Even with just two weekends of play on the books, the present season is shaping up to be a weird one. On top of Penn State's loss to Oregon in Week 1, Week 2 has given us a Central Florida sweep over USC and a Colorado State comeback over Nebraska.
Texas, another highly ranked squad, didn't acquit itself particularly well either, failing to take even a game in two matches at Minnesota. The first match score was 25-20, 25-20, 25-17, whereas the second was 25-19, 25-21, 25-22.
Minnesota has been one of the pleasant surprises of the young season, with a five-game loss to USC in the Penn State tournament its only blemish. Leading the Golden Gopher hitting attack is Tori Dixon, a 6-3 sophomore middle blocker. In each of the Gophers' four matches thus far, Dixon has recorded hitting percentages in the .400 vicinity, where .300 would be considered very good (see graph below).
Meanwhile, teammates Ariana Filho (6-2 senior MB) and Katherine Harms (6-2 junior outside hitter) have also been putting up some gaudy numbers, albeit with less consistency.
In Saturday's second match between Texas and Minnesota, the siding-out rates were exceptionally high. The Longhorns' side-out percentages for the three games (in chronological order) were 60, 62, and 68, which usually would win you a lot of matches. However, the Gophers' were 78, 72, and 77!
In the USC-UCF match, the Trojans' Alex Jupiter, whose inconsistencies have been documented on this blog, hit .000. Her 7 kills were cancelled out by 7 errors, in 28 swings (box score). Sometimes Jupiter can be out of this world, and other times, just out of it!
LATE NIGHT UPDATE: UCLA has defeated Hawai'i 3-1 in Honolulu (box score)... Florida will be hosting Iowa State Monday afternoon (2:00 Eastern) in a Labor Day matinee (UF preview). Unless there are restrictions of which I'm unaware, interested volleyball fans should be able to listen via the Internet to the game broadcast on radio station WRUF 850. There is also tape-delayed television coverage, if you get the Sun Sports network.