Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

Ignatius L Hoops

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
6,822
Reaction score
375
Points
83

D 1 Council officially moves championship to April, reduces field to 48 (16 at large bids will make things tight) and retains flexibility for changes.

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 3, with selections April 4

Playing and practice season rules
The Council also adopted emergency legislation adjusting playing and practice season rules for fall sports other than football.

The adjustments:

  • Allow a school to break up the fall segment into multiple segments of the playing season.
  • Prohibit practice during finals (and the week prior) at the conclusion of the fall term if a team is “in-season” but not competing.
  • Require a break prior to the start of the spring championship segment.
  • Allow schools to extend their seasons past the NCAA championship date in that sport but require seasons to end at or before the end of the school’s academic year.
  • Exempts non-NCAA championship postseason competitions that occur outside the playing season.
  • Prohibit midyear enrollees from competing in the 2020-21 academic year.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
6,822
Reaction score
375
Points
83

Expected start date:

The start of the Big Ten volleyball schedule usually coincides with the arrival of fall, when the leaves crunch underfoot and the sweaters come out of storage. Because of the pandemic, though, this season won’t even begin until next year.

The ground will be frozen and the holidays a memory on Jan. 22, when the volleyball season is expected to start. Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon confirmed Thursday the Big Ten is likely to play a 22-match, conference-only schedule, leading to a 48-team NCAA tournament in April. In the meantime, the Gophers are making the best of the extended preparation time.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
6,822
Reaction score
375
Points
83

Additions to the 2021 roster:

The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced four additions to its roster. The Golden Gophers welcome Lauren Crowl (Eagan, Minn.), Natalie Glenn (Southlake, Texas), Skylar Gray (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Anna Wolf (River Falls, Wis.) to the program.

We're excited to sign such a talented group of student-athletes to our program," McCutcheon said. "They can get it done on the court and in the classroom and we could not be happier that they have decided to join our team."

Crowl, a 6-foot, 4-inch outside/right side hitter, plays for Eastview High School and Northern Lights Volleyball Club. Named an Under-Armour Third Team All-American, Crowl was also an all-state selection in 2019. She also received all-conference honors four-straight years. A five-time volleyball letterwinner, Crowl had 740 kills entering her senior season, has 59 aces, 530 digs and 114 blocks. She was also named a Star Tribune Athlete of the Week in 2018. Crowl has played for Northern Lights from 13s to 18s. The daughter of Stephanie and Jeff, she is also a two-time letterwinner in hockey and academically lettered with honors her sophomore, junior and senior years.

"Lauren is a lefty right side who hits with power and range," McCutcheon said. "She can play the whole game, puts up a formidable block and has a ton of potential."

"I chose to attend the University of Minnesota because of the amazing gym culture, the team, the coaching staff, and amazing campus," Crowl said.

Glenn, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside/right side hitter, plays for Carroll Senior High and Texas Advantage Volleyball Club. A Second Team Under Armour All-American, Glenn is also a multiple-time All-American with PrepVolleyball.com and MaxPreps. During her career, she has held over 1,598 kills, 155 blocks, 92 aces and has hit .254. A Texas 6A All-State selection, Glenn's team went 31-12 as a junior. In 2017, she was named the SportsDay High School Newcomer of the Year, where she helped her team to a 38-8 record. A part of the 18U TAV national championship team, Glenn has also been listed in PrepVolleyball.com's watchlist every year since 2017. She was also named a sophomore player of the year candidate in 2018. Glenn was also a part of USA Volleyball's Girls Youth National Training Team. She is the daughter of Monica Carnevalini and the late Terry Glenn.

"Natalie is a phenomenal all around volleyball player," McCutcheon said. "She's a lefty, but can play either pin, and is outstanding in the back court. Her versatility and athleticism will make us better."

"I chose Minnesota because it felt like home," Glenn said. "No other schools compared to that feeling."

Gray, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside hitter/defensive specialist, plays for Maple Grove High School and Minnesota Select Club Volleyball Team. A five-year volleyball letterwinner, Gray has also been a team captain since her freshman year and a three-time player of the year. A 2020 Under Armour All-America nomination, Gray is also the school's program leading scorer with 820 career kills. She also holds over 737 digs and 83 aces with the Crimson. Named to the JVA and AVCA Phenom watchlists for three seasons, Gray has also been on the multiple watchlists for three seasons. Gray, a six-time captain on her Minnesota Select teams, was also a three-time participant in USA Volleyball's High Performance Pipeline. The daughter of Jamison and Stephanie Gray, Skylar is also an AAU Academic All-American, a National Honor Society invitee and an eight-time Trimester All-A Honor Roll student.

"Skylar can play the whole game and knows how to make those around her better," McCutcheon said. "As an outside for her prep team she has a live arm, great skill and amazing back-court range that will add to our ball-control group."

"I chose the University of Minnesota because being a Golden Gopher has been a dream for as long as I can remember," Gray said. "While I was drawn to the amazing opportunities the University has to offer both athletically and academically, it was the dynamic and inclusive team culture instilled by the coaches and embraced by the players that I wanted to be a part of – it just felt like home. From the first time I met with Hugh and his staff, there was no question that Minnesota Volleyball was where I was meant to be!"

Wolf, a 6-foot, 4-inch middle blocker, plays for River Falls High School and Minnesota Select Volleyball Club. As a junior, Wolf was named to PrepVolleyball.com's Top 50 junior recruits, Volleyball Mag's 13 Top Junior Prospects and also earned All-America status from JVA last year. With River Falls High School, Wolf is a three-time first-team all-conference and helped her team to state runner-up and semifinalists all three years. Although suffering an injury as a junior, Wolf still holds over 668 career kills, hits .464 and has 155 career blocks. Wolf is also ranked No. 2 in Wisconsin by Prep Dig and an All-State honorable mention in 2018 and 2019. The daughter of Jason and Jennifer Wolf, Anna is an academic all-state and an academic all-conference selection. She is set to join the program in January.

"Anna is long at 6'4" and quick and has been an efficient scorer at every level she's played," McCutcheon said. "Her ability to play hard and smart is what sets her apart. We look forward to her joining our program."

"The University of Minnesota has been my dream school since I attended my first volleyball game in third grade," Wolf said. "I love the game day environment, coaches, quality of education, and the location of the school."
 

MRJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
5,170
Reaction score
391
Points
83
Not sure if anyone cares, but prepvolleyball.com has this year's Gopher class ranked No. 8 and next year's class (2022) ranked No. 2.

They mention that these are preliminary rankings, but the bigger point is that both this year and next year's class are considered pretty strong fwiw.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
234
Reaction score
80
Points
28
Not sure if anyone cares, but prepvolleyball.com has this year's Gopher class ranked No. 8 and next year's class (2022) ranked No. 2.

They mention that these are preliminary rankings, but the bigger point is that both this year and next year's class are considered pretty strong fwiw.
And there are only so many balls to go around in this game! Coming off a number 1 ranked list of women who likely will put up a lot of numbers in kills and assists coming into the program, there logically needs to be balance from a position perspective and a financial outlay perspective.

The Gophers should be really good and exciting if we can just get some games going in this era of coronavirus.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
There are so many girls who play vball in high school/club. And relatively, there are so many young women who play in all levels of college.

And then .... poof. Nothing. In this country, anyway, unless you're the elite of the elite of the elite, and you can make it as a backup on the national roster. The starters have been there and don't have to "graduate", so they only move on once in a while, when they decide to retire.


Incredible how many players there are and how fast and viciously it gets whittled down as you go upwards.

Really wish there were a breadth of professional opportunities for the ladies, in this country.


Just seems like, at least in this country, Vball is a sport that is really fun to play, is beloved by the people who play it (even just recreational, like myself), but it has very limited viewership outside that.

Also wouldn't surprise me if the other professional leagues in this country consider viewership/fandom to be a zero-sum game and so they do what they can to suppress efforts to grow the game at the professional level.


/weird, winding rant
 

junc1929

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
15
Points
3
There are so many girls who play vball in high school/club. And relatively, there are so many young women who play in all levels of college.

And then .... poof. Nothing. In this country, anyway, unless you're the elite of the elite of the elite, and you can make it as a backup on the national roster. The starters have been there and don't have to "graduate", so they only move on once in a while, when they decide to retire.


Incredible how many players there are and how fast and viciously it gets whittled down as you go upwards.

Really wish there were a breadth of professional opportunities for the ladies, in this country.


Just seems like, at least in this country, Vball is a sport that is really fun to play, is beloved by the people who play it (even just recreational, like myself), but it has very limited viewership outside that.

Also wouldn't surprise me if the other professional leagues in this country consider viewership/fandom to be a zero-sum game and so they do what they can to suppress efforts to grow the game at the professional level.


/weird, winding rant

Inaugural indoor pro season scheduled to start in Feb: https://auprosports.com/volleyball/

Many former Gophers are playing.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
6,786
Reaction score
2,388
Points
113
There are so many girls who play vball in high school/club. And relatively, there are so many young women who play in all levels of college.

And then .... poof. Nothing. In this country, anyway, unless you're the elite of the elite of the elite, and you can make it as a backup on the national roster. The starters have been there and don't have to "graduate", so they only move on once in a while, when they decide to retire.


Incredible how many players there are and how fast and viciously it gets whittled down as you go upwards.

Really wish there were a breadth of professional opportunities for the ladies, in this country.


Just seems like, at least in this country, Vball is a sport that is really fun to play, is beloved by the people who play it (even just recreational, like myself), but it has very limited viewership outside that.

Also wouldn't surprise me if the other professional leagues in this country consider viewership/fandom to be a zero-sum game and so they do what they can to suppress efforts to grow the game at the professional level.


/weird, winding rant
I've had many conversations with coworkers who aren't really volleyball fans but do watch occasionally. They are so confused that womens basketball is widespread, funded, etc. and volleyball isn't. I enjoy womens basketball but it is not close to the speed of volleyball. With mens volleyball being a niche sport here, I think there is room for womens volleyball to get a big hold and be nationally televised with a pro league. I suppose you need money for that and their isn't an NBA equivalent to finance the first 15 years of the league...but I think it could work.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
Wasn't a basketball guy, myself. I do enjoy watching the Gophers, but I ultimately understand little of what nuance there is (there is definitely some).

I enjoy watching volleyball much more. Wish the Gophers would get a men's varsity team one day. A guy can dream. Hugh wants to be their first coach, I know it.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
6,786
Reaction score
2,388
Points
113
Anyone have thoughts on the likelihood of a season?

Would likely require me to get BTN+ for a few months to watch!
 

GopherJack

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
2,070
Reaction score
312
Points
83
I'm a volleyball fan and have played recreationally for years. I love watching the Gopher women's games. Volleyball is one sport where I prefer the women's game to the men's. To me, the men's game is too much power (if that's possible?). The men just don't have enough long rallys and points. It's basically pass-set-spike (BOOM) and point over. Does anyone agree?
 

ClassOf98Gopher

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
234
Reaction score
80
Points
28
I'm a volleyball fan and have played recreationally for years. I love watching the Gopher women's games. Volleyball is one sport where I prefer the women's game to the men's. To me, the men's game is too much power (if that's possible?). The men just don't have enough long rallys and points. It's basically pass-set-spike (BOOM) and point over. Does anyone agree?
Similar characteristics are also at play in basketball where the women seem to play the game closer to its intended form. I used to say the same about tennis as well but, at the professional level, the trio of great male players seem to have actually brought some of the purity back to that sport.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
I'm a volleyball fan and have played recreationally for years. I love watching the Gopher women's games. Volleyball is one sport where I prefer the women's game to the men's. To me, the men's game is too much power (if that's possible?). The men just don't have enough long rallys and points. It's basically pass-set-spike (BOOM) and point over. Does anyone agree?
Would be interested to see the stats on this, for DI women's, DI men's, top level professional women's, and top level professional men's.

The total % of the rallies in the match that end with, we'll say, less than 5 total touches. Or something like that. Not sure if such stats could be compiled.

Not saying you're wrong either. Would just like to see such a stat, to see if it indeed does vary a great deal between high level women and high level men.
 

beavergopher

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
5,241
Reaction score
182
Points
63
I'm a volleyball fan and have played recreationally for years. I love watching the Gopher women's games. Volleyball is one sport where I prefer the women's game to the men's. To me, the men's game is too much power (if that's possible?). The men just don't have enough long rallys and points. It's basically pass-set-spike (BOOM) and point over. Does anyone agree?
Yes.....and they look much better in their shorts.
 

MRJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
5,170
Reaction score
391
Points
83
Just to continue the conversation a bit more, I've been a Division I women's college volleyball fan for quite awhile. It's one of my favorite sports to watch due to it's combination of speed and athleticism.

I'm not always sure the average viewer understands how incredibly athletic these women are. Their leaping ability is truly amazing and I have no doubt that many of them could dunk a basketball if given the chance.

I'll also admit that some of my love of the sport is due to the U consistently putting together outstanding teams for more than two decades. Makes it more fun to watch!

Hopefully the ladies will be able to follow through with a spring season. There is so much talent on this Gopher team, it'd be a shame not to be able to see them showcase it at some point in 2021.
 

let'sbeclear

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
239
Reaction score
22
Points
18
I'm a volleyball fan and have played recreationally for years. I love watching the Gopher women's games. Volleyball is one sport where I prefer the women's game to the men's. To me, the men's game is too much power (if that's possible?). The men just don't have enough long rallys and points. It's basically pass-set-spike (BOOM) and point over. Does anyone agree?
I couldn't agree more. And it's not just volleyball. In tennis, on certain kinds of courts, the points in men's matches are often much shorter than the points in women's matches. In hockey, I much prefer watching the skating in the non-checking women's game than the checks in the men's game.
 

let'sbeclear

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
239
Reaction score
22
Points
18
Anyone have thoughts on the likelihood of a season?

Would likely require me to get BTN+ for a few months to watch!
There simply is no better sporting event in the Twin Cities than Gopher volleyball. And with the group of players now on the team, it would be a shame not to play this year. But with what we've seen with COVID and Big Ten football -- and, in particular, the Gophers -- I'm just leery of playing team sports and likely causing spreads to the greater community in this era. Tomorrow I may feel otherwise, but that's how I feel today.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
234
Reaction score
80
Points
28
This Fall has been a mess. Nobody can hide that fact. However, it should be safer in a couple months and I certainly believe, for the sake of these student athletes, having a season is worth the risk. I have no doubt they want to play.

Given the current outbreak numbers (which are horrible) providing the population a greatly increased number/percentage of natural immunity plus some groups getting vaccinated immunity in the weeks ahead, risk should be lower than it was during this Fall fiasco. For what it is worth (which is nothing) I say: play sports.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
6,786
Reaction score
2,388
Points
113
There simply is no better sporting event in the Twin Cities than Gopher volleyball. And with the group of players now on the team, it would be a shame not to play this year. But with what we've seen with COVID and Big Ten football -- and, in particular, the Gophers -- I'm just leery of playing team sports and likely causing spreads to the greater community in this era. Tomorrow I may feel otherwise, but that's how I feel today.
I am a season ticket holder for a reason. Its the best value and the matches are very fun to attend. I strongly disagree that they shouldn't play though. The Gopher football team having an outbreak has no impact on the volleyball team playing.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
I couldn't agree more. And it's not just volleyball. In tennis, on certain kinds of courts, the points in men's matches are often much shorter than the points in women's matches. In hockey, I much prefer watching the skating in the non-checking women's game than the checks in the men's game.
I'm sure this is blasphemy ... but maybe the high level men's game should consider allowing two liberos?? So basically, the setter and opposite stay on the court all the time, but both middles and both outsides can be replaced without using a sub. M1 and H1 still serve and have to then play defense for that half-rotation.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
I'm certain that if you asked the ladies and staff, they would very much be in favor of taking the risk to have a spring season and national championship. For whatever that is worth.
 

dynasty

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Points
3
I'm certain that if you asked the ladies and staff, they would very much be in favor of taking the risk to have a spring season and national championship. For whatever that is worth.
Especially when there's a real chance that the majority of the most at-risk individuals in Minnesota might be vaccinated by the end of February.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
6,786
Reaction score
2,388
Points
113
Especially when there's a real chance that the majority of the most at-risk individuals in Minnesota might be vaccinated by the end of February.
I wonder how many vaccines we can expect to be administered at that point. Figure 5.5 million Minnesotans. What % has had it and gained some antibodies and immunities + the % vaccinated...and were looking better and better. Volleyball in an empty arena seems fine to me.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
234
Reaction score
80
Points
28
People - players, administrators, fans - all need light at the end of a tunnel and even just this past COVID spike in-and-of-itself has been a big bummer. We as a society need a sports comeback this winter/spring to make up for this melancholy.
 

GameDay

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
2,540
Reaction score
210
Points
63
I'm sure this is blasphemy ... but maybe the high level men's game should consider allowing two liberos?? So basically, the setter and opposite stay on the court all the time, but both middles and both outsides can be replaced without using a sub. M1 and H1 still serve and have to then play defense for that half-rotation.
That's not blasphemy at all. I've heard that discussed before as well as eliminating hand passing to get teams out of system more == better rallies.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,629
Reaction score
4,751
Points
113
That's not blasphemy at all. I've heard that discussed before as well as eliminating hand passing to get teams out of system more == better rallies.
But on the other hand, at the really high level (ie professional clubs, DI college, olympics) they back-set the back OH. So that probably wouldn't go over.
 
Top Bottom