Aug. 12, 2004
NEW YORK, N.Y. - For the second-straight year, the nationally-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball program will be featured on CSTV Sunday Night Spikes: AVCA Match of the Week this fall presented by CSTV: College Sports Television (www.collegesports.com) in association with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Defending national champion Southern California and 2003 semifinalists Florida, Minnesota and Hawaii are among the 17 teams from last fall's NCAA womens' volleyball championship that will be featured on the package, that begins on Sunday, Sept. 5. Seven teams in this fall's CSTV Sunday Night Spikes lineup have combined to win 17 national championships since 1981. In addition, for the first time this fall, the official weekly college volleyball poll, as determined by college volleyball coaches, will carry the CSTV brand. The CSTV Sunday Night Spikes: AVCA Match of the Week series commences Sunday, September 5, with a Southern California at Pepperdine match featuring cross-town archrivals who will be meeting for the 39th time. Other key CSTV Sunday Night Spikes match-ups include Florida at Minnesota in a battle of two 2003 NCAA tournament participants, and the latest chapter of the storied Stanford-UC Berkeley rivalry. College Sports TV's schedule will conclude in November with the Patriot League and WAC Championships. Carter Blackburn will handle play-by-play on CSTV Sunday Night Spikes, while Heather Cox and Krista Blunk will rotate analyst duties. Women's collegiate volleyball will also be featured within College Sports TV's various studio and original programs, and CollegeSports.com, the number one online source for college sports news, information, analysis and highlights, will also cover the sport from every angle on a regular basis. CollegeSports.com will cover more than 400 volleyball matches this fall through its exclusive GameTracker live scores and statistics feature, and will also broadcast video or audio of more than 300 matches. "Women's volleyball has a home for a well-deserved national game of the week with CSTV Sunday Night Spikes," said Tim Pernetti, senior vice president, programming, CSTV. "The schedule is filled with key national match-ups and intense rivalries. Every match will be a factor when determining which teams make it to the NCAA Championship at the end of the season." CSTV Sunday Night Spikes: AVCA Match of the Week Schedule (all times ET)
Sun., September 5 - USC at Pepperdine, 6 p.m.
Pepperdine, the preseason favorite to capture the WCC title in 2004, takes on the defending national champion Trojans, who have not lost a match since November 2, 2002. In last years' match, USC proved to be victorious, but Pepperdine returns five top players from last season, when it went 27-3. Sun., September 12 - Florida at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
This early season match puts two 2003 NCAA Tournament Semifinal teams up against each other. Minnesota, an unexpected final four team from a year ago, has even higher expectations this year with 11 lettermen expected back, including five seniors. Florida will face six teams who played in the 2003 playoffs and is expected to win the SEC title for the seventh consecutive year. Sun., September 19 - Notre Dame at South Carolina, 6 p.m.
The Fighting Irish face one of the toughest schedules in the league, yet are still expected to improve on last years' 23-7 record; South Carolina notched an impressive win last year against Notre Dame and will return all six starters and the libero. Sun., September 26 - Pepperdine at Hawai'i, 6 p.m.
Both of these highly ranked teams have high expectations this season and could face each other in the 2004 playoffs. Hawa'ii is coming off a 36-2 record in 2003 in which it captured the WAC championship in the process. Sun., October 3 - Southwest Missouri State at Northern Iowa, 6 p.m.
Coming off an impressive 2003 season where it finished 23-6, Northern Iowa hopes to continue its winning ways into 2004. Southwest Missouri State lost to Northern Iowa in a tough match last season, however, rebounded to take the Missouri Valley Conference title later in the season. Sun., October 10 - Texas at Kansas State, 6 p.m.
Texas will have its hands full against Kansas State, who finished 16-0 on their home floor last season, including a close win against the Longhorns. Texas had the last laugh, however, defeating Kansas State late in the season, pulling itself above the 500 mark. Sun., October 17 - Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara, 6 p.m.
UCSB looks to notch its third consecutive Big West Conference title this season, but not if Long Beach State has anything to do with it. Long Beach St. is seeking another playoff appearance this year, one season removed from a tough loss to Kansas in the 2003 NCAA playoffs. Sun., October 24 - Pepperdine at Santa Clara, 6 p.m.
After a 20-11 record last season and a trip to the NCAA playoffs, Santa Clara will face one of its biggest rivals in the WCC at the Leavey Center, one of college volleyball's top venues; Pepperdine has not lost a WCC match since the 2000 WCC finale against Santa Clara. Sun., October 31 - Stanford at California, 6 p.m.
Coming off a tough loss in the NCAA tournament last year, Stanford is once again primed for a playoff run. In a close match last year, these two teams went down to the wire before California pulled away late. Sun., November 7 - Colorado State at Nebraska, 6 p.m.
After a 30-5 season and a Mountain West conference title last year, Colorado State wants nothing less than an NCAA title in 2004. This late-season match-up has playoff fever written all over it; Nebraska finished the 2003 campaign at 28-5 and should be a contender for a trip to Long Beach this year with a top-notch incoming freshman class. Sun., November 14 - Colorado State at Utah, 4:30 p.m.
Colorado State has its work cut out when it travels to Utah for this match; Utah has sported a 58-10 at home over the last five seasons, although Colorado State won home-and-home games last season.. Sun., November 14 - Texas A&M at Texas, 6:30 p.m.
These two rivals split their season series in 2003, each winning on their own home floor. Will Texas keep that trend this season? Texas A & M returns 10 letter winners from last year and is predicted to be a force again in the Big 12. Sun., November 21 - Patriot League Championship, 4 p.m.
Sun., November 21 - WAC Championship, 6 p.m.
College Sports TV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, is available to more than 20 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Comcast, Time Warner and Adelphia cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, consumers can log on to www.collegesports.com/getcstv or call their cable or satellite operator. About the AVCA
The AVCA, with its national office based in Colorado Springs, provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing the world's fastest growing sport - volleyball. The AVCA has more than 3,100 members and is growing steadily. Members are comprised of national and international coaches, men's and women's coaches for NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, two-year colleges, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world. The AVCA services its members through many varied functions and only involves itself with activities that best exemplify the image of amateur athletics. Its ultimate mission is to enhance the image and increase the awareness for the sport of volleyball, while at the same time providing educational opportunities for member coaches. The board of directors is instrumental in maintaining the AVCA's sense of mission. About CSTV
CSTV is comprised of two primary business units: College Sports TV and CollegeSports.com. College Sports TV televises regular season and championship event coverage from every major collegiate athletic conference, in addition to nine NCAA Championships. The network also has a programming and marketing agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee. CollegeSports.com, the most-trafficked college sports Web site, and its network of nearly 160 official athletic sites for top colleges, universities and athletic associations, are the number one online source for college sports news, information, scores and analysis. CSTV was co-founded by President/CEO Brian Bedol, Chairman Stephen Greenberg and Executive Vice President Chris Bevilacqua. Bedol and Greenberg co-founded Classic Sports Network, which they sold to ESPN. It is now ESPN Classic. Bevilacqua is a former senior executive with Nike Inc., where he headed the company's successful foray into the college market.