This week in college beach volley ball, the East Meets West Invitational gets on legendary Manhattan Beach in a competitors with indisputable postseason effects. In an extensive meeting, Brooke Niles, train ofNo 4 Florida State, discusses returning residence to Southern California for the East-West, along with the larger photo of seeding for the NCAAChampionships We diminish various other activity on a complete weekend, and also completed with an honor roll of meeting sets of the week.
The beach where seeds are grown
The emphasis this weekend counts on the solemn sands of Manhattan Beach, California, where a piled intersectional competitors needs to give a hard disk’s packed with purposeful information for the NCAA Championship option board to consider.
The East Meets West Invitational on Friday and also Saturday, used the deep sand of Manhattan Beach, in the darkness of its famous pier on the South Bay, includes 5 of the leading 8 groups in the nation and also 8 of the leading 16.
The results number to variable greatly in the 8 at- big proposals to the NCAA Championships (May 3, 5-7) in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and also likely will affect the seeding for the 17-team, single-elimination event by supplying the board with engaging neck and neck outcomes. Four groups from the West (No 2 UCLA,No 3 USC,No 7 Loyola Marymount and alsoNo 8 Hawai’ i) will certainly fight 4 from the East (No 4 Florida State,No 5 LSU,No 11 Georgia State and alsoNo 16 Florida International) in 16 crossover duals over both days.
The West’s schedule stands for a Murderers’ Row for the East programs, with none from another location appearing like a rest.
USC (13-1) has actually removed 8 placed teams, consisting of Pac -12 archrival UCLA, and also its only loss is to unbeaten TCU, the consentaneousNo 1 in this week’s AVCA survey.Loyola Marymount (16-1) presented its prominence of the WCC over the weekend by winning the West Coast Challenge, all 4 suits by 5-0 ratings. The Lions hold triumphes over 6 placed groups.
Nine placed teams have actually been up to UCLA (19-1), which ran its winning touch to 10 with a 4-1 success over Hawai’ i (20-4) on residence sandWednesday at Mapes Beach The Rainbow Wahine had a touch of 18 duals broken by the Bruins after they had actually run the table in theBig West Challenge UCLA’s leading set for that double of Abby Van Winkle and also Peri Brennan breezed in a 21-10, 21-12 cinch over Brooke Van Sickle and also Kaylee Glagau, that went down fromNo 1 toNo 2 at the 1sts in CollegeBeach VB.com’s ranking therefore.
Meanwhile, the East teams can make engaging situations to the option board with solid provings versus such overwhelming competitors.
FSU (21-2) has actually dropped just to TCU and also UCLA, and also has actually defeated 9 placed adversaries. The losses sustained by LSU (17-5) have actually been to TCU (two times), Florida State (two times) and also UCLA. The Tigers have 4 triumphes over placed challengers.
Georgia State (13-7) is the only placed group amongst the Sun Belt Conference’s 8 programs. The Sandy Panthers are 2-8 versus existing Top 20 teams, so the automated proposal granted to the Sun Belt Tournament champ may be their only course to the NCAAs unless they draw troubles this weekend.
FIU (9-9) has actually arranged tough all period and also will certainly play duals versus 10th-ranked Stanford and alsoNo 12Long Beach State on Thursday prior to the East Meets West cranks up. Going right into that tri-dual, the Panthers from Miami were 0-9 versus groups in this week’s Top 20 and also are among 3 placed teams in the six-team Conference- U.S.A..
Matches from the East Meets West Invitational can be watched online via the UCLA live stream through Pac 12. com.
Seminoles excited to discover exactly how they “measure up”
FSU has actually developed a powerful heritage in beach volley ball and also, as theNo 4-ranked group in the nation, has every assumption of once more being a top-level gamer in the NCAA Championship.
The Seminoles have actually come so near nationwide titles, taking second-place prizes back to Tallahassee in 4 AVCA or NCAA events, 3 under Coach Brooke Niles considering that beach volley ball ended up being a completely NCAA-sanctioned sporting activity in 2016. Niles is totally knowledgeable about exactly how crucial this weekend’s East Meets West duals are as a measure for her group.
“We are really excited to be back in this tournament,” she claimed. “We missed it in 2014. It’s an excellent possibility to see exactly how our schedule compares to groups that possibly will be at Gulf Shores, to see exactly how we determine up versus competitors that we typically do not reach play.
“We just finished playing LSU [last weekend] for the second time. We’ve played TCU already. We don’t normally play USC and UCLA and Hawa’ii unless those teams travel out here. We haven’t faced Hawai’i in a few years and they always play us really tough. Our focus always is on getting better. We have a tough four weeks ahead of us — five weeks of you count the NCAAs — and we’re just hoping to build some momentum. Playing these highly ranked teams will tell us a lot about what we need to work on for the next few weeks after that.”
Niles is an indigenous Southern Californian, and also Manhattan Beach holds unique definition too for her hubby, Nick Lucena, a Floridian that functions as the Seminoles’ assistant train. Lucena, 43, rates amongst one of the most enhanced American beach gamers in background, gathering 29 titles on residential or globe excursions, and also standing for the United States in the 2016 Rio and also 2021 Tokyo Olympics withPhil Dalhausser He has 3 plaques on the famous Manhattan Beach Pier memorializing the Manhattan Beach Opens he won with Dalhausser in 2015, ’17 and also ’18.
A SoCal homecoming, Niles claimed, “is a wonderful opportunity for us in one of the meccas of the beach-volleyball world. My husband and I used to live right there in El Segundo. Nick has his name on the pier three times, so we always are excited to go back to California.”
Having an instructor with the impressive qualifications of a Nick Lucena on the FSU team has actually made a substantial distinction in the program on several degrees.
Niles: “My assistant coach is a two-time Olympian who can tell the players, ‘Hey, in this situation, this is what I would do against a 6-11 blocker on the world tour.’ ”
But, train, are your women really knowledgeable about that Coach Lucena is?
“Now I would label him as the best women’s blocker, because he plays against our team,” Niles claimed with a laugh. “Nick will never talk about himself. He’s so humble and he’s such a hard worker. But it’s pretty cool to see the relationship he has with our players, how he coaches, and how he uses his experience to get the best out of them. The level of our training has changed just because of his intensity, and that’s just who he is. It’s really a benefit for them to see that, hey, if you want to be successful, these are the characteristics you should probably strive to get.”
Niles delighted in a strong occupation on the sand too, specifically when partnered with 2016 UNITED STATEOlympian Lauren Fendrick She was called the Best Defender on the AVP Tour in 2009 and also Best Defensive Player in the National Volleyball League collection in 2014. Niles gathered 6 titles on different residential excursions, with much of her success including Fendrick throughout the AVP’s personal bankruptcy duration in 2011 and also ’12.
But Brooke, 42, simply laughed when pushed concerning whether she still strikes the sand: “Oh, I’m so old, I actually got asked the other day if I played beach volleyball by a parent. And I was like, well, yeah, I did that.”
The Seminoles have a gamer that currently has actually accomplished significant success at the professional degree in Floridian Maddie Anderson, a 6-foot-1 redshirt junior that made AVCA first-team All-American honors in 2022 and also was CollegeBeach VB.com’s Breakthrough Player of theYear After the college period, Anderson, 21, completed in 3 Volleyball World excursion quits with Molly Turner, winning a Futures- degree event in Italy in July and also gaining the silver medal in a second-tier Challenger occasion in Dubai inOctober Seeded 14th, Turner and also Anderson were defeated in the last by the top-seeded German professionals Julia Sude and also Isabel Schneider.
“Maddie Anderson has played at 1s the last two years,” Niles claimed. “She had a remarkable period in 2014 teaming with a knowledgeable gamer inBrook Bauer Maddie has actually expanded as a gamer. Her growth the last 2 years has actually boggled the mind. She used the globe excursion this summer season and also she’s mosting likely to play AVP this following summer season. She has actually climbed to the obstacle of betting far better and also far better competitors. Maddie has actually been a staple for us at the 1sts.’
Anderson’s companion is jr Paige Kalkhoff, that moved to FSU from Florida International, where she played in the leading set.
“Maddie and Paige are going to get better and better the more they get used to playing with each other as a team and playing in our style,” claimed Niles, that is 222-46 (82.8%) at the Seminoles’ helm. “Paige is still discovering exactly how we do points. They have actually enhanced each weekend, and also they carried out actually well this pastweekend They had a tough suit versus Washington, and also we had actually shed to that 1sts set [of Chloe Loreen-Natalie Robinson] when we played them at the start of the year at residence, and also this moment they had the ability to defeat them in 3.
“Their confidence is getting higher each weekend. They know that every match is going to be a challenge, but for us as a program, whenever our 1s pair is really good, our team seems to perform better. Maddie and Paige are a tough team to play and a tough team to beat, so that sets the tone for the rest of our lineup.”
Dead in advance for Anderson-Kalkhoff may be 3 of the leading 4 groups in CollegeBeach VB.com’s positions of 1sts sets: UCLA’s Lexy Danaburg-Maggie Boyd (very first), Van Sickle-Glagau (2nd) of Hawai’ i and also Valma Prihti-Melanie Paul (4th) of Loyola Marymount.
FSU has actually been solid backwards and forwards the schedule, with 5-foot-9 redshirt fresher Makenna Wolfe and also 5-10 fresher Alexis Durish, the fives set, becoming a buzzsaw of late. Over the last 2 weekend breaks of competitors, Wolfe and also Durish have actually gone unbeaten in 8 suits, outscoring their resistance 352-236 in 18 collections.
“Both of the girls are just really good volleyball players,” Niles claimed. This is a group that had actually never ever played with each other and also we placed them with each other a number of weeks in, feeling in one’s bones as people that they have actually been so strong. Alex, as a fresher, is so smooth therefore made up, and also has numerous devices. Makenna really did not play in 2014. She simply functioned actually, actually tough and also remains in astonishing problem. She obtains offered every sphere and also does not burn out. She makes impressive have fun with her rate and also aggression.
“It has been so great to have them there because of how they have executed. They played in a lot of heavy wind in [the tournament at] Gulf Shores and they seemed to thrive in those moments. It’s a nice treat to have that [at the 5s]. The 5s is really the most pressure situation. No one is really expected to win the 1s unless you’re a truly dominant team, because those matches would go either way. Whereas the 5s and the 4s, [a coach] expects to win those [matches] for your team and then, hopefully, you can steal a 1, 2, 3.”
While talking about the possible effects of at- big proposals and also seeding stimulated by the crossover competitors this weekend, Niles opened on the wider concern of the technique made use of by the NCAA option board in beach volley ball and also the obvious absence of metrics that are taken for approved in sporting activities such as basketball, and also also interior females’s volley ball. The NCAA Championships will certainly have automated proposals from the Pac -12, CCSA, Big West, West Coast, Atlantic Sun, Conference- U.S.A., Southland, Ohio Valley and also Sun Belt (brand-new for 2023) seminars. A play-in double in between the 16th and also 17th seeds will certainly be disputed on the Wednesday prior to the primary draw starts in earnest on Friday in Gulf Shores.
“It’s still a little like the Wild West with NCAA seeding,” Niles kept in mind. “There is no RPI yet, and I think that has to come into play. Strength of schedule [should be factored], because somebody could be seeded high and at the end of the year, they don’t play top 15 teams. In general the coaches I talk to love the [automatic qualifiers] but we would like to see our field grow a little more first. [With 17 teams and nine] AQs, how do you seed them? I’m not on that committee, but there needs to be a hard look at seeding and RPI. An RPI could change a lot of things, because maybe coaches will try to play a stronger schedule, especially near the end.”
In FSU’s scenario, obtaining the automated proposal that includes winning the CCSA Tournament most likely isn’t a need. But the CCSA numbers 4 groups placed in this week’s AVCA top 6 and also 5 in the leading 15. Is it likely that fifty percent of the 8 at- big proposals would certainly originate from that meeting? The Pac -12 additionally has 5 in the leading 13 and also 6 in the leading 18. Hawai’ i and also Long Beach State of the Big West remain in the leading 12. The pure numbers inform us that at the very least one program placed 16th or greater, probably a lot more, will certainly be locked out of the NCAA area.
“Our conference tournament is going to be huge because everyone will want that automatic bid,” Niles recognized. “With single-elimination, seeding [in the NCAAs] is going to be even more important.”
Elsewhere around the nation …
No 1 TCU,No 17 Stetson,No 19 Pepperdine and also Florida Gulf Coast sign up with the host Ospreys in Jacksonville for the North Florida Invite on Friday and alsoSaturday Pepperdine comes off a third-place surface in theWest Coast Challenge The Mustang Invitational in San Luis Obispo, California, will certainly seeNo 9 California,No 13 Washington,No 20 Tulane, UC Davis (a prospective survey “lurker” at 13-6) and also upstreaming host Cal Poly fight on Saturday and alsoSunday No. 10 Stanford and also NAIA program Vanguard will certainly play in a tri-meet Friday withNo 12 Long Beach State at Rosie’sDog Beach The Wildcat Spring Challenge at Bear Down Beach in Tucson on Friday and also Saturday will certainly consist ofNo 19 Arizona, Missouri State, Santa Clara, UTEP and also Colorado Mesa.
No 6 Grand Canyon aims to reduce the sting of a 3-2 loss to TCU last weekend, holding a tri-meet Saturday versus Phoenix- location NAIA programs Park Gilbert and alsoOttawa Louisiana Monroe brings a 19-1 document and also a six-dual winning touch right into the UAB Beach Classic in Birmingham, Alabama, signing up with the host Blazers, Mercer, Austin Peay and alsoJacksonville State Having secured the Southland Conference regular-season title, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will certainly amuse Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Kingsville and also Houston Christian in its Islander Classic.
Earlier in the week we wrapped up last weekend’s leading outcomes.
Weekly honor roll
Conference sets of the peek consist of TCU’s Daniela Alvarez and also Tania Moreno, CCSA (for the 3rd time this period); Liz Waters-Leiga and also Sierra Caffo of Cal, Pac -12; Kaylee Glagau and also Brooke Van Sickle of Hawai’ i, Big West (for the 2nd time in 2023); Georgia State’s fiery Angel and also Bella Ferary, Sun Belt; Stephanie Young and also Logan Mignerey of Florida Atlantic, Conference- U.S.A.; Paula Klemperer and also Taylor Seney of North Alabama, Atlantic Sun; Shea Slusser and also Kela Moreno of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Southland; and also Tennessee Martin’s Kambree Lucas and also Olivia O’Keefe, Ohio Valley.
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