#WarriorBall21 is off to a 4-0 start and are now the number one team in the country, both in the AVCA Coaches and Off the Block Media Polls. For the Rainbow Warriors, the mantra this season is #UnfinishedBusiness. In this week two edition of “Quick Sets,” Tiff Wells will take a look at two storylines each week, either within the UH program or from around the nation. Year four of the Big West Conference season for men’s volleyball is underway and this week its top two teams highlight a big week of conference play.
By Tiff Wells.
If you’ve been following either the men’s or women’s basketball college basketball seasons this year, you’ve noticed a lot of scheduling happenings. Either matches have been added or been cancelled/postponed with very little notice.
We knew of a non-conference series between UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine due to the March 2nd schedule released by the Gauchos. It was then confirmed on March 3rd by UC Irvine with their update on twitter. In this 2021 season where teams aren’t allowed to play any matches against non-conference opponents, you want to try and get in as many matches as you can, even if they are within your own conference. But when five of the six teams in the Big West Conference are in the latest NVA/AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll, playing non-conference matches against conference opponents actually improves the resume.
It just so happens for the Big West Conference teams, that their body of work, their strength of schedule will look a little better because of who they are playing. I’m all for #GrowingTheGame and having Independent teams, Conference Carolina teams and other unranked teams on UH’s schedule as non-conference opponents. It’s great for them. But for UH, in terms of their strength of schedule, it doesn’t really help. As of today, four of the six Big West teams have played matches this year. UC Santa Barbara began their season last Wednesday with a win against UC San Diego, then followed it up with a second win versus UCSD on Thursday. Then came the scheduling noticed that made it seem as if we were at a club tournament. Two matches in one day between the Anteaters and Gauchos, with start times six hours apart. Two more Gaucho wins to give them four wins in five days.