Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

let'sbeclear

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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?
Thanks for clarifying. I thought I missed something about a 6'7" transfer. Yes, Landfair is listed as 6'4".
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Three of the Gophers volleyball team’s four signed recruits for the fall are on VolleyballMag.com’s Fab 50 list of high school seniors, with Minnesota-bound Taylor Landfair, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter, ranked No. 1 on the list.

A panel of Division I college coaches did the voting. Prep Volleyball, another website, named Landfair — who is from, suburban Chicago — the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit last fall.

The Gophers also had two other recruits among the top 10 in voting. Jenna Wenaas, a 6-1 outside hitter from Frisco, Texas, was fifth in voting, and Melani Shaffmaster, a 6-4 setter from New Castle, Ind., was sixth
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Marcus Fuller: Hugh McCutcheion Likes What He's Seen So Far from Freshmen Class.

Early enrollees in McCutcheon’s recruiting class were top-ranked recruit Taylor Landfair from suburban Chicago and Melani Shaffmaster from Newcastle, Ind.

Jenna Wenaas from Frisco, Texas — the nation’s fifth-ranked high school senior — and Cami Appiani from San Diego are still finishing up their senior years of high school.

“This team really helped Melani and I get comfortable in the new environment we were put into,” Landfair said. “Even though it was a short period of time, I felt like it was beneficial. Because now I already know what I need to be working on.”

As an athletic, 6-4 outside hitter, Landfair possesses the length and power to crush the ball at the net, but she’s dedicated to improving her passing and overall hitting technique.
...

The biggest sleeper of the class could be Appiani. She was a senior leader for Torrey Pines, the top-ranked girls high school team in California and No. 2 nationally. Her strength beyond defense is her volleyball IQ and serving.

Even without Wenaas and Appiani on campus yet, Landfair says the entire incoming class already is a close-knit group. They’ve bonded well through constant group chats.

“I feel like we’re going to be really successful in the long run,” Landfair said. “I definitely like staying in contact with them.”

McCutcheon has a feeling this could be a special team once it comes together — and so do his players.

“They are all great players,” Appiani said. “I can’t wait to see how that’s going to elevate my game. Just being among these other great players in my class especially is going to push me to get better.”
 

nooram

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Gophers add Myers
The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced the addition of Katie Myers (Westerville, Ohio) to the program. Myers, who is a graduate transfer, was at University of Maryland the previous four years.

We are so excited that Katie has decided to join Gopher Volleyball, head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "She's a highly accomplished and experienced middle blocker who has a great capacity for work and she knows how to compete. Those qualities, combined with her character and drive, make her a great fit for our program."

A 6-foot, 2-inch middle blocker, Myers comes to the Gophers with a highly touted resume. A 2019 All-Big Ten selection, Myers was also a 2019 AVCA First Team All-North Region and VolleyballMag.com honorable mention. As a redshirt sophomore with the Terrapins, Myers played in all 121 sets and started in 30 matches. She ranked top five in the Big Ten in aces per set (0.38), blocks per set (1.29) and hitting percentage (.395). As a redshirt freshman, Myers started in 30 matches for the Terps and led the team in aces (53) and blocks (122) and ranked third in kills (210). She also has USA Volleyball experience as a member of the 2019 Collegiate National Team that competed in Japan and was named to the 2020 CNT Gold Roster that was scheduled to compete against the National Team. Prior to her time at Maryland, Myers played for Westerville Central where she held 22 school records. A 2015 Under Armour Third Team All-American, Myers was also named to the JVA All-National Team. A PrepVolleyball.com All-American, she was also ranked as the No. 62 recruit. The daughter of Brent Myers and Kris Villilo, Myers will be pursuing a master's degree in sports management.

"I chose Minnesota for the program culture, to learn from an outstanding coaching staff, and the opportunity to pursue my master's degree," Myers said. "Being able to live in a major city while attending a great academic institution was a big draw for me. The support and energy from the Gopher community is second to none. Everyone in the program is committed to the process while competing at a high level every day at Minnesota and I am excited to be a part of that."
 

MRJ

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Gophers add Myers
The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced the addition of Katie Myers (Westerville, Ohio) to the program. Myers, who is a graduate transfer, was at University of Maryland the previous four years.

We are so excited that Katie has decided to join Gopher Volleyball, head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "She's a highly accomplished and experienced middle blocker who has a great capacity for work and she knows how to compete. Those qualities, combined with her character and drive, make her a great fit for our program."

A 6-foot, 2-inch middle blocker, Myers comes to the Gophers with a highly touted resume. A 2019 All-Big Ten selection, Myers was also a 2019 AVCA First Team All-North Region and VolleyballMag.com honorable mention. As a redshirt sophomore with the Terrapins, Myers played in all 121 sets and started in 30 matches. She ranked top five in the Big Ten in aces per set (0.38), blocks per set (1.29) and hitting percentage (.395). As a redshirt freshman, Myers started in 30 matches for the Terps and led the team in aces (53) and blocks (122) and ranked third in kills (210). She also has USA Volleyball experience as a member of the 2019 Collegiate National Team that competed in Japan and was named to the 2020 CNT Gold Roster that was scheduled to compete against the National Team. Prior to her time at Maryland, Myers played for Westerville Central where she held 22 school records. A 2015 Under Armour Third Team All-American, Myers was also named to the JVA All-National Team. A PrepVolleyball.com All-American, she was also ranked as the No. 62 recruit. The daughter of Brent Myers and Kris Villilo, Myers will be pursuing a master's degree in sports management.

"I chose Minnesota for the program culture, to learn from an outstanding coaching staff, and the opportunity to pursue my master's degree," Myers said. "Being able to live in a major city while attending a great academic institution was a big draw for me. The support and energy from the Gopher community is second to none. Everyone in the program is committed to the process while competing at a high level every day at Minnesota and I am excited to be a part of that."
Adding Myers certainly shores things up in the middle. The biggest question for the team is going to be setter. If Shaffmaster can live up to her billing, the team looks pretty darn stacked on paper.
 

Hrothgar

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Adding Myers certainly shores things up in the middle. The biggest question for the team is going to be setter. If Shaffmaster can live up to her billing, the team looks pretty darn stacked on paper.
I'm all for it if the Gophers are darn stacked on paper and in reality and can take it all the way. The publicity blurbs of incoming players kinda make everybody sound like an All-Universe talent, though. If Katie Myers was All-Big Ten, that's pretty impressive. How good is she?
 

MplsGopher

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Obviously you're never going to turn down an All Big Ten player.

But what does this say, if anything, about the prospects for Rubright and Huseman in 2020?

Maybe it says nothing, and you just role with trying to find a place for four middles again, like they did in 2019. Right side blocking specialists on a double-sub? Or Pittman setting. We tried all kinds of crazy things last year. But what ended up working the best, and what they went back to at the end, was the plain old 5-1 when Miller was healthy again.
 

MplsGopher

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By the way, did we ever get the official story on what happened to Miller last year?

I think it was widely assumed that she had a concussion. Was that officially confirmed? And how did it happen?
 

MNBob

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Katie Myers was third in the Big Ten in blocks. Regan Pittman was 2d and Taylor Morgan was 4th. Myers was 3d in the Big Ten in service aces. The Gophers didn't have anyone in the top ten. Myers was 4th in the Big Ten in hitting percentage and Regan was 7th.
 

MRJ

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I'm all for it if the Gophers are darn stacked on paper and in reality and can take it all the way. The publicity blurbs of incoming players kinda make everybody sound like an All-Universe talent, though. If Katie Myers was All-Big Ten, that's pretty impressive. How good is she?
Based on what I've heard, she's very good. Like, all-conference level good, which is always a good thing! :)

Some of the others in this thread have already posted her stats, but she was named All-Big 10, AVCA First-Team All-North Region in 2019 and hit .395 for the season. On top of that, she's a potent server, which we haven't had from a middle in a while.

Like I said, just another stud in a team full of them! Now we just have to find a way through this whole COVID-19 thing and see the ladies get together to get things started.
 

MplsGopher

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@MRJ did you ever see if there was an official story that came out about what happened and why it happened, for Miller's injury last year?
 

jham13

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Miller was hit in the head during the match right before she was out, think it was in the first B1G match of the season thus concussion is probably the reason, even though not formally started, as she was wearing earplugs in matches where she returned to the sidelines.
 

MRJ

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@MRJ did you ever see if there was an official story that came out about what happened and why it happened, for Miller's injury last year?
What I had heard (and read for that matter) is that she suffered a concussion early in the season and suffered from lingering symptoms for the balance of the year. Therefore, getting her back into the fold proved to delicate balancing act. I'm not sure when she got the concussion, but from what I can gather, it took place in practice at some point.

It's too bad because I really felt like the team was coming together before she suffered the injury.
 

MplsGopher

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Why does it need to be a secret. The season is well gone, she's gone from the team (and done in college).

Would like to hear from her what actually happened.
 

MRJ

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Why does it need to be a secret. The season is well gone, she's gone from the team (and done in college).

Would like to hear from her what actually happened.
I'm not sure it was necessarily a secret as much as McCutcheon doesn't like to discuss injuries publically. I might be completely wrong on that, but it's just a guess.

Anyway, I was very happy she got back in time for the Final Four run. It's just too bad she wasn't available for the balance of the season.
 

MplsGopher

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What is so damn hard about saying, as a made-up hypothetical example: "you know, both girls dove for a ball in practice, and I think CC's elbow just unfortunately gave Kylie a hard thump on head. It's one of those freak things that you have to deal with sometimes in volleyball".

That would be that. No blame exists. The story is out, and done.

Just silly to try to hide things.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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What is so damn hard about saying, as a made-up hypothetical example: "you know, both girls dove for a ball in practice, and I think CC's elbow just unfortunately gave Kylie a hard thump on head. It's one of those freak things that you have to deal with sometimes in volleyball".

That would be that. No blame exists. The story is out, and done.

Just silly to try to hide things.
It's was covered several times-just silly to keep harping on it. Miller not knowing which specific hit to the head did was the culprit does not seem unusual. Like Jham13 said, we likely saw the hit(s) during a game. But it could be cumulative.

McCutcheon’s past teams avoided significant injury problems, but this one couldn’t. Five regulars sat out at least one match. Miller had the worst of it, suffering a concussion in late September that idled her for most of the next two months. How it happened, she won’t say. But it wasn’t her first — that came at UCLA — and she missed 13 of 15 Big Ten matches in the meat of the season. The Gophs went 11-2 without her, both losses to Wisconsin. That decided the conference title: The Badgers finished 18-2 in Big Ten play to Minnesota’s 17-3.


“It was super frustrating and super hard, because I just wanted to be on the court with my team competing,” Miller said. “Head injuries are serious, so I just had to be patient and knew that I was doing everything that I could to get back out there.”
 

MplsGopher

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I did not see that. No link? Regardless, still weird to me that the coach refuses to comment on it and avoid acknowledging it happened.
 

Hrothgar

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Based on what I've heard, she's very good. Like, all-conference level good, which is always a good thing! :)

Some of the others in this thread have already posted her stats, but she was named All-Big 10, AVCA First-Team All-North Region in 2019 and hit .395 for the season. On top of that, she's a potent server, which we haven't had from a middle in a while.

Like I said, just another stud in a team full of them! Now we just have to find a way through this whole COVID-19 thing and see the ladies get together to get things started.
Thx, MNBob and MRJ! On a quantitative stats level, that answers my question (guess I coulda looked it up myself). On a qualitative level, some really talented players also seem to have a true "instinct" for winning. Those players are always welcome, but not easy to put in the stats box. Hope Myers is one like that.
 

4EverAGopher

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Out of pure curiosity, does anyone know the bottom line reason why Katie Myers became a Gopher? I ask because she more than likely will be starting at MB along with Pittman.

1 - She simply made a personal decision to transfer and entered the portal
2 - She contacted the Minnesota coaching staff and expressed interest in transferring here and then entered the portal
3 - Then there is the possibility the MN coaching staff expressed interest in a MB transfer which helped her make the decision to enter the portal
4 - Some other reason not mentioned here

As others have already stated, we will have two Sophomore MB's waiting in the wings to start and at least two more scheduled to be added to the roster the next two seasons. I am really happy about this transfer, but finding it very interesting.

For me, the jury is still out on Shaffmaster, as the starting setter, to be able to run this extremely talented offense we will have next season. (IF THERE IS ONE). Also, my other concerns remain with our back court and if we will be able to have some solid serving. IMO both of those areas really need to improve.
 

dlw4gophers

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Out of pure curiosity, does anyone know the bottom line reason why Katie Myers became a Gopher? I ask because she more than likely will be starting at MB along with Pittman.

1 - She simply made a personal decision to transfer and entered the portal
2 - She contacted the Minnesota coaching staff and expressed interest in transferring here and then entered the portal
3 - Then there is the possibility the MN coaching staff expressed interest in a MB transfer which helped her make the decision to enter the portal
4 - Some other reason not mentioned here

As others have already stated, we will have two Sophomore MB's waiting in the wings to start and at least two more scheduled to be added to the roster the next two seasons. I am really happy about this transfer, but finding it very interesting.

For me, the jury is still out on Shaffmaster, as the starting setter, to be able to run this extremely talented offense we will have next season. (IF THERE IS ONE). Also, my other concerns remain with our back court and if we will be able to have some solid serving. IMO both of those areas really need to improve.
From what we are hearing, our best two servers next year were not on this years squad. I am hopeful that serving will move up a level or two next season.
 

MplsGopher

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Out of pure curiosity, does anyone know the bottom line reason why Katie Myers became a Gopher? I ask because she more than likely will be starting at MB along with Pittman.

1 - She simply made a personal decision to transfer and entered the portal
2 - She contacted the Minnesota coaching staff and expressed interest in transferring here and then entered the portal
3 - Then there is the possibility the MN coaching staff expressed interest in a MB transfer which helped her make the decision to enter the portal
4 - Some other reason not mentioned here

As others have already stated, we will have two Sophomore MB's waiting in the wings to start and at least two more scheduled to be added to the roster the next two seasons. I am really happy about this transfer, but finding it very interesting.

For me, the jury is still out on Shaffmaster, as the starting setter, to be able to run this extremely talented offense we will have next season. (IF THERE IS ONE). Also, my other concerns remain with our back court and if we will be able to have some solid serving. IMO both of those areas really need to improve.
I'm guessing she wanted to take advantage of the grad transfer to play her last season on a team that could compete for the national title and potentially a place where she could likely win a starting Middle spot.

Penn St has Hord and Gray back, Nebraska has Stivrins and Schwarzenbach back, and Wisconsin has Rettke and Hart back. Not sure if any other Big Ten team is likely to compete for the title.
 

4EverAGopher

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I'm guessing she wanted to take advantage of the grad transfer to play her last season on a team that could compete for the national title and potentially a place where she could likely win a starting Middle spot.

Penn St has Hord and Gray back, Nebraska has Stivrins and Schwarzenbach back, and Wisconsin has Rettke and Hart back. Not sure if any other Big Ten team is likely to compete for the title.
I was thinking the same thing. It is a good thing we have another experienced MB added to our roster. Again the other three BIG power teams will be bringing some of the best MB tandems in the NCAA to the table. She does not have the hops that TayMo had and not many do. But what I have seen she is just as good at blocking and short set hitting as TayMo and now brings a much needed good/solid serve.

We could be a little weak in blocking on the left in the OH positions, so adding Myers should be a plus. PIttman's game took a huge leap last season. I can definitely see that improving more. Now, where does MIyabe fit into all this? I sure hope she can get playing time.

Cannot wait until I see what inventive offense Hugh comes up with. This last year became a huge puzzle that needed all the pieces in place to work.....and it did!
 

MplsGopher

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Is Pittman not going to serve though? Seems like she has earned the M1.

But I doubt we would have both middles serve over CC. Not sure if that’s even a thing teams do.
 
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