Larry Vettel's Women's Sports Weekly

It's been a few days since the NCAA Volleyball bids were announced, but those of us who follow the sport are still shaking our heads at the strange field of 64 that was put together for this year's event. The committee will never be able to explain how unranked Wisconsin ended up with the #14 seed in the tournament. Nor will they be able to justify Missouri, ranked #24 getting a #16 seed while ninth ranked Colorado State, thirteenth ranked UF and many other more deserving teams were left out.

It's the kind of thing that would spark national outrage if it happened in men's basketball, but since it's volleyball, it won't be more than a blip on the radar. Oh, did I mention Missouri's Senior Women's Administrator is on the selection committee? Purely a coincidence I'm sure.

Florida's Non-Seed Just Part Of The Outrage

It's bad enough Florida was denied a top-16 seed it had unquestionably earned with a 27-4 record --- all four losses coming to top-12 seeds --- but the field for the sub-regional at FAMU is far and away the strongest in the country. Stanford (#6), Florida (#13) and FAMU (#22) mark the only trio of ranked teams in the same four-team field anywhere in the country. As for our pals at Missouri and Wisconsin… well #19 Louisville is the only ranked team visiting Missouri while no ranked teams can be found in Wisconsin's creampuff collection.

Florida has had the opportunity to host NCAA early-round competition for years, so I have no problem with the Gators having to travel for a change. But to take two teams that spent almost the entire season in the top ten (Florida and Stanford) and put them in the same sub-regional is outrageous. Especially because we are talking about two of the nation's best volleyball programs for more than a decade, not a pair of "Janie-come-lately's."

The ironic thing is if Florida can beat FAMU and Stanford, care to guess where the Gators would play in the regional? Well, that would be Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Bring Your Atlas Friday Night

If you want to keep up with the FAMU Women's Volleyball Team, since the Rattlers are not what you would call a typical FAMU sports team. The Volleyball squad features five women from Lima, Peru, three players from Sofia, Bulgaria plus a German and a Serb.

Oops I almost forgot, there is one American…. But she never plays.

With the international flavor, FAMU brings a very dangerous team into Friday night's match. They have a 28-2 record and have won their last 27 matches in a row. That includes a win at Nebraska back on September 10, which turned out to be the Cornhuskers' only loss of the season. They are a very good hitting team with a number of attackers. Their weakness may be that they struggle with good blocking teams, and that, to me is the key to the match.

Hope you'll watch it on Sunshine Network Friday at 7:00… at least in some parts of the state.

Women's Hoops Grabs Second Win

After thirteen minutes in the O'Connell Center Tuesday night it appeared the Florida Women's Basketball Team would be hard-pressed to defeat an overmatched team from Central Florida. The Gators had scored just eleven points and had a one-point lead. Enter Tashia Morehead who is battling a leg injury. The senior forward scored nine points in a 17-9 Gator run putting Florida up 28-19 at the half on their way to a 67-42 rout.

Morehead finished with 15 points, Bernice Mosby led Florida with 16 and the Gators squared their record at 2-and-2. One continuing concern for this team remains the play in the post. Florida's three post players combined for seven rebounds and eight personal fouls.

Next up, a Saturday afternoon match up with Temple immediately following the men's game with Miami.

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Have a great week.

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