You already know that Wisconsin disposed of the Illinois State Redbirds and their pep band, mascot and surprisingly feisty fans. Let’s see what else happened in the other 35 games played so far.
All four seeded teams swept their opening games, but most of them encounter much stiffer competition than they’d probably like in the second round. Baylor takes on a Southern Cal team that is just 18-13 on the season, but those losses are coming against tournament teams, and they beat Washington twice. That game’s winner takes on Marquette or No. 15 Purdue, a matchup that could have easily flipped which team was the seeded one.
Michigan disposed of Northern Kentucky in three sets to match up against non-directional No.9 Kentucky. South Carolina pulled off a huge victory:
GAMECOCKS— Gamecock Volleyball (@GamecockVolley) December 7, 2019
South Carolina upsets the number 10 team in the country, its highest-ranked victory in 13 years, and we are on to round two! pic.twitter.com/sBfh2ECLPb
Their reward is another night in Seattle to play No. 8 Washington.
Once again, four seeded teams, four sweeps. No. 3 Stanford will dispose of a Cal Poly team that took five sets to beat Georgia. Illinois, in the most ‘2019 Illinois Volleyball’ match ever, went to Salt Lake City and took Utah to five sets before losing, where only the last set was decided by more than two points. That puts the Holy War on the court as the Utes play host No. 14 BYU.
No. 11 Penn State takes on Towson, who has a perfect record in CAA play but has played mostly bad teams.
Gritty victory and the first W of the season.— Rutgers Volleyball (@RUvball) September 6, 2019
Anastasiia Maksimova leads the Scarlet Knights in four sets over Towson with a double-double of 14 kills and 12 digs.
Tali Marmen had a team-high 18.5 points on 14 kills, 2 aces and 4 blocks. pic.twitter.com/L4tlZFblZF
Really bad teams.
No. 6 Pittsburgh, who is incredibly salty about their high number, has to play Cincinnati, which means dealing with the arm of Jordan Thompson.
The AAC's best for the THIRD TIME.— Cincinnati VBall (@GoBearcatsVB) November 20, 2019
Jordan has smashed every AAC and UC kills record and has cemented herself as one of the best all-time in NCAA Division I volleyball. Congratulations, Jordan!#Bearcats pic.twitter.com/aHzowMnQ08
For comparison’s sake, Dana Rettke is No. 77 in the country at 3.77 kills a set. Second place is Baylor’s Yossiana Pressley at 5.52. Thompson puts in 6.43 kills a set.
There’s already three Sweet Sixteen tickets punched in this region. No. 10 Florida got back at UCF for the tournament loss last year to advance, where they await the winner of No. 7 Minnesota and Creighton. No. 2 Texas saw themselves down two sets to one against Los Gouchos from UC Santa Barbara, but rallied back to take it in five.
Brave New World. 1984. Soylent Green. Watching your second-seeded team fight tooth and nail through five sets in the round of 32. What are dystopian nightmares? 21 lead changes in sets that finished 25-22, 19-25, 18-25, and 25-18, I don’t even understand that.
They’ll play Louisville, who beat No. 15 Western Kentucky for the first seeded team to fall out of the tournament.
(What a wonderful thing to type.)
No. 5 Nebraska gets back in the Big 8 feeling when they host Missouri, a team that had been hanging around the rankings much of the season but doesn’t have a win against a seeded team in five tries. No. 12 Hawaii has to deal with a very feisty San Diego team. It’s a rematch of their first game of the season where Hawaii got a 3-2 win, but the Toreros dominated the West Coast Conference, beating BYU twice.
The fourth Sweet Sixteen team we know of is No. 13 Texas A&M, who will play the winner of No. 4 Wisconsin and UCLA. UCLA quickly dispatched Notre Dame in three sets, and was able to put Notre Dame out of sorts with good attacking. Mac May was flying around the court, but will be easy to key on defensively for the Badgers if she continues to wear one compression sleeve on her leg.