By Phil Bush
SEC Digital Network
ATLANTA - This week, I return to the air in Oxford, Miss., one of the most picturesque places in the Southeastern Conference. FSN brings you Missouri at Ole Miss. This is my first chance to see new SEC member Missouri in action.
We are now getting to the part of the season where the teams that are going to play each other twice have had that first match-up. Not every team plays every other team in the conference, so when they do, it is always interesting to see who has improved since that first meeting. This week, some of those match-ups may include:
Missouri at Ole Miss: The Friday night match between these should be interesting. Missouri is a great blocking team, and has All-American Lisa Henning as a featured part of the offense. Ole Miss serves very well at home and will be a tough test.
Georgia at Alabama: The Tide lost in five sets when playing at Athens. Should be interesting to see who has gone further down the path towards success.
LSU at Kentucky: The Wildcats dropped a five-set match in Baton Rouge. How will the re-match go in Lexington? It is an important match for both sides as they move towards the end of the season and begin getting mentioned for NCAA berths.
While not a repeat match-up, Tennessee comes to College Station for its first meeting of the year with Texas A&M. This begins the very tough weekend for the Aggies, going from hosting the Lady Vols to hosting the Gators. Tennessee hasbeen resilient of late, and has played more five-set matches than anyone in the conference. They will need all of that and more to battle the offensive machine that is the Aggies.
Not to be out done, on Sunday, the ESPNU afternoon contest between Florida and Texas A&M will be one for the books. This big match will be on ESPNU at 2:00 PM EST. Two of the best offenses in the SEC square off in what could define how the race is going to go for both the conference title and for potential seeding in the NCAA Tournament. On top of which, it will be the Gators first experience this season with the 12th Man, and Reed Arena will be jumping. Catch this one if you can.
Last week, I talked about the team rankings in the conference for the SEC. This week, I'll highlight a few players who are in the mix for as it relates to the national rankings.
Player Category Rank:
Taylor Brauneis, UF Assists Per Set 16th
Chloe Mann, UF Hitting Percentage 8th
Two Gators are making a national mark.
And then we have the Lisa Henning from Missouri
Category Henning Rank:
Kills Per Set 12th
Points Per Set 8th
When you consider the 300-plus teams playing D1 Volleyball, this is so impressive.