The regionals are this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14, and feature the strongest teams and players in the country going head to head.
The beginning of the tournament has seen some unbelievable plays, including crazy kills, digs, and rallies. But, we decided to take a look at the most powerful offenses remaining in the tournament. Here they are, in no particular order,
Second-seeded Texas has one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. The Longhorns lead the country in hitting percentage with a .325 team average. Their five starting players are all hitting above .300. That is extremely impressive.
Logan Eggleston, who was the player of the game in Texas' five-set win over UCSB, has a .313 hitting percentage, Brionne Butler has a stunning .441 hitting percentage, Asjia O'Neal owns a .350 hitting percentage, freshman standout Skylar Fields has a .338 percentage, and lastly, their kills leader, Micaya White has a .306 hitting percentage. White may have the lowest of the bunch, but she is also averaging four kills per set and has the most attempts on the team. So her .306 hitting percentage is great.
Can we talk about the combination of Dana Rettke, Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg? A lot of teams have one player that substantially tallies more kills than the others. The Badgers do not. Rettke has led in kills the entire season, but Haggerty is behind by six kills, and Loberg trails by less than less than 40. Anytime you have a middle blocker that is out-scoring your pin-hitters, (really good pin-hitters, I might add) the offense is probably pretty versatile. Wisconsin is eighth in the country in kills per set, fourth in the country as a team in hitting percentage, with a .295 percent, and fourth in assists per set.
Can I end the paragraph right there?
Stanford is third in the entire country in kills per set, fifth in the country in hitting percentage, and third in assists per set. Plus, they played one of the toughest schedules this season. So they were putting up crazy offensive numbers, against crazy good teams.
And to reiterate, they have Plummer, the two-time AVCA National Player of the Year, who was out with an injury this season for 10 games and still leads the team in kills, and averages 4.83 kills per set on .308 hitting efficiency. If you're able to slow down Plummer, there is still Audriana Fitzmorris on the other side, Madeleine Gates, and freshman standout Kendall Kipp. Not to mention first-team All-American setter Jenna Gray. This is a powerful offense, and a group that has a lot of experience in the postseason.
We have got to include the No. 1 seed Baylor, who has offensive powerhouse Yossiana Pressley. Baylor is seventh in the country in kills per set with 14.57, and Pressley is second in the country in kills per set with 5.42. They also rank in the top 10 for hitting percentage as a team and assists per set as well. When Pressley gets help from her teammates, they are even more successful offensively.
The Bearcats earned their spot amongst the top sixteen team with the huge upset over No. 6 seed Pittsburgh. So although they may not have been ranked amongst the top teams all season, they deserve to be here now. The Bearcats offense is leading the entire country in kills per set, and assists per set, and they are sixth in hitting percentage. They didn't face the as strong of a schedule as the other teams on this list, but they proved they can beat strong teams and earned their spot.
The Bearcats also have the nation's leader in kills per set, Jordan Thompson. Thompson averages 6.4 kills per set and leads the country with 768 total kills. She also does that on a .343 hitting percentage.
This past summer, Jordan Thompson was breaking records for @USAVolleyball. Back for her senior season, Thompson has leveraged her experience with the #USAVwnt to take @GoBearcatsVB to unprecedented heights.#NCAAVB pic.twitter.com/3s117oW4Kr— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) December 12, 2019
Kentucky volleyball deserves a mention as one of the top offenses remaining too. They rank ninth in kills per set as a team in the country and 15th in hitting percentage. The Wildcats have the duel threat of Leah Edmond and Alli Stumler offensively. Edmond tallies 4.43 kills per set on .309 hitting, and this offense has hit above .300 percent since the start of the tournament.