Gopher Volleyball 2021-Fall Season

Ski U Mah Gopher

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One of the saddest choke jobs I've experienced as a Gophers fan. Oregon played inspired. Then immediately got blown out the next game by Nebraska, as we knew they would.

And like I said, they kind of "lucked" into the FF in 2019. Sorry, but it's true. Can't know for sure how they would've played against Texas, but it sure as hell would've been a tougher fight than Louisville put up.
A Final Four is a Final Four. I think Nebraska doesn't put an asterisk on their 2018 appearance.
 


UpAndUnder43

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One of the saddest choke jobs I've experienced as a Gophers fan. Oregon played inspired. Then immediately got blown out the next game by Nebraska, as we knew they would.

And like I said, they kind of "lucked" into the FF in 2019. Sorry, but it's true. Can't know for sure how they would've played against Texas, but it sure as hell would've been a tougher fight than Louisville put up.
You don’t choose who you play. They didn’t luck into anything. They beat the teams that they played.
 

MplsGopher

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You don’t choose who you play.
Hence why it was luck.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that luck plays a component in any championship run. Avoiding injuries at a minimum. Calls/bounces going your way. Etc.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Hence why it was luck.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that luck plays a component in any championship run. Avoiding injuries at a minimum. Calls/bounces going your way. Etc.
Then every game ever is luck.
 



UpAndUnder43

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Nope. The world isn't binary. Sorry bud.
Well every game involves injuries, matchups and lucky/unlucky bounces. So therefore I am correct or your saying the final four run was luck is wrong.
Sick of arguing with you I’m every thread. I miss your fake account.
 


GibsonSG

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Just to clarify my earlier comment..... I wasn't saying it takes a miracle worker to win a championship at Minnesota. What I meant was that it pretty much takes a miracle worker to walk into a program with no championship history and bring home a title in a short amount of time. As I noted in an earlier volleyball post, look how long Rose (Penn State) and Skinner (Kentucky) coached at their respective schools before capturing their first titles. (21 years and 16 years)

And I agree with UpAndUnder43, Minnesota lucked into nothing in 2019. The best teams find ways to win no matter the circumstances. Obviously, Texas wasn't one of the best teams at season's end. Just like Minnesota wasn't the year before. And there is no evidence, only speculation and opinion, to say Texas would have clearly beaten the Gophers. Why do some Gopher fans seem to like to put asterisks next to any Gopher accomplishment? Is it an always "glass half empty" approach to life?"
 




GibsonSG

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No need to be silly and dishonest about this.
The predictable response I expected from you. I've seen enough of your posts.

Yes, every tournament run is aided by some degree of luck. So.....couldn't one say that every past Final Four team "lucked" their way to get there by some degree or another then? "Avoiding injuries at a minimum, calls/bounces going your way, etc."
 

MplsGopher

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Yes, every tournament run is aided by some degree of luck. So.....couldn't one say that every past Final Four team "lucked" their way to get there by some degree or another then? "Avoiding injuries at a minimum, calls/bounces going your way, etc."
Yes ... some degree ..... and the degree was no where near the same.

All FF appearances had a degree of luck more than zero. Sure, that's almost certainly true. And, the 2019 FF appearance had significantly more luck than the others.


I suppose you'll try to pretend now that I changed my argument, but that's just being petty. It was clearly and obviously what I meant.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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#1 Texas at the PAV. Tickets are on the mobile. We're ready to go.

No. 1 Texas Volleyball at No. 10 Minnesota
Texas: 2-0 | Minnesota: 1-1
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – 7 p.m. CT
Maturi Pavilion | Minneapolis, Minn.


THE MATCHUP

Texas hits the road for the first time this season, to take on No. 10 Minnesota at Maturi Pavilion. The Longhorns have a 5-5 record all-time against the Golden Gophers but are 0-2 in Minneapolis. In the last meeting, Texas won 3-1 at Gregory Gym in 2019.

RANKINGS
Texas enters the week as the No. 1 ranked team in the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Poll, returning nearly the entire roster from the team that finished as the NCAA runner-up last season. Texas, who was picked first in the Preseason AVCA Coaches' Poll, is one of two Big 12 teams in the top-25 as Baylor sits at No. 9. Texas will play a pair of ranked teams this week in No. 10 Minnesota and No. 20 Stanford. The Longhorns opened the season with a 3-0 win over preseason No. 20 San Diego.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Logan Eggleston was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and teammates Brionne Butler, Jhenna Gabriel, Skylar Fields and Asjia O'Neal joined her on the preseason team. The Longhorns were picked first in the Big 12 Preseason Poll for the 11th consecutive season and the 14th time in program history.

FIVE ALL-AMERICANS
Texas returns five players who landed on the AVCA All-American teams in 2020, led by first teamers Logan Eggleston and Brionne Butler. Additionally, Jhenna Gabriel was named to the third team and Skylar Fields and Asjia O'Neal received Honorable Mention All-America accolades. Eggleston and Butler received their third All-American recognition, after being named second team All-Americans in 2019 and receiving honorable mention as freshmen in 2018
 



let'sbeclear

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AVCA Coaches' rankings as of Aug. 30, 2021:

1Texas (42)15762-01
2Wisconsin (15)15422-02
3Kentucky (7)14603-03
4Nebraska13822-05
5Florida13383-06
6Ohio State12132-011
7Pittsburgh11913-09
8Purdue11272-08
9Baylor11121-110
10Minnesota10081-17
11Washington9771-14
12Louisville8272-013
T-13BYU7983-015
T-13Oregon7983-014
15Western Kentucky6733-016
16Georgia Tech6153-024
17Penn State5682-112
18UCLA5161-017
19Utah4472-019
20Stanford3232-021
21Pepperdine3023-022
22San Diego2371-120
23Michigan1662-0NR
24South Carolina1492-1NR
T-25Marquette1043-0NR
T-25Washington State1040-218

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Creighton 89; Notre Dame 48; Rice 48; Tennessee 20; Hawai'i 10; Denver 7; UNLV 5; Illinois 4; Loyola Marymount 2.

6 teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 33 combined points.

Dropped Out: Notre Dame 25; Rice 23.

(Ohio State beat #4 Washington, and Georgia Tech beat #12 Penn State. South Carolina beat #18 Washington State and #23 Rice, and lost to #9 Pittsburgh.)
 
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Ignatius L Hoops

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Gophers sophomore Taylor Landfair heard stories about the raucous atmosphere at Maturi Pavilion, and how the team drew some of the best home crowds in the Big Ten and NCAA women's volleyball.

She never saw that for herself, though.

Landfair joined the team last year with attendance restrictions during the pandemic, but the fans are back for the 2021 season. All required of them right now is to wear masks indoors.

What better way for Landfair to experience a packed crowd at "The Pav" for the first time than Thursday night's home opener against No. 1 Texas?

"I'm really excited," Landfair said. "I know the fans give us a big rush and are very supportive. I just can't wait to play in front of them and show everybody what we've been training for."
 

UpAndUnder43

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I have free tickets for tomorrow if anyone wants them. Lower level. Just message me and I’ll send them to you.
 

MRJ

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Hence why it was luck.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that luck plays a component in any championship run. Avoiding injuries at a minimum. Calls/bounces going your way. Etc.
Of course luck factors into title runs. It's always been that way.

With that said, 2019 can be argued a couple of different ways. Texas certainly wasn't the juggernaut everyone thought they were that season (Louisville proved it). On top of that, the Gophers thoroughly dominated the Cardinals in that regional final, so I have a hard time saying that could be attributed solely to luck. To me, the luck came in somewhat against Creighton the previous weekend when they played poorly but found a way to win. But those wins the following weekend over Florida and Louisville were fully earned and they deserved that trip to the Final Four.
 

GibsonSG

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I suppose you'll try to pretend now that I changed my argument, but that's just being petty. It was clearly and obviously what I meant.
Nope. I wasn't even going to respond to you but this was just too much to pass up.

Pre-planned responses now to things you assume I might say? Seriously? LOL! Please tell me more! I want to know what I'm speaking about in this conversation you are apparently having with me in your head. Does it include more passive aggressive comments/insults from you? "Silly." "Dishonest." "Petty." I'm dying to know.

And back on topic.... I think the Gophers have slim chances of beating Texas. But you never know....maybe....just maybe they can "luck" their way to victory. Go Gophers!
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Nope. I wasn't even going to respond to you but this was just too much to pass up.

Pre-planned responses now to things you assume I might say? Seriously? LOL! Please tell me more! I want to know what I'm speaking about in this conversation you are apparently having with me in your head. Does it include more passive aggressive comments/insults from you? "Silly." "Dishonest." "Petty." I'm dying to know.

And back on topic.... I think the Gophers have slim chances of beating Texas. But you never know....maybe....just maybe they can "luck" their way to victory. Go Gophers!
The rest of Gopher-Message-Board-Stan is going to hate me for this but… I agree with MplsGopher on this. Being a sports fan, on a sports message board no-less, is all about crazily getting involved in sports from your couch. It’s nuts; but it’s what we do. We use our own eyes as fans to make nutty assessments and then we blurt them out to see what others think… to check ourselves and our own sanity. It is a way to see if other people are thinking what we are thinking.

I can tell you that I didn’t think that 2019 Gopher volleyball team was that good - not like the 2017 Sarah Wilhite team. I am just a fan, but that is what I saw. They made the Final Four and good on them, but my eye-test didn’t rate them quite that high.

Luck, if you define luck as including the playing of weaker teams in a 64 team tournament as opposed to stronger teams, is part of sports. It just is. And being a sports fan includes calling them like your own eyeballs see them and being confident enough in your own eyeballs to write it down for others to scrutinize.
 

let'sbeclear

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Tonight's match will be the first one where last year's recruits, three of them starters now, will be playing in front of our great Maturi Pavilion crowd. It'll be interesting to see how they respond to that. Unless, of course, the masks will muffle the noise a bit.
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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Some quick notes:

We got in with no problems; but at match time there was a long line of people outside the Pav. The scanning seemed slow. Bad omen for our football experience.

We have a DJ.

The Gophers were much better than opening weekend. But, Texas seemed to do more with free balls than we did.

Both teams committed a lot of service errors and struggled with hitting percentages early.

A rally I need to watch on replay: at 14 all in the fourth Texas was awarded a point after appearing to commit two or three violations. Booing ensued. Hugh challenged and was obviously pissed that he needed to use his last challenge. The Gophers got the point; but couldn't ride it to victory.

One annoyance: the parking ramps have gone to credit cards only. That's fine; but when we park in the Washington Avenue ramp, do we really have to pay an entry fee and an exit fee? It backed up exiting traffic as people inserted their ticket and then their credit card and waited.
 


let'sbeclear

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How'd we blow 23-17?
As with that 24-20 lead against Baylor, the Gophers are having difficulty at the end of sets. As you noted, in last night's match they led 23-17 in the first set and lost.

In the second set, it was 21-21, and Texas then finished with a 4-0 run. In the third set, which the Gophs won, they led throughout and did close it out from 22-20, which was as close as Texas got in the second half of that set. But the fourth set was another example of faltering at the end of sets. The Gophers led 20-18, and then Texas closed with a 7-2 run.

Granted, volleyball is a game of momentum and certain favorable (or unfavorable) rotations, but there does seem to be a possible pattern developing here at the end of sets against solid competition.

On the other hand, from a glass half-full perspective, the Gophers were in every set against the #1-ranked team in the country.
 
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MplsGopher

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A rally I need to watch on replay: at 14 all in the fourth Texas was awarded a point after appearing to commit two or three violations. Booing ensued. Hugh challenged and was obviously pissed that he needed to use his last challenge. The Gophers got the point; but couldn't ride it to victory.
Clearly touched the antenna before Shaff's hand.
 

MplsGopher

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Last night just further proves that Gophers are going to be a top 10-ish type of team, will host an opening round, win that, and then lose in the next round. Won't make the final four.

They have some elite, great players.

We have the only setter in elite DI college volleyball that can't set a middle. They've just abandoned it, from the game plan. Too bad because Myers is effective. Our M2's are not good, though. Tall, but slow and add nothing offensively.

Inconsistent setting to the OH. Schaff does have a great connection (for the most part) with Samedy. But you can't get to the final four with one hitter.


If Landfair and Wenaas can become great, and Samedy stays great, and CC/defense plays as well as they did at times last night ...... then sure, you can do it with zero middle attack.

But that's not realistic.
 

Hrothgar

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Gophers VB has, I think, the same problem against top teams as Gophers Football had vs. Ohio State this evening: that is, MN has some really talented players but not enough of them; and the ones they have can't quite match the top opponents' speed & agility (except for Samedy).
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Gophers VB has, I think, the same problem against top teams as Gophers Football had vs. Ohio State this evening: that is, MN has some really talented players but not enough of them; and the ones they have can't quite match the top opponents' speed & agility (except for Samedy).
I think this take is generally true; but Samedy is over-evaluated just a hit. She had an incredibly good Senior season, but prior to that, she was just really good… not extraordinary like Plummer or Rettke or even upper-class man Wilhite. Wenaas or Landfair or Wurcherer could easily be a Samedy in my opinion.
 

4EverAGopher

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There is no doubt that this program is probably at it's lowest since Hugh has become the Head Coach. But seriously, right now we would not even be competitive without Samedy who has become the go to/bail out player on the team.

I have no idea why the program is where it is, However, IMO I feel recruiting, coaching and team chemistry might have all played a roll in it. Right now we have a real problem with consistency from our setter who is also limited in her ability to set the middle. This is her sophomore season and that issue so far continues. There might not be much of an improvement by the end of this season with Shaffmaster. However, she really does need to turn it around.

Most players need time to develop and if they don't see sufficient playing time, that development will take longer Some times it just does not happen during their entire time at the U. Also remember each Head Coach has their own system they want to run and Hugh does not sub much at all from season to season. He usually plays his starters, if healthy and/or not injured.

One thing about Samedy that I have questioned is why the up and down with her in matches. Does she need the PERFECT SET or is she always capable of adjusting during a match? With those questions asked I can also feel her FRUSTRATION. I know I would be trying to connect with 4 + starting setters since I came to Minnesota.

This season she has improved her defense a lot. Her serving and blocking are always steady. She is and will always be a LEADER on and off the court while at Minnesota. I cannot wait for her to blossom even more in her Pro Career. The USA Volleyball Program will be fortuante to have her training with them.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Worse than 2014? That was the last season we didn't make the tournament. We were 9-11 (8th place) in conference and 19-12 overall.
 
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