FloVolleyball's Weekly NCAA Notebook (9/12/19)

Penn State

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Check out the top NCAA volleyball storylines from the last week and get a glimpse at what you can look forward to this weekend.

Yossiana Pressley, Baylor Chop Down Ranked Opponents

If you didn’t know the name Yossiana Pressley before this week, you do now. The Baylor junior has led the Bears to a 5-0 start to the season, including upsets of then-No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 11 Marquette, results which rocketed Baylor to a program-best No. 5 ranking in this week’s AVCA top-25 poll. 

Pressley earned AVCA National Player of the Week honors after blasting 31 kills versus Wisconsin and 20 against Marquette, making zero errors on 45 swings for an impressive .444 hitting percentage. With her statistical total from the past three matches, Pressley officially surpassed 1,000 career kills, and at 6.25 kills per set so far this season, she ranked No. 2 in the country.

This week's Big Ten Lineup

Freshman middle blocker Kara McGhee was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for her 14 blocks in the last three matches.

In an interview with the Baylor Bear Insider ahead of the season, Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre highlighted the depth of his 2019 roster. 

“It helps in how we train because of how good they are on the roster," McGuyre said. “It’s not just fillers, but it is a great group of women that get to battle. So it makes the quality of our reps really good in practice, because we’re really competitive with each other without maybe the same people jumping 100,000 times.”

Sure, it takes at least seven players to win a match, and that group for Baylor includes setter Hannah Lockin, middle Shelly Stafford, outside Gia Milana, opposite Marieke Van der Mark, and libero Tara Wulf, but Pressley, who has taken more than twice as many swings as anyone else on the team so far this season, is far and away the star. 

Texas Takes Season’s First Sets From Stanford

The Longhorns couldn’t manage an upset of No. 1-ranked Stanford, but they did push the Cardinal to five sets, becoming the first team to even take a set off the reigning national champions this season. 

Senior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer set a new career high with 34 kills against Texas to help her team extend its winning streak to 36 matches in a row, earning her the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor.

Texas’ outsides Logan Eggleston and Micaya White each had 19 kills (a new career high for sophomore Eggleston) and hit above .300, while freshman middle blocker Molly Phillips contributed 11 kills, hitting .450, along with seven block assists. Phillips was subsequently named Big 12 Rookie of the Week.

This week's CAA Lineup

All Eyes on Happy Valley This Weekend

Speaking of Stanford, the Cardinal will travel to State College, Pennsylvania, this weekend for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge featuring No. 4 Penn State, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 10 Oregon, and No. 1 Stanford.

This preseason tournament features certainly the top matches of the weekend, and perhaps even the biggest matches of the non-conference portion of the season. 

Taking on Stanford Friday and Oregon Saturday will be the first big tests of the season for Penn State, which has yet to face a ranked opponent, but has swept all five of its matches so far. A quartet of sophomores—Kaitlyn Hord, Serena Gray, Jonni Parker, and Allyson Cathey—leads the Lions offensively, while their classmate Gabi Blossom quarterbacks the offense and senior Kendall White holds down the libero position and redshirt senior middle Tori Gorrell rounds out the starting lineup.

Minnesota enters Week 3 of the season with a 2-2 record, having lost to Florida State (in a massive upset in the first week of action) and to Texas in a sweep and defeating North Carolina and Florida, both in straight sets.

Oregon has played just three matches in 2019, entering the weekend with a 2-1 record following a four-set loss at No. 6 Pitt on Wednesday night. A pair of freshmen are among the players to watch for Oregon: setter Kylie Robinson, who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after opening weekend, and libero Georgia Murphy. Last year’s starting libero Brooke Nuneviller is now hitting outside and ranks third on the team with 27 kills. 

This weekend's NCAA Volleyball matches live on FloVolleyball:

Thursday, Sept. 12

Oakland vs. Michigan State 7 PM ET

Friday, Sept. 13

Coastal Carolina vs. Albany 10:30 AM ET

Towson vs. Youngstown State 1 PM ET

High Point vs. No. 2 Nebraska 1 PM ET

No. 6 Pitt vs. Cal Poly 1 PM ET

Princeton vs. George Mason 4 PM ET

Youngstown State vs. Albany 4 PM ET

No. 13 BYU vs. No. 3 Texas 5:30 PM ET

No. 8 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Oregon 6 PM ET

Arkansas vs. Maryland 7 PM ET

Navy vs. No. 24 Michigan 7 PM ET

Towson vs. Coastal Carolina 7 PM ET

Denver vs. No. 2 Nebraska 8:30 PM ET

Saturday, Sept. 14

Princeton vs. Arkansas 10 AM ET

Youngstown State vs. Coastal Carolina 11 AM ET

No. 16 Utah vs. No. 6 Pitt 1 PM ET

VCU vs. No. 13 BYU 1 PM ET

George Mason vs. Maryland 1 PM ET

Loyola Marymount vs. No. 2 Nebraska 2 PM ET

Towson vs. Albany 2 PM ET

George Mason vs. Arkansas 4 PM ET

No. 8 Minnesota vs. No. 1 Stanford 5:30 PM ET

Princeton vs. Maryland 7 PM ET

No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 4 Penn State 8 PM ET

Cal Poly vs. No. 16 Utah 8 PM ET

Sunday, Sept. 15

Eastern Michigan vs. No. 24 Michigan 1 PM ET

North Carolina vs. Michigan State 1 PM ET

Elon vs. Wake Forest 2 PM ET

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CAA Announces All Teams Will Compete In 2020-21 Conference Tournaments

Towson

The Colonial Athletic Association will provide every team in every sport the opportunity to participate in their respective conference tournaments during the 2020‐21 season as the league announced its championships schedule on Tuesday.

We Stand With You

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The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

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Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

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400+ youth sports leaders join forces to form the PLAY Sports Coalition to support young athletes through COVID-19.

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PacWest & FloSports Announce 3-Year Partnership

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FloSports Acquires Streaming Rights To Complete Basketball and Volleyball Seasons Across The Conference’s 11 Member Institutions In California And Hawaii 

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Athletes Unlimited Announces Plans For Indoor Volleyball League

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When the company Athletes Unlimited kicked off its quest to build a new network of professional sports leagues, it started with softball, announcing a women’s fast-pitch league in March, which is set to begin play in August in Chicago. 

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COVID-19 Might End The Age Of Skyrocketing NCAA Expense Sheets

Penn State

Ten billion, three hundred fifty-seven million, one hundred forty-nine thousand, fifty-one dollars. 

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Towson Day Watch Guide

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Calling all Towson Tigers.

Coming Up On CAA 24/7: William & Mary Day

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Tell you whole Tribe. We have big news.

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James Madison Day On FloVolleyball

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Calling all JMU diehards.

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