FloVolleyball Weekly Notebook: Jordan Thompson Records 50 Kills!

It’s crunchtime in NCAA women’s volleyball. What happens in matches throughout the month of November will be fresh on the minds of the NCAA selection committee come tournament time, and momentum built this month could make or break a team’s postseason run. 

Here’s what I’m watching in college volleyball right now.

Pac-12 Log Jam

It seems like I tell some version of this story every week. There always seems to be a fresh upset (or three) in the Pac-12. 

Last weekend, the true upsets included—with all listed rankings reflecting the teams’ rank as of the match in question—Oregon (7-14, 3-9) beating No. 20 Cal (18-4, 8-4) in four, No. 25 UCLA (13-8, 8-4) sweeping No. 22 Washington State (19-5, 8-4), and USC (13-9, 7-5) getting past No. 12 Washington (17-5, 8-4) in five.

But then there’s matches like No. 17 Utah’s (16-7, 8-4) bouts with Arizona State (13-10, 5-7) and Arizona (12-12, 2-10) over the weekend. Both matches went to five sets and could have easily gone the other way.

Cal, Washington State, Washington, Utah, and UCLA are all tied for second place in the conference with 8-4 records. Stanford is two games up at 10-2, but the Cardinal, who have been without two-time national player of the year outside hitter Kathryn Plummer since late September due to injury, have had to pivot once again to replace freshman outside Kendall Kipp, who suffered an injury of her own and has missed the last two matches. Freshman Natalie Berty cracked the starting lineup last weekend and Stanford got a pair of sweeps over Oregon State and Oregon.

Never a dull moment.

Jordan Thompson’s 50-kill match

Cincinnati’s star outside hitter Jordan Thompson celebrated her senior night in the best way possible. In a five-set victory over American Athletic Conference foe UConn, Thompson blasted a career-high 50 kills on 83 attempts, hitting .530. Oh, and she had 11 digs to secure a double-double. 

Thompson’s kill total sets new single-match records at UC and in the AAC. She’s the first DI player to score 50 or more kills in more than 20 years and just the seventh time anyone has done so in NCAA history.

The redshirt senior leads the nation with 6.39 kills per set, almost a whole kill per set ahead of the next highest producer, Baylor’s Yossiana Pressley with 5.58 kills per set. 

SEC's New Hotness: Texas A&M

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the race for the SEC title was looking really interesting. At that time, Ole Miss stood atop the standings with an undefeated conference record, while Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky were all tied for second. 

As of this writing, however, it’s Texas A&M I’ve got my eye on. The Aggies (16-5, 8-3) currently sit fourth in the league, but they’re riding a five-match win streak, during which they’ve beaten Ole Miss, Georgia, Kentucky (then No. 15), and Missouri (then No. 24) 

Texas A&M cracked the AVCA top 25 this week, coming in at No. 25, and even more impressively, the team sits ninth in the most recent RPI ranking.

Of course, as we’ve seen throughout this season, no team can be discounted, but A&M doesn’t face another ranked opponent until its final match of the season on Nov. 30, a rematch with No. 13 Florida, which beat the Aggies in five sets earlier in the year.

Upcoming NCAA Volleyball Matches Live on FloVolleyball

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019

Northeastern vs. UNC Wilmington 7 PM ET

Friday, Nov. 8, 2019

Minnesota vs. Maryland 7 PM ET

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State 7 PM ET

Purdue vs. Rutgers 7 PM ET

Indiana vs. Penn State 7:30 PM ET

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019

Maryland vs. Wisconsin 6 PM ET

Northwestern vs. Michigan State 7 PM ET

Purdue vs. Penn State 7 PM ET

Illinois vs. Michigan 7 PM ET

Indiana vs. Rutgers 7 PM ET

Nebraska vs. Iowa 8 PM ET

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019

Minnesota vs. Ohio State 12 PM ET

Towson vs. UNC Wilmington 1 PM ET

Under Armour All-American Profile: Sophie Fischer

Among the 24 elite high school volleyball players named to the 2019 Under Armour First Team All-America list, only one has not made a decision on where she will attend college next fall. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Annie Cate Fitzpatrick

The 2019 Under Armour First Team High School All-America list features quite a few state champions. Among them is Annie Cate Fitzpatrick, an outside hitter from Ocala, Florida.

Under Armour All-American Profile: Paige Flickinger

Throughout her volleyball career, Paige Flickinger has been told that she’s not tall enough to compete at the highest levels as a hitter. And yet, time after time, the Trophy City, Texas, native has proven those naysayers wrong. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Birdie Hendrickson

It’s not uncommon to find ties to elite athletics in the family trees of top volleyball players, and Camille “Birdie” Hendrickson has athletes on all sides of the family. Her mother Laura (nee Dixon) played volleyball at Florida, father Michael was a professional triathlete, and grandfather Brien ran track at Nebraska. Her older sister Hanna sets for Division II Western Colorado, and younger brother Landon, a member of the Class of 2021 will almost certainly run distance in college.

Under Armour All-American Profile: Nalani Iosia

It’s not easy to garner national recognition as a libero. Only two high school liberos made the cut for the 2019 Under Armour All-America first team list. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Taylor Landfair

Two and a half years ago, the FloVolleyball team spotted then-15-year-old Taylor Landfair at a tournament hosted by her club Sports Performance. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Emily Londot

Emily Londot has been an elite-level volleyball player for quite some time now. Afterall, the 6-3 versatile attacker committed to Ohio State way back in 2016. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Anna DeBeer

In an interview with Catholic Sports Net earlier this year, Assumption High School outside hitter Anna DeBeer named Mikaela Foecke as her favorite player.

Under Armour All-American Profile: Naomi Cabello

Since the departure of Chloe Collins following the 2016 season, Texas has seen plenty of shuffling at the setter position. Ashley Shook took over the reigns in 2017 and started for most of 2018 too, before losing her spot to then-freshman Jhenna Gabriel, who remains the starter for the Longhorns as they work their way through the 2019 NCAA Tournament. 

Under Armour All-American Profile: Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford spent most of her formative years in Liberty, Missouri, but recently moved just across the border to Lansing, Kansas, which means her family will have an even easier time coming to watch her play at the University of Kansas next fall.