The SEC joins the NCAA Division I volleyball fray this week.
But not all of the SEC.
No, before the league’s fall season has even begun, Missouri’s matches Saturday and Sunday at Alabama were postponed “due to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantine of student-athletes among the Tigers’ program.”
Now Missouri will, hopefully, shake its coronavirus woes and play at Alabama October 21-22.
We have what’s happening in the SEC and the three other leagues that are already under way, the ACC, Big 12, and Sun Belt Conference. And Lipscomb announced its spring schedule in a most innovative way.
ACC — This past Sunday, Duke won at North Carolina and league action continues Wednesday when Georgia Tech (3-1) plays at Wake Forest (0-2). Georgia Tech split with Miami to open the season — both matches went five — and then last week swept Florida State twice. The Demon Deacons lost twice to Miami last weekend, both times in four sets.
In Duke’s 25-21, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21 win at UNC, Payton Schwantz had 16 kills and hit .500 as the Blue Devils improved to 4-1. She had an assist and 14 digs. Ade Owokoniran had 10 kills, two assists, two blocks, and 10 digs. Lizzie Fleming had eight kills and eight blocks, and Lily Cooper had seven kills and seven blocks, two solo. Destiny Cox had 19 kills for North Carolina (2-2) to go with three blocks and seven digs. Aziah Buckner and Kaya Merkler had seven kills and three blocks each.
After the GT-Wake match, ACC action continues Thursday with Georgia Tech back at Wake Forest and Florida State at Miami.
And the ACC players of the week: Georgia Tech sophomore outside hitter Julia Bergmann and Louisville sophomore opposite hitter Aiko Jones shared the honors, and Clemson outside Cate Long was top freshman. Bergmann had 30 kills and 18 digs in two wins over Florida State. Jones had 28 kills and hit .345 in two wins over Syracuse and added nine blocks, six digs, and two aces. Long had 23 kills, 16 digs, two aces, and a block in Clemson’s two matches with Miami.
Big 12 — The next match is Thursday when TCU (1-3) goes to West Virginia (3-3).
The Big 12 offensive POW was, for the third time in as many weeks, Texas junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston, who is lighting it up this season. Eggleston had 30 kills in two victories over Iowa State while hitting .409 and had five aces, five blocks, and 15 digs. Baylor junior libero Shanel Bramschreiber was the defensive player of the week after getting 39 digs in two wins over Oklahoma. And the rookie of the week is Kansas freshman middle Caroline Crawford. She had 16 blocks in two matches.
Sun Belt — Start with what is the showcase matchup of the fall season when Texas State (8-1) goes to Louisiana (11-0) for three matches Friday and Saturday that were postponed last weekend because of Hurricane Laura. Also on tap Friday is Central Arkansas of the Southland Conference at the SBC’s Louisiana-Monroe.
The Sun Belt also had POWs.
The offensive honor went to UTA junior outside Brooke Townsend, the setter is Coastal Carolina sophomore Brigitta Petrenko, the top defensive player was sophomore libero Alli Wells of UTA, and teammate Briana Brown was the freshman of the week.
SEC — We have a team-by-team preview coming Friday when the season opens with Tennessee at Kentucky. Normally, the SEC simply never has volleyball on football Saturday’s, but this not a normal year. Tennessee is back at Kentucky, while Arkansas goes to Mississippi State, LSU is at Texas A&M, South Carolina is at Georgia, and Missouri is not at Alabama.
And then there’s Lipscomb — And coach Brandon Rosenthal had a unique way of announcing the team’s spring schedule that’s worth checking out: