It’ll be a busy weekend in regards to conference volleyball tournaments taking place across the country and teams solidifying their spot in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball bracket. Of the 31 conferences that receive automatic qualifying bids, 19 will have a champion crowned by Monday. Those conferences include: America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big South, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, and Sun Belt.
Results from What to Watch Wednesday
Kansas State at Iowa State
No. 19 Iowa State (17-7, 10-3 Big 12) beat No. 20 Kansas State (21-6, 8-6 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum in four sets (25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15), for its seventh consecutive win, a streak in which the Cyclones have dropped just two sets. Freshman Andie Malloy had a career-high 18 kills on the night while hitting at a .343 clip.
Texas Tech at No. 3 Texas
The third-ranked Longhorns won their 16th-consecutive match in a sweep against Texas Tech to clinch the Big 12 Championship outright. That marks UT’s second consecutive conference title, and the fifth in the last six seasons. UT has two conference matches remaining – home against West Virginia on Saturday and at Iowa State on Nov. 24. The Longhorns are currently 14-0 in Big 12 play, but have never finished conference play undefeated since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996. The Longhorns went undefeated in Southwest Conference play nine times.
Towson tearing it up
Towson has earned 18 consecutive victories this season and is just one win shy of the school record. The Tigers hope to get that record in their next match against the winner of the Hofstra/William & Mary match in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. Towson finished their CAA schedule with a perfect 12-0 record. It’s the second time in school history that the program has finished conference play with a perfect record and just the second time since the CAA started playing a conference schedule of 10 matches or more that a team has gone undefeated.
20 wins for SIU
Southern Illinois turned in its 20th win of the season in their final home match last weekend. The Salukis have not had a 20-win season since the 2002 squad finished with an overall record of 23-10. Southern Illinois is under the direction of first-year head coach Justin Ingram. The team now boasts a record of 20-7 and a conference record of 10-6, securing themselves a trip to the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Nov. 22-24 in Springfield, Mo.
News and Notes
• IUPUI won the first outright, regular season Summit League title in school history with a win against IPFW 3-2 on Saturday. They last shared the conference title 12 years ago in 2000. The Jaguars finished the season with a 13-3 conference record and are the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Summit League tournament.
• Purdue is playing its home match with Penn State on Saturday evening in Mackey Arena. They are running a ticket promotion, pricing them at $2 and $5 in an attempt to draw 10,000 fans for the match, which would set a new attendance record.
Three teams in NCAA field of 64; Conference scenario rundown
With Texas’ win against Texas Tech, there are now three schools that have already earned a spot in the field of 64 (Yale and Hawaii). Every game will count in most of these conference scenarios for regular season champions:
Big Ten: Penn State controls its own destiny this weekend, as the Nittany Lions look to lock up their ninth Big Ten title in the last 10 years. Penn State can clinch at least a share of the title with a win on Friday. The Nittany Lions would claim the title outright with a win on Friday and a Nebraska loss, or back-to-back wins this weekend.
ACC: Miami and Florida State both have 15-2 records heading to matches this weekend with Maryland and Boston College. Should both the Hurricanes and the Seminoles win this weekend, their match next week against each other will determine the regular season champion.
Mountain West: San Diego State holds a slight lead ahead of Colorado State in the current standings, but the Aztecs need to win the rest of their games and hope for the Rams to slip up in their next few matches. It’s still a pretty tight race and possibly they will be co-regular season champions.
Pac-12: The Cardinal stand alone atop the league standings with a three-match cushion for the league crown. Stanford heads to Los Angeles to take on No. 8 USC. Both USC and ULCA still have a mathematical chance to claim a share of the league title, but each has to do its own part to make that happen.
SEC: Florida can clinch a share of the regular season championship on Friday with a win. They can win it outright on Sunday if they win both of their matches this weekend. Statistically, Tennessee and Texas A&M are still in the hunt for the championship with only four losses in conference play. Tennessee has the tiebreaker against Florida and Texas A&M as it stands now, but Texas A&M and Tennessee play next Wednesday and whoever wins that match will be ahead in the wins column.
West Coast: There is nothing better than a head-to-head match to determine a champion. The title is on the line with a matchup between BYU and San Diego on Saturday. If the Cougars secure first place, it will be their first WCC title, while the Toreros have won seven WCC championships in their history with the WCC.
Two televised games up next
Saturday, Nov. 17: 1:00 p.m. — West Virginia at Texas — Longhorn Network
Sunday, Nov. 18: 2:00 p.m. — Auburn at Alabama — CSS (Comcast)