Gopher Volleyball 2021-Fall Season

BarnBall

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Good season to build off. The goal should be a final four next year. We need the right mix and commitment to make that happen. Go Gophers
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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It's an ACC/B1G challenge for the Final Four. Can't stand either of the B1G teams so hoping for an all ACC final. Louisville is the most complete team out of the four and is undefeated.

Louisville did look so good yesterday, I love their team style. Louisville is who I will root for. But if I had to guess correctly the team who wins the 2021 Championship, I pick Wisconsin - so tall, so experienced.
 

stemar

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Will we see Landfair next year? I am very perplexed on her status. I understand no knowing her injury, but how about her status for the future.
 

Hrothgar

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I'll be happy when we win a National Championship and have more National Championships than Wisconsin.

I've lived enough "we'll get em next year" and "we did our best" mediocrity watching the football team play when I was a student. The University of Minnesota should be about excellence in everything we do, not "I got a 'C' in Chemistry 1001, but I'll get an 'A' in Chemistry 5201."

This isn't about fitting in, it's about setting the standards.
"some fans want us to be better than we are," I read in another post. Great comment. Given human limitations, the Gophers couldn't have been better than they were, of course. But WI has come close by loading up with essentially 5-6 graduate students to compete against largely undergraduate teams. That move was legal, but was it intellectually honest? (We can all thank the NCAA for the colossal mistake of allowing 1 or 2 years of extended eligibility due to Covid. In fact, Gophers were pretty darned good these past 2 years, given that only 8 players saw the floor at length the last half of fall 2021; they did fantastic w/in the parameters of mainly undergraduate competition; this isn't supposed to be a graduate student league.) In a way, I realize I'm suggesting 2 different threads. I think the real question at the heart of the discussion is: Why aren't the Gophers better than they are? Will we get even better from now on, win the BIG & see FFs? Or slowly decline?
 

Mountaineer Gopher

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I am hoping for a better setter...... Karch(sp) repeatedly brought up the poor setting during our two matches.
 


ClassOf98Gopher

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"some fans want us to be better than we are," I read in another post. Great comment. Given human limitations, the Gophers couldn't have been better than they were, of course. But WI has come close by loading up with essentially 5-6 graduate students to compete against largely undergraduate teams. That move was legal, but was it intellectually honest? (We can all thank the NCAA for the colossal mistake of allowing 1 or 2 years of extended eligibility due to Covid. In fact, Gophers were pretty darned good these past 2 years, given that only 8 players saw the floor at length the last half of fall 2021; they did fantastic w/in the parameters of mainly undergraduate competition; this isn't supposed to be a graduate student league.) In a way, I realize I'm suggesting 2 different threads. I think the real question at the heart of the discussion is: Why aren't the Gophers better than they are? Will we get even better from now on, win the BIG & see FFs? Or slowly decline?
To me, it is all about Big Ten titles. The NCAA championship stuff seems to aspirational (Louisville should crowd out the field over the next couple years, right?). Plus, in volleyball, if you win the Big Ten, you are automatically assumed to be Final Four worthy.

I think we will be plenty good next year. Wisconsin should lose more than they gain (which may be true of Nebraska as well), so we should be in the running for the Big Ten title next year.

But it would be a lot easier for us to get to that B1G title with a fully healthy Landfair. Without Landfair, Wenaas and Wurcherer and maybe even Crowl and Glenn would really need to step up. How freshman Carter Booth performs in the middle is also a big unknown.
 

Hrothgar

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To me, it is all about Big Ten titles. The NCAA championship stuff seems to aspirational (Louisville should crowd out the field over the next couple years, right?). Plus, in volleyball, if you win the Big Ten, you are automatically assumed to be Final Four worthy.

I think we will be plenty good next year. Wisconsin should lose more than they gain (which may be true of Nebraska as well), so we should be in the running for the Big Ten title next year.

But it would be a lot easier for us to get to that B1G title with a fully healthy Landfair. Without Landfair, Wenaas and Wurcherer and maybe even Crowl and Glenn would really need to step up. How freshman Carter Booth performs in the middle is also a big unknown.
Agree about the BIG titles. They're w/in grasp but seem frustratingly elusive, in both VB & softball.
 





beavergopher

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Two things, the rise of WI above us is also tied to Benedict Arnold, I mean Lauren Barnes, transferring there. Had she stayed we would have had unbelievable floor defense. She was also our best serving weapon.
The other what if is if Pittman had come back this year. We then have an AA middle, instead of a nonexistent attack from that position.
 

MplsGopher

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The setting and middle attack need to improve to win it all.

Shaffmaster isn't the answer.
I think you could be right, but I also - call be crazy - might be coming around to her.

We know she must not be capable of doing the "normal" middle quick set, that every high-level volleyball program runs and uses to get a decent chunk of points and keep opposing middle blockers honest.

That has to be pretty close to the truth. If she hasn't figured it out by now, I don't know if she ever will.


But they might have something pretty reasonable to "replace" it. She and Husemann started hitting a bit on the quick gap set.

Also of course, they have the back middle set to Wenaas in the back row. Usually it's a pipe set, but sometimes it can be lower and quicker. If that can get pretty consistent as a bic, then that also could, maybe, replace some of the lost middle hits.



So anyway, we will see. I don't think any of the new setters coming in are going to be anything more than what Bailey McM was doing for us the past two seasons.


But if they bring in a serious contender from the portal, that could be something.
 


MplsGopher

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The season essentially ended up one game deeper into the playoff than I thought it would go.

I figured we would not host a regional (ie a top 4 seed) and that we would not get out of the regional we got sent to. Making the regional final was better than I was hoping for. The Baylor win was a great win for this season.


To make the FF, without getting a really lucky upset match-up in the regional final (as was like in 2019), there are still some glaring holes that need to be fixed.
 



mnvballdad

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"some fans want us to be better than we are," I read in another post. Great comment. Given human limitations, the Gophers couldn't have been better than they were, of course. But WI has come close by loading up with essentially 5-6 graduate students to compete against largely undergraduate teams. That move was legal, but was it intellectually honest? (We can all thank the NCAA for the colossal mistake of allowing 1 or 2 years of extended eligibility due to Covid. In fact, Gophers were pretty darned good these past 2 years, given that only 8 players saw the floor at length the last half of fall 2021; they did fantastic w/in the parameters of mainly undergraduate competition; this isn't supposed to be a graduate student league.) In a way, I realize I'm suggesting 2 different threads. I think the real question at the heart of the discussion is: Why aren't the Gophers better than they are? Will we get even better from now on, win the BIG & see FFs? Or slowly decline?

Intellectually honest? You do realize that both Miyabe and Samedy would have been gone this year without the extra Covid year, right? Without them this Gopher team barely makes the tournament.
 

MplsGopher

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Intellectually honest? You do realize that both Miyabe and Samedy would have been gone this year without the extra Covid year, right? Without them this Gopher team barely makes the tournament.
Would've been like Stanford this year.

Granted this is with Landfair missing most of the year with injury. Without Miyabe, at some point I think they put her back in?
 

Hrothgar

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Intellectually honest? You do realize that both Miyabe and Samedy would have been gone this year without the extra Covid year, right? Without them this Gopher team barely makes the tournament.
Of course, I realize that. I feel that the NCAA should have put limits on how many super seniors would be allowed per program. In MN an equivalent situation arose with softball when 5 super seniors played last spring; that deprived younger players of their chance to play. I feel it's unfair to those who deserve a chance.
 



GibsonSG

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Intellectually honest? You do realize that both Miyabe and Samedy would have been gone this year without the extra Covid year, right? Without them this Gopher team barely makes the tournament.
If you are going to "what if", then you also have to remove the extra covid year players from all the competition as well. Those opponents wouldn't be as good either. And with no Samedy and Miyabe, then perhaps Hugh now has an extra scholarship year for Rollins and she stays. Crowl doesn't redshirt. Maybe the Gophers snag a top OH from the transfer portal as well.

There are a lot of variables to take into account in the "what if" game. Based on Hugh's track record as the Gopher coach, it's a good bet he would have figured something out.

In principle, I really don't like the extra year. Yes, the players had a shorter season BUT they still had a season! The extra year is really coming at the expense of this year's freshmen. But saying all this.....I really am happy for someone like Miyabe who had to work her way up to the high division 1 level. What a payoff this season became for her.
 

MplsGopher

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If you are going to "what if", then you also have to remove the extra covid year players from all the competition as well. Those opponents wouldn't be as good either. And with no Samedy and Miyabe, then perhaps Hugh now has an extra scholarship year for Rollins and she stays. Crowl doesn't redshirt. Maybe the Gophers snag a top OH from the transfer portal as well.

There are a lot of variables to take into account in the "what if" game. Based on Hugh's track record as the Gopher coach, it's a good bet he would have figured something out.

In principle, I really don't like the extra year. Yes, the players had a shorter season BUT they still had a season! The extra year is really coming at the expense of this year's freshmen. But saying all this.....I really am happy for someone like Miyabe who had to work her way up to the high division 1 level. What a payoff this season became for her.
No Hilley, Rettke, or Barnes for the Skunks this year, either.
 

NextYear_76

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No Hilley, Rettke, or Barnes for the Skunks this year, either.
The team to fear next year is Nebraska. Stivrins and Sun played reduced role this year and their younger players stepped up. They also have had top rated recruiting classes. To be fair the Gophers classes have also top ten. Wisconsin will likely be good but recess a lttile (major hope)
 

GopherGod

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The team to fear next year is Nebraska. Stivrins and Sun played reduced role this year and their younger players stepped up. They also have had top rated recruiting classes. To be fair the Gophers classes have also top ten. Wisconsin will likely be good but recess a lttile (major hope)
And their Coach John Cook has proven multiple times he can win the big one. Easily one of the top 2-3 volleyball coaches in the country.
 

mnvballdad

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The team to fear next year is Nebraska. Stivrins and Sun played reduced role this year and their younger players stepped up. They also have had top rated recruiting classes. To be fair the Gophers classes have also top ten. Wisconsin will likely be good but recess a lttile (major hope)
After watching Smrek tonight, I’m not sure they’re going to drop off too much. Oddly enough their biggest loss may not be Rettke, but rather Hilley.
 

GibsonSG

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After watching Smrek tonight, I’m not sure they’re going to drop off too much. Oddly enough their biggest loss may not be Rettke, but rather Hilley.
It is definitely Hilley. She was (I believe) the #1 ranked setter in her recruiting class for a reason. Wiscy fans are fooling themselves if they think Hammill or Ashburn will be at her level. But either player should be good enough to keep Wisconsin in the Big Ten top 4 or 5 at the worst with all the weapons they will still have.

Looks like Wisconsin won the title tonight. Color me shocked. Who would have thought the team with back-to-back Final Fours, and the most returning 5th year talent could win it all? :rolleyes: (Yes, it is already over. Louisville was the only prayer to possibly derail them. The last game will probably be a sweep.)

Sheffield should send some of his tournament bonus money to the NCAA committee that decided to give athletes a 5th year of eligibility as a thank you.
 

walleye

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Congratulations to the Big Ten: two teams in the finals and 4 teams in the Elite Eight. I think the Big Ten teams were underrated and underseeded in the tournament. What would Louisville's, Pittsburgh's, and Texas' records have been if they played in the Big Ten? I think the Gopher's season looks very good in retrospect.

The final should be interesting. I think Wisconsin has the better team but Nebraska is on a roll.
 

let'sbeclear

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Lauren Barnes: two years at Minnesota, three years at Wisconsin, and she was never on the losing side in a match between those two teams. That's remarkable!
 

Frink

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You couldn't ask for more from a championship with the exception of a Badger loss. That was really, really entertaining.
 

jham13

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Don't really care for John Cook but man does he know how to get his teams prepped for this tournament. Their defensive effort was stellar tonight but Wisky dominated in the block department, setting a record for blocks in a Final.
 


ClassOf98Gopher

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Congratulations to the Big Ten: two teams in the finals and 4 teams in the Elite Eight. I think the Big Ten teams were underrated and underseeded in the tournament. What would Louisville's, Pittsburgh's, and Texas' records have been if they played in the Big Ten? I think the Gopher's season looks very good in retrospect.

The final should be interesting. I think Wisconsin has the better team but Nebraska is on a roll.

The Big Ten volleyball teams needed this performance, reputationally, after collectively performing so poorly in the previous national tournament a few months earlier. We don’t want to be considered as overrated… and we sure showed that we were not overrated this tournament.
 




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