Sunday, November 21, 2010

UTSA 2, Rest of the Conference 0

Twice. UTSA beat UCA twice this year. It's the last one that occurred today that really matters. Take that, doubters.

Stand up and show me your hands if at the beginning of the year you had UTSA winning the conference tournament beating UCA while also being the only team in the SLC to beat them in conference play.


Take that, doubters.

This week I heard people touting Central Arkansas. I joined in.
This week I heard people talking about how strong Texas State is this time of year. Yeah, I could see them going all the way.
This week I even heard a few people talking about host Sam Houston playing on their home court and being a possible sleeper. I had that thought too.

I can't say I talked to the SLC Volleyball universe here, but no one I talked to picked UTSA to win the conference tournament. I talked to people both inside of outside of Nacogdoches, mind you.

Take that, doubters.

Come on, let's hear it? Props to Laura Groff, right? What about Kendra Rowland? She played great. Brittney Malloy? Awesome. Jewasko made some ridiculous digs. One person I was particularly impressed with today was Whitney Walls. I think I made a mistake in leaving her off my all-conference teams (she originally was on my 3rd team, but I let Brandt at Nicholls bump her off. There, I admitted it).

I watched the entire match on my computer rather than TV because I couldn't find the match on the Nacogdoches channel that was designated for SLC TV. That really irked me, but after watching an SFA football game earlier in the year where the local affiliate cut out to a country and western dancing show with two minutes to go and the opposition driving to take the lead, nothing surprises me about SLC TV.

UTSA actually gave UCA a beat down in the first two sets. But, the Sugar Bears came roaring back and the overall quality of the match down the stretch was quite high I thought. It was a really enjoyable match to watch and it left me kind of mad at myself for not hoping in the car and driving over to Huntsville after church this morning. (I briefly considered it, before going into the office for an hour or two before game time. Ugh.)

I was also impressed by UTSA's athleticism. I am very familiar with most all of their key players from years gone by, but today their athleticism shone a little brighter than in previous times I've seen them.

So, congratulations to the UTSA Roadrunners - your 2010 SLC representatives in the Big Dance. You played well. You put the Sugar Bears back on their heels in a way I hadn't seen in the last few years. You deserve it.

Finally.. and I will go here only one last time... Jessica Hays. People, come on. Jessica Hays. Were you watching?

Match high 22 kills and career high 22 digs, with three aces to boot. Not just a double-double, she goes off for a double-twenty. How does someone put up a double-20 in the championship match and not make all-tournament? I know UCA was only given two slots to fill, but man, seriously?

Hays was UCA's best player on the court today (again). She serve receives - she did so 24 times more than anyone else from either side - she digs, she hits the living daylights out of her attacks and serves. But, she doesn't get a tournament honor? Robbery.

Call me obstinate. I've been called worse. I'll stand by my decisions from earlier in the week. Hays is the most deserving player in the conference for Player of the Year this year and Groff is the most deserving coach for Coach of the Year.

Something tells me Groff doesn't care as much now. She's got the trophy to add to her case in San Antonio ... and UCA has a long bus ride back to Conway.

Take that, doubters.