Plenty of reading below for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Final Four - The last weekend for college volleyball until next August - And, my Final Four predictions at the bottom.
ESPNW Article - Nice write up about all four teams - http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/14363123/5-things-need-know-ncaa-volleyball-final-four
Kansas - A program first and congrats to a genuinely nice coach, Ray Bechard:
Minnesota - Back into the Final Four, after a long wait.
Texas - Always seems to be busy in mid-December.
Nebraska - Final Four host makes it to the Final Four!
Predictions….it will be cold in Omaha…..
Nebraska vs. Kansas - The easy pic is Nebraska. They are the home team, they are used to playing in front of large home crowds, this is the first EVER trip to the Final Four for Kansas and the horde of 'huskers waiting in Omaha could be unnerving. But, as the University of Washington illustrated a couple of year's ago, it can be a challenge to win at home, in front of a very large crowd and carrying the weight of expectations (family, friends, groupies) and Kansas has the momentum of unexpected victories against quality opponents. And the winner is….Nebraska (but closer match than might be expected).
Texas vs. Minnesota - The tough pic is Texas. This match will go one of two ways. It will either be a 5 set battle with each game close and the 5th set going to extra points, or it will be a 3-0 dog of a match. It is my belief that for a team to win a championship, it had to have had a 'scare' along the way; a close match that could have been lost, something to put the fear of losing into the players. Texas had that scare at home against Florida (tough to win at home, even with generous line calls). For Texas, going to the Final Four has become routine and it is easy to act like you belong there, when you frequently stay there.
Nebraska vs. Texas - Quick pic is Texas. It is just too hard to win at home, in front of huge crowd with huge expectations. The match will be sold old and will look great on television (imagine a national championship match where the stands are full?).
But, I also picked Penn State to win the Championship...