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.]
ESPN-W previews what it considers the top women's college volleyball teams and players in this upcoming season... Meanwhile, here is the AVCA pre-season national poll . Defending NCAA champion Stanford is a near-unanimous pick to repeat, while five B1G teams make the top eight (Nebraska 2, Minnesota 3, Wisconsin 5, Illinois 6, and Penn State 8). Texas (4) and Kentucky (7) complete the top eight.
Having taken three months to digest this year's NCAA men's title match between Hawai'i and Long Beach State, I'm ready to provide my statistical analysis. These teams were ranked as the top two squads entering the national final and they were extremely evenly matched. Long Beach State* and Hawai'i played three late-season matches leading into the NCAA tourney -- the final two matches ( here and here ) of the Big West conference season (played in Long Beach) and in the final of the conference tournament (in Honolulu). All three matches went five games and all three were won by the home team. The Beach hosted the NCAA final round and the home-court advantage held true to form. The final went four games instead of five, but each game was close. Ultimately, Long Beach State successfully defended its national title, 23- 25 , 25- 22 , 25- 22 , 25- 23 ( box score ). For the second straight year, it was the T. J. DeFalco show for The Beach, as the 6-4 senior hitte