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News from around the court

Women's basketball travels down under

For the first time in program history, the Fresno State women’s basketball team will participate in an 11-day preseason foreign tour.

The Bulldogs traveled to Melbourne, Australia on Sunday thanks to private funding, which covered all of the costs of the trip.

After a 16-hour flight from Los Angeles, the Bulldogs arrived in Melbourne on Monday at 10 a.m. (5 p.m. Sunday PST), where they will spend four days. They will also visit the cities of Moe, Sydney and Cairns, and return to the U.S. on Aug. 20.

"This trip is important for our coaching staff and players to get some valuable practice time and learn how each of how our players respond in game situations," first-year Fresno State head women's basketball coach Jaime White told "It's a time for us to get to know everyone even more and see what we need to work on before the season starts."

Fresno State has had 10 Australian natives on its roster over the past 10 years, including senior Alex Sheedy and recently graduated Bree Farley.

"We're so thankful that our donors were able to give us this opportunity," Sheedy told "I'm very excited to be able to show my teammates where I'm from, especially being so far away from home."

The Bulldogs will play their first game of the tour Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. PST). All games can be followed on Twitter (@FresnoStateWBB.)

Upon returning to Fresno, the Bulldogs will begin to prepare for the first match of the season against Notre Dame De Namur on Nov. 9. View the entire 2014-15 schedule here.

Former Bulldog to enter NBA

The Miami Heat announced Wednesday that they have signed a 2-year contract with former Fresno State guard Tyler Johnson.

According to the Miami Herald, Johnson’s contract is not expected to be guaranteed. His addition gives the Heat a total of 14 players under contract, 11 of which have fully guaranteed contracts.

Additional details of the contract were not available due to team policy.

Johnson participated in Summer League play with the Heat in Orlando July 5 to July 11 and averaged 12.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He shot 54.8 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three.

During his career at Fresno State, Johnson appeared in 127 games and had 87 starts over four seasons. He averaged 10.6 points per game and 4.8 rebounds with 2.4 assists and 1.10 steals.

Johnson shot 45.6 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three and 71.6 percent from the foul line.

At the conclusion of his career at Fresno State, Johnson was ranked No. 16 on Fresno State’s all-time scoring list and was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team.

The Heat will begin their season in October with pre-season play beginning Oct. 4 against New Orleans at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. Click here for the complete pre-season schedule.

More Information:

Heat Signs Tyler Johnson

Volleyball adds team academic award to accolades

The Fresno State volleyball team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic award for the fifth straight year with a 3.30 team GPA.

The Bulldogs were the only Mountain West team on the list which maintained the minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average during the fall and spring semesters.

"We are blessed to have some really strong students in our program," seventh-year head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell told "They're hard workers who apply themselves and take care of business in the classroom.

“But what I'm most proud of are the student-athletes who have struggled academically and really picked up their effort this year to improve their quality of learning and our hard-working, winning culture.”

California has just five Division I programs on the list of 109 NCAA Division I programs. Fresno State joins Pacific, St. Mary’s, San Francisco and UC Irvine.

"Too often, athletic participation is associated with academic underachievement and this stereotype is simply false when it comes to volleyball," AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. "Couple the smarts represented by these teams with the competitive experience and team-focused training gained on the court and we have a potent formula for future leadership.”

Fresno State is no stranger to academic honors, though.

In addition to earning the AVCA award for the fifth time, Fresno State led the league with 12 individual Academic All-Mountain West honors, including outside hitter Marissa Brand who also received her third-straight Capital One Academic All-District 8 honor.

Five Bulldogs also received Mountain West Scholar-Athlete recognition after earning 3.50+ GPA's for the academic year, including seniors Brand and Lauren Albertson, juniors Christina Lee and Katie Pearson, and sophomore Molly Pearson.

“This was a great team effort, as usual, from a committed staff in our student-services department and a caring, smart coaching staff who takes pride in their jobs as mentors,” Netherby-Sewell told “Well done, Fresno State and well done Bulldogs."

The Bulldogs began practicing Aug. 9 in preparation for the 2014 season. Fresno State will play 34 matches, 11 of which will be played at home.

Alumni will take on the current squad Aug. 23 before the Bulldogs will participate in a number of tournaments including the Adidas Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas, the Sacramento State Invitational, the Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic in Queens, NY and the Roadrunner Classic in Bakersfield.

The Bulldogs will take on Fresno Pacific in an exhibition match Sept. 23 before beginning their season at UNLV on Sept. 25.

2014 Schedule:

08/23/14 vs. Alumni Match (Exhibition), Fresno, Calif. @ 1:00 p.m. PT

Adidas Rice Invitational

08/29/14 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston, Texas @ 2:00 p.m. PT

08/30/14 vs. UC Davis, Houston, Texas @ 11:00 a.m. PT

at Rice, Houston, Texas, @ 5:30 p.m. PT

Sacramento State Invitational

09/05/14 at Sacramento State, Sacramento, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

09/06/14 vs. UC Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Calif. @ 10:00 a.m. PT

vs. Loyola Marymount, @ Sacramento, Calif. @ 5:30 p.m. PT

09/10/14 at LIU Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y. @ 3:00 p.m. PT

Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic

09/12/14 vs. St. Francis (NY), Queens, N.Y. @ 11:00 a.m. PT

vs. Dartmouth, Queens, N.Y. @ 1:30 p.m. PT

09/13/14 vs. New Hampshire, Queens, N.Y. @ 7:00 a.m. PT

at St. John's, Queens, N.Y. @ 12:00 p.m. PT

Roadrunner Classic

09/19/14 vs. Long Beach State, Bakersfield, Calif. @ 12:00 p.m. PT

vs. Oregon State, Bakersfield, Calif. @ 5:00 p.m. PT

09/20/14 at CSU Bakersfield, Bakersfield, Calif. @ 6:30 p.m. PT

09/23/14 vs. Fresno Pacific (Exhibition), Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

09/25/14 at UNLV *, Las Vegas, Nev. @ 6:00 p.m. PT

09/27/14 at San Diego State *, San Diego, Calif. @ 1:00 p.m. PT

10/02/14 vs. Nevada *, Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

10/04/14 vs. San Jose State *, Fresno, Calif. @ 4:00 p.m. PT

10/09/14 at Wyoming *, Laramie, Wyo. @ 6:00 p.m. PT

10/11/14 at Colorado State *, Fort Collins, Co. @ 1:00 p.m. PT

10/16/14 at Utah State *, Logan, Utah @ 6:00 p.m. PT

10/18/14 at Boise State *, Boise, Idaho @ 1:00 p.m. PT

10/23/14 vs. San Diego State *, Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

10/25/14 vs. UNLV *, Fresno, Calif. @ 4:00 p.m. PT

10/30/14 at San Jose State *, San Jose, Calif. @ 6:00 p.m. PT

11/01/14 at Nevada *, Reno, Nev. @ 1:00 p.m. PT

11/06/14 vs. Colorado State *, Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

11/08/14 vs. Wyoming *, Fresno, Calif. @ 1:00 p.m. PT

11/13/14 vs. Boise State *, Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

11/15/14 vs. Utah State * , Fresno, Calif. @ 4:00 p.m. PT

11/19/14 at Air Force *, Colorado Springs, Colo. @ 5:00 p.m. PT

11/21/14 vs. New Mexico *, Fresno, Calif. @ 7:00 p.m. PT

NCAA Tournament - 1st/2nd Rounds

12/04/14 through 12/07/14

NCAA Regionals - 3rd/4th Rounds

12/12/14 and 12/13/14

NCAA Semifinals

12/18/14 Oklahoma City, Okla.

NCAA Final

12/20/14 Oklahoma City, Okla.

2013-2014 AVCA Team Academic Award Recipients
Abilene Christian
Appalachian State
Arizona State
Arkansas-Little Rock
Austin Peay State
Ball State
Bowling Green State
Canisius College
Central Conn. State
Central Florida
Central Michigan
Chicago State
The Citadel
College of Charleston
College of the Holy Cross
Dartmouth College
East Tennessee State
Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Michigan
Eastern Washington
Fresno State
Georgia Southern
Illinois State
Indiana State
Jacksonville State
Kansas State
Kennesaw State
Kent State
LIU Brooklyn
Loyola Maryland
McNeese State
Miami (OH)
Missouri State
Morehead State
New Hampshire
North Dakota
North Dakota State
North Texas
Northern Colorado
Northern Illinois
Northern Iowa
Northern Kentucky
Northwestern State
Oral Roberts
Oregon State
Rhode Island
Saint Mary's (CA)
Sam Houston State
San Francisco
South Carolina
South Carolina Upstate
Southeast Missouri State
Southern Illinois
Southern Methodist
Southern Utah
St. John's
Stony Brook
Tennessee Tech
Texas Tech
UC Irvine
UT Martin
Utah Valley
Western Kentucky
Western Michigan
Wichita State
Youngstown State

College Sand Teams
Georgia State
Central Community College

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