Gopher Volleyball 2019

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Miller did not remain on the bench for the entire match.

Morgan with a very noticeable limp post-game.

Miyabe was outstanding. Her energy and blocking really turned that match around.

McMenamin is so slow defensively and the offense is so so so so slow with her running it. Hard volleyball to watch last night. If she is the setter this team will meet its end early in the tournament.

One unimportant side note: My season tickets are behind CC McGraw's dad. Talk about a guy who 1) loves volleyball 2) is very passionate about his daughters career 3) loves giving high fives to surrounding fans to get them fired up 4) most importantly is 100% positive about every player on every play. Just constant positivity. Really enjoyable parent to sit near.
 
Miller did not remain on the bench for the entire match.

Morgan with a very noticeable limp post-game.

Miyabe was outstanding. Her energy and blocking really turned that match around.

McMenamin is so slow defensively and the offense is so so so so slow with her running it. Hard volleyball to watch last night. If she is the setter this team will meet its end early in the tournament.

One unimportant side note: My season tickets are behind CC McGraw's dad. Talk about a guy who 1) loves volleyball 2) is very passionate about his daughters career 3) loves giving high fives to surrounding fans to get them fired up 4) most importantly is 100% positive about every player on every play. Just constant positivity. Really enjoyable parent to sit near.
Ha! Five M-names in your post. Is this what brought them to M-innesota?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Active member
Playing without Taylor Morgan and Kylie Miller, the Gophers grabbed a wonderful four set road win at Purdue -23, 16, -17, -19. There was too much fire power for the Boilers to handle. Hart was spectacular hitting .467 with 19 kills. Rollins had a nice afternoon with 14 kills. Samedy and Miyabe each posted 8 kills and Pittman 7.

In the NCAA Reveal announced after the second set:

1. Texas
2. Baylor
3. Wisconsin
4. Stanford
5. Pittsburgh
6. Nebraska
7. Washington
8. Minnesota
9. Florida
10. Creighton

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Hart has been a veritable beast ever since that match in which she had 4 kills and two hits directly into the tape. That’s the way we need her with two teammates down with injury. Way to step it up while your teammates are down, Lexi.

I also like how different players are stepping it up in different matches. To the opponents, it’s like, “Who do you want your 19 kills to come from: Pittman one match, or Hart the next, or Samedy the next, or Rollins the next. Gophers (including the bench) getting it done in the tough B1G.
 

Hrothgar

Member
Hart has been a veritable beast ever since that match in which she had 4 kills and two hits directly into the tape. That’s the way we need her with two teammates down with injury. Way to step it up while your teammates are down, Lexi.

I also like how different players are stepping it up in different matches. To the opponents, it’s like, “Who do you want your 19 kills to come from: Pittman one match, or Hart the next, or Samedy the next, or Rollins the next. Gophers (including the bench) getting it done in the tough B1G.
If the Gophers can get Miller and Morgan back and keep building depth throughout the lineup with the substitutes they're using, they could be ready to wear down some good teams in November and December. Better to get hot late rather than too early.
 
Hart has been a veritable beast ever since that match in which she had 4 kills and two hits directly into the tape. That’s the way we need her with two teammates down with injury. Way to step it up while your teammates are down, Lexi.

I also like how different players are stepping it up in different matches. To the opponents, it’s like, “Who do you want your 19 kills to come from: Pittman one match, or Hart the next, or Samedy the next, or Rollins the next. Gophers (including the bench) getting it done in the tough B1G.
In particular, I'd say Miyabe has come through big time off the bench in the last two matches.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Active member
Do we have any idea what Taylor Morgan's injury is or how serious it is?
https://www.mndaily.com/article/2019/11/s-gophers-earn-road-win-beat-purdue-for-second-time-this-season

From the Daily:

They did so yet again without setter Kylie Miller, and for the first time without middle blocker Taylor Morgan. Both Morgan and Miller are considered day-to-day, according to head coach Hugh McCutcheon.
"I was impressed especially as the match ebbed and flowed. Our pins all stayed in it, you look at Adanna [Rollins], [Hart], obviously [Hart] had a really big night in the end," McCutcheon said.
Behind the contributions of Rollins and Hart, the Gophers posted a .288 hit percentage against a strong blocking Purdue team.
"I think spreading the offense helps out a lot, it makes it harder for teams to react to us," Rollins said. "I think making sure we're all on point as hitters helps us a bunch."
Despite injuries, Minnesota hasn't wavered and remain a top-10 team in the country. They still only have one loss on the Big Ten season.
"It's an incredible run and it speaks to the heart, the grit, whatever cliché you want to use about this team," McCutcheon said. "Maybe they don't understand right now, but they'll look back at this team and understand what a special group it was and what a privilege it was to be a part of this team. The 2019 Gophers are a great group."
 
Not to make assumptions about their other matches, which in the Big Ten is always dangerous, but of the top four Big Ten teams, in the eight remaining conference matches, Wisconsin (12-0) plays Minnesota, Nebraska, and Penn State, two of those on the road; Minnesota (11-1) plays Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Penn State, two of those at home; Nebraska (10-2) plays Wisconsin and Minnesota, both on the road; and Penn State (10-2) plays Wisconsin and Minnesota, both at home. It should be fun!
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
What do you guys think about the odds of making the top 4?

I think we’ll make the top 16 for sure, but would be awesome to host the 2nd round again.
 

Hrothgar

Member
What do you guys think about the odds of making the top 4?

I think we’ll make the top 16 for sure, but would be awesome to host the 2nd round again.
2nd round? All for it, but I suspect they'd almost need to go undefeated in the next 8 games, which is a tall order.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
2nd round? All for it, but I suspect they'd almost need to go undefeated in the next 8 games, which is a tall order.
Sorry what I called the "2nd round" is really the sweet sixteen. I meant it in the sense of it being the 2nd round of hosting. The actual first two rounds, the rounds of 64 and 32, I was thinking of in the sense of it being the first round of hosting.
 

Hrothgar

Member
Sorry what I called the "2nd round" is really the sweet sixteen. I meant it in the sense of it being the 2nd round of hosting. The actual first two rounds, the rounds of 64 and 32, I was thinking of in the sense of it being the first round of hosting.
I understood what you meant by "2nd round"=round of 16. To host in the round of 16 means that the Gophers would have to be ranked in the top 4 nationwide, doesn't it? I don't see how they could attain that without "winning out" (as the ESPN2 announcer put it) in the remaining 8 games of the regular season. That would mean beating WI, Nebr., and PSU. A tough task.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
I understood what you meant by "2nd round"=round of 16. To host in the round of 16 means that the Gophers would have to be ranked in the top 4 nationwide, doesn't it? I don't see how they could attain that without "winning out" (as the ESPN2 announcer put it) in the remaining 8 games of the regular season. That would mean beating WI, Nebr., and PSU. A tough task.
Yes, the top 4 seeds host the round of 16 (assuming they survive), which is why I was asking about their odds of being ranked top 4.
 
Yes, the top 4 seeds host the round of 16 (assuming they survive), which is why I was asking about their odds of being ranked top 4.
Even if the Gophers win out, if Wisconsin wins 7 of their 8, I don't see how we would have a higher RPI than they would. We would have gone 1-1 against each other, but Wisconsin, having played six matches against the other three top-four Big Ten teams, would surely still have a higher RPI. (The Gophers will have played only four matches against the other three Big Ten teams in the top four of the league.) So that would mean the Gophers would have to replace one of the other top-four ranked teams. Texas? Pittsburgh? Baylor? Plus we'd have to jump past Stanford. So even winning the rest of our matches might not get us in the top four, either of the RPI or of the coaches' rankings, let alone of the selection committee's top four.
 
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Even if the Gophers win out, if Wisconsin wins 7 of their 8, I don't see how we would have a higher RPI than they would. We would have gone 1-1 against each other, but Wisconsin, having played six matches against the other three top-four Big Ten teams, would surely still have a higher RPI. (The Gophers will have played only four matches against the other three Big Ten teams in the top four of the league.) So that would mean the Gophers would have to replace one of the other top-four ranked teams. Texas? Pittsburgh? Baylor? Plus we'd have to jump past Stanford. So even winning the rest of our matches might not get us in the top four, either of the RPI or of the coaches' rankings, let alone of the selection committee's top four.
I think winning out our remaining B1G season would be the main requirement - and that would be a challenge even on a good day, but an even tougher nut to crack if Miller and Morgan are still out.

The recent “reveal” (largely based on RPI) put the Gophers in 8th place, behind the key B1G teams Nebraska (#6), Pitt (#5) and Wisconsin (#3) that we need to beat. Plus we need to play OSU again, who took us to 5 sets, albeit at the Pav this time, which helps.

We’re probably not going to bump Texas or Baylor out of the top 2 seeds in any event, and as noted, it’s going to be hard to surpass the Badgers in the ratings. So it kinda amounts to needing to bump Stanford from (tentative) 4th seed down to 5th seed while taking its place at 4th seed (a move up 4 spots from tentative 8th seed).

On the bright side, if we could win-out the remainder of our Big-Ten season, then having beat (and just having played, actually) these top Big-Ten teams will give us a healthy bump in our RPI, which we suspect is a huge factor for the selection committee, so it’s still technically feasible.

On a dimmer side, those currently high-ranked teams that we need to leap over, well they’re also playing some high-ranked teams soon and thus also get an RPI bump. Including our top-ranked B1G competitors (oddly) getting an RPI bump just for playing us that partially offsets our RPI bump for playing them. And the math gets really weird since, should we get a bump in RPI that otherwise would put us in 4th place, that means they get a bigger bump for playing us than we do for playing them, and that might drag us back out of 4th place by what amounts to a dampening effect. So it’s a mathematical mess that’s about as random as flipping a coin.

In summary, we could get to 4th place in “a best of all possible worlds.” But don’t bet your rent money on it.
 
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If we can get Kylie Miller back, there's a good chance, we can knock off Wisconsin at home if our serve receive is sound, and hitters are terminal. I can imagine that the Gophers would be playing with a chip on their shoulder, especially since Barnes and the Badgers embarrassed them in Madison.

For Nebraska and Penn State, their defenses are solid, but their offensive firepower is inconsistent, but luckily the Huskers are at home, so that's to our advantage. Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet are hot and cold and Stivrins can only do so much. The Nittany Lions do have Parker and their middles for weapons, but they've been just as shaky as the Gophers and might fall to Minnesota at home. If we can take care of business against Wisconsin and Nebraska at home, and pull off a big win in Happy Valley, (assuming we take care of business against the rest of the lower Big Ten teams we play) I could see the Gophers sneaking into the fourth seed.

Regardless, I'm assuming the Gophers still claim a top-16 seed and host and easily take care of business in the first two rounds. If the Gophers do end up going to a Baylor or Pittsburgh regional, based on what I've seen, they match up well and have a good chance of knocking them off to get to the Final Four. If we end up in a Madison regional or Austin regional, it becomes MUCH tougher. A Stanford regional would be a toss-up, with or without Kathryn Plummer.
 
If we can get Kylie Miller back, there's a good chance, we can knock off Wisconsin at home if our serve receive is sound, and hitters are terminal. I can imagine that the Gophers would be playing with a chip on their shoulder, especially since Barnes and the Badgers embarrassed them in Madison.

For Nebraska and Penn State, their defenses are solid, but their offensive firepower is inconsistent, but luckily the Huskers are at home, so that's to our advantage. Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet are hot and cold and Stivrins can only do so much. The Nittany Lions do have Parker and their middles for weapons, but they've been just as shaky as the Gophers and might fall to Minnesota at home. If we can take care of business against Wisconsin and Nebraska at home, and pull off a big win in Happy Valley, (assuming we take care of business against the rest of the lower Big Ten teams we play) I could see the Gophers sneaking into the fourth seed.

Regardless, I'm assuming the Gophers still claim a top-16 seed and host and easily take care of business in the first two rounds. If the Gophers do end up going to a Baylor or Pittsburgh regional, based on what I've seen, they match up well and have a good chance of knocking them off to get to the Final Four. If we end up in a Madison regional or Austin regional, it becomes MUCH tougher. A Stanford regional would be a toss-up, with or without Kathryn Plummer.
Koalasibala, so nice to see you branch out in your postings from that secondary Fall sport at the U. What do they call it? "Football"?
 
Update on the whole messy “can we make 4th seed” question:

Since the weekend “reveal” the VB RPI stats have been updated thru Nov 3. Although the Gophers are still in 8th place (no recent Big-Ten games having been played) the new RPI shows that Pitt has already bumped Stanford out of 4th place in RPI, taking that 4th slot for itself. Pitt is 23-1, the actual best record among the top teams - and a lot better than Minnesota’s current 17-3.

That implies that Pitt got bopped down from 1st to 4th in RPI due to a slightly weaker schedule. This could be good news or bad news.

On the positive side, after playing the remaining strong teams in its schedule, the Gophers will very likely get a boost in Strength of Schedule sufficient to put it above Pitt’s SoS. And RPI is 3/4 Sos and only 1/4 won/loss record. So that gives us reason for partial hope.

On the other hand, Pitt has two less losses than the Gophers (and note that the fewer losses part is a lot more significant than the more wins part). That means that in spite of probably beating Pitt in the SoS category, we very probably need Pitt to lose one of its remaining games for us to knock them out of 4th place.

As you can see, this whole scenario can change with only one more game played. But (under the hope that we can win-out our remaining games - which we take as a prerequisite), at least from the current scenario, it’s clear that we should be rooting for Pitt to lose one game. Perhaps not lose 2 games, since that might promote some other team besides the Gophers into 4th place.

4th place still looks possible for the Gophers under at least one scenario. But still hang on to that rent money.
 
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Pittsburgh's final six matches: Georgia Tech (RPI #64), Clemson (#131), Duke (#120), Florida State (#32), NC State (#150), and Louisville (#24). Pitt is home to Florida State, and plays at Louisville. A loss to Florida State would help the Gophers in two ways.
 
https://www.ncaa.com/rankings/volleyball-women/d1/ncaa-womens-volleyball-rpi

NCAA RPI matches through 3 November:

1. Baylor
2. Texas
3. Wisconsin
4. Pittsburgh
5. Stanford
6. Nebraska
7. Washington
8. Minnesota
9. Texas A&M
10. Florida
11. Hawaii
12. Marquette
13. Kentucky
14. UCLA
15. Penn State
16. BYU

21. Purdue
39. Michigan
40. Illinois
50. Ohio State
Compared to this Ignatious L Hoops 11/5/18 post of RPI rankings a year ago, the Big Ten seems to be somewhat weaker this year.


https://extra.ncaa.org/solutions/rpi...011.4.2018.pdf

NCAA RPI through matches of 4 November:

1 Stanford
2 Illinois
3 BYU
4 Minnesota
5 Texas
6 Southern Cal
7 Wisconsin
8 Kentucky
9 Pittsburgh
10 Washington State

12 Purdue
13 Michigan
14 Nebraska
17 Penn State​
 
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Pittsburgh's final six matches: Georgia Tech (RPI #64), Clemson (#131), Duke (#120), Florida State (#32), NC State (#150), and Louisville (#24). Pitt is home to Florida State, and plays at Louisville. A loss to Florida State would help the Gophers in two ways.
OK, so since Pitt is no-way losing to a team ranked #64 or worse, our primary hope is that either Florida State or Louisville beat Pittsburgh. Go Florida State. Beat Pitt like you beat the Gophers (hey, that’s the least you can do in return for us bumping your RPI to #32).

In contrast, the Gophers face the rather Herculean task of beating all of the following teams with the given current RPI rankings ...

@Maryland (#111)
@Ohio State (#50)
Wisconsin (#3)
Michigan (#39)
Nebraska (#6)
Iowa (#84)
@Rutgers (#109)
@Penn State (#15)
 
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MplsGopher

Well-known member
I think Pittsburgh is going to have it tough, no matter who comes to their regional (if they wind up top 4). Sorry, but the ACC is a second-tier volleyball conference, and going undefeated in that league doesn't do much for me.
 
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