Gopher Volleyball 2023 Season

Gophers_4life

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This team has an incredible core of players (Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Libero of the Year, 1st team All Big Ten setter, Wucherer). I trust that there will be one or two more additions, and judging from the last MB transfer, probably nobody we're talking about right now.

Wisconsin, Nebraska and Penn State are all loaded for 2023. There's no reason Minnesota can't compete with them but third or fourth place in the Big Ten could easily be the National Champion depending on how the tournament goes.
Yep. Big part of it is just luck of the path you draw and what happens.

Our last final four appearance was simply the luck that Louisville spent their energy to take out Texas, so we didn't have to face the Longhorns and got to instead pick off a depleted Louisville squad.
 

4EverAGopher

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Very interesting article on Nebraska thinking out of the Box. I wonder how long it will take for another program to follow suit.

 

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I love it. My understanding is that we played some games in William's arena. I think they should schedule some key games there. Nebraska volleyball is the only team that pays for itself. The U should start putting a plan in place for our team to pay for itself.
 

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With all the outstanding/elite coaches at these USA tryouts, the ONLY GOPHER to make the Final Wave was Shaffmaster. I would think these coaches are very capable of evaluating all the participating players and the talent they bring to the table.

REMINDING ALL OF YOU.....Davis remained in the bottom Blue Wave the entire time. After Friday evening Crowl moved from the White Wave to the Red Wave and stayed there. Wucherer also moved from the White Wave to the Red Wave after Saturday PM session.

Moving forward just like these USA tryouts, I believe the new Gopher coaching staff is very capable of deciding, if we need more help at MB, Opp and DS/L. IMO may the RECRUITING continue.
 

Gophers_4life

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How much has Crowl even played yet, and she started in the White.

That speaks highly about her potential. Big, strong lefty.

Just fine to DS her out. Use McGhie to do that.
 


NateDawgUM

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How much has Crowl even played yet, and she started in the White.

That speaks highly about her potential. Big, strong lefty.

Just fine to DS her out. Use McGhie to do that.

Crowl seems like the type of player we all accidentally write off because she takes some time to develop, and then has an All American caliber senior season.
 

NateDawgUM

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Very interesting article on Nebraska thinking out of the Box. I wonder how long it will take for another program to follow suit.


The head coach of Omaha is a good friend of mine from high school, excited that he gets this opportunity too. He's got a nice program going there, but South Dakota is a bit of a juggernaut in the Summit.
 

Gophers_4life

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The head coach of Omaha is a good friend of mine from high school, excited that he gets this opportunity too. He's got a nice program going there, but South Dakota is a bit of a juggernaut in the Summit.
Be interesting to see St Thomas take off, with how much talent is in MN especially the metro.

Siphon off girls that might have gone on scholarship to Concordia St Paul type programs (they used to be a DII power, not sure if they still are) and so on. And the Dakotas.
 

4EverAGopher

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We definitely don't need another RS. Taking an all around player like Weske is a no-brainer but if she chooses to go elsewhere then I'd stick with those two. I think Crowl is poised to make a big leap, her size is irreplaceable on the block.
I am not a coach but for some reason Opps are either visiting or interested in Minnesota. Now, if this current coaching staff is reaching out to them, there is a reason.

Why did Wenaas start last year for us as an Opp? Because she was the only Gopher that could play the Back RS . I do believe Hugh and company made the correct decision last year.
 



Gophers_4life

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I am not a coach but for some reason Opps are either visiting or interested in Minnesota. Now, if this current coaching staff is reaching out to them, there is a reason.

Why did Wenaas start last year for us as an Opp? Because she was the only Gopher that could play the Back RS . I do believe Hugh and company made the correct decision last year.
That's Hugh's Olympic style, though. The actual correct decision is to play a front-court RS and then sub them out with a defensive specialist.
 

4EverAGopher

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That's Hugh's Olympic style, though. The actual correct decision is to play a front-court RS and then sub them out with a defensive specialist.
Are you a parent of a "little" by chance?

So tell me your starting lineup last season.
 

NateDawgUM

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Be interesting to see St Thomas take off, with how much talent is in MN especially the metro.

Siphon off girls that might have gone on scholarship to Concordia St Paul type programs (they used to be a DII power, not sure if they still are) and so on. And the Dakotas.

The Summit is a nice league, they play an entertaining, quality style of volleyball. I'll be surprised if St Thomas isn't in the top 4 of the Summit League within 2 or 3 years.

The club teams in Nebraska and Minnesota are so deep and well coached that there is basically an endless pool of talent for the non-P5 programs. So many girls in the 5'9-5'11 range who are great players but just a little too short to play in the B1G.
 

Gophers_4life

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Are you a parent of a "little" by chance?

So tell me your starting lineup last season.
No I'm not.

Our roster was constructed by Hugh with six-rotation pins, and light on defense. No offense to CC, but she seemed hot and cold the last couple seasons. So you can't even play that game.

Texas this season or Nebraska last season is the ideal way to play collegiate volleyball. Three outstanding littles. In fact, Akana was on both of those teams!

I wouldn't even care if it was four, with a libero and DS'ing out all three pins. But that probably runs out of subs too fast.
 



4EverAGopher

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Like many things in life this sport has been changing Worldwide and will continue to change. Every position in volleyball you are now seeing a huge difference just over the past 10 years in the type of athlete MANY coaches are seeking.

At this point, I am going to say to Gophers-4life, I feel we should agree to disagree.
 

Gophers_4life

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We did it Hugh’s way and it didn’t work.

“Wasted” one of the best setters in college vball in a year we could’ve easily played in the Natty game in front of a home crowd. 2018 *facepalm*
 

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We did it Hugh’s way and it didn’t work.

“Wasted” one of the best setters in college vball in a year we could’ve easily played in the Natty game in front of a home crowd. 2018 *facepalm*
Gophers_4life, I know you're not going to change your mind on this, but I think it's a mistake to look at college athletics as a fixed outcome formula. The most talented team is not guaranteed to win a natty. Sure, they will win more often than they'll lose, but for team success, the best you can do it get the best talent you're able, train the talent to perform at the highest level, do it year after year and hope to break through some year.

Yes, the 2018 team was probably one of the 2 best teams in the country, but they got tripped up by who knows what - a bad matchup? the pressure to make the final 4 at home? an off-night? a bad call? These are all of the uncertain and human factors that make sports so entertaining.
 

Gophers_4life

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Gophers_4life, I know you're not going to change your mind on this, but I think it's a mistake to look at college athletics as a fixed outcome formula. The most talented team is not guaranteed to win a natty. Sure, they will win more often than they'll lose, but for team success, the best you can do it get the best talent you're able, train the talent to perform at the highest level, do it year after year and hope to break through some year.

Yes, the 2018 team was probably one of the 2 best teams in the country, but they got tripped up by who knows what - a bad matchup? the pressure to make the final 4 at home? an off-night? a bad call? These are all of the uncertain and human factors that make sports so entertaining.
Of course you're correct -- within any single year. Of course. This holds true no matter what, no matter how great a coach, system, and/or program are -- within any single year. That's where randomness/luck plays a part.

Once you have several years strung together, that randomness averages out. The bad bounce or call you missed last year, you got the next year, etc.

We saw 11 seasons of Hugh, two of which I freely dismiss (2014 outlier and 2020-21 covid). That's still 9 seasons. Doing it his way ... is what it is. It hit its ceiling.

And that ceiling wasn't good enough. Just plain and simple.


No fan of college volleyball can look at Wisconsin has done, and claim to be a Gophers volleyball fan and say "well, what Hugh did here is good enough, it was still plenty good, oh gosh ya know". Not good enough.
 

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I watched the 1987 twins win the world series. I doubt that they had a top five team. What they had was a Kirby and Kent to lead the team.
The Gophers did not have that. It's not rah rah but making the dig, the pass. the block in key situations. Carter Booth when she transferred said she wanted to play for a team that wanted a championship. She transformed herself from spring to fall. Some of the players seemed to go through the motions in many games. Every player but one had a chance to start and star. It was the players she was talking about. Hugh couldn't get them to play. If you watched him over the years his coaching style changed. Sorry he left but maybe it was time.
 

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1 - COVID as it affected the entire sport
2 - Players who were injured
3 - Players transferring out for whatever their reason
4 - Others who admitted suffering from"mental health issues" missing a lot of playing time as a result
5 - Lack of a noted "team bond" on and off the court.
6 - Assistant Coach on a 6 month maternity leave during one of these seasons.
7 - Noted by the HC more parental involvement.

IMO all of the issues I just mentioned, played a role in Gopher Volleyball the past few seasons. It took it's toll and it came to a head. A HC cannot control this nor should he have to.

I don't feel wrong when I say, "Gopher Volleyball needed a fresh start". I have always been and will remain grateful for Hugh McCutcheons time with our program.
 


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Good and correct move in general.

If she will not graduate this spring or summer from LMU with a degree, then she shouldn’t be eligible to is fall. Unless she was already approved for a waiver, but if she hasn’t actually enrolled here yet then I’m not sure she can apply yet.
 


4EverAGopher

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It is and will remain Nebraska, Texas and Stanford at the top.

However, if and when JCook retires we shall see who Nebraska will hire and if they can keep up the winning tradition. What is a shame is their bench is so solid with talent that these recruits/transfer ins will be seeking playing time elsewhere. Same holds true for Wisconsin this up and coming season.

Penn State is looking good after RR. However, these 5th yr Grads have played a role in a lot of programs success during and after 2020. You can now add Wisconsin to that list. That's why I am hoping that KCook and his assistants can keep pace and succeed these top programs.

May 1st is around the corner. I have no idea, if this two week transfer portal that opens soon will bring us help with an experience player or two.....especially the DS position. I am going to assume the Gopher VB Coaching staff is addressing this to the best of their ability.

If anything else, it will be very interesting to see who will come and who will go in all these above mentioned programs.
 

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It is and will remain Nebraska, Texas and Stanford at the top.

However, if and when JCook retires we shall see who Nebraska will hire and if they can keep up the winning tradition. What is a shame is their bench is so solid with talent that these recruits/transfer ins will be seeking playing time elsewhere. Same holds true for Wisconsin this up and coming season.

Penn State is looking good after RR. However, these 5th yr Grads have played a role in a lot of programs success during and after 2020. You can now add Wisconsin to that list. That's why I am hoping that KCook and his assistants can keep pace and succeed these top programs.

May 1st is around the corner. I have no idea, if this two week transfer portal that opens soon will bring us help with an experience player or two.....especially the DS position. I am going to assume the Gopher VB Coaching staff is addressing this to the best of their ability.

If anything else, it will be very interesting to see who will come and who will go in all these above mentioned programs.
It will likely be Dani Busboom-Kelley who has built a power at Louisville from scratch. Though from a fan support, salary, and facility standpoint there are like an Alabama in football. They can likely attract virtually any sitting coach in the country for that job. Cook has developed an unbelievable coaching tree however of former assistants who have moved on to very successful head coaching jobs elsewhere so would likely go there with Busboom-Kelley in that coaching tree
 

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It is and will remain Nebraska, Texas and Stanford at the top.

However, if and when JCook retires we shall see who Nebraska will hire and if they can keep up the winning tradition. What is a shame is their bench is so solid with talent that these recruits/transfer ins will be seeking playing time elsewhere. Same holds true for Wisconsin this up and coming season.

Penn State is looking good after RR. However, these 5th yr Grads have played a role in a lot of programs success during and after 2020. You can now add Wisconsin to that list. That's why I am hoping that KCook and his assistants can keep pace and succeed these top programs.

May 1st is around the corner. I have no idea, if this two week transfer portal that opens soon will bring us help with an experience player or two.....especially the DS position. I am going to assume the Gopher VB Coaching staff is addressing this to the best of their ability.

If anything else, it will be very interesting to see who will come and who will go in all these above mentioned programs.

Nebraska was a perennial top 10 team before Cook under Terry Pettit, and he won a National Title in 1995. The fanbase, local talent and administrative support makes it nearly impossible for them to take a big step back. But I think the same general thing exists with Minnesota...albeit a bit less...
 

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Nebraska was a perennial top 10 team before Cook under Terry Pettit, and he won a National Title in 1995. The fanbase, local talent and administrative support makes it nearly impossible for them to take a big step back. But I think the same general thing exists with Minnesota...albeit a bit less...
Nebraska population 2M has more "local" talent than Minnesota 6M population??

The amount of local talent is irrelevant. They're a top 5 program and can draw from anywhere in the nation.

By far the top crowd in college volleyball. It's a great atmosphere. Wisconsin is not far behind, now, though.

Texas only lesser because their gym is so much smaller than those two, but I could easily see them dumping some money to upgrade it to 10k or something, and filling that. Though SEC competition will be largely unknown to them and weak outside of Kentucky and Florida. TA&M game probably sells out regardless.
 



4EverAGopher

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Nebraska was a perennial top 10 team before Cook under Terry Pettit, and he won a National Title in 1995. The fanbase, local talent and administrative support makes it nearly impossible for them to take a big step back. But I think the same general thing exists with Minnesota...albeit a bit less...
There is no question we have a great VB program here in Minnesota. It has been well established with both Hebert and McCutheon.

We have a wonderful nucleus of talented volleyball players that decided to stay here and compete with KCook, as their new Head Coach. The one thing really left for this coaching staff is to prove they can recruit top ranked players and develop them, while maintaining this as one of the Top Ten programs that players want to be a part of both on and off the court.

It is essential we recruit more experienced player(s) in our back court starting tomorrow.....whether it be the portal or not. Let's all keep our fingers crossed it works out for us.
 

Gophers_4life

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There is no question we have a great VB program here in Minnesota. It has been well established with both Hebert and McCutheon.

We have a wonderful nucleus of talented volleyball players that decided to stay here and compete with KCook, as their new Head Coach. The one thing really left for this coaching staff is to prove they can recruit top ranked players and develop them, while maintaining this as one of the Top Ten programs that players want to be a part of both on and off the court.

It is essential we recruit more experienced player(s) in our back court starting tomorrow.....whether it be the portal or not. Let's all keep our fingers crossed it works out for us.
In football at least, the portal window was moved up to April 15-30. Not sure if that was for all sports.

But that's just the deadline for a player to get into the portal. You can sign them any time after that.


Honestly, think we could be OK with "just" Murr and Gray as backrow specialists. All depends on what they're going to do with 6-2 or not or perhaps with McGhie.
 




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