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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cardinal Couple Tuesday - Volleyball Regionals Preview

NCAA Volleyball Regionals This Weekend


While the UofL Volleyball team is done for the year, NCAA Volleyball does continue.  This weekend Louisville hosts one of the regional sites for the NCAA Volleyball tournament.

The stage is set with the four teams that will be playing, so I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about what to expect and what you'll be seeing, because of course you already have tickets to go, right?

Wisconsin

Wisconsin comes into Louisville as the marginal favorite to win the region as the 4 seed of the tournament.  (NCAA volleyball seeds the top 16 overall seeds in the tournament, not 16 seeds per region as in Basketball, the other 48 teams are unseeded).  The Badgers, from Madison WI, entered the NCAA tournament after winning the Big Ten Conference. (Like the ACC, the Big Ten does not hold a conference tournament.)  An overall record of 30-2 and a conference record of 18-1, their only losses came, consecutively, at the hands of Washington and Penn State.

Wisconsin, as the seeded team in the sub-regional, hosted the sub-regional in Madison with Western Michigan, Illinois State, and Marquette joining the party.  The Badgers dispatched Western Michigan and Illinois State, both in 3 sets sweeps, to earn their spot in Louisville.  They are ranked second in the coaches poll, and 6th in the RPI.

Wisconsin faced, and defeated, Louisville in the season opener in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Minnesota.

Ohio State

Wisconsin will be facing Ohio State, also out of the Big Ten, in the event opener at 5pm Friday night.  An overall record of 23-11 with a conference record of 12-8, the Buckeyes have faced the Badgers twice in conference play this year, both times being swept 3-0.  OSU also have 3-0 loses on their record thanks to Penn State, and Oregon.  They also suffered a bad loss, 3-1, against the Ohio Bobcats.  None of the wins on their schedule stand out as particularly good wins except perhaps 3-2 victorys over Minnesota, and Nebraska.

The Buckeyes are the only unseeded team in the regional.  They defeated Lipscomb in the opening round and then upset 13th seed Kentucky to be able to play in the second weekend.  The sub-regional was hosted by the seeded Kentucky in Memorial Coliseum.

Penn State

The third entrant into the Louisville regional also comes from the Big Ten.  Perennial powerhouse Penn State brings along a 32-3 overall record, 18-2 in conference.  Losses only at the hands of an excellent Stanford team, and good Nebraska and Illinois teams.  The Stanford loss was a 3-2 affair, while Nebraska and Illinois claimed their victories in 3-1 matches.  Nebraska would go on to be swept by Penn State later in the season.

Penn State is the five seed in the tournament, so barring upsets, you should expect to see a Wisconsin and Penn State rematch in the Saturday night match for a position in the Volleyball Championships in Tampa.

UCLA

The only non Big Ten team making an appearance in Louisville, UCLA is, of course, a PAC-12 team, a conference that, across the board, does well in Volleyball.  The Bruins only sport an overall record of 22-11, but they had to come through a brutal conference schedule, resulting in a 11-9 record in conference.  UCLA swept both LIU Brooklyn and a pretty darn good Long Beach State team to make the trip east.

UCLA comes into the regional as the 12 seed and hosted the subregional in the now-drained Pauley Pavilion after a summer flooding thanks to a water main break down the street.

Schedule

The volleyball regional starts Friday evening at 5pm with the regional championship starting Saturday at 4pm, all at the KFC Yum! Center.  I'll be there enjoying some very good volleyball.  Join me.

-jmca

( EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's show the NCAA that we will support events even if the Cards aren't participating. Go watch Volleyball! )

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This has popped up in a few other places but it bears providing the link...there's another Schimmel on the horizon doing some pretty good things as a freshman. Read about Milan in the link below:

MILAN SCHIMMEL HOOPING IT UP IN NEW MEXICO

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