Friday, November 22, 2013

Tourney Time

Well sports fans, it is time. No, not time to put in the turkey and definitely not time to start rocking out to "Here Comes Santa Claus" in your car alone...or is that just me? I'm talking about conference tournament time! Friday kicks off the Horizon League Volleyball Tournament and we are right here in home sweet home, MKE.

We are currently in first place with a 12-2 conference record, giving us not only hosting rights but also a first round bye into the semifinals. Valpo also received a bye because they are seeded second.

This will be the second time I have been a part of hosting the conference tournament and I gotta say, wow. It is such a great atmosphere walking in to the gym having banners and signs everywhere, just being able to be apart of it. I am sure you will all feel the same when you walk into the gym this weekend (because you will all be there).

A little breakdown for you all. Friday is the quarterfinals, fourth seeded Green Bay kicks off the night by playing fifth seed Youngstown State at 4:30. In conference, these two teams have each beaten each other once, so it should be a good game to watch. Then after that match, third seed Oakland will play sixth seed Cleveland State, and these two teams also have a win under their belt when it comes to playing one another.

We head into Saturday starting at 4:30 pm, when yours truly plays which ever team has the lowest seed coming out of Friday night’s play. Then at 7, Valpo will take on the remaining team. Then Sunday comes, and at 1 the last two teams in the tournament will play for the crown.

A couple shout-outs are clearly in order before we start this weekend. First off, Susie was named HL Coach of the Year for the fifth time in just seven years! Senior Rachel Neuberger was named Horizon League Volleyball Player of the Year, while in addition to her, Julie Kolinski and Kayla Price made the All-League team! And lastly freshman standout Myanna Ruiz got a well-earned position on the All-Freshman team.

The path to a championship is a long, atrocious journey. Along this broken road comes absolutely joy and heartbreak. This weekend the journey concludes for the Horizon League, some will be left wondering what if, for others the long hard hours put in will be well paid off for a trip to the NCAA tournament. The 2013 Horizon League Women's Volleyball Tournament is now. Until next time...

"Just Play Volleyball" Susie Johnson

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