Category Archives: Volleyball

Denver Swept by Cal Poly 3-0

The University of Denver (23-6) played Cal Poly (27-2) at legendary Pauley Pavillion on the UCLA campus Friday night in round 1 NCAA play.

Denver fell to the Mustangs 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-18).

Going into the match, Cal Poly had won 21 of 26 matches 3-0 so the Pioneers were facing a red hot Mustangs squad. Outside hitter star Torry Van Winden was the player of the match with 21 kills. Taylor Nelson had a whopping 41 assists.

Cassie Baird led DU with 11 kills. Piyusha Boteju had 17 assists and libero Cassidy Rooke had 8 digs to pace the Pioneers.

Denver Falls in the NCAA Tournament
Photo: Compliments Summit League

After four consecutive trips to the NCAA”s, Denver has yet to capture a game in the first round. Coach Tom Hogan and his staff’s goal must make some changes to make a deeper run in the NCAA’s. Continuing to improve their non-conference schedule would seem to better prepare them for this higher level of competition. Nonetheless, another fine season with a regular season championship and conference tournament championship- their fourth in four years.

DU Women’s Volleyball to Face Cal Poly in First Round NCAA Tournament Action

DU volleyball (23-5) got the word slightly after 7:00 pm MT Sunday night that they will be facing  Cal Poly (26-2) in NCAA first round women’s volleyball. Should they win that contest, they are likely to play #15 UCLA. The winner is likely to face #2 Florida in the third round of this bracket and #7 Minnesota in the Regional Finals with the winner advancing to the Final Four. No easy path for sure. The good news is that the Pioneer’s seeding allows them to play another squad that is not seeded in the Top 16. That makes this a realistic opportunity to win a game or two – or even the match before facing a top seeded side.

DU’s first round match will be held at 6:30 MT Friday at UCLA.

The top four seeds for the tournament are (#4) Kentucky, (#3) Stanford, (#2) Florida, (#1) Penn State.

DU Volleyball Powers Past ORU for Title

The #1 seed University of Denver (22-5 overall), faced a pesky Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (15-13 overall, 11-3 Summit League) squad but used their power game to push past the #2 seed visitors, 3 – 1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16). Emma Willis had 15 kills, Ellie Anderson 25 assists, Tina Boe had 6 blocks, and Piyushu Boteju had 11 digs. To top off the team effort, Kayla Principato was named the MVP of the Summit League Tournament. Principato had 12 kills and 27 total attempts/attacks. ORU was paced by senior Laura Milos with 25 kills and a whopping 51 total attempts/attacks. Continue reading DU Volleyball Powers Past ORU for Title

Denver Sweeps To Summit League Volleyball Finals

Denver – #1 DU women’s volleyball (22-5 overall, 12-2 Summit League) swept #4 seed North Dakota State University 3-0 Saturday afternoon (25-11, 25-20, 25-22). The win sends Denver to the Summit League finals at 2:00 Sunday against the winner of the #4 South Dakota vs. #3 Oral Roberts winner.

Denver was led by Becca Latham’s 20 kills, Cassidy Rooke’s 17 digs, Emma Willis’ 7 blocks, and a team hitting percentage of .318 vs NDSU’s .138. Denver’s pressure and pace forced a number of hitting errors by the Bison and DU’s power game was too much for the visitors. Continue reading Denver Sweeps To Summit League Volleyball Finals

DU Dominates Omaha on Senior Day

Denver volleyball (19-5 overall, 10-2 Summit League) shook off a shaky first game (17-25) on Senior Day and swept the next three games ( 25-19, 25-15, 25-16) against the Omaha Mavericks to  remain in the Summit League regular-season chase.

With two games to go for the Pioneers, Oral Roberts has the conference lead (11-2), tied with DU in the loss column. South Dakota fell to Oral Roberts over the weekend and sits at 9-3 with a game scheduled against DU in Vermillion, South Dakota next Friday. Then, DU plays Western Illinois in Macomb, Illinois Sunday to close out the regular season.  Continue reading DU Dominates Omaha on Senior Day

Stretch Run Opens Possibilities for Fallpeat

Photo: DU men’s soccer and women’s volleyball have a good chance for Summit League championships and NCAA repeat appearances this Fall.

It just feels different this year.

Maybe it was the men’s soccer (8-6-0, 3-0-0) 37-game regular season unbeaten streak being snapped, the women’s soccer team (8-8-1, 4-2-0) getting throttled by rival CU 6-1 at home or women’s volleyball (15-5, 6-2) falling at home during the Denver Invitational championship finals against San Diego State. Plus, it feels like there have been scheduling gaps where DU teams and fans can’t get into a rhythm. Continue reading Stretch Run Opens Possibilities for Fallpeat

Pioneer Volleyball powers through challenging, emotional weekend

Photo: The Pioneers battle San Diego State in the finale of the Denver Invitational Tournament.  

DU volleyball had a solid weekend, winning two of three matches at the Denver Invitational. DU defeated Gonzaga (3-0) and UC Riverside (3-0) but fell in the Saturday nightcap 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 20-25, 26-28) after battling back in the final game of the match but fell short (26-28). The Pioneers are now 9-3. Becca Latham and Kayla Principato were named to the All-Tournament Team. Continue reading Pioneer Volleyball powers through challenging, emotional weekend

Enduring defeat a part of most Championship Runs

Denver men’s soccer (3-3-0) and women’s volleyball (6-2) both went undefeated in August and looked to continue their dominance on the pitch and on the court in September.

Then, DU volleyball lost twice and men’s soccer dropped 3 out of 4 matches. Granted, both programs were felled under vastly different circumstances. Men’s soccer is considered a national Top-10 ranked power while Denver volleyball is an emerging program trying to make a statement after a 6-0 start. Continue reading Enduring defeat a part of most Championship Runs

Wait to dig DU Volleyball until next year? Maybe not

Photo: Pioneer players warm-up for the Pioneer Classic. Denver swept the tournament 3-0 and moved to a team-record 6-0.

DU volleyball was always going to be good this season but a 6-0 start, winning 18 of 21 games and two tournament wins (College of Charleston and Pioneer Classic), following the loss of four starters from last year’s NCAA squad, seemed improbable.

But why wait – DU can do big things this season. Continue reading Wait to dig DU Volleyball until next year? Maybe not

DU Volleyball at the USA Olympic Training Center

Colorado Springs, CO – When putting together a preseason article on DU volleyball, what better place to be than Denver’s preseason practice at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs? The team is preparing for the start of the upcoming season August 25th when they open their season against Tennessee State in Charleston, S.C.

With a solid week of scheduled practices and sleeping, eating and breathing volleyball alongside Olympic hopefuls, the team is building on their culture, identifying program goals, and focusing on skill building. The practice that I attended featured 6-on-6 play for over two hours with peer feedback, small group coaching, speed, and skill development.

Video: 6-on-6 games were the foundation for coaching feedback and evaluation.

Continue reading DU Volleyball at the USA Olympic Training Center