VB 2015

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VB 2015

Postby pawball » August 27th, 2015, 6:00 pm

Well, everyone commences plays tomorrow, and looking at the match-ups in initial contests, every Valley team has a chance to win or lose, not because of the obvious someone's gotta win or lose but because every match, based on last year's final Pablo Rankings, has Valley teams playing a team that is pretty close in ranking to the Valley team that they play.

To give some examples....Bradley @ 290 plays Toledo @ 281. SIU @ 134 plays Delaware @ 172. That's not a huge difference. And it goes on and on like that the entire first set of games that Valley teams play.

Valley ball was down last year and the year before compared to years before those. Last year the bottom tier was really down. I'm hoping we will see a resurgence in the league overall. The only team that I think will slide down from last year is Illinois St since they lost so many key players. But their coach is very good, so who knows, maybe they will surprise.

When you look at non-conf scheduling, both UNI and WSU stand out, esp UNI since they play no one with less than a 174 ranking from last year. When you compare the Top 6 teams that UNI and WSU each play, it's like splitting hairs. After that, UNI's sched is superior. Next in line in toughness of scheduling is MSU, and after that SIU and Illinois St. At least there are four teams in The Valley that can make the other Top 5 squirm. Again, it's the bottom five that we've gotta hope moves up from how they were playing last year for/to help the conference get an at large berth.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » August 28th, 2015, 12:12 pm

Off to a good start as Bradley and SIU each win in 5 sets, SIU going 21-19! as they beat Delaware, and Bradley came from behind in their 5th set in a true road match, though a tourney of course, against Toledo. SIU is playing in a Central Florida tourney, same school that Jade Hayes from Ozark, MO transferred to after playing a couple years at Mizzou.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » August 28th, 2015, 10:05 pm

Valley goes 11-3 in first day of play. Nice start.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » August 31st, 2015, 7:18 am

Valley goes 21-10 in opening weekend of play. Three more weekends of non-conf play. Shocks, Bears and UNI still look 1-2-3 with Ill St and SIU next in no particular order.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby JayJ79 » September 7th, 2015, 11:12 pm

UNI had a high player turnover (graduation, transfers, and some other issues), so has a really young team. (3 true freshmen and no seniors in the main rotation, and a RS sophomore setter getting her first match action as setter)

That youth, combined with a really challenging OOC schedule has lead to some early losses, but that incoming class definitely has some talent and potential, so I think once they get some experience under their belts (well, no belts in volleyball, so experience under their spandex? wait, that sounds bad. haha) they can be a pretty good team.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » September 10th, 2015, 8:30 pm

Think it's really difficult to rank the Top 5 teams in The Valley after the 2nd weekend of non-con pla

Here are the most recent Pablo Rankings:

Illinois St 41
Missouri St 50
Wichita St 70
Southern Ill 92
Northern I 105
Indiana St 150
Loyola Chi 160
Drake 170
Bradley 217
Evansville 254

What I like about these rankings, even tho The Valley doesn't have a team in the Top 30, is that it's showing that the bottom half of the conference has seriously raised its level of play compared to last year. Quite an improvement. Plus, at this stage, with still a weekend of non-con play, things could improve even more. Or go down. But even if disaster assails The Valley in the last weekend of play, the conference power ranking will be greater than it was last year. Every team in The Valley deserves a lot of credit for scheduling smartly.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » September 10th, 2015, 8:32 pm

Whoops...MSU should be 59, not 50. And that's before their home loss to Arkansas St. yesterday.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » September 10th, 2015, 8:46 pm

Valley is currently ranked 10th among all conferences by Pablo, darn good, and within striking distance to improve that ranking if a lot of things fell into place this weekend.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » September 11th, 2015, 8:07 pm

Except for Bradley and Drake, another pretty good day for The Valley. 11-4 with Shocks tied a set apiece with #21 Kentucky as they head into set 3.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby pawball » September 11th, 2015, 9:32 pm

OK....Shocks take #21 Kentucky....too bad for SEC. Except for Florida, that conference isn't much stronger than The Valley. Way to go Shocks.
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Re: VB 2015

Postby JayJ79 » September 11th, 2015, 10:03 pm

UNI's pablo ranking is actually probably a few spots higher, as the source that the person who computes Pablo uses had some incorrect scores for the UNI/Kentucky match. (I talked to them about it). Not that it would make a huge difference, but hopefully it will be corrected for next week's rankings (besides, the Panthers should be able to string together some more wins and thus move up a bit, at least into the top 100)
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