LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As I left the KFC Yum! Center last night at about 1:30 a.m. and walked back to my hotel following Oregon’s surprisingly convincing defeat of the Penn State Nittany Lions, the streets of Louisville were quiet. The relatively raucous environment present when I arrived at the arena hours earlier was gone, and outside of several people wandering home from the surrounding bars, it was just another chilly winter night in Kentucky.
After Oregon sealed the match last night on a drop shot from Lauren Plum, I took a look around the arena to gauge expressions of the fans in attendance. While the Oregon section was excited, the Penn State section stood quietly in what appeared to be a state of disbelief.
The Texas fans, a majority of which stuck around to watch the second semifinal, applauded respectfully but with the unspoken knowledge that this team was now the only thing standing between them and a national title.
The American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention is also in Louisville this weekend in conjunction with the Final Four, and as I sit in Starbucks writing this post, I’ve seen representatives from different volleyball teams ranging from Stanford to Minnesota walking around.
For the most part, everyone has been chipper and chatty with the other people in attendance at the conference.
Well, except for the guy wearing the Penn State Volleyball backpack; he didn’t seem too pleased.