Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2012

2012 NCAA Men's Final: UCI vs. USC

Shakespeare wrote, " What's past is prologue ." That turned out most decisively not to be a useful frame to view last night's NCAA men's final between UC Irvine and USC. As shown in yesterday's preview in the posting immediately below the current one, the Anteaters' Carson Clark had given no recent indication he could dominate the national championship match. In his two prior matches against the Trojans (in the teams' second meeting of the conference season and in the conference tournament), Clark had hit .204 and .103, respectively. And in Thursday night's NCAA semifinal vs Penn State, Clark's hitting percentage was .179. However, the senior opposite (right-side) hitter may as well have been wearing a cape and an "S" across his chest last night vs. USC. As described in UCI's championship-match article , "Senior All-American Carson Clark had a match-high 22 kills, hitting .465, and added eight digs and three service a

UCI-USC Men's Final Preview

UC Irvine and USC will meet in tonight's NCAA men's final. During the teams' head-to-head match-ups in the regular conference season, each team won at home, UCI on January 27 and USC on April 7 . The Anteaters defeated the Trojans in the teams' third match, a semifinal of the MPSF conference tournament. With an eye toward identifying the key hitters in tonight's final and speculating on which players need to do well for their team to win, I've created the following chart (on which you can click to enlarge it). The chart lists each team's most frequently set attackers and their hitting percentages (along with number of spike attempts) in the head-to-head USC-UCI matches, plus each team's NCAA semifinal win ( USC over Lewis ; and UCI over Penn State ). The Trojans are led by 6-foot-6 senior outside hitter Tony Ciarelli, who was recently named the AVCA national men's player of the year. In the matches charted above, Ciarelli has led 'SC

NCAA Men's Final Four

The NCAA men's Final Four gets underway tonight in Los Angeles, with host USC (MPSF regular-season champion) taking on Lewis (Illinois) from the MIVA in one semifinal, and UC Irvine (MPSF tourney champion) taking on Penn State from the EIVA. USC's media notes are available here . In anticipation of the action, I was reading some of Off the Block's unparalleled coverage of men's collegiate volleyball, where I came across a transcript from USC coach Bill Ferguson's press conference. The following quote jumped out at me: Q: Can you talk about USCʼs rise from a slow start? BF: Most of our rise, or the streak, that all came about when (Maddison) McKibbin became healthy again. We went into the season knowing weʼd have two opposites that would probably be fairly equal in ability with Maddison and Tanner (Jansen). With the added notion that McKibbin could pass and play on the left and that gave us some flexibility. Maddison sprained his ankle on the first day of prac