The final week of the ACC Volleyball weekly awards were released yesterday, which happened to be the same day the 2023 ACC Volleyball awards were announced.
ACC Weekly Honors
Anna DeBeer, Elena Scott, and Elle Glock were named to ACC Offensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Week, and Setter of the Week, respectively. All three have earned several weekly honors this season so seeing them close out the season with more accolades comes as no surprise.
DeBeer closed out the season with another double-double. She recorded 18 kills and 15 digs and even added a trio of aces and a block in the mix. This is the third time this season DeBeer received the award.
Scott split the defensive accolade with Pitt's Emma Monks. The duo shared the award back in September too. Scott logged 15 digs against Georgia Tech while adding on a pair of aces and three assists. This is Scott's fourth time this season earning the award.
Glock averaged 10.25 assists in the four-set match against the Yellow Jackets, totaling 41 on the match. She snuck in a kill and added a couple of aces.
ACC Season Awards
Anna DeBeer was named ACC Player of the Year and Elena Scott was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year to power six Cardinals being named to All-ACC teams.
DeBeer shares the POTY award with Florida State's Audrey Koenig. The senior outside hitter finished the season with 216 kills in ACC play (343 on the season), surpassing the 1,000 career kills mark this season.
In conference play, Scott had 288 digs (443 on the season) for a 4.43 digs per set mark. If Louisville wouldn't block opponents attacks so much then she would've had more... good problem to have, though. The junior libero reached the 1,000 career digs earlier this season.
Rachel Fairbanks of Pitt was named ACC Setter of the Year. Olivia Babcock of Pitt was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Chris Poole of FSU was named ACC Coach of the Year.
DeBeer and Scott were named to the All-ACC First Team, where they were joined fellow Cardinal Charitie Luper.
Glock was named to the All-ACC Second Team alonside Aiko Jones and Cara Cresse.
Looking Into the NCAA Volleyball Bracket
Now that we have the 2023 NCAA Volleyball bracket, we have time to look at match-ups, favorites, dark horses, and matches to look out for.
*All predictions below are the opinions of Jared and may not reflect the views of the rest of Cardinal Couple*
Favorite to win the championship: Nebraska. There's little room for debate as the Huskers went 28-1 this season. Their only loss came at the hands of Wisconsin on the road on the Badger's senior day. Wisconsin is another 1-seed so that's not a bad loss at all. They swept 16 of their opponents and went to five sets just three times. Nebraska doesn't lose at home and they'll play their first four matches at home.
Dark horses: 5-seed Dayton went 31-2 this season with their only losses come to Marquette and Louisville, both in five sets. They did sweep Western Kentucky. The Flyers won 3-0 23 times this season and lost just two sets in the A10 regular season.
6-seed Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are riding a 24 match win streak. They fell to Dayton, Penn State, Arkansas, and James Madison, all of whom are in the NCAA Tournament and are seeded. They cruised through Conference USA again without a blemish in the loss column.
4-seed Washington State: A 24-7 team making a deep run? Uh, yeah. The Pac-12 has some tough competition in Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, and USC. The Cougars held their own in the conference. Don't forget that one of their losses came at the hands of Louisville at the beginning of the season. Washington State was ranked as high as #4 at one point before they lost five of seven in a three-week span. They've now won five straight and have wins over Texas, BYU, Oregon, Arizona State, and USC this year.
Potential Exciting Match-Ups: Louisville vs Pittsburgh, Elite Eight. The two ACC rivals weren't put in the same region by accident. The ACC's top two teams on a regular basis split the series in the regular season the last two years. The Cards defeated the Panthers in the Final Four last year to go to the championship.
Wisconsin vs Penn State, Sweet Sixteen. The Nittany Lions get overshadowed by Big Ten teams Wisconsin and Purdue. Penn State is historically good. They beat the Badgers in the lone match-up this season. Wisconsin is only a couple years removed from a championship and they're the only team to beat Nebraska this year.
Florida vs Georgia Tech, Second Round. Of all of the host schools in the opening weekend, Florida got one of the toughest draws against a Georgia Tech team that arguably deserved a 4-seed. The Yellow Jackets regularly get overshadowed by Louisville and Pittsburgh, plus Florida State this year. Florida has been inconsistent most of the season and haven't won more than three games in a row since early September.
BYU vs Arizona State, Second Round. BYU held their own well in the Big 12 with five of their six losses coming in conference play (two to Texas) and the sixth loss coming against Washington State. The Cougars swept six of their final seven opponents and lost the only match that wasn't a sweep. Arizona State was dominant out of conference, losing just three sets in 12 matches. They hold wins over Stanford, Oregon, and USC and were two points short of defeating Washington State in five. This is a battle of two underrated teams.
Jared's Upset Picks (by seeding):
2-seed Louisville over 1-seed Pittsburgh, Elite Eight
5-seed Georgia Tech over 4-seed Florida, Second Round
5-seed Penn State over 4-seed Kansas, Second Round
6-seed Western Kentucky over 3-seed Tennessee, Second Round
2-seed Oregon over 1-seed Wisconsin, Elite Eight
Unseeded Delaware over 8-seed Missouri, First Round
Unseeded UC Santa Barbara over 8-seed Houston, First Round
Unseeded Minnesota over 6-seed Utah State, First Round
Unseeded Miami over 8-seed UNI, First Round
Who knows what will actually happen in the tournament. If I have time, I'll fill out a full bracket for kicks and giggles and post that here on the site before the tournament starts on Thursday.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!