Gopher Volleyball 2021 - Spring Season

Ignatius L Hoops

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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