Monday, 4 March 2024

International Volleyball

NCAA volleyball: AVCA All-Americans; “heavyweight foursome;” Sioux Falls connection

NCAA volleyball: AVCA All-Americans; "heavyweight foursome;" Sioux Falls connection

Wisconsin’s Anna Smrek juggles tennis balls at Wednesday’s practice/@AndyWenstrand

TAMPA, Florida — The Wednesday before the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is always busy.

Not only do all four teams — top-seeded Nebraska, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 4 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Texas — practice and have media obligations, the AVCA announces its All-America teams.

Details follow, but the All-American teams, coach, player and freshman of the year will be announced next week because we include Thursday’s national semifinals and Sunday championship match.

In this notebook, we’ve got all of the above plus some more intriguing TV news, why they won’t spread out the matches in the first three rounds, a tidbit about South Dakota that is so good, and plenty more.

And what Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said:

“This is a heavyweight foursome here. These are elite teams, elite programs, players that are a variety of ages, but the young people don’t play young and they don’t play scared and they’re not going to be scared on this stage.

“And that’s one of the cool things, even the young players have played on big stages in front of big television crowds, in front of big arenas or football fields — international. It’s a lot of people that are going to be flexing out there. This is going to be a really fun tournament.”

AVCA All-Americans

This is a four-team tournament with plenty of stars, that’s for sure.

Pittsburgh’s Olivia Babcock was named the AVCA national freshman of the year Wednesday as the organization announced its three All-American teams and honorable mentions. 

The first team was, as you would expect, chock full of players competing in the national semifinals, including Babcock’s teammate, Rachel Fairbanks.

Nebraska players were Merritt Beason and Lexi Rodriguez. Wisconsin has Sarah Franklin and Texas has Madisen Skinner and Asjia O’Neal.

Click here to see the complete list of AVCA All-Americans.

The AVCA coach of the year is announced Thursday and the player of the year is announced Friday at the All-American luncheon.

The Reillys, Bergen, left, and Raegen with Taryn Knoth

O’Gorman HS of Sioux Falls looms large

O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls (population 196,528) is sporting some pretty impressive volleyball credentials this week.

This past Saturday, USA Volleyball stars Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss won the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals in Doha,…

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