In the past we have been accused, and rightly so, of not doing enough to cover women’s athletics at Clemson. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a lot of media coverage for the ladies, and since none of the gnomes live in Clemson, the material is stretched a bit thin. Although this should not be the case. Unlike the WNBA, for example, Clemson womens’ sports have sex appeal. Which brings us to this year’s volleyball outlook and our first attempt to right our wrong ways.
Pictured on the left (thanks Facebook) is All-ACC freshman outside hitter Jeanette Abbott. Did I mention that she’s listed at 6-feet tall and intimidating as hell to an 11″ garden gnome (10″ without the hat)? But intimidation and being shorter than the highest strap on her heels aside, there is no reason to neglect the team’s upside this year.
The 2006 Clemson volleyball team will have a similar, yet also fresh, appearance. The team will look familiar on the court, as five starters and libero Anna Vallinch return, but the view on the sidelines will differ with first-year assistant coaches Jing (Jason) Hou and Korrinn Krog instructing alongside 14th-year head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover.
The Tigers have been considered a young team for the past two years but will have a core group of sophomores and juniors back in 2006 that have set higher expectations for themselves. With a grueling conference schedule, Hoover and her staff are placing an emphasis on winning matches at home.
“We have a great, intimate environment in Jervey Gym,” said Hoover. “If we can use that to our advantage and take care of the matches at home, we are half-way there.”
The Tigers’ home facility has become a difficult place for the opposition as fans pack the seats for every match. Last season, Clemson ranked 32nd nationally in attendance as it drew an average of over 1,000 fans for its 15 home matches.
I don’t know what the volleyball equivalent of “spot the damn ball” is, but I want to find out pronto!