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CSUS volleyball hopes for lots of wins despite being doubted

CSUS volleyball hopes for lots of wins despite being doubted

Amanda Pielstick, with teammate Lianne Vicchio in the background, is the only senior on the Cal State Stanislaus volleyball team, which has a lot to prove this season.


POSTED August 18, 2009 11:25 p.m.
The Cal State Stanislaus volleyball players and coaches can all go to the California Collegiate Athletic Association Web site and discover that not a lot is expected from them.
In a preseason poll of coaches, the Warriors were predicted to finish 11th in the conference — out of 12 teams.
How are the Warriors dealing with this low expectation? Are they going to call it a season and enjoy a few months without volleyball? Or are they planning to prove all the doubters wrong?
“We’re going to keep winning,” sophomore outside hitter Lianne Vicchio said, “all the time.”
Judging by last season’s outcomes, that’s an ambitious goal. The Warriors won only six out of 24 games, and just three in the conference. All those losses were a big reason why they were chosen to finish second-to-last in the CCAA this season.
But the current batch of Warriors believe this time it’s going to be different. They don’t think having a team full of youngsters — only one senior on the roster in Amanda Pielstick, also the captain — is going to hurt them. Instead, the eight freshmen, three sophomores and three juniors have a fresh attitude with a dose of versatility and athleticism, some of the things they hope will send a message to challengers to not take them lightly.
And in this group is freshman outside hitter Janay Bankston, who’s the only local player from Denair High.
“We have a lot of young kids, very talented,” said coach Christina Lore, who’s in her fifth year at the helm. “This year, we’re going to play a lot better in terms of just being scrappier (and) more confident. We’ll see how it goes for the rest of the season.”
The Warriors next game is an exhibition against William Jessup in Rocklin on Friday night.
The Warriors hinted they’re more unified this season.
They also enjoy the fact that opposing coaches see them as underdogs, as they were against Cal State Los Angeles on senior night last season and managed to upset the then-No. 13 team in Division II.
They want to surprise teams again. The CCAA boasts about a half-dozen nationally ranked teams, so there are plenty of opportunities to do that.
On Monday night at Warrior Arena, the Warriors proved they can’t be easily rattled. After losing the first game to Holy Names, an NAIA school from Oakland, in an exhibition match, they dominated the rest of the way and won 23-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-13.
The win also provided a look of what to expect this season: Bankston, the local player, led with 11 kills; Vicchio, who’s very passionate and animated, finished with 10 kills, 18 digs and three aces with two block assists for a complete night; and junior setter Nicki Brown collected 31 assists.
Sure, this was only a preseason win over a program from a lower college level, but the Warriors know they can build on it — in hopes of proving all the doubters wrong.
“We’re going to get stronger,” Vicchio said. “So, look out!”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.
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