Tag Archives | Don Flora

The Wildfire-Diamondback scrimmage wide open

I caught another Diamondback 18 Black/El Paso Wildfire scrimmage on Wednesday night–and another evening of great volleyball. The coaches on both sides of the net, the Diamondback’s Don Flora and Wildfire’s Al Rosen are amazing at what they do, and it’s entertaining to watch them run their squads through the drills.

Wildfire's Caroline Brown makes the big hit

Since I don’t use zoom lenses for indoor action, I decided to change things up focally for a set and go with a wider lens than I normally would. Above, the shot of Caroline Brown was taken with my 35mm f/1.4. Exposure time was 1/800 second at f/1.6, which is almost fast enough to freeze one of Caroline’s attacks. When you shoot players of this caliber, you need to be able to squeeze as much light in as quickly as possible!

New Mexico State's Erin Birmingham

Such a relatively wide angle counters the sport shooter adage to “shoot tight, crop tighter”, but if done in small doses, I think the extreme low angle gives the viewer a much different perspective and makes the subjects “larger than life”.

The shot to the left shows New Mexico State’s Erin Birmingham tipping the ball against Nevada. I like this shot because it shows more than just Erin tipping the ball; there are the Nevada defenders, NMSU setter Jenna DeVries looking to see if her set was true, and the rest of the NMSU team ready to defend against a potential Nevada block.

 
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First day of NM State VB practice

The first practice of the season is always a significant one. At a glance, it may mean something a bit different for the football program (new coach) and the soccer team (new program, new coach) than for the volleyball program, but I think coach Jordan is going through a rebuilding of sorts as well.

There’s a new assistant head coach in Don Flora, nine new freshmen, a red-shirt sophomore and many of the players with experience have moved on, either via transfer or graduation (think Krystal Torres and Lindsey Yon). With that said, this year’s squad has a solid core of talent in Erin Birmingham, Krista Altermatt, Jennah DeVries, Kelli Goodan and, of course, Whitney Woods.

This round of shots are for the program to highlight the new faces and catch up with the familiar ones. Here are just a few of those new faces. For all the shots taken from practice, visit the NM State Volleyball Gallery.

Lily Wolfe

Lily Wolfe

Assistant head coach Don Flora talks to the team.

Assistant head coach Don Flora talks to the team.

Stephanie Ziegler

Sashaa Jacobson

Defensive specialist Bianca Enriquez.

Defensive specialist Bianca Enriquez.

I’ve got to give props to the local talent, Bianca Enriquez (above), from El Paso Eastwood.

Sam Wasson, the tireless operator of BleedCrimson.net used some of these on his site as well. If you’re a fan of any kind of Aggie sport, head over and check his site out.

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