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TigersTigers

Volleyball 2022

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2 hours ago, TigerFan54 said:

Agreed -- this team's continued success deserves great fan support. 

Yes. Great job by the staff and the players.

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The good thing about being a fan of a non-revenue sport is media companies don't really care about copyright infringement of volleyball matches. Here is a Youtube replay of the Pitt match, for those of you who missed it and want to see it: 

 

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On 9/10/2022 at 9:11 PM, TigersTigers said:

While everybody else is stressing out over football, I will go ahead and pour my thoughts out here. I just need to decompress a bit, and this space is as good as any.

As you all either know or will soon be finding out, Towson defeated #7 Pitt on the road this evening, 3-1 (25-12, 25-23, 16-25, 25-18). It was, without question, the best volleyball match Towson has ever played. Pitt may not be quite as good as they were last year (when they made the Final Four), but make no mistake: They are unquestionably a top 20 team at minimum, and they are the best team Towson has ever beaten. They already have wins this season over Hawaii, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, and BYU. But not Towson. And we didn't just beat them, either. We smoked them. They didn't even belong on the floor with us. It looked like we were the team that had just been to the Final Four. Yes, they played an awful match. I don't care. We made them play that way. 

At just about every single position, Pitt is 3-4 inches taller than us. Our tallest player would be one of their shorter starters. Yet, right from the jump we played like we were the bigger team. We had 9 blocks in the first set alone. That is an unfathomable number for a team like Towson. Occasionally, a powerhouse like Nebraska will get like 12 blocks in a set against a bad mid-major team. Towson grabbing 9 in a set against Pitt? Unheard of. Over the course of the whole match, we out-blocked them 16-3, the final one coming on match point. We just looked, felt, and played big. Victoria Barrett is listed at 5'9". She's probably not even that tall. And yet, of all the offensive players on the floor, it was she who left her mark on the match. She attacked the ball 25 times this match. She scored on 16 of those, and only made 3 errors. 64% of the time that Barrett attacked the ball, it ended up on the floor on Pitt's side. For an outside hitter, that is crazy. Outside hitters usually have low hitting percentages (between 15-30%), as they are often put in disadvantages situations where scoring is highly improbable. Not Victoria, not tonight. It was a career-defining performance on a program-defining night, on the back of a win earlier today against American that we would have considered program-defining 5 years ago. 

Of course, the whole season won't be like this. This Towson team is good, but we're not THAT good. We're not a top 10 team. We will not make the Final Four, we will probably not make the Sweet 16, and just making the tournament again would constitute a successful season for us. For now, this win doesn't mean all that much. The American match was more indicative of how our season will be (3 tight and nervy sets against a strong mid-major). But maybe, just maybe, it'll make a couple more people in the volleyball world say "oh yeah, I hear they're pretty good" when somebody brings up Towson. Maybe it'll make just a few more people show up for home games this year. Maybe it'll makes us get just one more good recruit that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It feels like the culmination of something. But maybe, just maybe, it's the start of something instead. What a day to be a Tiger. 

I had meant to watch this match, but didn't get home until the fourth set. It was impressive that after Pittsburgh pushed back in the third set Towson just took over the middle to late stages of the fourth to close out the match. Like you said, it felt like Pittsburgh could not figure out a way top stop Barrett. It also felt like we were finding many different ways to either quickly beat their block, hit around it or hit through it with clever shots. Also, as you mentioned our block was impressive as well.  

Very exciting to get that win and in the same day beat a very solid American team. Winning the conference has become the standard this program has set, but to beat a top 10 team really raises the bar. Of course, we will probably always get sent to Penn State if we make the NCAA Tournament because there is an imbalance of home sites not being represented in our region, and the committee tries to keep costs down and is lazy. Would love to repeat our 2019 undefeated conference record, but I realize that is a lot easier said then done. The challenge will be keeping up this consistently high level in conference play and being ready for the conference tournament. The good news is a win like this (and possibly the wins over Rutgers and American) might put our RPI in a spot where if we lose a couple of matches the NCAA Tournament could still be in play. 

I am still very exciting to see how this program builds off this huge victory. 

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7 minutes ago, TuTigers2012 said:

https://www.ncaa.com/rankings/volleyball-women/d1/avca-coaches 
2nd under receiving votes.  So 27th!

Towson is one of the remaining 10 undefeated teams in the nation. Oddly enough Hampton, who we play this week, is one of those 10 but is 3-0 against a pretty easy schedule. 

https://www.ncaa.com/stats/volleyball-women/d1/current/team/51

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To me, it is unlikely that they will crack the Top 25 if they didn't do it this week. It'll be too easy to dismiss them after this week with the tried and true "they don't play anybody" line. And if they commit the mortal sin of losing one match? Forget it. But whatever, it just is what it is. It was nice that they received so many votes, I only expected a small handful.

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Basically a bye week for them to start conference play, Hampton was unanimously picked to finish last in the conference this year.

On an unrelated note, I'd just like to mention here for no particular reason at all that Pitt wrapped up an undefeated week by plastering #5 Ohio State 3-0 at home earlier this afternoon. 

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