women's volleyball playoffs



nwhoopfan

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Seems like there was a thread for this last season, nothing this year. Regional semis today. Big 10 teams were cruising along today, until Oregon upset #2 overall seed Minnesota. One of the sets was 41-39. That is just crazy. That would be like 5 or 6 overtimes in a basketball game.
 
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Wow! My niece plays on her HS volleyball team so I've been watching the college matches to learn the game. Some outstanding athletes on those teams!
 
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Seems like there was a thread for this last season, nothing this year. Regional semis today. Big 10 teams were cruising along today, until Oregon upset #2 overall seed Minnesota. One of the sets was 41-39. That is just crazy. That would be like 5 or 6 overtimes in a basketball game.
Really a huge upset. But then again, Oregon beat Minnesota back at the start of the season, so maybe just a bad matchup? Losing that second set was a backbreaker. I only caught that last 10 minutes of the match, and Minnesota just didn't look themselves. Really devastating for Seliger-Swenson, an outstanding setter, to end her career this way. Especially since the Final Four is in Minneapolis this year.
 

nwhoopfan

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Lots of chatter on volleytalk about the MInnesota fans selling their Final Four tickets and Nebraska fans grabbing them as quick as they can. I'm just glad the entirety of the Elite 8 isn't Big 10 teams. 4 is still pretty darn good. I miss the good old days when there was actually a reasonable debate about which conference was better--Big 10 or Pac 12. That ship has sailed, no debate anymore.
 

nwhoopfan

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Wow! My niece plays on her HS volleyball team so I've been watching the college matches to learn the game. Some outstanding athletes on those teams!
It's a fun, fast paced game to watch. A few of the nuances still escape me but I mostly understand what's happening on the court.
 
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Lots of chatter on volleytalk about the MInnesota fans selling their Final Four tickets and Nebraska fans grabbing them as quick as they can. I'm just glad the entirety of the Elite 8 isn't Big 10 teams. 4 is still pretty darn good. I miss the good old days when there was actually a reasonable debate about which conference was better--Big 10 or Pac 12. That ship has sailed, no debate anymore.
I actually remember when the Pac-12 was clearly the best VB conference. Then it became a debate sometime around the time that Nebraska joined the Big Ten. The past couple years it hasn't really been close, at least not in terms of quality at the top. Big Ten had 5 of the top 8 seeds. But the Pac-12 did get 8 of 12 teams into the tournament overall, better than the B1G's 7 of 14.
 

nwhoopfan

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I actually remember when the Pac-12 was clearly the best VB conference. Then it became a debate sometime around the time that Nebraska joined the Big Ten. The past couple years it hasn't really been close, at least not in terms of quality at the top. Big Ten had 5 of the top 8 seeds. But the Pac-12 did get 8 of 12 teams into the tournament overall, better than the B1G's 7 of 14.
Yes, I fondly remember that as well. I eventually accepted that the Big had become an equal, now I grudgingly have to admit it's better. Dominance in softball and baseball has ended as well. Maybe for many years most schools just didn't take non-revenue sports seriously, and once they finally did the playing field evened up quickly.


Nice to see BYU advance. They made a Final 4 recently, they have a strong program. They beat Stanford early this year and were ranked #1 most of the season, but I think their best hitter got injured late in the year.
 
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Nice to see BYU advance. They made a Final 4 recently, they have a strong program. They beat Stanford early this year and were ranked #1 most of the season, but I think their best hitter got injured late in the year.
Not their best hitter. That would be Roni Jones-Perry, who is a lock for 1st Team All-American and a NPOY candidate. Their 2nd best hitter, McKenna Miller is the one who tore her ACL. BYU was undefeated until they dropped a match to Loyola Marymount right at the end of the regular season. That was enough to drop them to the #4 seed, but getting that last regional hosting spot is huge for them because they have an amazing crowd and are tough to beat in Provo. The match tomorrow with Texas will be fascinating, but I'd consider BYU the favorite to win that at home.

In addition to Jones-Perry, BYU's setter and libero are also very special players.
 
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Nebraska looks to be peaking at the right time again but I feel Stanford will take it back again this year. Moving Fitzmorris from the middle to the pins has paid great dividends and Alade has had a breakout year in the middle. Of course you have Plummer on the outside and Hentz (No doubt the nation's best libero) anchoring the back row.
 

bballnut90

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Not their best hitter. That would be Roni Jones-Perry, who is a lock for 1st Team All-American and a NPOY candidate. Their 2nd best hitter, McKenna Miller is the one who tore her ACL. BYU was undefeated until they dropped a match to Loyola Marymount right at the end of the regular season. That was enough to drop them to the #4 seed, but getting that last regional hosting spot is huge for them because they have an amazing crowd and are tough to beat in Provo. The match tomorrow with Texas will be fascinating, but I'd consider BYU the favorite to win that at home.

In addition to Jones-Perry, BYU's setter and libero are also very special players.
Didn't know you were a volleyballer, Plebe. All of the regional finals tomorrow should be very intriguing...I'll chime in my thoughts/predictions:

BYU/Texas, I'm probably looking forward to this one the most . Texas looks light years better with Gabriel setting instead of Shook. Texas is always physical but now that players are getting set well their physicality is at another level. Bedart-Ghani hit a couple balls today that could've put dents in the floor. BYU is really really good at libero/setter (Haddock-Eppich IMO is the best least talked about player in the country)/OH with RJP. They have really physical middles too and will be at home which gives them a big edge. Wish both Hamson and Miller were healthy, but I think they have the horses to beat Texas. I think BYU in 4 or 5. They just don't lose at home.

Wisconsin/Illinois should be another great one. The split head to head this year and both teams are playing really good volleyball right now. Hard to predict a winner but I think Badgers win this if they get good production from Loberg/Haggerty/Duello. Rettke is the best middle in the nation and Williams is playing her best volleyball right now, so it'll come down to how their pin hitters terminate.

Penn State/Stanford...scary matchup for Stanford IMO. Penn State has very athletic hitters and a good (albeit annoying) libero in White. Weiskircher is a little all of the place but she's a good leader and probably a better setter than I give her credit for. Stanford, particularly Kathryn Plummer, is not playing its best volleyball right now. These are the 2 more storied programs in NCAA history, and Russ Rose consistently beat Stanford in the tournament, granted Stanford has different staff now. Stanford won early in the year but Penn State might be primed for revenge. At the end of the day, I think Plummer makes or breaks Stanford tomorrow. I'd bet on her rather than against her.

Last matchup for Nebraska/Oregon should also be great if Oregon brings its A game. Stone and Stivrins are probably the 2 most dynamic slide hitters in the country, both just soar off one foot in the air, especially Stone. Nebraska is a ridiculously good defensive team and they're playing great volleyball right now. Mikaela Foecke has to be one of the best big game players in the country, and I don't see them losing to Oregon. Hugely important for Nebraska will be the effectiveness of Lexi Sun. When she's on, she is fantastic to watch. When she's off, she can rack up errors in a hurry and be a liability. It seems they've stopped going to Sweet very much and have been feeding more sets to Sun and Stivrins. They need to be effective to knock off a very good Oregon team.
 
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Great! UConn @1PM, a regional final @6PM and the Bruins @ 7:15PM.

My afternoon & evening are all set! Thanks for posting this @eebmg !
 
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Michigan had tied the match with Texas at one and had set point in set two but could not pull it out. Texas will have to play better today in order to win, imo. My favorite team is Penn State but I don't think they are strong enough this season to win it all. It would not surprise me if they did not make the final four.
 

nwhoopfan

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I didn't watch the earlier matches (Illinois beat Wisconsin and Nebraska beat Oregon), but BYU-Texas was fun to watch. BYU got the sweep, but it was close and hard fought. Texas led a decent portion of of set 1 and 3 but the Cougars closed out each wet well. 1 more left, Stanford-Penn St.
 
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I didn't watch the earlier matches (Illinois beat Wisconsin and Nebraska beat Oregon), but BYU-Texas was fun to watch. BYU got the sweep, but it was close and hard fought. Texas led a decent portion of of set 1 and 3 but the Cougars closed out each wet well. 1 more left, Stanford-Penn St.
I watched most of Illinois-Wisconsin and it was also a very well-played match. Happy for Illinois, they've had a great season and their setter, Jordyn Poulter, is an absolute joy to watch. I consider her the heir apparent to the national team setter position, if she wants it.

I concur with you about the BYU-Texas match. Very evenly fought, except Texas had no composure between 20 and 25 of each set. Roni Jones-Perry just tore them up; 25 kills in 3 sets is just insane. And libero Mary Lake was also incredible.
 

DefenseBB

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Lots of chatter on volleytalk about the MInnesota fans selling their Final Four tickets and Nebraska fans grabbing them as quick as they can. I'm just glad the entirety of the Elite 8 isn't Big 10 teams. 4 is still pretty darn good. I miss the good old days when there was actually a reasonable debate about which conference was better--Big 10 or Pac 12. That ship has sailed, no debate anymore.
Unless your talking Beach Volleyball....:D
 

nwhoopfan

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Unless your talking Beach Volleyball....:D
Some schools have a built in advantage there. It's kind of hilarious w/ UW trying to play outdoor in the early spring. The weather is not favorable compared to So Cal.
 

DefenseBB

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Because so many schools are trying to find low-cost women's sports to help with their title IX requirement, Beach VB has cropped up in odd places. Morehead State in Kentucky??? Missouri State? New Mexico? Nebraska-which I guess they have a strong regular VB team, sort of makes sense....sortof....Univ of Central Arkansas???
All of this to combat D1 Football's 85 scholarships...
 

nwhoopfan

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Beach is in it's very early stages of evolving. I believe some schools have mostly or all players that specialize in beach only. Other schools just have their indoor players playing beach.
 

bballnut90

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Good volleyball weekend but no 5 setters yet. Hoping the 2 goliaths in the sport end up giving us one.
 

nwhoopfan

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Stanford was in trouble early. Penn St. took the first and was up 20-16 in set 2, but Stanford recovered and is about to win 3-1.

Makes for an interesting FF. In the first match you have Stanford-BYU to settle Best in the West, and in the other you have a Big 10 brawl between Nebraska and Illinois.
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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Stanford was in trouble early. Penn St. took the first and was up 20-16 in set 2, but Stanford recovered and is about to win 3-1.

Makes for an interesting FF. In the first match you have Stanford-BYU to settle Best in the West, and in the other you have a Big 10 brawl between Nebraska and Illinois.
We have been following Volleyball on and off for years. We bought and have kept season tix here at Arizona, but my wife's health did not permit making a game this year or last year (and unlike WBB, I have no desire to go alone). My comments on today's games -
- Rooting for Stanford, they have been our favorite national team (Arizona is a perennial first or 2nd round exit)
- Happy they took down Penn State. Penn State is my "anybody but . . ." school in Volleyball.
- Hope they can take BYU, which apparently was responsible for their only loss. BYU took a big step a few years back when they made the Final Four as an unseeded team - unfortunately, they started their trip in Tucson in the only recent year where Arizona was seeded. Bah.
- I / we like Nebraska, at least in the abstract. Think John Cook is a heck of a coach.
- And yes, like you, I lament that the PAC trails the B1G in WVB and the SEC in softball. At least the conference remains strong across the board.
 

nwhoopfan

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- Happy they took down Penn State. Penn State is my "anybody but . . ." school in Volleyball.
I kinda feel that way too. Coach Rose seems like a decent guy, just that 4 straight and 6 out 8 Championships thing got old real quick.

- I / we like Nebraska, at least in the abstract. Think John Cook is a heck of a coach.
Also on my "anybody but" list. Cook is a good coach but he's fairly unpopular among non-Nebraska fan bases. Nearly got into a fight w/ McLaughlin when he was coach at UW at the conclusion of a playoff match several years ago. UW-Nebraska used to have a really good, really heated rivalry, but it's gotten completely 1 sided in recent years. I'll always cherish the '05 Championship match when UW cleaned their clocks. Big Red fans thought there was no way possible they could lose that one. Some of them might still be in denial.
 
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bballnut90

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I kinda feel that way too. Coach Rose seems like a decent guy, just that 4 straight and 6 out 8 Championships thing got old real quick.



Also on my "anybody but" list. Cook is a good coach but I think he's also a jerk. Nearly got into a fight w/ McLaughlin when he was coach at UW at the conclusion of a playoff match several years ago. UW-Nebraska used to have a really good, really heated rivalry, but it's gotten completely 1 sided in recent years. I'll always cherish the '05 Championship match when UW cleaned their clocks. Big Red fans thought there was no way possible they could lose that one. Some of them might still be in denial.
John Cook is a very nice guy in real life. My brother was friends with his son when I was a kid. He knew i was a big VB fan and brought over a bunch of volleyball gear/posters when picking up his son one day from our house. Overall was your typical nice midwestern family guy. Aside from the McLaughlin run in (which wasnt a good look for either coach), I don't think he's ever had any jerk moments but I could be wrong.

Cook was kind of like Kim Mulkey in volleyball, in that he had a couple of titles and was widely respected as a top coach but went through a big Final Four drought and had some underachieving years that clouded his reputation. He's definitely overcome that the last few years, as his program made their 4th straight Final Four today and he has a great shot to win his 5th title next weekend.
 

nwhoopfan

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John Cook is a very nice guy in real life. My brother was friends with his son when I was a kid. He knew i was a big VB fan and brought over a bunch of volleyball gear/posters when picking up his son one day from our house. Overall was your typical nice midwestern family guy. Aside from the McLaughlin run in (which wasnt a good look for either coach), I don't think he's ever had any jerk moments but I could be wrong.
I slightly edited my post. Sounds like he was nice to you. I lurk on volleytalk quite a bit, I know there are a lot of non-fans of him on that board. I won't belabor the point though.
 

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