Olympic qualifier in Lincoln, here comes A&M, NCAA story links

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A lot of this and that for this Friday morning, starting with some good news that came out this week for the U.S. women’s national team. This is straight from the story in the Lincoln, Neb., newspaper:

Lincoln will host one of the most prestigious volleyball events in the Western Hemisphere in January.

The North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation is holding its women’s Olympic qualification tournament Jan. 7-9 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The event will bring teams from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to compete for a berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Each team will play in one of two round-robin matches each day.

In other words the U.S. will be on home soil as it tries to qualify for the Olympics. We talked about it last month with the coach, Karch Kiraly and you can watch that video by clicking here.

And for the rest of the story from the Lincoln newspaper, click here.

Moving over to NCAA women’s college volleyball, let’s start with the Aggies, because here comes Texas A&M.

After beating Missouri on Wednesday, here’s what the top of the Southeastern Conference standings look like with overall records, RPI, AVCA poll included.

Kentucky (17-7, 13 RPI, 21 AVCA), which swept Georgia Thursday night, is atop the league at 10-2.

A&M (16-6, 19 RPI, NR) is 9-2.

Florida (17-4, 3 RPI, 11 AVCA) is 9-3.

Missouri (20-4, NR, 14 RPI, NR) is 8-3.

Texas A&M has won seven in a row and has Georgia at home Sunday. Friday, Florida entertains Mississippi State and goes to Auburn on Sunday. Missouri is at LSU on Sunday and Kentucky goes to Tennessee on Sunday.

Things are staying tight in the ACC, too, especially after Miami (16-7, 9-4, 40 RPI, NR) beat Florida State (18-6, 11-2, 16 RPI, 17 AVCA).  Louisville (17-5, 11,1, 21 RPI, 22 AVCA) is on top, while North Carolina (13-8, 10-2, 28 RPI, NR) is right with the pack. So is Pitt (19-5, 9-3, 39 RPI, NR).

On Friday, Carolina is at Syracuse and Pitt goes to Louisville. Sunday, Pitt is at Notre Dame, FSU has  Virginia at home, and Louisville entertains Virginia Tech.

Things are tough as usual in the Pac-12, but there are no showcase matches in that league this weekend, but only a fool would think there won’t be upsets. Same in the Big Ten, where Nebraska’s beat down of Purdue on Wednesday put the Boilermakers on the outside looking in at the top three.

Story links:

Fourth-ranked Minnesota, which makes the Michigan swing this weekend (with Wisconsin), did one on its outstanding freshman setter, Samantha Seliger-Swenson. Read about her here.

The Omaha World-Herald has a nice notes column leading off with an item that pits two top freshmen in the Creighton-Marquette match. Here’s the link that includes CU’s Jaali Winters and Marquette’s Taylor Louis.

Northwestern has an on Sofia Lavin, who has an interesting story. Read it here.

There’s a story in the Reporter-Herald about Colorado State’s defense. Here’s the link.

https://www.reporterherald.com/sports/csu/ci_29066295/not-passing-phase-colorado-state-volleyball

Michigan has one about player Cindy Zhou, who had quite a health scare and is doing well. Read it here.

The men are starting to get going. USC plays at home against Hawaii and the school has its Legends Homecoming Beach Tournament. Check it out here.

Finally, the situation in Iran is hard to believe where women can’t watch volleyball, Here’s a link to a story by a website called Quartz.

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