2022 The Season Starts: West Virginia Versus Pitt in the Backyard Brawl

I struggled with this year’s first “Up Next” article. Mainly because I have never done a first week review. Last year, I did not do an article because the opening game was UMASS. (I also did not do an article on FCS New Hampshire).

Starting with Tennessee, I plan to use the same format/data I used in the Production Lost series. I will compare opponent Year to Date stats to Pitt’s YTD stats. I probably will not go into the detail I did over the summer.

As you are well aware I like using stats and charts. Obviously, there are none to compare and contrast. So, l will start off with a link to the WVU “Production Loss article and go from there. If you wany to follow my updates, I suggest you open a new Tab and open the link there.

             2021 Production Loss- West Virginia (pittpov.com)

The schedule is the same as previously. In future articles, I will show if it is a W/L and the score.

Moving on to recruiting, TP entries. and exits. WVU did add a new recruit –  Athlete William Dixon. He is unranked by Rivals. He did visit Pitt on 4/19/2022. Probably a TE. He signed with WVU 6/23/22.

There was no additional TP entries. There was one additional TP exit – RB Lyn-J Dixon (previously at Clemson) who spent the spring semester at WVU and reentered the TP on 6/28/2022.

I did not spend any time on identifying new “stars.” But in the Production Loss article, I did not color code the punter, Tyler Sumpter as using all of his eligibility in 2021. WVU will have a new  punter in 2022.

We are down to the QB section. We already know that Slovis was named the starter for Pitt. WVU has named J.T. Daniels. There is some concern with Slovis’s speed. I got a chart comparing the two both passing and rushing.

Neither compares to Pickett as a running threat. But Slovis is better than J.T. Daniels. Slovis is also better as a passer. But both are from Southern Cal, so who knows what will happen in a northern climate setting.

West Virginia has released a new depth chart.

West Virginia Football Releases Week 1 Depth Chart (wvsportsnow.com)

A green color code are TP entries. Blue/gray highlights are 2022 JUCO recruits. Pink is for true high school 2022 recruits.

Back in the 2019 recruiting class, Pitt got a commitment from an OT from Morgantown, WV. I think he got a non-committable offer. If you ever wondered what happened to him, he is now the backup left tackle for WVU. I believed he got his start as a walk-on.

The loss of TP entry Lyn-J Dixon set off a chain reaction. Dixon was seen as being the potential starter. Instead WVU is left with these scholarship running backs. The second and third leading rushers from the 2021 season. A redshirt freshman and a true freshman that was recruited as a TE.

The returning and or TE (Mike O’Loughlin) has been limited during camp. He is still recovering from a 2021 knee injury.

The Oline is intact.

That brings us to the defense and the preseason two deep.

The color coding is the same as offense. There are no true freshmen in these two deeps. Outside of this chart, I have nothing else to add.

I do have an addition – Special Teams:

Our opponent has a true freshman Aussie punter – Oliver Straw. I wonder if he took the same plane from Australia as our Aussie punter

I am thinking of adding a special team (ST) review to future articles. That is if I can find ST cumulative data in a usable and timely manner.

That wraps it up. Pitt wins and beats the spread. I got $20 riding on the outcome.

2022 Pitt Kickoff Luncheon Report

I went to Pitt’s Football Kickoff Luncheon last Friday and here are some thoughts.  First off seeing Scooter and Fran at an adjoining table was wonderful. Fran changed into his blue & gold “Shady” T-shirt and showed off his long locks!  Fran texted me some thoughts I’ll share in a bit

Now, I must ask, and excuse me if I automatically revert back to my sometimes negative take on things related to the subject, who in the world decided to pack a crowd of over 600 Pitt supporters, administrators, coaches and players into a room which had the marching band playing at top volume for over 30 minutes?  I mean a big part of this day was to see old friends and make new ones under the cover of Pitt fandom but even the lobby outside the conference room was so loud any conversation, let alone discussing detail football subjects, was almost impossible.

Maybe the band had a set of music that they absolutely had to play the whole way through and that was why the 11:30 am program didn’t start until almost noon.

But that’s OK because as soon as the program started we were pleased to see the great introductions of almost all of the Seniors on the current roster. Why do I say ‘almost’? We’ll get to that later… The conference room was so big they had to use two huge-screen TVs to show the proceedings and I got a kick out of seeing how the seniors were dressed (well) as they walked through the cheerleader gauntlet. All looked good and some even had on new sneakers…

Then we were blessed to hear not only the 93.7’s Larry Richert crack semi-funny jokes but also Chancellor Pat Gallagher not talk about why he was leaving Pitt (I mean really why). I kept thinking couldn’t someone have straightened his tie before he got to the podium?  He looked like he never wore one before (says the guy who had to wear one in a military uniform for decades.) Up next was the sponsoring Huntington Bank President talking about how great Pitt is (which is true) but nothing memorable after that. 

Something I did appreciate is that the assigned tables already had the luncheon desserts at your place so if you wanted to you could grab some cheesecake, roll it up into ear plugs and look stuff up on your phone until someone started making sense up there.  After the rest of lunch was served – I kept asking for the progressively needed wine list and was ignored – which was surprisingly OK fare we got into the more interesting cast of the speakers. 

Yellow bloused Heather Lyke did a good job of continually begging us for yet more for money to win the Backyard Brawl Giving Challenge, interspersing that with some pretty funny bits about Pitt and it’s people. I especially liked that there is a check box for a $13.09 donation. Creative and insulting to the ‘Eers at the same time! Have to love that.

Next up was our own superstar running back LeSean McCoy, remember him? He did a wonderful job of speaking from the heart with only a few quick glances at some notes he had and we listeners felt, at least I did, like were were sitting somewhere and talking over a beer or two about his football time before and after he came to Pitt.

His story about the team’s bus ride to the WVU stadium for the night game in ’07 was hilarious. He was sincere, emotional, sometimes very funny, and the love he has for the University was and is very evident.  

I did have to cut my time at the luncheon short because I had family waiting at the hotel, had the program started on time I’d have seen all of it, so I had to bag right after McCoy gave his speech – and I missed Pat Narduzzi and the rest of the scheduled parts. But quite honestly, after hearing McCoy deliver that heartfelt talk I truly felt that I not only got my money’s worth, but was put right back in the proper frame of mind for the upcoming season.

Now – the question of the day at our table, and on Fran’s mind also, was why wasn’t QB Nick Patti, as a redshirt Senior, included in the program. He wasn’t listed in the handout nor was he in attendance with the other Pitt seniors and there was no explanation of his absence. My tablemates wondered that had he been required to be somewhere else, like home or whatever, he would have at least been listed and mentioned. But…crickets as they say. I have checked the Internet for any news and such but didn’t see anything that would explain it.

Bottom line – I very much enjoyed the event and let me share a few things that stood out.

What was pretty surprising to me was how many people in attendance recognized my name (we had nametags) and wanted to talk about the POV – very nice to hear that they really enjoyed the writing lately and I made sure to pass the credit onto to the readers who actually wrote the articles.  Had some talk about the Pitt Blather also.

As I said about LeSean McCoy I also felt that each of the speakers I heard were genuine in their pleasure of being there and that all felt the turnout was great – packed to the gills actually.

Here is what Fran texted to me about the parts of the event I missed:

“I thought Duzz gave a good speech and I was never a fan of his public speaking in the past. He talked about rivalry games and his history with Michigan while with MSU and the impact it had on family.
“My kids had to go to school and the talk was about the defensive coordinator that sucked.” He spoke of the humiliation his family felt.  That he learned from that and worked harder  preparing for rivalry games “for family”…that the Pitt players are family is an important part of the culture at Pitt.

(Shady also spoke of the same family atmosphere at Pitt).

Duzz also announced the names of the team captains and except for Dennis who is a junior and was not in attendance each captain spoke of the importance of their role.  Even Slovis seemed to embrace the leadership role and was humbled by being named a captain after only being with the team for a few months.

My take is the kids really like Duzz…it seemed genuine when they spoke of him in conversations I overheard post event in the ballroom as players mingled with the audience.” 

Thanks Fran and it was great to see you – next time at your Tennessee game tailgate!.

The only negative part of the day was in the evening when I went down to the bar in the William Penn for a quiet coffee and as I was sitting at the bar I heard” Hey, see that guy – he runs that crap Pitt POV blog.” So I turned around and this fat drunk guy stood up and yelled ‘Noticed that once Pitt had a great year you didn’t have anything to say about it you f*cking prick!”

So I walked over and calmly explained the situation with my son’s illness from late September until his death in early February, that that took all of my time and energy, that football was the least of my concerns and if he had a problem with that I’d be waiting outside the door. His wife stood up and screamed at him “This is why everyone hates being with you.” 

That bit of drama aside I had a good time, talked with a lot of both Pitt football fans and some POV readers and drove back to PGH really looking forward to Thursday night and the rest of the season. I think it should be a good one…

 Hail To Pitt!

Frank Cignetti

By Michaelangelo Monteleone

Hello you POVerts, Maestro here.  It’s been a while, but I’m back, sitting at a dimly lit table on a weeknight, a glass of tequila in one hand, an unfiltered Camel in the other, obsessing about the season.

<lights cigarette.  takes sip of tequila>

You see, it’s expected to be a good one.  10-2 or bust.  Best defensive line ever.  Defensive backs 2 deep (at least).  Linebackers rounding into form.  Oh and the offense.  We’re oh-so-deep at wide receiver (even without a certain Biletnikoff winner).  We’ve got four-no-five competent running backs (at least two of which appear to have NFL potential).  There’s a new quarterback who can sling it (and a competent backup… if he sticks around).  And let’s not forget the offensive line.  (Oh that glorious, seasoned and mature offensive line.)

It’s all going to be run by one Mr. Frank Cignetti.  Oh sure, he’s been here before.  And we saw what he did…an 1800 yard rusher, 1100 yard wide receiver, an All-American Tight End.  But for as good as all that was, there’s a catch.  Because you see, I’ve been looking into Cignetti, and I’ve found some things.  Turns out Cignetti has a points problem.  And points are… kind of the point.

Take a look at Boston College.  Cignetti’s 2020 team put up 28 points per game.  Respectable.  But that was with ex-Notre Dame starter Phil Jurkovec throwing to NFL Tight End Hunter Long and all-ACC wide receiver Zay Flowers.  The punchline is that Cignetti had three elite weapons and put up 28 points per game.  In 2021 Jurkovec went down, and Cignetti’s crew could barely muster 24.

<takes another sip, taps ashes>

But maybe he was rusty.  He’d been away from the college game for a while.  Nine years to be precise.  In 2011 Cignetti called plays for Rutgers.  They averaged 26.  The year prior he was at Pitt.  Also 26.  For all you liberal arts majors out there:  the average of 28, 24, 26 and 26 is…26.  More than just a coincidence?  I think not.

But what about Pitt in 2009?  Well let’s take one more step back in time.  It’s true, Cignetti’s Power 5 peak the late-aughts.  2008 and 2009 to be specific.  Back in ‘09 Cigs caught lighting in a bottle with Billy Stull, Dion Lewis and Jon Baldwin and averaged 32 per game for our beloved Panthers.  The year before that?  Cignetti’s run-heavy attack put up 32.6 at Cal.  There was also a forgettable 18 point effort at UNC in 2006, but let’s be real, that’s when UNC wasn’t Cheating. Of course that first Power 5, UNC gig wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Cignetti’s work in the Western Athletic Conference.  True to his Pennsylvania roots, Cignetti signed on to a blue-collar program – Fresno State – where he spent four seasons working for Pat Hill.  Cignetti’s first two seasons (’02 and ’03) averaged 25 points for the Bulldogs.  (Awfully close to 26…)  His last two seasons (’04 and ’05) averaged 39.  His 2005 Fresno State squad took #1 USC down to the wire, losing 42-50.

Cignetti’s quarterback at Fresno was Paul Pinegar.  A walk on who played baseball in high school.  Head coach Pat Hill tapped Cignetti to develop the raw-but-talented Pinegar.  Cignetti coached Pinegar to a 147.6 passer rating in 2005 – his senior year.  It was the second highest rating of any Cignetti quarterback over a full season.  The highest?  Bill Stull in 2009 (150.1).  Honorable mention goes to Phil Jurkovec, who posted a 149 over six games in 2021 (prior to injury).   Sadly, there’s a drop off after that.  Jurkovec turned in a slightly-better-than average 138.7 in 2020.  Pittsburgh local-son Tino Sunseri put up a 137 in 2010.  The still-developing Pinegar posted a 135 way back in 2004 – his third season under Cignetti.  If you’re following along at home, that’s 6.5 years out of 11 where “Cignetti” QB play was above average or better.  But…we all know what Sunseri looked like in 2010.  How would we feel if the much-ballyhooed Kedon Slovis posts a 137 passer rating this year on the way to an eight-win regular season?

<sips tequila.  another drag on the cigarette>

What can we realistically expect in 2022 then?

First, we can expect a lot of running.  A Lot.  Of Running.  And by God, we all know that Pitt fans appreciate a good power running game out of the I-formation.  During 7 of his 11 seasons, Cignetti’s offenses have featured at least 2000 total rushing yards.  Fresno State’s Bryson Sumlin and Wendell Mathis (who and who?) went for 2099 yards and 25 TD’s in 2004.  Cal’s Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen (both future NFL’ers)  teamed up for 2295 and 19 in 2008.  And Pitt’s Dion Lewis and Ray Graham (beloved and revered) combined for 2148 and 21 TD’s in 2010.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good indeed.

Second, we can expect a vertical passing game.  Cignetti has had a receiver average 15+ yards per reception 7 out of 11 seasons.  Some of them even overlap with the 2000+ year rushing seasons.  You might recognize the following Wide Receivers:  Hakeem Nicks (39-660-4, 16.9 avg, 2006 UNC), Zay Flowers (56-892-9, 15.9 avg, 2020 BC), Jonathan Baldwin (57-1111-8, 19.5 avg, 2009 Pitt).  Two of those three were drafted in the first round.  The other one (Flowers) currently projects as a 4th

Third, we can expect a good Tight End.  Cignetti’s WAC’d out Fresno state offenses featured four wide, but after he came back east he got down to business.  In 2009 Cignetti flipped Dorin Dickerson from Linebacker to H-Back and made him Pittsburgh-famous (and also an All-American).  In 2020 Cignetti put BC’s Hunter Long in the NFL.  (Stats:  Dickerson 49-529-10, Long 57-685-5).  So the over-under for Pitt’s Gavin Bartholomew has to be what?  Second team All-ACC, with a state line of 55-600-7?

Sounds great doesn’t it?  A strong running game, long passes, and plenty of production from the Tight End is every Pitt fan’s dream.   But it comes with a price.  And that’s the point of this article.  What you shouldn’t expect from Frank Cignetti Junior…

<snubs out cigarette, finishes off tequila>

… is a lot of points, or even a ten-win season.  We are talking about a career 28 points guy, who once broke forty in the WAC  (Where defense is optional).  We are talking about a guy who has only been part of one ten-win campaign in his 11 seasons (You know the one).  Sorry, folks but stats don’t lie.

But hell, I’m drunk, and I love Pitt.  And until the first snap is played, there’s still hope and optimism.  So here is the bone I’ll throw you:  Matt Canada never broke 40 until he came to Pitt (Maybe he did at NIU, but MAC…)  And neither did Mark Whipple (except at DII Umass – even more irrelevant).  But at Pitt, under Pat Narduzzi, they both broke forty.  And now these two semi-revered-and-somewhat-reviled coordinators hold the highest points-per-game averages in Pitt history (40.9 and 41.4 per season, respectively).

Top Pitt Scoring Offenses (All-Time)

Still, it’s obvious that Cignetti was brought in to do ball control, and (to me at least) it’s obvious that this season is riding on the defense.  (Just the way Narduzzi likes it.)  So let’s keep our expectations in check.  We were calling for ground chuck three games into the Mark Whipple era, and now that that pesky Kenny Pickett is out of the picture, we’ve got it.  Enjoy the time-capsule back to the 1970’s folks.  All 32 points of it.


Michelangelo Monteleone

Pitt Volleyball’s Blue-Gold Scrimmage

Volleyball Blue- Gold Game by Annie

Pitt’s Volleyball team had its pre-season Blue-Gold scrimmage Saturday at Fitzgerald Field House. The fan turnout was less than I had expected, based on the success of the team last year. There were only about a couple hundred people there, if that many. The team also invited all season ticket holders to a reception on the FH balcony after the game, with Coach Fisher addressing the group. More about that later.

The scrimmage was four sets, with the teams made up of different players each set.

The returning players from last season, year, and position are:

Lexis Akeo, SR, Setter (S)

Valeria Vazques Gomez, RSJr, Outside Hitter (OH)

Cat Flood, JR, OH

Ashley Browske, SR, Libero (L)

Rachel Fairbanks, Soph, S

Sabrina Starks, Grad, Middle Blocker (MB)

EmmY Klika, Soph, L

Eliana Posada, RSFr, Right Side (RS)

Chiamaka Nwokolo, SR, MB/RS

Serena Gray, Grad, MB

New Faces are:

Cam Ennis- Grad, OH/S

Rachel Jepsen, Fr, MB

Juliana Dalton, Soph, OH

Courtney Buzzerio, Grad, RS/S

Dillyn Griffin, FR, Defensive Specialist (DS)

Non-game observations I had – The Field House was outfitted with air conditioning. I don’t remember it having AC in the past, and the players would sweat all over the court. Today there was definitely AC keeping the temperature comfortable. I wore a sleeveless shirt in anticipation of sweating my butt off, but almost felt a chill instead.

New uniforms- of course they would have new uniforms, but the gold team wore sleeveless shirts, and some of the players wore arm sleeves. Many players use these to soften the sting of passing the hard hits from attacking opposing players. It is a sharp look.

Referees- as the match was going on (using four refs), there were six more sitting on the bench that rotated in during various sets. I guess this was either a training session for newbies or regulars needing a scrimmage also. They looked like newbies to me.

Set 1 Gold Team

Buzzerio, Fairbanks, Starks, Jepsen, Browske, Griffin, Flood, Ennis

(Jepsen and Starks play front row only)

Coaches: Lindsey Behonick and Michael Fisher

Set 1 Blue Team

Kamalani Akeo (coach), Dalton, Klika, Posada, Nwokolo, Gray, Vaazquez Gomez

(Lexis Akeo did not play, her older sister did the setting)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Kellen Petrone

The teams played very fast. Several writers say one of the toughest things about Pitt VB is their fast offense. It doesn’t give the defense times to adjust and put up a block. That was evident again today. It also made it hard to watch the game and analyze the individual players.

The team is taller than in the past, and I was impressed with the number of blocks that went straight or nearly straight down. The combination of Jepsen and Buzzerio for the gold team was very effective.

The Gold team started hot and forced the blue team to call timeout at 11-5.

For the Gold team, Sabrina Starks played well with a couple kills and blocks. Cat Flood looked improved from last season, and got an ace and a couple kills.

For the Blue Vazquez Gomez was hot and cold. At times, she had trouble getting past the block, but when she had an opening she pounded the ball. I have been critical of Posada in the past. Today she looked a little improved and had a couple kills. She does not have any hops, and does not have a particularly fast swing, so I see that being a problem against our big opponents. Without the block there she can put the ball down though.

The Gold team won Set 1 25-14. Stats from Set 1:

            Blue                            Gold

              9            Kills               10

              9            Assists            9

             11           Digs              17

               3           Blocks          6.5

               0           Aces               3

The Gold team handily won with aces, blocks, and digs.

Set 2 Gold Team

Ennis, Browske, Griffin, Starks, Kilka, Vazquez Gomez, Posada

(Posada did not play in this set, Ennis was the setter)

Set 2 Blue Team

Fairbanks, Gray, Flood, Buzzerio, Nwokolo, Dalton, Jepson

The fast play from Set 1 continued. Sabrina Starks is having a good blocking day. A timeout was called by the Blue team with Gold up 15-11. Later, it was Gold that called T.O. with the score 21-19. After back and forth scoring, it was the Blue team that pulled out the win 28-26.

I forgot to take a picture of the stats at the end of that set.

Set 3 Gold Team

Griffin, Ennis, Klika, Dalton, Jepsen, Buzzerio, Gray, Posada

(Posada did not play in this set. Ennis was the setter.)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Lindsey Behonick

Set 3 Blue Team

Vazquez Gomez, Fairbanks, Browske, Flood, Starks, Nwokolo

Coaches: Michael Fisher and Kellen Petrone

Nwokolo played better early in this set. Not that she played badly earlier, she just wasn’t the  dominating factor we know she can be. Later I noticed she was slow to get to the block, and caused Flood to put up single blocks. Vazquez Gomez really moved well and played tough all over the court.  Cat Flood also looked strong with a couple kills and blocks.

Blue took control of the set early causing Gold to call TO with the score at 9-6, then again at 16-8. With the score 24-14 Blue, Gold had a little run to take the score to 17, but then Blue put it away 25-17.

Stats at the end of Set 3.

           Blue                             Gold

              41           Kills             37

              39           Assists        34

              35           Digs              40

              15           Blocks        12.5

               1            Aces               5

Set 4  Blue Team

Ennis, Browske, Starks, Buzzerio, Nwokolo, Vazquez Gomez

Coaches: Kellen Petrone and Mike Fisher

Set 4 Gold Team

Fairbanks, Klika, Griffin, Posada, Jepsen, Flood, Dalton, Gray

(Dalton and Gray did not play)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Lindsey Behonik

This set was played to 15. Gold started slowly and called a T.O. with the score 5-0.  Things did not get better, and the final score was 15-6.

Final Stats

   Blue                         Gold

    50           Kills             41

    48           Assists        37

    42           Digs            44

    17           Blocks        13.5

     2            Aces             6

Several players went 3-1 during the scrimmage. The rest did not. It has no reflection on how they played though. The teams were very competitive and each team had great plays. The players who went 3-1 were Flood, Browske, Fairbanks, Starks, Nwokolo, and Buzzerio.

After the scrimmage there was an autograph session with the players, then a reception up on the balcony for season ticket holders. They had snacks and light refreshments.  HC Fisher introduced each of the players and coaches, and gave a little information about each one. He then gave the players five minutes to mingle around with the crowd. I was by myself and stood up to talk to Vazquez Gomez (I was going to tell her about how much Wolfe loves her), but she was talking to someone else. Cat Flood and Rachael Fairbanks were standing near me and came over and introduced themselves. We had a nice chat, and as you would expect, they are very nice and appreciative of the support we give them.

HC Fisher explained about why he scheduled the teams to play that he did. The number one goal for the team is to make it into the tourney. After that, it’s to have a high enough RPI and be ranked so that we can be eligible to host the first two rounds of the tourney.  So the teams he chose have the ability to be ranked, win a lot of games (20+), and also make it into the tourney.

We also learned a few things:

The teams will switch sides between sets this year, going back to the pre-Covid  rules.When the play is over and the point awarded, the team with the serve has 20 seconds to get the serve off, otherwise they lose the point and the serve. Apparently during the tourney  Valeria Vazquez Gomez took 12 seconds to get her serves off, so a rule change was put in place.

Victory Heights is under construction. Yes, dirt has been moved! The Performance Center where the VB team will play is expected to be done by the fall of 2024. We shall see.

Theoretically, having success on the court brings in better recruits. Coach affirmed that to be true. We have four (I think) for next year and two for 2024. He said next year’s incoming players is the strongest group he has ever had. LOI are signed in November. He could not elaborate after that due to NCAA rules.

 Rachael Jepsen has only been playing volleyball for two years. The ceiling is sky high for her.

Despite being 6-5” Courtney Buzzerio has played setter for two years, so if we get in trouble with injuries she is an option, along with Cam Ennis.

Lexis Akeo did not play because of “a slight injury”. Hopefully she will be ready to go for the season.

When asked who the next Leketor Member-Meneh would be for this team, coach said he thinks it will be by the collection of players instead of just one. Who knows, someone may jump out during the season. Lek was not a starter last year until Vazquez Gomez went out with an injury. After that Vazquez Gomez (VG) could not win the job back.

They want VG to work on her passing. She was targeted during the playoffs last year, so that has been a point of emphasis during the off-season. She played on a Puerto Rico National Team over the summer so that was great competition and experience for her.

There is a big competition going on for the libero position. Ashley Browske was the starter last year but faded during the tourney, and  Emmy Klika stepped in and did a great job. To this point HC Fisher said they could not make a decision on who the starter will be yet.

Competition for each spot is fierce, and it makes better players of all of them.

I did not think anyone stuck out as a superstar  “take over the game player” this year like Lek did last year. That being said, there wasn’t a single rotation that I thought was weak up front. The coaches have their work cut out for them to put together the best combination of players. We are going to be good. In the unfortunate case of an injury happening, we are deep. And we should not get out-blocked by taller teams this year. We are tall.

I thought Valeria Vazquez Gomez improved from last year. Her intensity was raised to another level. Cat Flood also improved, and Sabrina Starks was a beast. The extra competition has definitely helped her elevate her game.

We go into this season ranked #6. Get ready for some fun again this year. Support the team by coming back to the Field House for games and cheer on the players.