2017 Summit League Volleyball Championship Tournament
- November 17th-19th, 2017
- Hamilton Gymnasium, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
- Live Stream: Summit.org (Friday/Saturday) || WatchESPN (Sunday Championship)
- Tournament Central
The 3-time defending champion Denver Pioneers not only enter the 2017 Summit League Volleyball Championship Tournament as favorites and with home-court advantage, but they have the biggest championship pedigree as well: they are the 3-time defending tournament champions, and 4 members of their senior class will be gunning to win a 4th-straight league title and earn a 4th-straight berth to the NCAA tournament.
With the Pioneers ranked 60th in the latest NCAA RPI standings, this will be a winner-takes-all tournament: the Summit League is likely to get just one bid to NCAAs.
Their two conference losses this season are to North Dakota State (3-1) and Oral Roberts (3-0), though they would later avenge both of those losses with 3-0 sweeps later in the season.
2nd-seeded Oral Roberts (14-12 overall, 11-3 Summit League) remain the most liely candidate to upset Denver and stop the 4-peat. They played a big out-of-conference schedule and struggled early – they lost their first 5 games of the year (including to top-25 teams Purdue and Nebraska), and came out of pre-conference play with a just a 3-9 record.
The Golden Eagles have turned their season around since, though, going 11-3 in conference including that big win over Denver.
That includes another huge season from sophomore Laura Milos. She leads the conference with 494 kills – 118 more than anybody else (and 206 more than Denver’s top hitter Becca Latham with 288 – though Latham is hitting .349). Milos also holds a huge lead in the conference with .56 aces/set. She ranks 5th nationally in kills and 9th nationally in aces.
If it’s another Oral Roberts-Denver matchup in the final, the key will be how the Pioneers can impact her. She’s hit .171-or-worse in each of Oral Roberts’ losses this season. When they upset the Pioneers, she hit a whopping .550
In Oral Roberts’ 3 conference losses, Milos hit:
- .171 (South Dakota)
- .154 (Omaha)
- .083 (Denver)
But Denver are the favorites. If they can take Milos out of the game, Oral Roberts will have to rely on a less-than-proven option, and Denver’s defense is good enough to do that (they led the conference with 2.30 blocks/set this season).
All times Mountain
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