December 11, 2009

NCAA Womens Volleyball Championship

OK, the first three rounds are now in the books and time for some random, yet profoundly observant observations:
  • Penn State; yadda, yadda, yadda. Worthy of all the hype and more.
  • I don't know what Coach Poole inherited at Florida State, but for a coach who was not good enough to get a legitimate contract extension from Arkansas, I congratulate him for obtaining a #3 tournament seed and then backing it up to the Elite 8! Odds are with the Seminoles because their match to the Final Four is #11 seed Minnesota (but, those Big 10 teams have an annoying habit of being talented!).
  • Texas and Texas A&M could have saved a trip to the blizzard by just playing their 3rd conference match in Lexington, Texas and sent the winner north. Omaha after a huge snowstorm....brrrrrrrr.
  • Speaking of Nebraska; nice home court advantage. The positive is that you know the matches would have drawn very good crowds and created an exciting atmosphere. If the Huskers do make it to Tampa, the staff needs to be aware of heat stroke with the temperature differential between NE and FL!
  • I am still trying to figure out why the NCAA selection committee continues to give Hawaii terrible seeds. Did Coach Shoji run over some one's dog by accident while on a trip to the mainland? I have heard all the arguments that the WAC is a weak conference and Hawaii plays their tough matches only at home, but 30-2 is a result of being very good.
  • Kentucky gave their all in what must have been a heart breaking 5th game loss to Florida State. Nice tournament run for the Wildcats, with all the matches coming against power conference schools - Bet they wished they could have stayed at home for that match against FSU.
  • Looks to be some good matches to punch tickets for the Final Four. Texas and Nebraska in Omaha will be good - Texas is the higher seed but the sea of red can easily add a few rally score points for the Huskers. Florida State and Minnesota is interesting to me - FSU is in new territory with a high seed and sometimes it takes a bit of time for a program to be comfortable being nationally good; it doesn't hurt the GG's that this match will be a short drive from their campus apartments. Penn State and Cal? Penn State, yadda, yadda, yadda.
  • Stanford and Michigan match is still being played as I write this (tied 1 game all), but one would expect Stanford to come out on top playing at home. But, that is why they play the game isn't it!?!
  • The Elite 8 games are on ESPNU, as in do U get this channel? Bit disappointing that we can't get on the real ESPN on a non-football bowl Saturday? Not like this is the National Championship of the most popular women's sport in the world or anything. Heck, softball gets all 55 of their regional and final pool games on the real ESPN's. Maybe the AVCA can sponsor pool volleyball, like they play at apartment complexes - that will help indoor volleyball for sure!!!
  • It is a bit disheartening to have one conference put 80% of its teams into the National Championship. I understand that each team is RPI'ed in such a way to be a legitimate selection but come on! At least throw a couple of bids to the 2nd and 3rd place teams in mid-major conferences. "How did you do this season?", "We got 8th place in our conference", "Oh, kinda a rough year huh?", "No, we still made the NCAA Tournament".
  • My dream match up would be Hawaii and Florida State for the National Championship!!! But, it will probably be Penn State and Texas. Penn State, National Champion, yadda, yadda, yadda. I would be more disappointed if I did not have such tremendous respect for Coach Rose!
May all the college coaches who are reading this enjoy a wonderful off-season, recruiting quiet/dead period and Happy Holidays.

To all the parents and club volleyball players, I wish you a healthy and FUN season of club ball and please remember that all us college coaches are just playing games on our palm devices at the end of your court, so don't stress.

And to those readers who don't fall into the above two paragraphs, thanks for being college volleyball fans!


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