I like to continue what I started last year (when it makes sense) and, like last year, I think it’s proper to pay respects to the champion. But, first…
…So, when the NCAA decides NOT to select at least 8 West Region teams to their regional (for the second time in three years), it starts to get frustrating. You keep favoring the larger regions and then reward them by inserting them into weaker regionals. I understand the cost factor, BUT we are told that cost is not a factor in selection. So, maybe think about this next year (and I know you won’t) when you bypass UMHB or a La Verne or whomever steps up next season for a Babson or a Vassar or whomever plays well in their large region but doesn’t beat anyone of consequence.
– Words of wisdom from me this time last year that resulted in only 6 teams from the West being selected this year and not one, but two weaker regionals consisting of teams from larger regions. Your welcome!
Enough of that. Congratulations to Emory!
The Eagles dropped only one set on their way to their 2nd ever championship. Trivia answers – Ithaca and 2008! They went through two of the better West Region teams to make it to the Elite 8 and deserved their trophy playing one of the tougher schedules in DIII volleyball.
As for the final, they hit 0.364 against Calvin (who does that?) and turned two of the sets into non-events. Karissa Dzurik led the way with 13 kills hitting 0.310 and finishing with 15 points. Mady Arles had 35 assists but also chipped in 5 kills, 3 aces and 3 blocks. Elyse Thompson had 24 digs.
This is now the fourth straight year we’ve had a sweep in the final and it sure seems like with the reseeding of the Elite 8 that this shouldn’t be the case.
As for my favorite stat that you need to be in the top 10 of hitting percentage to win a national champion…well…maybe not every year. Emory went into this past weekend in 13th place if the NCAA stats are to be believed but I’m unsure if that was updated or not through yesterday’s match. So, there is still hope that the 0.364 performance moves them in the top 10. I can’t tell you how much I hope it does.
Although some life events curtailed my volleyball watching towards the end, I’ve enjoyed a second year of writing, complaining and entertaining (?). Just a reminder I will keep it going although at a slightly reduced rate throughout the off-season.
My final words…
To the senior parents out there…I feel your pain. It’s officially over. Your student-athlete will never understand the joy they have brought to your lives. The sense of pride is unmatched. If you are lucky, your grandchildren will be able to bring that same joy to their lives and only then will they understand. Please keep supporting this wonderful game and, oh yeah, start worrying about your daughter getting a job next summer. They brought you joy but there is no way you are letting them back into the house!
To the non-senior parents…at least one more year of supporting your student-athlete, their school and this great game is ahead of you. Cherish it. It goes by too fast.
And to the champions…enjoy a moment you’ll never forget. For the rest of your lives you are champions. Each and ever one of you. You’ve created a bond within your team and to your school that can never be broken and all I can say is that I’m envious. Fly Higher.