Gopher Sports: Opposite Lydia Grote Joins the Gophers

Ignatius L Hoops

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The California transfer will get to Minnesota this summer
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced the addition of opposite Lydia Grote (Burbank, Calif. / California). She will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when she arrives on campus this summer.

"Along with her extensive experience in one of the nation's top conferences, Lydia brings an ability to score in both volume and variety across all positions along the net and out of the back row," said head coach Keegan Cook. "Her flexibility and determination to compete will help elevate our group."

Prior to Minnesota, Grote played at the University of California for three seasons, competing in 65 matches (226 sets) from spring 2021 through 2022. She averaged 3.22 kills, 1.11 digs, 0.6 blocks and 0.19 service aces per set across those three years. Her best season came as a junior in the fall of 2022, where she averaged career-bests in almost every statistical category, including kills (3.70), digs (1.49), blocks (0.62) and service aces (0.23) per set.

Last season, her kill numbers ranked her 8th in the Pac-12 and 70th in the nation. Grote tied for second on the team with 25 service aces and placed third in both digs (167) and blocks (69). She was an All-Utah Valley Tournament Team selection last season and she made the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in the spring of 2021.

Minnesota began practicing in early January for the spring 2023 semester. The Gophers return seven athletes who started matches last year in the 2022 run to the NCAA Regional Semifinal. First Team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year Taylor Landfair, First Team All-Big Ten selection Melani Shaffmaster and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection Mckenna Wucherer return to pace Minnesota in year one of the Keegan Cook era in Minneapolis.

With the addition of Grote, Minnesota has now added five new players since coach Cook took over in December, including three transfers and two freshmen. The two freshmen spring enrollees are outside/opposite Sydney Schnichels (Willmar, Minn.) and middle blocker Calissa Minatee (Kansas City, Mo.). Each was ranked in the top-50 nationally by multiple recruiting outlets and played in the Under Armour All-American game in early January. They have been practicing with the team this spring.

The two other transfers who will join the mix this summer are Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Kylie Murr (5th Year Libero, Ohio State) and First Team All-WCC selection Phoebe Awoleye (Senior Middle, Loyola Marymount). Each is finishing out the spring semester at their previous school
 


GopherVB23

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I'm not quite sure what to think of this transfer. I hope it will be a good thing. I'm concerned having 3 transfers not coming in until the summer, especially as they could all potentially be starters. That's a lot to gel together in a few weeks (libero, middle and opposite).
 


4EverAGopher

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KCook has clearly been fixated on an opposite who can play in the back row...considering he's coached against her for two years and coached her sister for 5 years, you have to assume he knows and likes what he's getting.
Exactly....
 


WayOfTheGopher

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KCook has clearly been fixated on an opposite who can play in the back row...considering he's coached against her for two years and coached her sister for 5 years, you have to assume he knows and likes what he's getting.
It doesn't hurt to have an experienced OH/OPP to rely on.
 




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