Monday, November 25, 2013

NCAA | Washington volleyball remains in the Top 5

Despite loss at Stanford and squeaker at Cal, UW poised to capture Pac-12 crown
  • next: Oregon State @ #3 Washington | November 27 | 6PM


With just two conference matches remaining—home contests against last place Oregon State on Wednesday and 11th-place Washington State on Friday—Washington is in position to control whether it will win the Pac-12 title outright and receive one of four top seeds in next week’s first round of the NCAA Tournament.
 
Washington is ranked #3 in this week's RPI and #5 in the AVCA coaches' poll
-photo by Shutter Geeks Photography

The Huskies, despite losing to Stanford and rallying to beat California in 5 sets, remain #3 in the NCAA’s all-important RPI rankings. The RPI is a formula based on a team’s record, and the record of both its opponents and its opponents’ opponents. The RPI is one of several factors—though clearly the most important—used by the Tournament Selection Committee to choose the 64 teams who’ll play in the postseason, and to select the top 16 teams, all of whom will host the first two rounds of the tournament.

The tournament bracket will be announced Sunday evening on ESPN. If Washington defeats Oregon State, it is assured of at least a tie for the Pac-12 title. If it sweeps both OSU and Washington State, it will win the championship outright. Stanford, which trails UW by one game, plays Arizona Wednesday in Tucson before finishing the regular season Friday at home against Cal.

Kudos to a couple of Volleyblog Seattle favorites.  UT-San Antonio earned an NCAA bid by beating Tulane in the Conference USA Tournament title match. The Roadrunners have two assistant coaches with UW connections: former All-American Sanja Tomasevic and former UW assistant Pat Stangle. Also earning a bid is Southland Conference champion Central Arkansas. The Sugar Bears—who faced Washington in last season’s first round—have now won 22 straight.

UCLA (15-13) dodged a bullet by sweeping Arizona Sunday, guaranteeing a winning season and eligibility for the NCAA tournament. The Bruins have only missed the NCAAs once since 1981. Washington, Stanford, USC, Oregon, Utah and Cal all have RPIs high enough to all but assure a spot in the tournament. UCLA’s RPI of 42, Arizona State’s 48 and Colorado’s 54 could mean that as many as nine Pac-12 teams are selected. Washington State, at 65, would probably need to sweep both Oregon and Washington this week to be considered for a bid.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee says it does not use polls as part of its process. If ever there was an example of the wisdom of that policy, look only at the continued AVCA voters’ blinders when it comes to the Big Ten. #19 Michigan State remains in the AVCA Top 25 despite losing—get this—4 of its past 5, and 9 of its last 12. #23 Michigan is equally overrated: the Wolverines have dropped 4 of 6 and 8 of 12. The RPI seems to know better, pegging Michigan State at #27 and Michigan at #28. Well, at least one of the two teams will win this week: they play each other on Wednesday.

This week’s AVCA poll and RPI, with Volleyblog Seattle’s ballot in the Volleyball Magazine media poll:

WEEK FOURTEEN
AVCA Coaches
RPI
School
(First Place AVCA votes)
Volleyblog
Seattle
This Week
Last Week
1
1
1
Texas (41)
2
2
2
2
Penn St (18)
1
3
5
7
Stanford
5
4
4
5
Missouri (1)
3
5
3
3
Washington
4
6
7
4
Florida
10
7
8
6
Southern Cal
7
8
9
15
San Diego
6
9
10
20
Colorado St
9
10
6
8
Nebraska
8
11
11
13
Minnesota
11
12
12
11
Hawai’i
12
13
15
14
Wisconsin
20
14
14
21
North Carolina
13
15
13
18
Duke
15
16
19
19
Florida St
14
17
16
9
Kentucky
19
18
20
17
Illinois
NR
19
17
27
Michigan St
NR
20
25
29
Purdue
NR
21
22
12
Kansas
18
22
21
31
BYU
16
23
18
28
Michigan
NR
24
NR
10
Marquette
NR
25
24
22
Iowa St
NR
NR
23
30
California
NR
NR
NR
16
Creighton
NR
NR
NR
23
Oklahoma
NR
NR
NR
24
Arizona
NR
NR
NR
25
Oregon
NR
NR
NR
26
Utah
NR
NR
NR
45
Central Arkansas
17

Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more AVCA ballots: Oregon; Ohio; California; Cal State Northridge; Creighton; UC Santa Barbara; St. Mary's (CA); Western Kentucky



Photos courtesy Shutter Geeks Photography


5 comments:

  1. I hope we can find a way to bring better balance to our attack. Stanford showed us the hard way just how balanced they are. If we lost Krista to an injury we'd be done (knock on wood). Stanford could go deeper into the tourney with one of their many stars sidelined. I'd sure like to see our setters putting more short balls to Wade in the middle instead of nearly always going to outside when she is in. Sybeldon has shown she can attack well at middle and I'll bet Wade could as well.

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  2. I agree, we need a balanced attack using ALL of our options including both Middles, both Right Sides and both Outsides. All of our offesive weapons have proven that they can be effective given the chance. We need an evenly spread offense, not one centered on just one or two players. that is too easy for the opposition to shut down.

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  3. A little more use of the back row attack might be effective as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm with you all. more balance, more middle attack, I would also like to see the combo I first saw in the men's 1988 olympics where we back set either the opposite or a hitter out of the back row, ie, Steve Timmons in that case, in this case Kaleigh or Cassie, I think it would really give the opposing blockers something to think about if they are following Kaleigh up to hit and there a split second later is Cassie thundering out of the back row. Just something to give Kaleigh a little advantage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding, I love seeing Cassie let loose from the back row. She is more effective than at the net with her height disadvantage. So many times though she manages to just power through the block. It has really been a treat watching her game mature.

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