwide coverage for Pioneer Nation so this will impact all Pioneer fans. Continue reading Pioneer Athletics officially off the air

Volleyball Opens with Win Over San Francisco, 3-1

DU Women’s volleyball (1-0) was the last fall team sport to start play until Friday night. The Pioneers opened up the season with a convincing 25-14, 25-17, 27-25, 25-22 win at Hamilton Gym against the West Coast Conference San Francisco *Dons. The Pioneers were voted the Summit League pre-season favorite for a sixth consecutive year. But with the graduation of stars Becca Latham and Emma Willis and injuries to outside hitters Taylor Jochim and Katarina Marinkovic, question marks surround this year’s squad, especially front line defense (blocks) and scoring (kills).

The Pioneers took the first two games and looked to sweep but San Francisco made a furious comeback to take the match to a 4th game. Denver took control in the fourth game to seal the match.

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DU dominates the Dons in home opener. Photo: Courtesy of Jason Evans

Continue reading Volleyball Opens with Win Over San Francisco, 3-1

Four Burning Questions for Denver Fall Athletics

Volleyball 100Can head coach Tom Hogan’s volleyball squad defend their 5-year regular-season conference winning streak and five consecutive NCAA appearances following the graduation of stars Becca Latham and Emma Willis along with season-ending injuries to outside hitter Taylor Joachim and to their best player, outside hitter Katarina Marinkovic? The addition of Louisville transfer outside hitter Amanda Green will help but…will a raw Pioneer team mature by league play? This will be DU’s most challenging season in recent memory. A repeat performance would be Hogan’s best coaching job ever at the University of Denver.

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Denver Women’s Basketball is Turning Heads at 6-1, Shoots into Top 40 in RPI

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DU Junior Lauren Loven led the entire nation in three-pointers as of Nov. 30, 2018                  Photo: University of Denver

As Denver Pioneer fans, we’re lucky that we can pop our attention from one successful DU sports program to another. All three fall DU sports (men’s and women’s soccer plus women’s volleyball) earned appearances in their respective NCAA Tournaments this fall.  And DU hockey is now ranked seventh in the nation on this bye week, more successful than almost anyone thought they’d be at this point in the season with a young team. Which brings me to the next DU team worthy of more of our attention, the DU women’s basketball team, who have shot out to a 6-1 start to the season and a current national top 40 RPI (#39) ranking, including a current four-game winning streak, as of Sunday, Dec. 2.  (Note: Early season RPI rankings are subject to volatile swings, as game data comparisons are still somewhat paltry.)

I would venture a guess that perhaps only 10 percent of our readership here at LetsGoDU have ever been to a live DU women’s basketball game before, and it’s hard to blame them. There is a lot to do in Denver, and the DU women’s basketball teams have been pretty terrible in recent memory, known more for single-digit win/last-place seasons, a fired coach and crowds comprised mostly of friends and family members. Apart from a surprise 2001 NCAA appearance in the early years of the Ritchie Center and a period of decent mediocrity (72-52) under former coach Erik Johnson from 2008-2012, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about with DU women’s hoops in the last 20 years.

But this year’s DU women’s team is starting to change some of that…  

The Pioneers are starting to get noticed in just the second year of the Jim Turgeon coaching era, with home wins over then-#16 RPI Lamar and the latest win, a 29-point win over Loyola Marymount, a top 100 team who had already beaten UCLA and Arizona this year.  Moreover, the Pioneers are a very high-scoring bunch, averaging a stunning 90 points per game to date this season, and sport a victory margin of 16 points per game.

And Turgeon, who came to DU from CSU-Pueblo in NCAA Division II two years ago, is doing all this with many of former DU coach Kerry Cremeans’ recruits, who knew only college basketball failure before Turgeon’s arrival. Moreover, he’s done it with a wholly different philosophy of team speed, running the floor at altitude and sharing the ball, instead of Cremeans’ over-reliance on feeding key players, a coaching practice that reportedly lost the locker room and brought an end to her losing tenure at DU. This year, DU has five players averaging double-digit scoring per game, a depth which makes it harder for opponents to key on any one player, and also makes for a much happier DU locker room.

DU’s high scoring attack has been led by Lauren Loven, a junior holdover recruit from Cremeans, who is now flourishing in the ball-sharing Turgeon era, leading the entire nation in made three-pointers (30 in six games through Nov. 30), and is averaging 21 points per game overall to lead the Pioneers in scoring. Additionally, fellow Junior Madison Nelson has exploded recently, with a 20-rebound performance against Lamar and pumping in 28 points in the win over Loyola Marymount. But it’s not just upperclassmen.

Hard-working associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Kayla Ard and the rest of Turgeon’s Denver staff have also brought in some freshmen who are stepping up right away, including Sydney Mech, a local swing player out of Cherry Creek High School who can play either forward or guard, and who is shooting a scorching 50% from the field, averaging 10 points per game. Additionally, talented freshman guard Tsimba Malonga from the Chicago area, who has averaged over 20 minutes per game in the last two games, is being rewarded with more playing time as her contributions increase.

While the 6-1 early record is outstanding, it has been created with a lot of home games, and we’ll soon see what the Pioneers are really made of in the coming weeks. DU is preparing to go on the road for seven of its next eight games, including visits to Wyoming, the University of Nebraska and Colorado State, before heading into the teeth of Summit League play, where top level programs South Dakota and South Dakota State are projected to lead the Summit League.

 

Denver Volleyball Swept out of NCAA’s 3-0

Make it five straight NCAA appearances for the Denver Pioneers (27-3) without winning a set. However, by almost any measure, this year’s team was the best in Denver volleyball history. Denver fell 3-0 to Utah in the first round of the NCAA’s in Provo, Utah. While Denver did not win a game, they are clearly on the right track and battled a solid Utah side.

Freshman outside hitter Graceyn Tippens filled in for the injured Katarina Marinkovic so DU was missing a vital cog in their front line heading into the match. Still, all credit goes to Utah for grinding down the Pioneers in a tight match. Continue reading Denver Volleyball Swept out of NCAA’s 3-0

Denver Volleyball earns return trip to NCAA Tournament

Denver volleyball (27-2) was on the bubble. After dropping the Summit League conference tournament final to the University of South Dakota, the Pioneers had to anxiously wait at head coach Tom Hogan’s house Sunday evening. The Pioneers were rewarded for their outstanding season, undefeated in conference play, and will have an opportunity in the first round to avenge their regular season loss against the University of Utah.

Continue reading Denver Volleyball earns return trip to NCAA Tournament

Denver Volleyball Battles Tough but falls to South Dakota in Summit League Title Game

It may sound like a broken record, but this years DU women’s volleyball (27-2, 15-1) displays their mental toughness every time they step on the court and rebound from seemingly insurmountable deficits and, even, injuries. But Denver could only claw their way back so many times before their luck finally ran out today at Hamilton Gym. The scores were 25-27, 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, and 6-15 as the Pioneers fell in five games to South Dakota in the Summit League Championship game.

Continue reading Denver Volleyball Battles Tough but falls to South Dakota in Summit League Title Game

DU Rallies to Remain Unbeaten in Summit League

In a marathon match at Hamilton gym, DU volleyball (23-1, 12-0 Summit) defeated the University of South Dakota (16-9, 12-3 Summit) 25-15, 25-27, 27-25. 24-26 & 15-12. DU moved to a ‘best ever’ record of 23 wins for the season – while extending their winning streak to 21 matches. This week, DU also received 5 votes by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and fell just outside the top 25 programs. With 330 D1 volleyball  teams, head coach Tom hogan’s squad is making national noise.

The match looked to be  easy early against the second place Coyotes. Denver took the first game 25-15 with relative ease. However, 16 service errors for the night kept South Dakota in the match. And, it was not just service errors – the match featured long rallies by both squads and some incredible saves and kills. The next three games required extra points to determine the winner with USD taking the second and fourth sets to stretch the match into a final deciding fifth game.

Again, DU fell in a hole 10-6 in the final game and were on the brink of defeat. But a furious rally by Denver pulled the game even at 12-12. Then, Denver’s best server, Tina Boe, led Denver for their last three points for the Pioneer win. Tonight was the first time this season that a DU opponent had won a set on the Pioneers floor and South Dakota gave Denver all they could handle. But, ultimately, it was the Pioneers refusal to buckle under pressure that gave them the win.

Becca Latham and Katarina Marinkovic led the Pioneers with 16 and 14 kills respectively. Ellie Anderson and Lauren McManus had 33 and 24 assists. Macy Carrabine had 31 digs. Haley Dotseth and Elizabeth Loschen had 13 and 10 kills respectively and Madison Jurgens had 36 assists and 12 digs to lead the Coyotes.

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And, without a doubt, LetsGoDU’s Tim Healy (playing the bongos with the DU Pep Band) inspired DU volleyball’s late match rally.

DU’s final home match is this Friday against Oral Roberts at 7:00. If you have not seen DU volleyball play this season, this will be your last chance before Denver hosts the Summit League Tournament November 16th-18th.

Homecoming Weekend – It’s that time again!

This upcoming weekend, October 12th – 14th, marks another DU Homecoming and a great chance for students, families, DU faculty and staff along with alumni to cheer on the Pioneers. The weather forecast shows cold weather clearing out Saturday and sunny weather in the 50’s on Saturday for Hocktoberfest – with rapidly falling temperatures.

Hocktoberfest will again feature live music, food and, of course, beer before the game. And, like last year there will be a complimentary scarf and Denver cup.

If you are a last minute planner, there are tickets still a few tickets left for this upcoming weekend. Continue reading Homecoming Weekend – It’s that time again!