Sunday Top 25 scores, Florida loses again

2) USC def. 5) Washington 25-16, 22-25, 25-21, 33-31
6) Arizona State def. Cal 25-17, 25-19, 25-19
26) Arkansas def. 9) Florida 25-23, 15-25, 25-19, 18-25, 18-16
11) UCLA def. Washington State 25-20, 25-18, 30-28
17) Florida State def. Georgia Tech 25-22, 25-20, 25-13
19) Wisconsin def. Northwestern 25-20, 25-16, 25-19
21) Kentucky def. Alabama 25-19, 27-25, 24-26, 25-20


  1. nomu October 4, 2015 4:40 pm

    Really enjoy reading these threads. Great posts, lots of great ideas and information. Looking forward to this weekend.

  2. rapid October 4, 2015 5:10 pm

    ‘florida loses again’, ‘told you sec was weak’

    now i totally agree with that.

  3. lina October 4, 2015 5:24 pm

    Just because Florida lost again, to a team that was barely out of the Top 25 proves that the SEC is weak? How does that prove anything? If we see a team like USC losing to Oregon barely in the Top 25, would we then think the PAC 12 is weak too? Let alone in five games? It’s called parity, something that I wish the Big West would have!

  4. Maverick October 4, 2015 5:28 pm

    So I read all the TMO comments from the previous thread and it seems that some are repeating the tired arguments and singling her out because it has been a dominant theme pre-Florida. TMO’s hittting percentage has stabilized since the Florida match–after a poor outing vs. EWU, she has had five straight .250+ matches before Riverside. And at least four of those opponents are of Riverside’s quality level. Hardly a convincing argument for Jeckyll and Hyde at this point in the season. Also, she hasn’t hit below .100 since Florida, but three times prior. In sum, her performance has improved. Partly because she is making better decisions, partly because the competition is not high.

    She had an off night. The other OHs have had off night against lesser competition recently. Greeley against Bakersfield and UCSB. Taylor against Fullerton at .125. I didn’t see the same amount of criticism of those performances as is being directed against TMO. Everyone has off nights, even our presumptive all-American. At least be consistent with criticism of all poor OH performances rather than target TMO.

  5. Not an Expert October 4, 2015 5:30 pm

    Higgens was given a great deal of time to get to the level she is at. Kendra this is her first start. For the short time over the last two games she has shown the game she can bring. Look at the scores, since she has played scores have been won with a greater margin. That is how it should be with the weaker teams in the BW. Many times that has not been the case with Higgens.

  6. jmy October 4, 2015 5:40 pm

    Will be interesting to see how far Penn St., Nebraska, Illinois & Florida drop this week…

  7. Maverick October 4, 2015 5:50 pm

    Hard to say SEC is weak when one SEC team beats another. Agree with 3.

  8. AdmrVT October 4, 2015 6:10 pm

    #4. And TMO now needs to adjust to Koelsch’s sets to the left-side.

  9. Cindy Luis October 4, 2015 6:17 pm

    7. agree as well. Florida beat host Texas lost last three matches, two of which went to 5. either of those could have gone either way, as the match with UH could have.

    And also agree about some continuing to pick on Manu-Olevao.
    One poster is quick to jump on any mistake she makes yet doesn’t jump on anyone else for making the same mistake. IE overpasses.

    The poll will be interesting

  10. Maverick October 4, 2015 6:17 pm

    8. Good point. I am watching the Riverside match again and just saw an example of what u mentioned.

  11. tongo October 4, 2015 6:24 pm

    With the mounting unexpected losses by Florida, and talk that our RPI may be correspondingly sinking fast, is it a foregone conclusion that we will be on the road for the 1st and 2nd rounds even if we win out in conference play?

  12. Maverick October 4, 2015 6:51 pm

    11. IMO, the chances of UH being seeded are low at this point. A poor RPI rank (estimated at 35 right now) plus the worst strength of schedule in the top 50 RPI teams (and ranked in the 200s) won’t impress the committee. If the #7-20 AVCA and RPI teams each have several losses, and UH goes undefeated the rest of the way, I can see the committee giving the team a low seed (teens) based on program reputation and a one loss record. And there is a lot of volleyball yet to be played. But I am not holding my breath.

  13. kimo browner October 4, 2015 7:04 pm

    4 inches makes a big difference. The length of an average females tallest finger, is less than that. That is the difference between Kendra and Higgins–4 inches. It makes all the difference in the game of VB at the net. Kendra: 6 BA, 1 K, 6 digs, no service errors, 33 assists in Koelsch’s starting debut…not to mention QBing a team that held its opponent to 5 points in the LAST set. Second time wahine has accomplished the feat since rally scoring began in ’99. Coincidence? I believe NOT. That is what Kendras’ dimension brings to her game. Opponents will have to anchor a “spy” at the net to track her–one less blocker. When she teams with our middies it is simply a formidable block formation. When she teams with 6-4 Taylor, ditto. Same with Greely or Castillo on the other side. Now is the time to for her to take her warm up laps to rev up her high performance engine. She does not need an overhaul. Just a few tweaks on her high sets wide and low sets in the middle. By the 3rd set against Riverside, Koelsch adjusted. Castillo and Mitchem had combined for 5 kills in less than a set. Look, we are headed for the NCAAs. The land of the Sequoia where 4″ is the difference between survival and an early flight home.

  14. darkfire October 4, 2015 7:07 pm

    4., 9., 12., I’ve said it before, I’m continually amazed at the knowledge and depth of this blog. It makes for very entertaining, educational and addictive reading. Mahalo nui loa to you all. Geez, I thought I was doing good knowing the Wahine’s names and numbers, LOL!

  15. rapid October 4, 2015 7:20 pm

    to all volleytalkers especially the bashers of TMO. yes! we want emily hartong back!

    lol 😀

  16. kimo browner October 4, 2015 7:50 pm

    During a post game interview with ESPN3, TMO was asked about the wahine game and she simply shoved all accolades to the Hawaii coaches. End of interview. She trotted off the court and disappeared into the locker room, barely leaving an impression. That is her game. TMO has learned to take what the game gives you and since the Florida match, she has done exactly that. She uses her cannon when the shot is available and dinks when she is crowded. She is also hitting angles. Work is in progress, but there is a subtle change. She is using her VB IQ. She also is a quieting force on the court. Like the interview, she deflects all credit to her teammates. TMO still can implode with superior talent on the other side of the net, but she is internalizing options to get around it rather than letting it grow inside her…and… like the interview, she is not spectacular, but she has learned to make a point when it counts.

  17. PBnJz October 4, 2015 8:07 pm

    Mention of Jade Vorster on earlier thread…noticed Liberty match available on ESPN3…so great to see Jade being a star for her team and doing what she wanted (i.e., play vb with her sister–who is their other starting middle). Announcers said Jade is #13 among active middles in blocks! Yea Jade!

  18. Bleachercoach October 4, 2015 8:07 pm

    From watching a lot of volleyball matches on cable the parity of volleyball is amazing. With all the Club Volleyball during the year there is vast talent spread out in every conference. I believe anybody can win on any given night in any conference. It is much easier to upset a top ranked opponent today because there is a few or many skilled athletes on every team. It will come down to the chemistry, being a well oiled , machine, and a little or a lot of God’s favor during postseason…Although I would love them to play the 1st 2 rounds here which seems unlikely at present, I will take the “High Road” as long as we come home with that Final Four or National Championship Title

  19. 'ohanaInBellingham October 4, 2015 8:11 pm

    14. Darkfire: LOL, too!

  20. nomu October 4, 2015 8:31 pm

    I think TMO made up her mind to play up to her potential and deserves credit for stepping it up. But so has everyone else on this team and it shows up as depth. It’s great to see the support this team has for each other, it shows maturity and leadership. Like the leadership Nikki has shown. Give credit to Jeff and Robyn as well. Hope Tayler and Kalei take the time they need to recuperate.

  21. AlexM October 4, 2015 8:42 pm

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but Chris said on the CSUB broadcast (I’m watching the upload), that Dave wanted to use Annie as backup for both Maglio and Nikki, once she got up to speed at middle. I’m wondering if that is still the plan.

  22. noblesol October 4, 2015 9:28 pm

    A scenario that could arise, is for Kalei to be available but only on a limited basis. If such is the case, it could open up an OH starting position for competition between Annie, McKenna, and Casey. Kalei’s role might develop into that of sub for Nikki. If Annie were to win the OH position, then she might be the sub at MH should Olivia or Emily falter, with MeKenna and Casey backing up Tai and Annie.

  23. warriorfan October 4, 2015 9:44 pm

    I like that TMO has stepped it up in conference but she still has the lowest hitting percentage and runs into passing problems, and she’s a senior so I understand why people say she is inconsistent.

    22. If Kalei is available on a limited basis, it will probably be in the backrow only, Although I just see Mckenna taking her spot.

  24. noblesol October 4, 2015 10:06 pm

    Good on McKenna if she can win an OH spot. But I suspect she’s destined to be a role player. She’s undersized for OH, and lacks the hops to make up for it. When you’re facing larger and more physically gifted players in the NCAA’s, there isn’t enough volleyball IQ possible to consistently overcome the handicap throughout the match. Yes, we see a lot of 6.0′ and under OH’s in the Big West, but mostly they fill out the ranks of the near do wells. They can compete for a set or two, but the maximum effort required on every play to overcome the height and physical talent across the net, eventually wears them down. Case in point, Riverside in the third set against Hawaii.

  25. Big Island VB fan October 4, 2015 10:49 pm

    Since USC remains undefeated and Penn State lost its first match, USC is poised to claim the #1 ranking on Monday. What a far cry from last year, almost like from worst to first. Can anyone explain how USC made this quantum leap? I think a certain player with a name difficult to pronounce and spell quit the team. Since then the chemistry improved. I could be wrong. What’s the source of the big difference?

  26. kimo browner October 4, 2015 10:53 pm

    @noblesol. roger that.
    Using Annie or Castillo in the front row sounds incredibly exciting. If they are primed at OH in conference play, this team has no ceiling.

  27. Ki October 5, 2015 6:24 am

    BIVF.. The big difference with USC this year is Mick made a decision to speed up his offense. The results have paid dividends as they are undefeated so far and will probably move up to number 1 in today’s poll.

  28. Ron October 5, 2015 7:11 am

    Great info and insight from the bloggers, thanks. Castillo looks taller than 6′ 3″ on TV. She has so much potential.

  29. greenthumb October 5, 2015 8:21 am

    Is it usual for NCAA to update the RPI grid before updating the weekly rankings? I see the former posted (we are #36) and the latter still shows last week’s rankings. Thanks.

  30. connor October 5, 2015 8:23 am

    #24 and #26: i agree with you as to the problem going against strong teams with lots of height. The smaller block and smaller attackers have problems once we get into NCAAs.

    Example: I looked at Penn State 2015 roster and these are the sizes of its OH, MB and Opp: 6-1. 6-1,6-2.6-2.6-2,6-6-2,6-3,6-3,6-3. This is what we have to prepare for and this why developing Castillo and maybe Mitchem on the outside is important. Dave has a team with potential and I hope he gives more time to develop the taller attacking and blocking team.

  31. Cindy Luis October 5, 2015 8:46 am

    21. have mentioned numerous times that Mitchem is the No. 3 middle. At the moment she has to beat out Maglio.
    Hawaii at 36 in RPI
    29. The AVCA is in charge of the poll, the NCAA posts the RPI.

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