There’s a lot going on as we head into the weekend. Where I live, LSU brings in Purdue and Miami, Fla., a nice gathering of non-conference opponents as the Tigers open their home season. I look forward to talking to Purdue coach Dave Shondell for the DVB video chat on Friday.
This is the last weekend before NCAA teams begin conference play. The AVCA’s Deb Kniffin has her weekly column in which she spotlights her five top matches.
It should be noted that her first one, No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 21 Kentucky should come with a disclaimer, since her sister Katie Stadick plays for the Illini (see our interview with Katie in last Friday night’s blog after Illinois-Stanford).
Deb also looks at No. 13 Arizona vs. No. 15 Ohio State, a great regional matchup in No. 17 UCLA vs. No. 18 San Diego, a couple of upstarts in Lipscomb vs. Creighton, and No. 2 Florida at No. 16 Hawai’i.
Speaking of Florida, what a great week for Mary Wise and her Gators. They beat Texas and Nebraska last weekend in Austin and then headed straight to Hawai’i, where they’ve been having a blast. Read about it in the Gator Zone.
No. 4 Texas stays at home for the third straight weekend as it entertains UTSA, Santa Clara and No. 14 Colorado State. The CSU match on Sunday will be a good barometer for the Rams, who are perennially a top-15 team in a subpar conference.
There’s a really nice story going on at No. 1 Wisconsin, there former Badger Lizzy Fitzgerald Stemke, now the coach at Georgia, is one of six inductees into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame. They play tonight at 7. The Journal-Times had a good article on Stemke’s return to Madison.
Senior Class Award
The top 30 seniors were announced this week and you might recognize some of the names, but it’s nice to see some players who don’t normally get into the national spotlight be recognized.
USA men beat Canada
In the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan Team USA cruised past Canada. Matt Anderson led with 13 points and Taylor Sander had 12.
The U.S. improved to 3-0 and is one of only three undefeated teams in the tournament along with Italy and Poland. Canada fell to 1-2. Teams at the World Cup play 11 matches in 16 days in a round-robin format. The top two teams qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
AVP goes to Huntington Beach
From the story in the Orange County Register:
Misty May-Treanor, the three-time Olympic gold medalist from Newport Beach, will interrupt her retirement to play in the AVP Championships this week in Huntington Beach.
She will partner with former Long Beach State teammate Brittany Hochevar. The duo played together at the AVP Seattle event earlier this season and finished third. Hochevar reached out because her partner, Jen Fopma, played with April Ross while Kerri Walsh-Jennings was sidelined.
There’s a spate of personnel changes going into the season-ending event. Walsh-Jennings is skipping the final event and will have surgery Thursday on the torn labrum in her right shoulder.
The Dallas Morning News has a wonderful story about two area high school players who haven’t let diabetes keep them from playing volleyball.