There is an old saying in sports that says “every match matters”. While it sounds cliché, it is absolutely the case in SEC volleyball. As the season progresses, teams are fighting to get to the top of their division and contend for NCAA slots.
Right now, the NCAA RPI looks like this:
• 10. Florida
• 16. Tennessee
• 20. Kentucky
• 25. Arkansas
• 27. Texas A&M
• 48. Missouri
• 51. Georgia
• 65. Auburn
• 70. LSU
• 78. Ole Miss
The lower part of the order will need to focus on winning against some of the higher ranked teams that are currently ahead of them.
We have already seen this during the matches leading up to this weekend’s matchups. Georgia and Missouri squared off in an ESPNU match on Wednesday night, with the Bulldogs winning 3-0 and making for a real “logjam” in the SEC East. Florida is clearly in the lead, but look at the next few teams down the line:
• Florida 11-0
• Tennessee 7-3
• Kentucky 7-4
• Georgia 7-4
• Missouri 7-5
Then we add in the matches taking place this weekend:
• Kentucky at Tennessee: Long time rivals square off in Knoxville, with Tennessee looking to get some measure of redemption from the 3-0 loss the Lady Vols had in Lexington. Only second time that Tennessee was blanked this season.
• Kentucky at Georgia: First time these two have met this year, and it’s the end of a tough weekend of competition for the Wildcats. Georgia will be fresh off the win over Missouri and looking to move up in the division standings.
In the West, they have the same type of drama unfolding:
• Arkansas 7-4
• Texas A&M 7-4
• LSU 5-7
• Auburn 4-7
• Ole Miss 4-7
That is 10 teams still fighting for division titles. With one month left in the conference schedule, much is still at stake!
• Texas A&M at LSU: LSU has recovered from a very tough stretch and is making a strong push as the year progresses. A&M is looking to make a mark in their new conference home.
• Auburn at Ole Miss: Another team that is making a strong run late in the season is Ole Miss. The Tigers and Rebels only meet once this year, so this match becomes more important than ever.
Keep an eye on the standings and watch for upsets!
Hope that you enjoy this, and feel free to respond if you have specific topics you want to see covered!