Gopher Volleyball 2019

koalasibala

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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"?
Haha I'm a lurker on the volleyball boards here, but I've been a devout follower of the volleyball team since my senior year at the U (2015). I even flew up to Minneapolis for the Final Four last year (thought the Gophers were gonna make it)! And yes, Fall is the best time for sports hands down. ;)
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Gophers finish off Maryland 21, 19, 22. Taylor Morgan is back and Rollins led Minnesota with 13 kills. Now it's time to watch if the Buckeyes can knock off the Badgers.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Buckeyes took out Bucky in four sets. Gophers now tied for first with Wisconsin at 12-1.
 

let'sbeclear

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Wisconsin is down 0-2 at Ohio St :eek:
Ohio St. wins 27, 20, -20, 24. It just goes to show those of us who were trying to plot out the season eight games ahead that in the Big Ten, anything can -- and probably will -- happen.
 

let'sbeclear

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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)
Pitt beats Georgia Tech at home, but barely: 17, -18, 20, -23, 13.
 

let'sbeclear

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Two interesting sets of Big Ten Conference stats rankings for the Gophers:

1. We rank last in opponents' kills per set (that is, our opponents have had the most kills per set against us), but we rank first in digs per set, second in blocks per set, and third in opponents' hitting percentage (that is, the third lowest hitting percentage against us).

2. We are first in kills per set -- that surprised me -- but last in opponents' digs per set (that is, our opponents have the most digs per set against us).
 

let'sbeclear

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Two interesting sets of Big Ten Conference stats rankings for the Gophers:

1. We rank last in opponents' kills per set (that is, our opponents have had the most kills per set against us), but we rank first in digs per set, second in blocks per set, and third in opponents' hitting percentage (that is, the third lowest hitting percentage against us).

2. We are first in kills per set -- that surprised me -- but last in opponents' digs per set (that is, our opponents have the most digs per set against us).
CORRECTION: Those were conference rankings for all matches, not just Big Ten matches.
 

CutDownTheNet

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Ohio St. wins 27, 20, -20, 24. It just goes to show those of us who were trying to plot out the season eight games ahead that in the Big Ten, anything can -- and probably will -- happen.
In fact, as a result of the Badger loss, that shakes things up a bit, and Wisconsin slides down to #5 in RPI Rank with Stanford moving to #4 and Pitt to #3. If Pitt had lost that close one to Georgia Tech, they would have slid down (perhaps to below Minnesota).

As I write this on late Saturday afternoon (before the Gopher WBB Sunday game but after the great Football win (go undefeated Gopher Football!)), the NCAA has not yet updated their RPI table. But I found an NCAA Women’s Volleyball table that is updated at http://ncaastats.figstats.net/volleyball-rpi.cgi

It shows that the Gophers are now #8 in RPI Rank (but still 6th in last AVCA Poll). See below ...

Team RPIRank RPIPct W-L SoSRank SoSPct
Baylor 1 0.7422 20-1 6 0.6543
Texas 2 0.7247 17-2 5 0.6569
Pitt 3 0.6982 24-1 42 0.5945
Stanford 4 0.6931 17-4 14 0.6311
Wisconsin 5 0.6893 16-5 4 0.6629
Nebraska 6 0.6872 19-3 29 0.6106
Florida 7 0.6810 18-3 20 0.6175
Minnesota 8 0.6805 18-3 43 0.5928
Texas A&M 9 0.6787 17-5 7 0.6531
Washington 10 0.6779 18-5 26 0.6141
Penn State 16 0.6534 18-4 48 0.5852
Purdue 20 0.6439 16-6 21 0.6173
Michigan 36 0.6161 16-7 50 0.5838
Illinois 40 0.6117 12-10 12 0.6351
Ohio State 47 0.5973 13-12 10 0.6380
Michigan State 84 0.5567 13-10 105 0.5332
Iowa 88 0.5534 9-15 15 0.6258
Northwestern 96 0.5481 10-15 25 0.6149
Indiana 98 0.5464 12-14 63 .5654
Rutgers 103 0.5420 8-16 9 0.6417
Maryland 110 0.5388 12-13 69 0.5577

Minnesota was 7th in RPI for an hour or two, then a Florida game result came in and put them back at #8. There is very little difference in actual RPIPct between Pitt (0.6982), Stanford (0.6931), Wisconsin (0.6893), Nebraska (0.6872), Florida (0.6872) and Minnesota (0.6805). People mistakenly think that Minnesota is way behind Pitt because they are 8th ranked in RPI whereas Pitt is 3rd ranked in RPI. But the actual RPIPct scores on which they are sorted, are so bunched up in that range, that it’s not far from the truth to say that they’re all tied for 3rd place.

On the other hand, there’s a pretty good bump between Pitt and Texas, and another good bump between Texas and Baylor.

You can also see “how” the teams got the RPIPct that they did. Pitt got it from a great W-L record in spite of a 42nd ranked SoS. Baylor has a similarly good W-L record, but its 6th ranked SoS gives it the best RPI. Texas has the 5th ranked SoS but lost one more match than Baylor, netting it #2 in RPI Rank. At the moment, the Gophers have a SoS about as bad as Pitt; but they’re about to play some strong schools and that will make their SoS better. Enough better to catch Pitt? Probably not by means of improved SoS alone. That’s why we most likely need Pitt to lose one while we win-out the rest of our Big Ten season (in order to possibly host a Sweet Sixteen).
 
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let'sbeclear

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No disrespect to the Gophers volleyball team -- they're terrific -- but for the first time in several decades, this might not be an utterly irrational question. Which team is better: the U of M's football team or its volleyball team?
 

CutDownTheNet

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No disrespect to the Gophers volleyball team -- they're terrific -- but for the first time in several decades, this might not be an utterly irrational question. Which team is better: the U of M's football team or its volleyball team?
That is (suddenly) a rational and interesting (albeit difficult) question.

It amounts to asking what is better (or which does the fan prefer) ...

A volleyball team that is consistently excellent over a large number of seasons. But not so excellent that they win a large number of national championships. They do get into Final Fours once in a while, but how long since they won one? (Surely some poster knows the answer.)

Or, a football team that has been consistently mediocre for many years, but that has now (seemingly and hopefully) turned a corner toward excellence. And that, this year anyway, just might win the Big Ten and a bowl game. And that has resurrected football fan spirit to Pav-like levels (or should we say Pav-lovian).

Of course, there’s also the half-ass answer: It depends on where the volleyball team and football team play each other - at TCF Bank Stadium, or at the Pav.
 
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beavergopher

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Sweep of Ohio State today makes Thursday’s match huge. Winner is alone in first place.
Benedict Barnes returns to the Pav.
 

Ewert86PC

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Sweep of Ohio State today makes Thursday’s match huge. Winner is alone in first place.
Benedict Barnes returns to the Pav.
Let's just beat Wisconsin. That should be enough.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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I watched the Ohio State match up until it was 22 all in the third then I had to depart for basketball. It was a much better match against the Buckeyes than the five setter at Williams. The Gophers are a resilient group.

I'm looking forward to the first place Thursday night showdown in the PAV.
 

CutDownTheNet

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According to the website CutDownTheNet provided a link to (http://ncaastats.figstats.net/volleyball-rpi.cgi), it looks like the Gophers will be moving up to #6 in the RPI, one spot behind Wisconsin.
Yes and no - I just realized that website has several flavors of RPI stats depending on what tab you click. The default seems to be "RPI with Bonuses" - the one I quoted before (and with powder blue background). There is also an "Unmodified RPI" (with pink background). The Gophers are #6 on the former (raw RPIPct = 0.6797 currently) and #8 on the latter (raw RPIPct = 0.6602 currently).

My guess is that "RPI with Bonuses" is the web-site owners take on an RPI statistic after running it through some adjustment/bonus model that intends to reflect how the Selection Committee adds pluses and minuses to tweak RPI to reflect other factors. Whereas the "Unmodified RPI" is probably going to match the posted NCAA stats (when adjusted - and that's just the rub - the NCAA stats are not adjusted dynamically, as is this website, a definite advantage.

So to the extent that their "RPI with Bonuses" model might indeed be closer to how the Selection Committee might see things, then good that this puts us in # 6 instead of #8. But who knows how accurate their model is. Plus, there's only a 0.0195 delta between these two raw RPIPcts - showing how little it takes to move up 2 slots.

The key takeaway is that, no matter which (tweaked or untweaked) model you use, Baylor and Texas are close to being a lock on 1st and 2nd places; and the real battle (among near equals, RPI-wise) is for the 3rd and 4th place rankings by the Selection Committee (with the prize being potentially hosting a Sweet Sixteen), probably among the following teams that are so close in raw RPIPct that it's too close to call ...

Pittsburgh (ACC)
Stanford (PAC)
Wisconsin (BIG10)
Minnesota (BIG10)
Florida (SEC)
Nebraska (BIG10)

Of these, only the 3 BIG10 teams hold the keys to their own fate by virtue of playing each other, so that some of these BIG10 teams have to lose a game or two.

It was already noted that Pitt has only a couple games left in which they might be upset (after almost getting upset this weekend). Stanford doesn't seem to have any big challenges left, but on the other hand they won't be getting a big bump in SoS like the Big-Ten teams will. Things are a little tighter atop the SEC, so we might look to see who Florida plays.

Bottom line, Gophers need to beat Wiscy and Nebraska, and take care of business with its other remaining B1G foes.
 
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let'sbeclear

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Yes and no - I just realized that website has several flavors of RPI stats depending on what tab you click. The default seems to be "RPI with Bonuses" - the one I quoted before (and with powder blue background). There is also an "Unmodified RPI" (with pink background). The Gophers are #6 on the former (raw RPIPct = 0.6797 currently) and #8 on the latter (raw RPIPct = 0.6602 currently).

My guess is that "RPI with Bonuses" is the web-site owners take on an RPI statistic after running it through some adjustment/bonus model that intends to reflect how the Selection Committee adds pluses and minuses to tweak RPI to reflect other factors. Whereas the "Unmodified RPI" is probably going to match the posted NCAA stats (when adjusted - and that's just the rub - the NCAA stats are not adjusted dynamically, as is this website, a definite advantage.

So to the extent that their "RPI with Bonuses" model might indeed be closer to how the Selection Committee might see things, then good that this puts us in # 6 instead of #8. But who knows how accurate their model is. Plus, there's only a 0.0195 delta between these two raw RPIPcts - showing how little it takes to move up 2 slots.

The key takeaway is that, no matter which (tweaked or untweaked) model you use, Baylor and Texas are close to being a lock on 1st and 2nd places; and the real battle (among near equals, RPI-wise) is for the 3rd and 4th place rankings by the Selection Committee (with the prize being potentially hosting a Sweet Sixteen), probably among the following teams that are so close in raw RPIPct that it's too close to call ...

Pittsburgh (ACC)
Stanford (PAC)
Wisconsin (BIG10)
Minnesota (BIG10)
Florida (SEC)
Nebraska (BIG10)

Of these, only the 3 BIG10 teams hold the keys to their own fate by virtue of playing each other, so that some of these BIG10 teams have to lose a game or two.

It was already noted that Pitt has only a couple games left in which they might be upset (after almost getting upset this weekend). Stanford doesn't seem to have any big challenges left, but on the other hand they won't be getting a big bump in SoS like the Big-Ten teams will. Things are a little tighter atop the SEC, so we might look to see who Florida plays.

Bottom line, Gophers need to beat Wiscy and Nebraska, and take care of business with its other remaining B1G foes.
Yes, I was using the "RPI with Bonuses" tab on that website, because the RPI explanation on that website includes this:

"For the Division 1 Volleyball RPI, an adjustment is made based on a team's good wins, bad losses, and out of conference scheduling.

Double bonus for wins against RPI teams 1-25
Single bonus for wins against RPI teams 26-50
Single penalty for losses between 285 and 309
Double penalty for losses against RPI teams 310 and above
Double bonus for 50% or more of out-of-conference games against RPI teams 1-75
Double penalty for 50% or more of out-of-conference games against RPI teams 260 and above​

"These bonuses are added to the unmodified RPI score of a team, and then teams are reranked using the adjusted RPI value. The adjusted RPI is what is used for consideration for the NCAA tournament by the NCAA committee."

And that site still shows the Gophs at #6, .0001 ahead of Florida, though the official RPI rankings, posted by Ignatius above, shows Florida at #6 and the Gophs at #7. The discrepancy may well be that the official RPI rankings have Florida at 20-3, and the unofficial site still has Florida at 19-3.
 
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let'sbeclear

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Minnesotan Jordan Thompson, playing for Cincinnati, had 50 kills in a five-set match against Connecticut. This was the 7th time anyone has done that in NCAA Division 1 volleyball, and the first time since 1999.

https://gobearcats.com/news/2019/11/3/womens-volleyball-jordan-thompson-has-historic-senior-day-to-lead-bearcats-to-victory.aspx?path=wvball

See a video of all 50 kills, along with an interview of Jordan here: https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleyball-women/article/2019-11-11/college-volleyball-rankings-texas-pittsburgh-baylor-lead
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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It's official.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Ignatius L Hoops

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Hrothgar

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So what are the chances tomorrow vs. Wisconsin? Can Minnesota win this border battle?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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koalasibala

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So what are the chances tomorrow vs. Wisconsin? Can Minnesota win this border battle?
Now that we seem to be more settled in the 6-2, our serve receive can stay consistently accurate, and we play even 50% better on tip coverage, I have no doubt that our hitters will be terminal enough to carry us to a 4-set or 5-set win. Furthermore, if we can get them out-of-system with strong serves, we'll be gucci. Rettke will get her 20-25 kills - that's just expected at this point with our blocking rn.

On Wisconsin's side, if Haggerty and Loberg step up on the offensive end, we'll be in trouble like we were a few weeks ago. And knowing her former teammates, I'm sure Barnes has aided Wisconsin as to how to read and engage with our hitters. Miyabe, our secret weapon, and who has emerged as a crafty hitter in recent weeks, could be a wrench in the Badger playbook. She's a better blocking option than having McMenimen up there during those rotations, and her defense and awareness are much more consistent than other hitters imo.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://gophersports.com/news/2019/11/13/volleyball-gophers-welcome-four-to-2020-roster.aspx

The 2020 class:
"Cami Appiani can pass and defend with the best of them, and she's got a great arm," McCutcheon said. "Her ball control and her ability to generate points from the service line is truly unique."

"Taylor Landfair is a special talent," McCutcheon said. "She's got length, she's physical and she can play the whole game. It's a rare combination of skills, but it's these factors combined with her work ethic and her constant drive to improve that really set her apart."

"There are very few setters that have the length and skill of Melani Shaffmaster," McCutcheon said. "She can flat out dish the rock, but she can also play the whole game at a really high level. Her serve and defense are solid and she'll bring an offensive and blocking presence at the net that we've never had from a setter."

"Jenna Wenaas brings strength and skill to the outside hitting position," McCutcheon said. "She absolutely knows how to work, learn and compete. She is phenomenal at the net, she hits with a ton of heat and range, and she's developed a great all-around game to compliment that.
 
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