Random thoughts as the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball conference season kicks into full gear on a Tuesday when unbeaten — unbeaten! — Cal plays host to No. 4 Stanford in the first of their final two Pac-12 matchups before both schools go to the ACC next year.
There are 16 other matches on the Tuesday schedule, including four in the Horizon League. Defending-champion Wright State (4-7) is at Robert Morris (3-8), Cleveland State (6-5) plays IUPUI (6-5), Northern Kentucky (5-6) plays Youngstown State (5-6) and Oakland (6-6) plays Purdue Fort Wayne (5-7).
No. 18 Baylor of the Big 12 plays the WAC’s Stephen F. Austin. The ACC’s Florida State plays North Florida of the ASUN, there’s a battle in D.C. when American plays Howard and the two Nashville teams face off when Belmont plays Lipscomb.
Want to watch? We have the conference-by-conference schedule with viewing links for any match that is being shown in our VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.
In the only match Monday, Giovana Larregui Lopez had 25 kills as Eastern Illinois (11-1) beat visiting Southern Indiana (4-8) in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Larregui Lopez, a 5-foot-9 senior outside from Puerto Rico, had three errors in 47 attacks to hit .468 and had two assists, two aces, 13 digs and four blocks, one solo. She is one of two players from The Rock School in Puerto Rico. The other is Jacksonville senior libero Kariana Ayala-Drew.
Natalie Mitchem had 18 kills and four blocks and Christina Martinez Mundo had 23 digsd, seven assists and four of her team’s 10 aces. Leah Anderson of Southern Indiana had 16 kills and Abby Bednar had 15.
Top-ranked Wisconsin and No. 2 Nebraska are both 9-0. Their respective pre-conference seasons have been well documented. Interestingly, they are the only undefeated teams in the AVCA top 25.
The other four unbeatens are Arizona State (12-0), Cal (12-0), The Citadel (12-0) and Wyoming (11-0), and all but The Citadel have first-year head coaches.
Arizona State went 13-19 last season, 7-13 in the Pac-12. USC assistant JJ Van Niel took over and has the Sun Devils off to the program’s best start since 2015, which also the last year ASU went to the NCAA Tournament. ASU has hardly played the toughest schedule, but it has statistically dominated opponents while…