People in the know insist that the volleyball Warriors have a very good chance of earning a play-in berth in next week’s NCAA tournament if UC Irvine beats Pepperdine tonight.
Irvine, No. 1 nationally and in the MPSF playoffs, is assured an NCAA berth no matter tonight’s outcome. If Pepperdine wins the MPSF title match, it receives the league’s automatic berth and Irvine gets an at-large spot. If Irvine wins, the belief is that UH has a good enough “resume” — checkoffs in the nine-point criteria — to earn the play-in berth ahead of Pepperdine.
Of course, anything can happen when left to a selection committee. But the Warriors will attend tonight’s title match. If Pepperdine wins, the Warriors will head to Honolulu on Saturday. If Irvine wins, the Warriors will stick for the NCAA field to be announced at 7:30 a.m. (Hawaii time) on Saturday.
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Former UH running back Joey Iosefa also will be in the proverbial waiting room as a hopeful late-round draft choice. Linebacker Aaron Brown was the last Warrior drafted, when he was picked in the seventh round in 2012.
UH defensive end Beau Yap hopes to earn a free-agent look. The thing is, with his build, speed and genes, Yap probably would be a pretty good fullback.
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For those wondering, this is how yesterday’s first-round picks did against UH.
> Leonard Williams, DT, USC — (8/29/13): 4 tackles, 2 sacks; (9/1/12): 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery.
> Danny Shelton, NT, Washington — ((8/30/14): 12 tackles, two sacks, 3 tackles for losses.
> Nelson Agholor, WR, USC — (8/29/13): 2 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD; (9/1/12): 1 catch, 6 yards.
> Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington — (8/30/14): 4 tackles pass breakup.