Good stuff. Keep the interviews coming. I'm getting excited about sports that I never paid any attention to previously thanks to your fine efforts. Thank you.
An Interview With Volleyball Coach Mark Rosen
Editor's note: bonus podcast-type object from FA, who had the opportunity to interview volleyball coach Mark Rosen, who has Michigan in the top ten.
For those of you who might have missed the volleyball team's recent climb to #6 in the nation, you're missing out. Michigan has already defeated one major perennial power in Nebraska (think basketball's victory over Duke last year). They opened up the home slate last weekend, emerging unbeaten in 4 games, not even dropping a set.
This week ups the ante. Michigan hosts 9-2 Marquette (Friday 1p), unbeaten #27 Dayton (Friday 7:30pm), and 7-2 Oregon State (Saturday 3:30pm). The Oregon State game is going to be huge. The athletic department has moved the game to Crisler Arena to accommodate the big crowds they are expecting.
Coach Rosen joined me in an interview to preview the Michigan team. Over the course of the interview, we covered everything from Brazilian food, Michigan's strategy, beating Penn State, and reasons you should come out (including girls in spandex!). Take a listen and more importantly, after football destroys Eastern Michigan, head next door and see the volleyball team take on Oregon State.
For those interested in breaking records, Nebraska had 13,780 fans show up to its game against UCLA last week. Crisler Arena's official capacity is 13,751. I think we can pack in a few extras and shock the volleyball world again this season.
[Saturday @ 3:30: volleyball in Crisler.]
Marquette can't be unbeaten and 9-2 both.
whoops. trying to get fixed
Interesting interview. Hadn't thought about the air moving differently in different places. We've also noticed Karlee Bruck not playing much, especially after she improved so much last year. But it's all early yet, so who knows what the future holds.
Like Rosen said, she's a good player, but Fletcher has really picked it up on the serve. I'm somewhat surprised by Rood's play at middle. What little video I saw, she was playing the middle like a right side (her previous position). We haven't seen as many 0 sets (the quick up to the middle) with rood which act as a great counter to 1s (normal set to middle), 3s (normal set to the right side), and 4s (normal set to the outside hitter).
Bruck was REALLY good at the 0s and 1s to close out the end of the year. I could see her getting some more time in the conference slate, but we've already got the left side hitter to give us a different look. Add that you only really need two middles on the team, Bruck could conceivably miss out on most of the season. That'd be a shame, but to say you have someone of her talents on the bench for depth is a tremendous statement on how Michigan's program has grown in the last 10 or so years.
How does the rest of the Big Ten look? Michigan typically comes out to a strong start each season, but begins dropping games once the inter-conference play starts. Regardless, every year they seem to get better; Rosen is doing an excellent job. Anyone who has never watched a game in 'The Zone' is really missing out.
Coach touches on this in the interview, but #1 Penn State obviously looks good, but they've been playing a lot of weaker teams.
#9 Minnesota has looked really good; they're 7-2 with the two losses coming against Washington and Nebraska, both of whom were ranked #3 at the time of play. They have victories over then-#22 Kansas State and then-#13 Iowa State. They play #12 Oregon today.
#14 Illinois is 6-1, and are expected to be pretty good this year. They really haven't played anyone notable outside of now #19 Florida State, who swept them in straight sets, and Cincinnati (in the others receiving votes category) who the Illini swept.
#17 Michigan State (9-0) has one quality win from their opener over then-#12 Southern Cal, and they remain unbeaten against quite a few really weak opponents. That said, they've beaten the weak ones like they should, and they took care of business against the two middle level teams.
Purdue also lingers just outside the top 25. Wisconsin is just a tough venue when we have to travel.
For the non-volleyball fans that see this post, the BigTen is one of the two big power conferences (along with the Pac10), as a football analogy, it's somewhat opposite with the top four conferences. The BigTen/Pac10 are the premiere conferences while the Big12/SEC are just a cut below (probably a less of a gap than football).
Interesting interview. I've been going to all the home volleyball games for a 2 years now and Ryano is right that anyone who hasn't is missing out. This year is especially exciting because it looks like we might finally break through the upper echelon of the Big Ten and the country. This coming weekend should tell us.