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It's only a top watch when its competitive. What Texas did by Domerduck
this year made it one sided and that disappointed me. I do love when the top talented teams draw big crowds and have truly competitive matches. The PAC12 has had that with their top teams (Stanford, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Washington) for a while and the others occasionally get NCAA tourney quality teams to keep it interesting. I get it when a team like Stanford get a generational athlete like Plummer and dominate, but they didn't win with xfrs like Texas. The ACC is starting to make VBall interesting especially with L'ville and Pitt. In fact L'ville drew over 9K for the match against ND, a match I watched on ACCN which wasn't competitive as they swept us.
Still the fact that Texas played only two 5 setters, losing only 1, against weaker competition early in the regular season. It showed they knew they could win any match and they get bored to keep the matches close for a little competition. When it really counted, not a single one of their NCAA tourney matches went past 4 sets. They were 18-3 in sets for the 6 tourney matches. The 3 sets they lost was the 3rd set in the Rd of 16 against Marquette, 2nd set in the quarters against tOSU, and a 28-26 loss in the 1st set against San Diego in the semis. I would say that was the only time they were tested. Then they promptly beat USD 25-15, 25-18, and 25-20. In the Final which they beat L'ville 3-0, they won the 1st two 25-22 and 25-14, so let L'ville get to a set point in the 3rd and quickly ended it 26-24.
The problem I have is that Texas who did have a good core in Eggleston, Oneil, and Phillips then added 3 All-American xfrs in Fleck, Skinner, and Ka'aha'aina-Torres, as well as 2 key contributers from last years Nebraska team that made it to the finals to make sure they dominated. If that keeps happening the sport will become less watchable.
That said I truly enjoyed watching the Ducks with their 5th yr senior 1st team AA Brooke Nuneviller and their National Freshman POY and 3rd team AA Mimi Colyer lead their team to the quarters with eleven 5 setters all year, both wins and losses, including a few that came from 0-2 to win. The two 5 setters in the Rd of 16 (win over Nebraska) and quarters (loss to L'ville) were tremendous. In the ACC two of L'ville/Pitts matches went 5 sets and were awesome as well as "L'ville come from 0-2 down to beat Ga Tech in 5 in Atlanta. That has to keep happening as well as getting good crowds.
You are right these athletes are very athletic, competitive, and attractive so could be a great TV draw. Certainly tennis and beach volleyball have prospered with that formula. Still the championship matches must be competitive and this year was a disappointment with Texas stacking the deck. I hope this doesn't continue.