CLU Becomes First DIII Partner of Sparta Science

Amanda Roberts goes through testing with Sparta Science staff in August. (Photo: Ryan Jorgenson)
Amanda Roberts goes through testing with Sparta Science staff in August. (Photo: Ryan Jorgenson)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Weeks after Cal Lutheran women's soccer head coach Frank Marino signed on with Playertek by Catapult to track fitness for his squad as the first Division III program using the brand, head women's volleyball coach Kellee Roesel announced CLU becoming the first Division III partner of Sparta Science, a company that will evaluate student-athletes jumping patterns with pre-season, in-season and post-season testing.

Based in the Silicon Valley, the Menlo Park, Calif. company applies data and technology to the pursuit of human resilience. What they provide is a new way to objectively evaluate and compare athletes through technology and ensures every team member reaches their full athletic potential within the organization.

With a host of professional, Division I and high school programs, CLU is the first Division III institution to work with the company.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Phil Wagner, a trained medical doctor, began his career as a strength and conditioning coach before graduating as a physician from the University of Southern California. He developed the company and facility in Northern California to directly measure and enhance performance alongside athlete resilience to injury. The technology, Sparta Software Corporation, established in 2012, provides an athlete data management platform to establish evidence based practices within sports organizations.

Partners around the country in various sports include the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Washington Nationals (MLB), Ohio State University, Auburn University and the University of Arkansas.

The software tests how the student-athlete jumps. Up-to-down, front-to-back, side-to-side movements, evaluating the Load-Explode-Drive usages.

"We are excited to start our partnership with our first Division III program, California Lutheran University," said Wagner. "It's clear that Coach [Kellee] Roesel and Dr. [Pat] Holmberg place a priority on the health and resilience of their teams, and we look forward to supporting this great volleyball program in its goal of growing healthy athletes and successful students."

The first opportunity for the Regals to test the new equipment was in late August, when each member of the 2017 squad underwent testing that included a series of six jumps, in a minute, on a force plate. Data gathered included measurements for ground reaction forces to quantify particular biomechanical parameters that underlie movement for the purpose of performance enhancement and injury reduction. CLU again tested after preseason training and will retest periodically throughout the season to monitor player progress in the off-season to ensure student-athletes are progressing appropriately.

American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 11 Cal Lutheran (5-4) opened its 2017 campaign on the road in Texas at the Trinity National Tournament (Sept. 1-2) before hosting the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational last weekend (Sept. 8-9) as tune-ups for Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play that will get underway this week.

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