Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

Ski U Mah Gopher

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OK, it's time for the 2020 Thread

Losses form 2019:

OH Alexis Hart
MB Taylor Morgan
S Kylie Miller
DS/L Lauren Litzau

Additions for 2020:

6'4" OH Taylor Landfair - Rated #1 by Prep Volleyball
6'1" OH Jenna Wenaas - Rated #3 by Prep Volleyball
6'3" S Melani Shaffmaster - Rated #16 by Prep Volleyball
5' 8" DS/L Cami Appiana - Rated #110 by Prep Volleyball - started for the #2 team in the nation.

Comment away:)
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Though McCutcheon was sad to see it end, he wasn’t gloomy. The Gophers shrugged off injuries and lineup changes to finish 27-6 and reach the Final Four for the third time in five years. While Alexis Hart, Morgan Taylor, Kylie Miller and Lauren Litzau finished their college careers Thursday, 11 players are expected to return next season — and they will be joined by a powerhouse recruiting class.

The Gophers’ newcomers include Taylor Landfair, a 6-4 outside hitter ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit by PrepVolleyball.com; Jenna Wenaas, a 6-1 outside hitter ranked No. 3; 6-3 setter Melani Shaffmaster, ranked No. 16; and libero Cami Appiani. Landfair and Shaffmaster will arrive on campus in January, giving them an early start.

The veterans — led by All-America honorees Regan Pittman, Stephanie Samedy and CC McGraw — will bring a little something extra, too. After reaching the Final Four through perseverance and unity, their aim is to maintain it.
 

Bad Gopher

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After being resigned to accepting that it's difficult to impossible to beat Stanford when an otherworldly talent like Plummer is having a night like that, the Gophers are poised to add two higher order talents--hopefully of Plummer's magnitude--to the roster next year. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but it's tempting to dream of this program entering even more of a golden age than they've already been in since hiring Hebert... which has already been a golden age. I can't wait till next season to watch this start developing.
 

MRJ

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After being resigned to accepting that it's difficult to impossible to beat Stanford when an otherworldly talent like Plummer is having a night like that, the Gophers are poised to add two higher order talents--hopefully of Plummer's magnitude--to the roster next year. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but it's tempting to dream of this program entering even more of a golden age than they've already been in since hiring Hebert... which has already been a golden age. I can't wait till next season to watch this start developing.
Agreed.

The program has become consistent enough both in the conference and nationally to be considered a reload rather than rebuild after classes graduate.

And I share your optimism for coming years. Next year's class is elite in terms of potential and he has a couple of more big-time studs committed in coming years as well that will surely be a big part of the program going forward.

Simply put, Hebert (and now McCutcheon) have built a program that is a national and conference power just about every year.

Looking forward to seeing just how high the program can go.
 

dlw4gophers

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Success means greater expectations. The way the season played out, you would have to say the ladies had a great year. Sometime soon the Gophers are going to have to win it all.
 

Hrothgar

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Success means greater expectations. The way the season played out, you would have to say the ladies had a great year. Sometime soon the Gophers are going to have to win it all.
I heard AD Coyle say in an interview Hugh will win it all. Hope it happens to the Gophers soon.
 

GuyFawkes

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anyone have a list of future class commits and their rank?
 

Gopher68

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anyone have a list of future class commits and their rank?
I think only HS seniors are ranked. Current commits:
2021
Anna Wulf, 6'5" MB, River Falls, WI
Skylar Gray, 5'10" OH, Maple Grove, MN
Natalie Glenn, 5'10" OH, Southlake, TX (father was Terry Glenn)
2022
McKenna Wurcherer, 6'1" OH, Milwaukee,SO
Carter Booth, 6'7" MB, Englewood,CO (father is Calvin Booth)
Julia Hanson, 5'11" OH, Prior Lake, MN
 

MplsGopher

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I will be interested to see if Hugh still wants to go with a DS for one or both of our OH.

I think Rollins' poor defensive play cost us this season. No idea how Landfair will be on that aspect. I suspect she's #1 because she's a crazy good terminal hitter.

Samedy didn't play well, at times. Disappointing. Will be interesting to see how Miyabe fits into the puzzle. Either at Opp or OH.
 

MplsGopher

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Does it look like all the Gopher undergraduates are staying?
Interesting question. Everyone from Pittman down, even true freshmen, had at least bit roles at times this season.

I wouldn't expect players who were true freshmen this year to graduate. Nor would I expect the players who are going to be playing their last season next year. Sheehan already transferred here from Iowa, so I'm not sure if she would be eligible ... maybe as a graduate transfer.

McMenimen played a lot, with Miller out. I think it is assumed that the new freshman setter is going to be given a chance to start. But we won't know until the season.

Will Kilkelly keep her spot as DS? She won't beat out McGraw. There is a new freshman coming in as well. Frankly, I'm not sure that DS's shouldn't be used for both OH. It's not like we run a bunch of pipe hits.
 

KillmeNow

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OK, it's time for the 2020 Thread

Losses form 2019:

OH Alexis Hart
MB Taylor Morgan
S Kylie Miller
DS/L Lauren Litzau

Additions for 2020:

6'4" OH Taylor Landfair - Rated #1 by Prep Volleyball
6'1" OH Jenna Wenaas - Rated #3 by Prep Volleyball
6'3" S Melani Shaffmaster - Rated #16 by Prep Volleyball
5' 8" DS/L Cami Appiana - Rated #110 by Prep Volleyball - started for the #2 team in the nation.

Comment away:)

Well, I don't pay a ton of attention to schools like Duke/UNC in basketball or Bama in football, etc.. But I think I remember once in the past, the Gopher Wrestling team having a similar sort of recruiting year, getting the #1 overall recruit, another Top 5 overall guy and 2 or 3 others very highly rated, and I believe that class ended up garnering them a National Title? My memory is starting to falter some.


But I guess my point is, women's Vb is a very popular sport, with a comparable # of players to basketball, so wouldn't a 4 person class like that, at say Duke Men's bb or UConn women's bb be considered a VERY good class? Probably a #1 rated class?


Anyone know what our competition is bringing in?
 

GibsonSG

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Anyone know what our competition is bringing in?
Wisconsin has the #13, #14, and #30 ranked recruits. Obviously, they'll be extremely good again with what they return.

Nebraska has the #21 recruit. But they bring back everyone. I think some people are a little too quick to assume Wisconsin will win the Big Ten crown next year.

Penn State has the #28 recruit, but they also return a bunch of starters.

So, yeah... On paper the Gophers have the best recruiting class. We'll just have to see how quickly the players are able to adjust to the college game.
 

MplsGopher

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Six of Wisconsin's starting 8 return, if you count DS Barnes as a starter (I think that's correct in the women's game). All but one of them will be a senior, with the M2 to be a junior.

They lost Duello (RS) and Clark (L). I'm sure they'll find another decent pin to put on the right, and some think Barnes will be as good if not better than Clark at L. They'll either let both Haggerty and Loberg play all-around, or find another DS.

Next year should be their year, on paper.
 

GibsonSG

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Six of Wisconsin's starting 8 return, if you count DS Barnes as a starter (I think that's correct in the women's game). All but one of them will be a senior, with the M2 to be a junior.

They lost Duello (RS) and Clark (L). I'm sure they'll find another decent pin to put on the right, and some think Barnes will be as good if not better than Clark at L. They'll either let both Haggerty and Loberg play all-around, or find another DS.

Next year should be their year, on paper.
Wasn't Dodge pretty much a 9th starter for them? Didn't they sub out both of their OH's in the back row this year? Somebody on Volleytalk posted the passing stats (don't ask me how they figure that) and Barnes was considerably worse than Clark and Dodge on the season. But frustratingly, she was apparently still better than McGraw. I think that will be their only questionable area coming into next year. And I think we'll know by the start of Big Ten play if Barnes (or someone else) is up to the task or not next season.

And, no, I would not bet against Wisconsin. But one can always hope that their back row defense and passing takes a bit of a step back with Clark and Dodge gone. :cautious:
 

MplsGopher

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Wasn't Dodge pretty much a 9th starter for them? Didn't they sub out both of their OH's in the back row this year? Somebody on Volleytalk posted the passing stats (don't ask me how they figure that) and Barnes was considerably worse than Clark and Dodge on the season. But frustratingly, she was apparently still better than McGraw. I think that will be their only questionable area coming into next year. And I think we'll know by the start of Big Ten play if Barnes (or someone else) is up to the task or not next season.

And, no, I would not bet against Wisconsin. But one can always hope that their back row defense and passing takes a bit of a step back with Clark and Dodge gone. :cautious:
Thanks for correcting me on that. I thought Haggerty played all around? Maybe not. I thought I recalled her making some great defensive plays in the later post-season but perhaps that was Barnes or Dodge.

Pass stats I believe come from passing grades, which I think are subjective. Someone has to judge each pass by how much of the offense it allows to easily be run (the in-system/out of system type of thing).
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Gopher Sports:

Red-shirt junior Regan Pittman closed out a memorable 2019 season. In a span of a week, the 6-foot, 5-inch middle blocker helped her team advance to the NCAA Final Four, obtained a bachelor's degree in recreation administration and became an AVCA First Team All-American. It was her second All-America honor of her career, her first as a first team selection.
Pittman will look to continue both her athletic and academic career with one more year of eligibility left. The soon-to-be red-shirt senior will work towards a master's degree in youth development leadership. She, along with Stephanie Samedy and Claire Sheehan will return for their senior season in August 2020. Check out how Pittman used both her love for volleyball and outdoors to find a great balance off the court in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article earlier this year.
 

MplsGopher

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I still wonder if Sheehan regrets her transfer decision, in hindsight. She was never able to win the job the last two years and won't win it in 2020 either. Wheras, she started as a freshman for Iowa.

If there was family or personal stuff (or issues with coaching staff ... I don't know, making that up), then fine, not transferring wasn't on the table in that case.


But she did get some spot work in meaningful situations last season, and hopefully she does again next season and makes the most of it.
 

MRJ

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I still wonder if Sheehan regrets her transfer decision, in hindsight. She was never able to win the job the last two years and won't win it in 2020 either. Wheras, she started as a freshman for Iowa.

If there was family or personal stuff (or issues with coaching staff ... I don't know, making that up), then fine, not transferring wasn't on the table in that case.


But she did get some spot work in meaningful situations last season, and hopefully she does again next season and makes the most of it.
I doubt she regrets it much, if at all.

She stated earlier in the year that a big reason for her transfer was that she is a bit of a homebody and wanted to be closer to family. Specifically, she mentioned her baby sister, whom she apparently missed a lot while at Iowa.

In that regard, I'm sure she was aware she'd be getting a lot more playing time at Iowa than at Minnesota.

But I definitely got the feeling the transfer was more about family than anything else.
 

GibsonSG

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I doubt she regrets it much, if at all.

She stated earlier in the year that a big reason for her transfer was that she is a bit of a homebody and wanted to be closer to family. Specifically, she mentioned her baby sister, whom she apparently missed a lot while at Iowa.

In that regard, I'm sure she was aware she'd be getting a lot more playing time at Iowa than at Minnesota.
Agreed.

Perhaps she also doesn't see herself playing volleyball beyond college for that reason. If players want to pursue a pro career, don't they basically have to go to Europe? Or maybe South America?

If playing time was number one in importance for every single player, then these big programs would never have the large benches that they do. And speaking of that....how come you can easily find out who's on scholarship and who isn't in sports like basketball and football and with volleyball it seems to be a guessing game? 15 women on the roster, only 12 have scholarships, right? Last year they had 18 on the roster. Why don't they just list the walk-ons?
 

MplsGopher

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It's not officially listed for any sport. But for football and basketball, the recruiting is so closely followed that it is easier to deduce who is offered a scholarship and who isn't.
 

GibsonSG

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It's not officially listed for any sport. But for football and basketball, the recruiting is so closely followed that it is easier to deduce who is offered a scholarship and who isn't.
Yeah, I should have thought that question through before I asked it. It's the recruiting websites of football that flat out tell you if someone is a walk-on. And with basketball, most walk-ons don't get any publicity. Their names just show up on the roster come fall.
 

4EverAGopher

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I will enjoy nothing more this next season than a team, such as the Gophers with the added height at the net, make Sidney Hilley and Dana Rettke do something else offensively than the slide. To me it is going be quite interesting to see Wisconsin respond to an added 6' 7" OH and a 6'3" Setter along with improved 6' 4" and 6' 5" MB's across the net. Should be another border battle season that will be fun to watch. Hope we are back on the winning end of it this time.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The University of Minnesota volleyball program has solidified its 2020 spring schedule and will compete four times, starting at the end of March. The Golden Gophers will host two events in that span, as well as travel to Fairmont, Minn., and Indianola, Iowa. All Minnesota spring scrimmages are open to the public and free of charge. Concessions for Minnesota's two home events will also be available.

The Gophers open the spring schedule on Saturday, March 28 in Fairmont, Minn., against South Dakota. Both teams will meet at Fairmont High School and a scrimmage at 2 p.m., with warm ups beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Minnesota will host its first of two home spring scrimmages on Saturday April 11. The Gophers and North Dakota will compete in a scrimmage at 1:30 p.m., with warmups and doors opening at 1 p.m. Tours of the Robert K. Eddy Performance Center will begin at 1 p.m., and run through a majority of the scrimmage.
 

let'sbeclear

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I will enjoy nothing more this next season than a team, such as the Gophers with the added height at the net, make Sidney Hilley and Dana Rettke do something else offensively than the slide. To me it is going be quite interesting to see Wisconsin respond to an added 6' 7" OH and a 6'3" Setter along with improved 6' 4" and 6' 5" MB's across the net. Should be another border battle season that will be fun to watch. Hope we are back on the winning end of it this time.
Who is the added 6'7" OH for the Gophers?
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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The only 6’7” player tray I understand is committed to the Gophers is Carter Booth in 2022. Maybe some are coming later than that but I am not aware of any for the 2020 or 2021 seasons.
 

4EverAGopher

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Sorry...I was talking about the new OH addition with Landfair and her height. Had Rettke's height on the brain and mistyped that information. That's all. Still, nice to see that tall of a player as a Gopher. So, what is she? 6'4"????? If not, how tall is Landfair?
 
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