Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

From the Parkinglot

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They should've. But they completely lost their focus and gave Pitt momentum. And a few of the plays were straight up lazy. They often have this sorta "too cool for school" vibe about them that often gets them into trouble because of how casually they play at times.
They are a one person team in Samedy. Everyone else is hit or miss. Has been all year.
 

MRJ

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Ladies are going to lose and fully deserve to. Pitt has wanted it way more than the Gophers from the start. Absolutely no fire from the ladies at any point during the match while Pitt acted like they were at a rock concert both on the court and on the bench.

Bad way to end the season. This team really needs to work on their approach to the game if they want to take the next step. Just way, way to lazy at times and back row play was just plain bad. Like I said: "too cool for school."
 

#2Gopher

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Not looking good at this point. Agreed with some laziness in these games today.
 

#2Gopher

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Disappointed to say the least in the end. They clearly had the talent, but for some reason decided not to use the talent today.
 

From the Parkinglot

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ESPN is always highly biased in their commentary. Always have been. They have their favorites and the Gophers aren't one of them. Just the way they are.

The ladies have nobody to blame but themselves for the difficulties they're having today. They've mentally checked out time after time all afternoon and will be lucky if they can find a way to win. The backrow play has been pretty much awful.
Espn does pay the ACC hundreds of millions of dollars a year so there is no surprise there.
 

Katogopher

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They looked lazy, flat with no emotion. Pittsburgh definitely deserved the win. Gophers need to find players who can pass.
 

cncmin

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Gophers played with no emotion, didn't seem to care that they were there. Played poorly, probably as a result of no emotion. Deserved to lose. The better team today won.
 

Ewert86PC

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What a disappointing end to the season. This team fell victim to their own belief that because they won the first set, that they would win the entire match. The always play sloppy, not loose, in the second set and Pitt took full advantage of that. They turned took the fourth set because sloppy play after the set win came back and then they exploited the shock by throwing all their tricks and gadgets at us to build an insurmountable lead in the fifth set.

I really thought this team was mentally tougher than the one on the court today.
 

Rickman55

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I think Hugh is overrated. And my opinion is not just based on today’s performance. Great recruiter, but.....
 

jham13

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Oh please, MN is lucky to have Hugh as a coach. The VB program wouldn't be where it is today without him.
 

Tucker

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I didn’t think we looked that bad in the first set. Maybe not great, but definitely we had enough to win, I thought.

That second set seemed like the biggest pile of crap ever. Really made things possible for the Panthers. I agree we earned every bit of that loss.
 

GopherGod

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Oh please, MN is lucky to have Hugh as a coach. The VB program wouldn't be where it is today without him.
Hugh is a good coach but still needs to prove he can win the big one like Rose and Cook in the conference have on multiple occasions. With that said it isn’t as if there is a better coach out there that Minnesota could or would ever replace Hugh with.
 

walleye

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Disappointing loss. Gophers were very tight and Pitt was loose and having fun. Terrible receiving and passing. Sets were made from bad positions and were not good enough. Pitt had a good game plan. They knew how to handle the Gophers blocking and were great at digging out spikes. The Gophers have a lot of players who can screw light bulbs in the ceiling but few players who can wipe spills off the floor. Need some recruits or transfers who can play defense. They need to learn from the loss.
 

#2Gopher

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Not to knock on Hugh, but the MN volleyball program was pretty solid before Hugh as well.
Guess I don't remember the team being in the top 10 consistency. Yes Pittsburgh was very loose and having fun today. They had nothing to lose as they were the underdogs. Gophers meanwhile tighten up as it has been said by previous posters.

Crap happens every year regardless of the sport across the country. Holy Cross comes to my mind off hand.
 

GibsonSG

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Embarrassing that Wisconsin is better in women's hockey and now volleyball. Yikes.
Since when were the Gophers the clear-cut superior volleyball team to the Badgers? Was this when Wisconsin was in the Final Four in 2014 or lost in the National Championship game in 2000, 2013, and 2019? Or when John Cook was the Badger coach for 7 seasons before heading to Nebraska?

Except for a 5 year lull before Sheffield became their coach, they have been in the NCAA tournament nearly every single year for 3 decades.

Yes, how embarrassing....
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Hugh is a good coach but still needs to prove he can win the big one like Rose and Cook in the conference have on multiple occasions. With that said it isn’t as if there is a better coach out there that Minnesota could or would ever replace Hugh with.
This is obviously true. You don’t replace somebody with nobody. Hugh is better than any possible alternative for the Gophers - it helps that he married a Minnesotan so it is in his interests to be hear.

It’s not like the NCAA and all the other teams are just handing national titles to the Gophers “just because”. It’s hard to win consistently. really hard. Look at Stanford post Plummer - they suck now. Just wait to see Wisconsin post Rettke/Hilley - they will be nothing overly special.
 

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The Gophers obviously were overrated and over-seeded. And it's not their fault for that. It was a short season with no non-conference matches. They likely would have lost more matches if they would have had to face Ohio State twice, Wisconsin again, and some tough opponents in the PAC 12 & ACC challenges they seem to schedule every season. I can't figure out how they were seeded higher than Nebraska after the Huskers clearly dominated them in the rematch sweep. The Gophers played 8 players today - 5 of which are freshmen or sophomores. Contrast that with a team like Wisconsin. They played 10 players against BYU - of which 7 seniors and 1 junior. Experience seems to usually win in volleyball.

One gripe I do have with Hugh is his apparent refusal to use his bench. If something obviously isn't working, come on, give someone on the bench a chance. And I wonder why the passing game has been so subpar for quite a few seasons now. Is Hugh that confident that Kilkelly and McGraw will eventually figure things out that he doesn't even look to recruit other back row players who can pass well if they aren't getting it done? Or was that supposed to be Appiani?

It's actually remarkable how many matches the Gophers won despite such uneven play and sometimes sloppy ball control.
 

Hrothgar

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The Gophers obviously were overrated and over-seeded. And it's not their fault for that. It was a short season with no non-conference matches. They likely would have lost more matches if they would have had to face Ohio State twice, Wisconsin again, and some tough opponents in the PAC 12 & ACC challenges they seem to schedule every season. I can't figure out how they were seeded higher than Nebraska after the Huskers clearly dominated them in the rematch sweep. The Gophers played 8 players today - 5 of which are freshmen or sophomores. Contrast that with a team like Wisconsin. They played 10 players against BYU - of which 7 seniors and 1 junior. Experience seems to usually win in volleyball.

One gripe I do have with Hugh is his apparent refusal to use his bench. If something obviously isn't working, come on, give someone on the bench a chance. And I wonder why the passing game has been so subpar for quite a few seasons now. Is Hugh that confident that Kilkelly and McGraw will eventually figure things out that he doesn't even look to recruit other back row players who can pass well if they aren't getting it done? Or was that supposed to be Appiani?

It's actually remarkable how many matches the Gophers won despite such uneven play and sometimes sloppy ball control.
Overrated/over-seeded. Very likely. What struck me was how slim their roster was all season. In the end out of 14, McGraw was injured; Myers mysteriously missing; Atherton, McMenimen, Huseman, seldom entered games, if ever; for whatever reason Miyabe got less & less playing time. That left only 8 viable choices. Yesterday it felt like Samedy, Pittman, & Rollins were taking on Pitt by themselves.
 

Gopher68

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GibsonSG Said:
Is Hugh that confident that Kilkelly and McGraw will eventually figure things out that he doesn't even look to recruit other back row players who can pass well if they aren't getting it done? Or was that supposed to be Appiani?

The Gophers have a commitment from Mandi Morioka, a DS/L from CA.
 

MRJ

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Since when were the Gophers the clear-cut superior volleyball team to the Badgers? Was this when Wisconsin was in the Final Four in 2014 or lost in the National Championship game in 2000, 2013, and 2019? Or when John Cook was the Badger coach for 7 seasons before heading to Nebraska?

Except for a 5 year lull before Sheffield became their coach, they have been in the NCAA tournament nearly every single year for 3 decades.

Yes, how embarrassing....
From 2015 to 2018 the Gophers were clearly superior. They won eight in a row over the Badgers during that time, including a pair of conference titles, and lead the all-time series. So yeah, you can make the argument that the Gophers have been the better program several times over the 2000s, especially in the early 2000s and until the start of 2019.

Other than that, you're right. The team really needs to improve in several areas. This roster basically showed very little fire as a whole most of this season. They noticeably lacked fire in sets where things weren't going well and seemed to actively pick and choose when they wanted to play with focus. Pretty much unacceptable imo.

Not a recipe for success, especially with the level of talent Hugh recruits.
 

Hrothgar

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From 2015 to 2018 the Gophers were clearly superior. They won eight in a row over the Badgers during that time, including a pair of conference titles, and lead the all-time series. So yeah, you can make the argument that the Gophers have been the better program several times over the 2000s, especially in the early 2000s and until the start of 2019.

Other than that, you're right. The team really needs to improve in several areas. This roster basically showed very little fire as a whole most of this season. They noticeably lacked fire in sets where things weren't going well and seemed to actively pick and choose when they wanted to play with focus. Pretty much unacceptable imo.

Not a recipe for success, especially with the level of talent Hugh recruits.
I like your comments. Sometimes I have this feeling for so many MN teams, i. e., lacking fire to get hot at just the right time & string together a row of stunning wins to a championship, but it seems to happen so seldom, if ever. (Maybe the Lynx for a few years; I remember Sheryl Reeves hotly desciribing not-winning simply as Losersville.) Gophers VB is good and it's flattering they get ranked so high, but that extra little bit always seems missing.
 

MplsGopher

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Pathetic performance.....No energy, lazy passing, Hugh tried nothing different....Reminds me of the loss to Oregon at home a couple years ago
Not nearly as gut wrenching as that loss. Especially with the Final Four in Mpls on the line.

But a similar type of loss.

Just a heartless performance. And as noted, lack of passing was just sad.
 

MplsGopher

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One gripe I do have with Hugh is his apparent refusal to use his bench.
I would also gripe about how pathetically easy it is for teams to tip against us.

He actually said one time that he thinks the rules should change to prevent that type of shot at all. 😆
 

4EverAGopher

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Moving forward, IMO, Minnesota has not been able to recruit too many top 20 players. However, this season we had the #1 ranked recruiting class in Division 1 volleyball. All three of those were given playing time this year. If it wasn't for CC being injured more than once, Wenaas would not have been seeing much playing time.

All three of our Freshman starters have potential, but they all need to grow in the sport, at this level. I was most impressed with Wenaas. She has that feel for the game that you want to see in a Freshman. Whereas it appeared Shaffmaster and Landfair needed more guidance.

Landfair looks so so lost and not into the game. Kinda reminds me of Jaz Martin at that position. She has a lot to offer but so much work ahead. Then there is Shaffmaster. I honestly do not believe, if Hugh wants that fast paced offense, she will ever be the answer at setting. I just do not believe she has the physicality needed for this and future Gopher teams. Unfortunately, by the end of the season she still could not set the middle and really struggled with OOS volleyball. I am feeling her game would be better suited at one of the net positions. I just wished she would wipe that smirk off her face. I'm not sure she is even aware she does it.

This year's recruiting class is strong, but could not improve by the end of the season like I'm sure they wanted to, because of our constant back court issues that have plagued us for some time.

People will say look at Rosado. Yes she could set and serve, but one needs to admit those two aspects of her game were much more productive than her digging and passing. I would like to know which coach(es) are behind the teaching of proper technique of our DS and Liberos because it isn't working.
 
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