Monday, September 8, 2008

Some Extra Volleyball Notes

The latest weekly UWM volleyball notebook is now up on the main website here as the Panthers get ready to head to Michigan State for matches Thursday and Friday. But here is a little more from the volleyball front.

UWM’s big win over Iowa State Aug. 29 continues to hold up nationally. The Cyclones were 18th in the country when the Panthers beat them, and ISU is still 28th in the national poll this week. Iowa State went 2-1 this weekend, with its only loss coming to #13 Middle Tennessee. The win is the most notable for a Horizon League school so far this preseason, but it is not the only notable win. Valpo has wins over Notre Dame and Louisville while Loyola beat Northwestern.

There were also a few questions as to why the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational this past weekend was played at Illinois Central College instead of on the campus of host Bradley. BU is actually building a new on-campus rec center for volleyball and women’s basketball, and the hope is it will open later this fall. In the mean time, the Braves will call ICC home, even going as far as to replace the ICC blue padding around the volleyball standards with BU red padding for its matches.

By the way, the Panthers left town before the all-tournament team was announced. It was included it in the post-match notes upon arrival home Saturday night, and in the weekly notes online, but it is worth highlighting again as UWM was well-represented. Becky Peters was named the tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by Maddie Sueppel and Lauren Felsing.

Finally, a little more about the tournament field in East Lansing. Michigan State was in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament a year ago and actually should have gone further. The Spartans went up 2-0 on Nebraska in their regional semifinal match only to drop the next three sets. UCONN, meanwhile, beat league preseason fave Cleveland State on the opening weekend of the season. Assistant coach Tim O’Brien used to be the head coach at Loyola.

Meanwhile, if you think UWM’s string of five-straight Horizon League titles is impressive, how about the two league-related streaks Florida A&M has put together? The Rattlers have won 99-straight league matches and have won seven-straight league titles. Here is a link to an interesting article on the Rattlers if you want to read more about some of the unique ways they are getting things done.