The weekend that was saw big milestones for Nebraska coach John Cook, Texas coach Jerritt Elliott and Gardner-Webb coach Leo Sayles, quite a few NCAA coaches shaking their heads and wondering what that last month of practice was all about, the USA men losing to Brazil again and the USA women beating Kenya, and the AVP saying hello to Chicago. And the FIVB finished up in Poland.
Nebraska’s Cook picked up victory No. 600 when the fifth-ranked Huskers beat Pitt on Saturday night. Cook, the 15th active Division I coach to reach 600, is in his 15th year at Nebraska. He previously coached at UC San Diego and Wisconsin.
Texas swept Rice, UC Irvine and LSU as Elliott picked up his 400th victory overall and No. 350 at Texas. The Longhorns were hitting on all cylinders and seemed primed for next weekend when Oregon, Nebraska and Florida come to town. The VERT Challenge has Oregon vs. Florida, Texas vs. Nebraska, Texas vs. Florida and Oregon vs. Nebraska. That’s big-time early season volleyball. For a recap of Texas’ weekend, click here.
Sayles, the fifth-year coach at Gardner-Webb, a Big South Conference school located in Boiling Springs, N.C., notched up his 200th career victory when his Lady Lions beat William & Mary to open the season Friday. For all the scoop on Gardner Webb, click here.
Also in the NCAA this past weekend
Other NCAA notes include No. 24 Colorado bouncing back from a season-opening loss Friday to San Diego by upsetting No. 9 Florida State and then defeating Oklahoma, both times in five sets. FSU was one of five ranked teams to lose on Saturday.
It’s a good thing the Buffaloes bounced back, because they have a tough weekend ahead at Penn State where they play the home team and Illinois. Stanford also plays Illinois and Penn State in what also should be a tremendous volleyball weekend in Happy Valley.
A team that we tend to forget, No. 12 Colorado State (the photo above is a great-looking triple block by the Rams’ Alex Reid, Alexandra Poletto and Adriana Culbert), came out of the weekend 3-0 after sweeping both UC Davis and then perennially tough Northern Iowa on Saturday … Wisconsin, stunned by Western Kentucky on Friday, bounced back with lopsided sweeps of Colgate and Charleston, while WKU did the same …
By the way, the other four ranked teams to lose Saturday were North Carolina, which saw a tough weekend end with a loss to No. 11 BYU, Iowa State falling to Marquette, Lipscomb knocking off Utah, and Duke losing in five to Long Beach State. By the way, Lipscomb’s was one of 10 victories Saturday for the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Enough Brazil already
The USA men probably have had enough of Brazil for a while after losing for the third time in four matches in the USAV Cup. Said coach John Speraw, “It’s a challenge to play Brazil. It gives you a look at some of your weaknesses. It’s a team that really grabs our attention so it’s allowed us to really focus. We’ve learned some things and it’s exciting to play high-level volleyball before the tournament gets started.”
Kenya top that?
Kenya believe it? Sorry, but you don’t get to make many Kenya jokes. For sure, as the USA women made short work of Kenya to improve to 5-1 in the FIVB World Cup in Japan.
They play Monday against Argentina, 1:10 a.m. Central, and early enough on the West Coast for you to stay up and watch the live stream at USAVolleyball.org. It shows later Monday on Universal for those of us who will be sleeping.