Texas Tech professor Alan Reifman uses statistics and graphic arts to illuminate developments in U.S. collegiate and Olympic volleyball. [For archives of this blog and extensive links to other volleyball sites, please click the three-line icon in upper-right corner.]
Defending NCAA champion and preseason No. 1 Texas had neither an answer for host Hawai'i's offensive prowess nor much of an attack itself (except for Game 2), as the Rainbow Wahine prevailed in four games , 25-19, 19-25 , 27-25, 25-16 ( box score ). Youth was served for Hawai'i, as frosh OH Nikki Taylor (10-1-18) and soph MB Jade Vorster (7-0-14) each hit .500 for the match, committing only one hitting error between them. Junior middle Kalei Adolpho added a .421 night for the 'Bows (11-3-19). The following graph shows each team's hitting percentage per game, with the winning team in each game listed at the bottom. You can click on the graphic to enlarge it. Frosh OH Pilar Victoria (10-3-23, .304) was a rare bright spot for the Longhorns. In Friday night's other marquee match (in my view), USC defeated host Purdue in four.
The 2013 women's college season gets underway today. ESPN "W" (for women's sports) writer Mechelle Voepel has a pair of articles ( here and here ) previewing the season, so I'll just add some brief remarks at this point. I've put together the following chart, showing the preseason polls for three major outlets: the American Volleyball Coaches Association, ESPN W, and Volleyball Magazine (you can click on each column heading to be taken to the full reports on the preseason polls). The polls are identical in their top three. Further, the same 10 schools appear in all three polls' Top 10. AVCA ESPN W VB Mag 1 Texas Texas Texas 2 Penn St. Penn St. Penn St. 3 Stanford Stanford Stanford 4 USC Minnesota USC 5 Washington USC Minnesota 6 Minnesota Florida Washington 7 Michigan Oregon Michigan 8 Oregon Michigan Nebraska 9 Florida Washington Or
The summer of 2013 marks my 40th year of following volleyball. The following photo montage shows me in Israel in 1973, as I traveled with my father, a USA team organizer, to the Maccabiah Games , an international competition for Jewish athletes. Among the players pictured in action is Ed Becker, a former UCLA star who was once mentioned in Sports Illustrated (in the middle, going from left to right, of the five USA players shown). Further information on my volleyball background is available here . With next week's start to the NCAA women's season, I look forward to my 41st year of following the sport and my seventh year of analyzing and writing for this blog.