The first three sets came down to the wire. UCLA had a big lead in the second set, and I think Illinois scored 8 out of 9 points to get it to 24-22 before winning it. The third set was back and forth. UCLA was down 24-22 and came back to win it. After that Illinois just folded in the last Set. The Pac-12 should be scary next year. We may be starting two or three Freshman.
The Pac-12 maybe scary next year but some things you can count on. The Pac-12 winner will be seeded 7th or lower. Hawaii will be seeded higher purely based on how well they did at their own tournament at the start of the volleyball season. And Penn State will play either Delaware or The Sisters of the Poor to reach the sweet 16.
UCLA will be scary next year. Their biggest loss is probably their libero. USC loses half their offense. Cal loses their only terminating OH, Stanford and Oregon are just going to get better.
UW will be interesting. We only have one legit Pac-12 OH in Vansant. I could see no freshman starting next year, though I am hoping Beals is the real deal and can beat out Nogueras. I would be surprised to see either of the incoming MB's beat out Gil or 5th year senior Dunnaway.
I thought both team were very well coached and will be a team to content with next year; especially, UCLA. I was very impressed with how well their libero dig and kept their team in play. Was this the problem with the Huskies this year beside their setters? What must our team need next year to bring us back to the Final Four? The Pac 12 will be tough next year again and our freshmen- Vansant and Ross- will be one year older. What can we expect from our team next year with the new recruits that will move us upward in the National ranking? We could surely emulates the Illinois team in our conference next year.
Right now, it's very hard to tell. We don't know if Wade or Sybelden will actually enroll, since they chose not to during the normal signing period. We lose 3 seniors, including the best athlete on the team in Rowland. Gil hasn't played in 2 years and we can't know her status until next fall. If all 4 commits end up signing, we'll have plenty of height and talent, but very little experience compared to, say, UCLA. Stanford has the best recruiting class of all time joining its returnees, Oregon will only get better and even USC will still have plenty of talent. So, next year could be a repeat of this year's disappointment, or maybe we'll gel and surprise everyone. I think there's no getting around the fact that we'll be as good as our sophomores and freshmen allow us to be.
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