Nice day for volleyball watching. I’ll start with Michigan State at Wisconsin on ESPN2 and graduate to going to the Missouri-at-LSU match, part of three in a row on ESPNU.
On Saturday, there were no big upsets, but Purdue had to go five to get past Iowa, Iowa State made short work of TCU and Pepperdine didn’t help itself with a five-set home loss to Portland.
Also Saturday, Juniata won 18-16 in the fifth to beat Susquehana and take its ninth consecutive Landmark Conference title. The Eagles will learn their Division III NCAA path on Monday when the tournament field is announced. Here’s the Juniata recap.
Back in Division I, there are 60 matches on tap Sunday, including full slates in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC.
Sounds harsh, but for the teams near the top the only way they become newsworthy is if there are big upsets. One intriguing match in the Pac-12 is Washington at Arizona. Something tells me it’s going be a good one.
We will have video analysis of the Pac-12 from Anne Marie Anderson, of the SEC from Jenny Hazelwood and with Maryland coach Steve Aird in the Monday recap.
One match not in the power five worth noting is Arkansas State at Appalachian State, which is a battle for first place in the Sun Belt Conference.
Arkansas State is 22-1, with its only loss to Missouri on Sept. 5, and 13-0 in the SBC, while Appalachia State is 20-4 and also 13-0. And right behind is Texas State (17-11, 12-3), looking for an opening. Arkansas State has a 20 RPI ranking, while App State is at 72 and Texas State is 108, so clearly the other two would need to win the league tournament Nov. 20-22 in Statesboro, Ga., to get into the NCAA Tournament.