By: Sam Gormley
WKU Volleyball is 27-2 and winners of 25 straight matches, yet they still find themselves on the outside looking in of the Top 25. Yesterday, the AVCA Coaches Poll ranked them at #26. This team has only lost two games the entire season: a road game at Louisville and a neutral site match against #28 Illinois. Since losing both of those games in early September, the Lady Toppers have not lost, but yet they still seem to fail to gain the respect of the voters in the poll.
I have come up with a solution to not only allow for WKU Volleyball to strengthen their schedule, but also to help grow the game of volleyball in the state of Kentucky.
There are seven Division One Volleyball teams in the state of Kentucky. I am proposing that those seven teams plus one Division Two/Three/NAIA team should come together and play a “State of Kentucky Championship” tournament.
How it would work? The tournament could occur every two years. It would rotate between four different arenas around the state. One year the Yum Center in Louisville could host, one year could be Memorial Coliseum/Rupp Arena in Lexington, one year could be BB&T Arena in Highland Heights and one year could of course be at Diddle Arena.
The bracket would be a random draw. Each team would be guaranteed three games. This would allow a direct showing of the ranking of the teams in the state. For example, here is how it could look if this tournament was hosted next season:
This would create an excitement for the game of volleyball in the state and would give teams the chance to take down the perennial powers in the state of Kentucky.
A win in this tournament would definitely boost the tournament resumé of any team that would participate. For the most part, WKU usually plays in a tournament that is below their competition level every year. I think it should be a no brainer to replace that with something like this.
Oh yeah, I can also take that same tournament and propose it for another sport… basketball. While this has an almost zero percent chance of happening, because Kentucky and Louisville would never accept it. This would satisfy the wants of many WKU, EKU, Morehead and Murray fans.
You cannot tell me that this wouldn’t make a lot of money for basketball in the state. I can assure you that every game in this tournament would be sold out. Maybe to make Kentucky and Louisville more willing to participate, only do this tournament once every four years.
In fact, we can even make this a non-random draw and instead use RPI rankings to set the top 8. This would almost always allow Kentucky and Louisville to not have a chance of meeting unless both made the championship game. This again would be a compromise for both sides of the aisle.
Will these two tournaments ever happen? Probably not, but the possibility of it excites me.
Sam Gormley is one of the hosts of WKU RedZone Radio. RedZone Radio is a WKU-themed radio show that airs every Sunday at 7pm on Revolution 91.7. You can follow them on Facebook @WKURedZone or on Twitter @WKURedzone