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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. - photo by Photo courtesy of Cary Edmondson, CSUS photographer
2009 Cal State Stanislaus Volleyball Schedule

Friday: CSUS at William Jessup, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Academy of Art at CSUS, 5 p.m.
Aug. 28: CSUS vs. Northwest Nazarene, 11:30 a.m.**
Aug. 28: CSUS vs. Notre Dame de Namur, 4 p.m.**
Aug. 29: CSUS vs. Central Washington, 11:30 a.m.**
Aug. 29: CSUS vs. Dominican, 4 p.m.**
Sept. 1: William Jessup at CSUS, 6 p.m.
Sept. 2: Dominican at CSUS, 5 p.m.
Sept. 4: Bethany at CSUS, 6 p.m.
Sept. 11: CSUS at Cal State Monterey Bay, 7 p.m.*
Sept. 12: CSUS at San Francisco State, 7 p.m.*
Sept. 18: Cal Poly Pomona at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Sept. 19: Cal State San Bernardino at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Sept. 22: Notre Dame de Namur at CSUS, 6 p.m.
Sept. 25: CSUS at Cal State East Bay, 7 p.m.*
Sept. 26: CSUS at UC San Diego, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 2: CSUS at Sonoma State, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 3: CSUS at Humboldt State, 4 p.m.*
Oct. 7: Chico State at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 9: Cal State Dominguez Hills at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 10: Cal State L.A. at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 16: San Francisco State at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 17: Cal State Monterey Bay at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 23: CSUS at Cal State San Bernardino, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 24: CSUS at Cal Poly Pomona, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 28: CSUS at Chico State, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 30: UC San Diego at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Oct. 31: Cal State East Bay at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Nov. 6: Humboldt State at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Nov. 7: Sonoma State at CSUS, 7 p.m.*
Nov. 11: CSUS at Cal State L.A., 7 p.m.*
Nov. 12: CSUS at Cal State Dominguez Hills, 7 p.m.*
*California Collegiate Athletic Association matches
**Seawolf Spike Classic at Sonoma State
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 or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.