Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

Ignatius L Hoops

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The ACC is delaying the start of fall sports competition until at least Sept 1. The excludes foortball but includes volleyball and soccer.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com)
– The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that each of its fall Olympic Sports will delay the start of competition until at least September 1. The decision allows each campus to further focus on ensuring return to competition protocols are in place to facilitate the resocialization process.

The delay in competition includes all exhibition and non-conference games in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.
 

MRJ

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I might be overreacting a bit to this news, but if other conferences adopt this model (and I suspect several will), I don't see how the NCAA can realistically hold a national tournament this year. Just can't see it, especially with postponement or cancellation of fall sports still on the table according to Big 10 Commissioner Warren.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong on that, but as a country, we haven't come to close to true containment and if the power-5 conferences each play conference-only schedules, a national tournament just seems far-fetched at best at the moment.
 

MplsGopher

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I might be overreacting a bit to this news, but if other conferences adopt this model (and I suspect several will), I don't see how the NCAA can realistically hold a national tournament this year. Just can't see it, especially with postponement or cancellation of fall sports still on the table according to Big 10 Commissioner Warren.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong on that, but as a country, we haven't come to close to true containment and if the power-5 conferences each play conference-only schedules, a national tournament just seems far-fetched at best at the moment.
If it's an NCAA style, 64 team, include every DI conference, tournament, I think you are absolutely correct.

If it's a private, P5 only, invite tourny, maybe. Who's gonna set that up and run it, though? Lot of legwork, probably not gonna happen.
 

Rich9

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I think they can put the usual suspects in and run the tournament. The money is in the tv contracts.
If they want to run Basketball They may have to run volleyball.
 

CutDownTheNet

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Currently, fall sports teams + basketball are on campus and practicing, either informally or (soon in some cases) formally. All except perhaps some foreign student athletes (who might have visa issues, and that whole thing is such a mess that U of MN just filed an amicus brief onto a suit by Harvard and MIT against the Federal government on that issue).

But if I understand correctly, team practices are currently limited (by Minnesota) to 25 people (players and coaches). Gotta be messy for football. Not sure how Hugh is handling that, but Lindsay (even though fitting under the 25 limit) is splitting early Basketball practices into two separate groups (you know the old Star Trek motto, "Don't put all your officers in one shuttle" (lest it sustain a Covid attack)).

Given that at this late date even the teams are limited to 25 players per practice session, I'm wondering if anyone has heard any rumors about whether spectators are going to be allowed in B1G fall sports. Or whether it's a per-school decision, etc. And if not, what is their broadcast plan (e.g., film direct to YouTube, and/or select games broadcast to Big Ten Network or ESPN)?
 

Rich9

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I had big 10 plus last year. I think all the conference games were broadcast. It will be a hard choice for me to go to all the games. (I will be all in when we play Wisconsin)
 

MRJ

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At this point, I'm taking a wait and see approach to the season. The trends are still going in the wrong direction and I wouldn't be surprised if things continue to be altered (or postponed again) if current patterns continue.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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MN Daily: Grad Transfer Hunter Atherton:

In May, the Gophers' volleyball team announced the addition of graduate transfer Hunter Atherton to its 2020 class.

Atherton may be new to the Gophers, but she has years of experience at the collegiate level. A 5-foot-10-inch setter, Atherton first played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers before transferring to the University of North Carolina following her redshirt freshman season. Atherton played in 49 matches for the Tar Heels over her two seasons, totaling over 1,300 assists and 321 digs.

As a grad transfer, Atherton will be pursuing a master's degree in sports management, and the strength of Minnesota's academics was part of what drew her to Minnesota over other programs.

"I knew I wasn't done with school, and I wanted to continue my education. Minnesota really stood out to me for sports management specifically because of the size of the university and the prestige that comes with getting that degree from a school that is so strong," Atherton said.

On top of the team's history of success, the strong support system for student-athletes within the athletics department was another aspect that put Minnesota on top of the list. Atherton said that all the staff members involved with the volleyball program seemed like great people; after speaking to the Gophers' staff and coaches, she felt they would best help her transition because of the genuine support they give the athletes.

A native of Prospect, Ohio, Atherton is excited to be back in Big Ten country. She grew up just an hour away from Ohio State and spent two years at Nebraska. There's a familiarity with the conference and the level of play she will face in the maroon and gold.

"The Big Ten is always a great conference to be in — there's a lot of support for athletics in it. ... I kind of know what the Big Ten is like, I know how serious everybody takes it. So it's something that's kind of a familiar aspect to me," she said.

Joining her in the fall is a stacked recruiting class that was voted No. 1 in the nation by VolleyballMag.com. It comprises fellow graduate transfer and middle blocker Katie Myers and four incoming freshmen in defensive specialist Cami Appiani, setter Melani Shaffmaster, outside hitter Jenna Wenaas and outside hitter Taylor Landfair, who was also voted VolleyballMag.com's top recruit of the year.

Atherton said the young players are impressive, not solely because of their athletic ability, but also because of their strong mental game. She said working with such talented hitters will be especially fun for her as a setter.

The additions of Atherton and Myers as graduate transfers gives Minnesota considerable depth. When the news of Atherton's transfer was announced, head coach Hugh McCutcheon said in a press release he was "extremely excited" to have her on the roster, adding "she gives us more depth at the setting position and brings some great playing experience as well."

"We are excited that she chose to continue her education at the University of Minnesota and look forward to having her join our team this year," McCutcheon told Gopher Sports
 

stevlars53

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If they are only going to allow 1500 people into TCF Stadium, there's no way they are letting fans into the Pav! I just hope there is a season and I can watch it on Big Ten +
 

dlw4gophers

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Season postponed today. I still hold out hope for this Spring. Same plan for season tickets as for football. I will just roll my cost over for the next season.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Season postponed today. I still hold out hope for this Spring. Same plan for season tickets as for football. I will just roll my cost over for the next season.
All this stuff, when aggregated together, is getting depressing.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Division I Council recommended the Division I Board of Directors adopt some minimum protections for student-athletes whose sport seasons are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will finalize recommendations before Aug. 21. The Council met virtually Wednesday.

Members indicated the recommendations decided Wednesday are the minimum and members may decide to recommend additional protections for student-athletes at the Aug. 19 Council meeting.

Last week, the NCAA Board of Governors required each division to adjust rules to support student-athletes whose seasons were impacted by COVID-19, similar to decisions that were made for spring sport student-athletes. The original deadline was Aug. 14, but membership feedback prompted the executive committee of the Board of Governors to extend that deadline until Aug. 21 to allow for additional conversations and input from stakeholders, including student-athletes.

The Council recommended the board provide fall sport student-athletes who compete and then opt out of future participation or have a season cut short due to COVID-19: (1) an extension of their five-year period of eligibility; and (2) an additional season of competition if they participate in 50% or less of the maximum number of competitions allowed in each sport by Division I rules.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Gophers volleyball team is a tight group, one that prides itself on its unity. This month, though, the players have found themselves divided.

Not by choice. By coronavirus.

“Not all the team is in the locker room,” coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “Some of them are. And some currently are using the women’s basketball [locker room], just because there’s not enough space between lockers to keep everyone appropriately distanced.”
[...]

The Gophers began official practices on Aug. 7. In addition to using two locker rooms, players and staff have their temperatures taken when they enter Maturi Pavilion. Coaches wear face masks at all times, and the group practices social distancing at team meals, meetings and other gatherings.

McCutcheon said that has worked “surprisingly well,” thanks to the efforts of the U’s medical, facilities and sports performance staffs. If the Big Ten green-lights a spring season, he is convinced that will run smoothly, too.

He is hoping for a 20-match league schedule, potentially followed by an NCAA tournament in May. If the NCAA tournament is canceled, McCutcheon said there would be discussions about creating “meaningful competition,” either within the Big Ten or with other conferences. Because players are used to intense workouts in the usual spring training block — and tend to carry similar academic loads in fall and spring — he anticipates they would readily adjust.
 

4EverAGopher

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Thanks to my DISH subscription, it is now time to start watching the 28 or so Gopher Volleyball matches I have recorded and can view. It will have to do while hoping they come up with a vaccine and there will be Spring Volleyball for the BIG with an NCAA Championship.

So am I understanding this correctly? The girls can still practice during this entire upcoming semester?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Division 1 to work toward hosting fall championships in the spring.


Division I will work toward hosting scaled back fall championships in the spring, the Division I Board of Directors determined. The board met by videoconference Friday and adopted the Division I Council recommendation regarding fall championships.

Board members cautioned that fall championships should be played in the spring only if they can be conducted safely and in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines. The board acknowledged that its action pertained to fall championships only and that the final decisions on bracket sizes and composition will be approved by the board.

Members directed the Council, the Division I Competition Oversight Committee and the Division I Football Oversight Committee to work on models for championships in the impacted fall sports. The priority remains preserving opportunities for winter and spring sport student-athletes who did not have the chance to participate in NCAA championships in 2019-20.

The board noted that its decision regarding fall championships would help Division I college athletes as they plan for their futures.

“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible,” said acting board chair Denise Trauth, president of Texas State. “We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

Additionally, all fall sport student-athletes will receive both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year in which to complete it, as the Council suggested, through a blanket waiver.

The board also adopted the Council-recommended protections for college athletes:

  • Schools are prohibited from requiring student-athletes to waive legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletics participation.
  • Schools are prohibited from canceling or reducing athletics scholarships if a college athlete in any sport opts not to participate due to COVID-19.
  • Student-athletes who do not enroll full time during the 2020 fall term have flexibility in the progress-toward-degree requirements that must be met for eligibility in future terms.
  • The financial aid of fall sport senior student-athletes who take advantage of the additional year of eligibility and extended clock will not count against team limits in 2021-22.
  • Schools are required to:
The protections are effective immediately
 

MRJ

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I see that women's soccer has their mugshots up for the 2020 season.

Football does not and neither does volleyball. Not sure it really matters, but have give props to soccer for getting theirs up pretty fast.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I see that women's soccer has their mugshots up for the 2020 season.

Football does not and neither does volleyball. Not sure it really matters, but have give props to soccer for getting theirs up pretty fast.
I think the timing of the rosters being posted to the website is just a function of what teams administrative staff are “go-getters.”
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Coming off a Final Four appearance last season, Coach Hugh McCutcheon and his Gophers volleyball players were excited to start their allowable team practices this week. Whether they could still play this fall is still up in the air after the Big Ten announced plans Wednesday to start football in late October.

The other fall sports, like women's volleyball, still eyeing spring competition are left wondering what will happen to their previously postponed seasons.

Answers might come as soon as Thursday, according to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren.
[...]

The Gophers volleyball season would've started Aug. 28, with the Big Ten season opening later this month. Uncertainty remains, though, if the Big Ten's new testing procedures will allow for fall competition in all sports.

McCutcheon only lost three starters from a 27-6 team that lost to Stanford in the Final Four in Pittsburgh last December. All-Americans Stephanie Samedy and Regan Pittman return. The Gophers also welcomed in a loaded recruiting class ranked No. 1 nationally.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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On Wednesday night, the NCAA Division 1 Council approved proposals that moves 2020 fall championships to the spring of 2021 in the sports of men’s cross country, women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo.

Now, it will need to be approved by the NCAA Division 1 Board of Governors to become official.

Women’s volleyball
The finals site of the championship is scheduled for April 23-25, with a 48-team bracket. Thirty-two of the teams will be automatic qualifiers, with 16 at-large selections.

The normal bracket size for the championship is 64 teams.

Regular-season play will span from Jan. 22-April 10, with selections April 11.
 

Rich9

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Just got my volleyball fix. Watched parts of the Creighton, Florida, Louisville games. (just the good parts) I was in the Pav when they put four straight points on the board to win the fourth set. My heart was in my throat. I am newer that most of you, so it's one of my greatest moments. I love to hear other stories.
 
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