SEC Volleyball Blog – Week 1 – 9/19/2013
Hello SEC Volleyball Fans!
I am thrilled to be back to bring you The Rotation again. After a summer of International TV work for the FIVB that had me hitting Korea, Poland, Russia (two times – once for Indoor and once for beach!) , Bulgaria, Cuba, Serbia, and Brazil, I am happy to be getting ready to broadcast in the SEC once again!
The topics as we crank up a new season of SEC Volleyball are the areas we try to cover at the beginning of the season each year:
• Strength of schedule – pre-conference – matches that matter
• The SEC in the national rankings – team and player
• What’s coming up – the last week of pre-conference action
Strength of Schedule – Matches that Matter
I will go on record here as stating the match I bring up first may go down as one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Volleyball history. When Auburn beat Nebraska, a few things are very important to note:
• I am NOT being disrespectful to Auburn- I just don’t think anyone saw this particular outcome: A neutral ground meeting and Auburn did not just win, they won 3-1. It was also on the heels of Auburn beating host St. Louis. A great win for Auburn and the SEC to open pre-conference play!
Auburn will host #17 Florida State this weekend, so they will have a chance to build on an impressive 9-2 start.
Big wins and even big losses are what provide the conference with momentum going in the conference schedule.
In most cases, I think the team that lost to the SEC team did not see it coming.
High praise to the conference for playing big time teams!
So far, here are the Matches That Matter – Wins:
• Auburn beats #10 Nebraska 3-1
• Florida beats #2 Stanford 3-1
• Texas A&M beats #16 Florida State 3-0
• Kentucky beats #4 Michigan 3-2
Not a bad four pack of matches to start the season out, right? More on this topic next week.
The SEC, as of this weekend, will have competed against these current Top 25 members:
1. Penn State
17. Florida State
22. Colorado State
25. Iowa State
Did anyone say “easy non-conference schedule?” I didn’t think so.
The SEC in the National Rankings – Team and Player
I don’t want to get totally focused on stats here, but if we compare the SEC to the 300+ other NCAA Division I Schools, it is worth noting where the conference sits right now -
Team Top 10:
Aces Per Set: 7. Mississippi State
Assists Per Set: 2. Missouri
Digs Per Set: 1. Tennessee
2. Mississippi State
Kills Per Set 3. Missouri
Player Top 10:
Assists Per Set: 1. Molly Kreklow, Missouri
Blocks Per Set: 3. Briana Holmon, LSU
Hitting Pct.: 1. Whitney Little, Missouri
2. Chloe Mann, Florida
8. Kristal Rivers, Alabama
Kills per Set: 10. Juliette Thevenin, South Carolina
If you are in the Top 10 in any category, it says that you are right there in terms of play.
Remember, there are 300+ teams playing the game in Division I!
What’s Coming Up- Last Week of Pre-Conference Play
Every team uses preseason play to ready themselves for conference play. There are a number of exciting matches for this coming week. Go see them if you can!
Texas A&M at #22 Colorado State
#17 Florida State at Auburn
Florida at Marquette
St. Louis at Arkansas
Kansas State at Arkansas
Georgia at Kansas
Georgia vs. Notre Dame
Alabama at Clemson
Kentucky at Lipscomb
Middle Tennessee State at Missouri
If you have questions or suggested topics for The Rotation, please let me know!