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Thread: 2017 Volleyball

  1. #346
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    Well, the ladies failed to show up in a big way tonight against Purdue. Watched the first and second sets and there wasn't much focus or intensity in either set even though they went into the intermission even up at 1-1.

    Might have to kiss that potential No. 1 seed goodbye after an effort (or lack thereof) like that. McCutcheon talks about wanting the ladies to peak by December. Well, if that's the goal, tonight was a huge step backwards. They basically mailed it in after losing the third set. No excuse for that if you want to be a top-seed come December.

    Should beat Indiana and Northwestern, but this was a piss-poor showing that should be of real concern if they have any hopes of beating Illinois or even being competitive with Penn State.


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    The Gophers had won their last few matches but not very overwhelmingly; they could've lost any of those matches. And tonight: despite the adversity of the match, they had set point in set three, but blew it. They could've pulled that third set out but lacked the drive. They're a good group of young women, but it takes some true effort to rise above an un-energetic loss like that.

  3. #348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrothgar View Post
    The Gophers had won their last few matches but not very overwhelmingly; they could've lost any of those matches. And tonight: despite the adversity of the match, they had set point in set three, but blew it. They could've pulled that third set out but lacked the drive. They're a good group of young women, but it takes some true effort to rise above an un-energetic loss like that.
    We've probably become a little bit spoiled as fans having watched the squads from the last two years. Those teams NEVER would have given up on a match or set like this team has. Even when they lost matches, they were in almost every set they played throughout the season. This year, there's been more than a few occasions where they have mailed it in, which is maddening to watch.

    Perhaps they'll eventually figure out the level of focus they need to stay in every match to the end. They're still young in most spots, so they'll have plenty of chances to learn what they need to learn. What concerns me most is that when the team has come apart, it's been some of the upperclassmen (who should know better), who have been at the heart of it.

  4. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRJ View Post
    We've probably become a little bit spoiled as fans having watched the squads from the last two years. Those teams NEVER would have given up on a match or set like this team has. Even when they lost matches, they were in almost every set they played throughout the season. This year, there's been more than a few occasions where they have mailed it in, which is maddening to watch.

    Perhaps they'll eventually figure out the level of focus they need to stay in every match to the end. They're still young in most spots, so they'll have plenty of chances to learn what they need to learn. What concerns me most is that when the team has come apart, it's been some of the upperclassmen (who should know better), who have been at the heart of it.
    Let's keep in mind we're pretty young this year. We don't have 3 or 4 all Big Ten Caliber seniors patrolling the net. That killer instinct takes time. I don't see us as a strong favorite to win the title this year but I'd like another final four appearance and I really like our chances next year.
    "My life has become a single, ongoing revelation that I haven't been cynical enough." - Chrisjen Avasarala

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    The gals swept Indiana yesterday, wasn't close. But l suppose that was expected. And I assume we expect a similar outcome vs NW. Could be interesting vs Illinois though.

    Final home match vs Penn St should be fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MnplsGopher View Post
    The gals swept Indiana yesterday, wasn't close. But l suppose that was expected. And I assume we expect a similar outcome vs NW. Could be interesting vs Illinois though.

    Final home match vs Penn St should be fun!
    I watched the replay this morning. It was a nice -12, -10, -15 win in Indiana's soon to be replaced high school gym. Minnesota had some dominating scoring runs. In the first set, Seliger-Swenson rode a short dropping serve to 3 straight aces which helped turn a 10-6 match into a rout. In the second set, Alexis Hart aced on 3 of 4 serves helping to turn another 10-6 game into another rout. And in the third set, Hart's served a 10-0 scoring run giving the Gophers an 11-2 lead. As far as I could tell, there were no line-up or rotation changes.


    On a side note: I certainly don't think this team has given up on a match (especially after watching them win some tough five setters). But I do think we haven't developed an ability to control hot outside hitters. The last two years we had experienced and talented defensive players able to get up the block. Last season we really only had difficulty with Stanford. This year it's a challenge. And yes part of the problem is inexperience.

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    Even smaller side note: I seem to recall that Michigan St game in particular exposed Gophs serve receive for servers who do a high-toss, top-spin jump serve (not a float). Not sure how many servers are like that in women's game ... think it is pretty standard in men's high level game.

    Anyway ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MnplsGopher View Post
    Even smaller side note: I seem to recall that Michigan St game in particular exposed Gophs serve receive for servers who do a high-toss, top-spin jump serve (not a float). Not sure how many servers are like that in women's game ... think it is pretty standard in men's high level game.

    Anyway ...
    Yes, unfortunately, there's also that.

    For awhile I think coaches went away from the big spinning serves because of the increase in service errors; but a few clubs like MSU just pound away. In her freshman year, I remember Santana using the big serve to good effect. Her use of it diminished each season and I don't recall her even hitting one during her senior season. I remember now US national team coach, Karch Kirlay, doing color one year during the NCAA tournament and heavily criticizing that servers weren't utilizing the big top spin serve. But, if I recall, at the Rio Olympics his team went to lower risk serving.

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    Up to now anyway, this year's team still has a better W-L record than last year's team, doesn't it? What last year's team had that this team doesn't is a Sara Wilhite. Maybe the Purdue loss will strength their resolve. They had no business losing to Purdue; maybe they'll realize it and get mad. They weren't going to win or tie for the BigTen title anyway; they couldn't have caught both Penn State and Nebraska. The NCAA is where to make the real mark. It'd be great to beat Penn State!

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    Last night: #21 Purdue swept #10 Wisconsin -19, -21, -20 in West Lafayette.

    Iowa also surprised Ohio State 3-1 and Michigan defeated Illinois in five.

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    https://extra.ncaa.org/solutions/rpi...012%202017.pdf

    NCAA RPI through Sunday's matches. Gophers remain in top 4.

    1. Penn State
    2. Florida
    3. Kentucky
    4. Minnesota
    5. Texas
    6. Nebraska
    7. Sanford
    8. Washington
    9. Southern Cal
    9. Creighton

    11. Michigan State
    13. Washington
    18. Purdue

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    Florida -- watched them on TV earlier in the year, and that definitely looks like a final four team. They had like 9 or 10k people in the arena for their tournament that also had Texas. They looked good back then.

    Kentucky -- ..... ??? Not saying they haven't earned it, or anything like that ... my head scratching is simply "where did this program come from??" It's not like they hired a new coach from Stanford, Texas, etc. The guy has been there for many years, and they've never really been anything like a final four team that I recall.


    The rest are the usual suspects, Texas, Big Ten, PAC. Though I know there are some nice programs outside the power conferences too, Creighton being a great example. I know BYU is usually a powerful program as well.

  13. #358

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    Pat Borzi had a great article about club volleyball in the state in Minn Post.

    Hockey, Schmockey; Minnesota has Become a Volleyball Hotbed
    Follow me on twitter: @skiumahgopher

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    In Ann Arbor, Michigan swept Michigan State -20, -25, -23. It looked like fans were wielding light sabres. It must intimidated the Spartans.

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    Speaking of Michigan, one thing that stood out as a bit odd to me is that the official region within USA Volleyball for our area of the country, North Country Region, includes the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin ... and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

    Not a big deal at all, just usually don't ever see Michigan split apart like that within geographical divisions that are otherwise defined by groups of states.


    Anyhow ...

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