By: Phil Bush
SEC Digital Network
ATLANTA - After very intense weekend of competition where Southeastern Conference squads took on many of the top teams in the country, the SEC is back at it again. And by the way, Kentucky is headed to Nebraska to take on the No. 1 team in country this weekend.
This past weekend, it would be easy to say that “The SEC lost a number of matches.” What is better said is that the SEC played a LOT of good teams this past weekend. Let’s take a look at who the conference took on. These teams are all ranked or are receiving votes to be ranked:
• Florida State
• Northern Iowa
• Southern Cal (The other USC!)
That is a pretty impressive bunch of teams that the SEC took on. There were losses, to be sure, but I always evaluate teams that play tough schedules later in the season. Taking losses now equates to better seasons later in nearly all cases. Not that anyone likes losing, but in the real world, an impressive record while playing no one does not help a team really gets better.
Right now, records are a little early to be getting excited about. I salute Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee for playing VERY hard schedules. Not a lot of easy matches are on these schedules. They may not be perfect, but I promised that each of these teams has taken what they have worked on and gotten better.
Speaking of getting better, it’s always interesting to see young players come in to the league and make an impact. The ones that I talk about here are Florida’s Ziva Recek and Mississippi State’s Roxanne McVey. Here are a couple of items of interest, and I would say “Keep Watching."
• McVey currently leads the SEC in digs at 6.27 per set.
• Recek is currently fourth in the league in both hitting percentage and kills
Just to toss one more item out there to consider:
The top FIVE Leaders in service aces per set are ALL Freshman. That is simply amazing, given the talent that was already here.
Stay tuned for a look at:
• Players who have been hot to start the season
• Key early conference match-ups
If you have a team nearby, go and see them.