Hole Poll: What is your prediction for the 2021 Gophers Volleyball season?

Hole Poll: What is your prediction for the 2021 Gophers Volleyball season?

  • This is finally the year the Gophers are national champs!!

    Votes: 6 20.7%
  • We come up just short, losing in the national title.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Final Four, again. Heck of a season but just can't get over the national hump.

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Good run in NCAA Tournament, but fail to advance to Columbus.

    Votes: 12 41.4%
  • Upset in early rounds of Tournament.

    Votes: 6 20.7%
  • Season goes off the rails, fail to qualify for Tournament.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    29

GopherHole Staff

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Hole Poll: What is your prediction for the 2021 Gophers Volleyball season?
 

El Amin Fan

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Hugh gets his natty this year! I really believe that.
 

MplsGopher

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Hugh gets his natty this year! I really believe that.
Sorry but no chance.

We don't have the middles like the elite teams do. His recruiting there needs to change to keep up with the teams that have the scary athletic middles.
 

MplsGopher

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Don't get me wrong, we're still a top 10 program. We'll host and win the first round, like usual, and then lose in the next round on the road, won't make the final four.

Even in 2019, we escaped Creighton, escaped Florida, and then it was super lucky that Louisville had their super bowl to take out Texas, and then we got to mop them up after they came down from their emotional high.
 

Hrothgar

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Don't get me wrong, we're still a top 10 program. We'll host and win the first round, like usual, and then lose in the next round on the road, won't make the final four.

Even in 2019, we escaped Creighton, escaped Florida, and then it was super lucky that Louisville had their super bowl to take out Texas, and then we got to mop them up after they came down from their emotional high.
I see all the games, but I'm a novice at VB, so my comments are impressionistic. My impression is that other important BIG programs have begun out-recruiting MN in the past 4-5 years. Not by much but enough that it shows. Weakness in the middle hasn't been remedied.
 


GFBfan

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Stephanie Samedy is player of the year and carries them to the title.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I see all the games, but I'm a novice at VB, so my comments are impressionistic. My impression is that other important BIG programs have begun out-recruiting MN in the past 4-5 years. Not by much but enough that it shows. Weakness in the middle hasn't been remedied.
I think this is mostly right, but it downplays a bit what SSS, Wilhite, and the Tapp sisters along with their peers brought to the Gophers that was singularly special and unique. I mean, it is unrealistic to think we will always get 4-year, lunchpale-to-work-get-the-job-done performers like that. Shaffmaster will give her all and I am impressed with her leadership so far… but we will just see about her and the others.

The key point is that we will be a good team yet again this year. But for those who think that the Gophers are destined to be national champions just because they are the Gophers…. well it just doesn’t work like that. Many other teams want to win too, and they have their own advantages. I think if we finish in the top three in the Big Ten and get to the ELITE 8, that expectation would be a doable and extremely successful season.
 

let'sbeclear

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I'm a student, so I hate to make this prediction, and I certainly hope I'm wrong. But I just don't see how the Unviersity is going to get through this semester with in-person classes. Just about every staff person I have talked to on campus in the past few weeks agrees with this pessimistic outlook. So I don't think the volleyball team is going to make it through the entire season. Ugh, I hate saying that!
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I'm a student, so I hate to make this prediction, and I certainly hope I'm wrong. But I just don't see how the Unviersity is going to get through this semester with in-person classes. Just about every staff person I have talked to on campus in the past few weeks agrees with this pessimistic outlook. So I don't think the volleyball team is going to make it through the entire season. Ugh, I hate saying that!

I don’t doubt your outlook, you may very well be right, but I am extremely frustrated with these organizations’ view of COVID. I mean, do they think it is going away… like… ever? For instance, the U of M, what is their endgame here. What would possibly need to happen to allow full sports seasons to be played again? They should be open with the public as to what metric (is it area ICU beds?) controls a normal organizational operation, because I have zero confidence that next year, or the year after, or the year after will be any different from this year in terms of COVID case numbers.

I guess I just hope for a normal volleyball season, but I assume that hope is in vein.
 



Hrothgar

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I don’t doubt your outlook, you may very well be right, but I am extremely frustrated with these organizations’ view of COVID. I mean, do they think it is going away… like… ever? For instance, the U of M, what is their endgame here. What would possibly need to happen to allow full sports seasons to be played again? They should be open with the public as to what metric (is it area ICU beds?) controls a normal organizational operation, because I have zero confidence that next year, or the year after, or the year after will be any different from this year in terms of COVID case numbers.

I guess I just hope for a normal volleyball season, but I assume that hope is in vein.
If everyone got a shot in the vein, it might not be in vain. But as long as a part of the populace refuses to follow medical advice, I suspect you're right; the problem might go on and on and on for a long, long time.
 

MRJ

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I saw some things at the end of last year that I didn't like. Mostly, it had to do with on court demeanor more than anything else. There were a lot of times where there was a distinct lack of fire or attention to detail, especially in passing. And I'm not convinced that's been rectified or addressed in any particular way. I say early round underachievement and therefore an early loss in the NCAAs is a safe bet.
 

4EverAGopher

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Really a very young team and many players need developing. I shake my head many days and wonder how this program got to this point. Too many other teams seem to be more successful in recruiting in the middle, while we have fallen behind on that. Some have caught up to us and others are now passing us in that area.

I want to add that having three back court players leaving/transferring FOR WHATEVER REASONS, has not helped our program. Those players are Cami Appiani, Lauren Barnes and Adanna Rollins.

Shaffmaster needs more developing. This team's success this season IMO totally depends on her success. Like football the offense runs through the Setter....the QB of volleyball.
 
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GibsonSG

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Shaffmaster needs more developing. This team's success this season IMO totally depnds on her success. Like football the offense runs through the Setter the QB of volleyball.
Unfortunately, Shaffmaster has a long ways to go to try and reach Seliger-Swenson's level. Hopefully there will be noticeable improvement over the season.

It might be good for the Gophers to enter a tournament in the underdog role instead of the high seed for a change.
 



MplsGopher

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Didn't watch the game last night, assumed they would win 3-0 over an inferior TCU team.

Baylor game: on one hand, it was disappointing to go down 1-3 and especially the one set we were blown out, but on the other hand we did blow them out the set we won and the first and last were very close. Could've easily won 3-1.


But then Wisc smashes Baylor yesterday. At least at the moment, there is a clear gap between the elite teams and where the Gophers/Baylor are at, probably one step down within the top 10/15.


Will be interesting to see the Texas game and what they bring.

Could be Wisc vs Texas in the final this fall. In which case, I hope Wisc loses yet again.
 

MplsGopher

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Unfortunately, Shaffmaster has a long ways to go to try and reach Seliger-Swenson's level. Hopefully there will be noticeable improvement over the season.

It might be good for the Gophers to enter a tournament in the underdog role instead of the high seed for a change.
At least the connections with the middles looked much better, to me, in the Baylor game.

We just don't have the firepower at middle like we did with Pittman and Morgan.
 

4EverAGopher

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I truly feel the Gopher volleyball recruiting has slipped and could be slipping more.

When it comes to the setter position, McMen (our backup setter who really doesn't play unless absolutely needed) is a Senior and, as of now, there is no other setter that has been recruited for next season either....I know I'm concerned.

IMO Shaffmaster needs to make HUGE STRIDES this season in her development. Good or bad Hugh has his starters and that is his MO to always play and develop them.

Pittman had an outstanding Junior year and would have her senior year but struggled in many matches trying to connect with Shaffmaster. By the end of the season, a slight progress had been made, but the results were no where close to her Junior year stats.

We don't have the depth at all the positions like we use to.....that's for sure.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I truly feel the Gopher volleyball recruiting has slipped and could be slipping more.

When it comes to the setter position, McMen (our backup setter who really doesn't play unless absolutely needed) is a Senior and, as of now, there is no other setter that has been recruited for next season either....I know I'm concerned.

IMO Shaffmaster needs to make HUGE STRIDES this season in her development. Good or bad Hugh has his starters and that is his MO to always play and develop them.

Pittman had an outstanding Junior year and would have her senior year but struggled in many matches trying to connect with Shaffmaster. By the end of the season, a slight progress had been made, but the results were no where close to her Junior year stats.

We don't have the depth at all the positions like we use to.....that's for sure.
Uh, I think Shaffmaster was one of the highest nationally recruited setters… in years and years. I think she committed to the Gophers 4-5-6 years ago.

I mean, I strongly believe that in McCutchen’s mind, this is her era, it is HER team whether we like it or not. I admit, I am biased, I think she is good. Maybe not SSS good yet, but definitely good enough to win games and with likelihood of more improvement.
 

MRJ

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I feel like the recruiting has been stellar with outsides, but the program hasn't put much emphasis on getting good passers and middles in recent years. Either that or they're simply striking out with them.

At this point, I'm not convinced this team will be worthy of a national seed, much less a top eight. Still a long ways to go, but this team looks very flawed.
 
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MplsGopher

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Uh, I think Shaffmaster was one of the highest nationally recruited setters… in years and years.
I believe she was top 15. Definitely not top 5. We got two of those ... Landfair and Wenaas.

If you're saying that no setter has been ranked that high in years and years, I'm sure that's wrong. If you're saying that's the highest setter we've gotten in years and year ... I'm not even sure that's correct either. What was SSS ranked?
 

MplsGopher

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Still a long ways to go, but this team looks very flawed.
That might be overdoing it a bit.

CC made some really nice plays against Baylor, and I feel like that was something we missed from her last year at times.

The middle play is what will sink us, if there is something, which is a refreshing from what is typically a lack of passing/defense that sinks us.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I believe she was top 15. Definitely not top 5. We got two of those ... Landfair and Wenaas.

If you're saying that no setter has been ranked that high in years and years, I'm sure that's wrong. If you're saying that's the highest setter we've gotten in years and year ... I'm not even sure that's correct either. What was SSS ranked?
I am saying no “setter”. I may be wrong. But let’s be honest, the rankings are heavily tilted towards the stone-cold-killers… not setters.
 

4EverAGopher

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I feel like the recruiting has been stellar with outsides, but the program hasn't put much emphasis on getting good passers and middles in recent years. Either that or they're simply striking out with them.

At this point, I'm not convinced this team will be worthy of a national seed, much less a top eight. Still a long ways to go, but this team looks very flawed.
I agree and look at Hugh's recruiting the most successful in the pins. All you need to do is look at Santana, Wilhite and now Samedy's with her USA/Pro career to take off after graduation. When he came on board, Hugh inherited a very good all around team that had played club volleyball together before becoming Gophers. And, of course, led by one of the most natural setters in Gopher history known as SSS.

Yes Hugh has been very successful in developing players. Look at Hart, Pittman, Morgan, Rosado and the Tapps to name a few. Once again, most of them have been net players. But that success has not been transferred to his back court recruits. Sure Rosado definitely improved her game under Hugh, but has not become a world class Libero. Example: Look at JWO for the USA at the Olympics this year.....OUTSTANDING!!!!!

Unfortunately, I just do not feel this team will see the top 10 by the end of the season. Injuries and health keep plaguing this team along with much needed development in many many positions. Yes we have outstanding people who have big hearts, but a Natty does not come that easy. Remember it can take 3-4 years for a player to develop their true talent.
 

MRJ

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That might be overdoing it a bit.

CC made some really nice plays against Baylor, and I feel like that was something we missed from her last year at times.

The middle play is what will sink us, if there is something, which is a refreshing from what is typically a lack of passing/defense that sinks us.
I'm not somebody who finds different weaknesses from earlier years refreshing. In fact, I don't find weaknesses in any area refreshing. But I understand your point.

I still think they're going to be good, just not at an elite level like past teams. If they prove me wrong, I'll be thrilled. But they've established a pattern of shrinking in big moments against good teams in recent years and I don't see that changing, regardless of where the deficiencies are within the team.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I'm not somebody who finds different weaknesses from earlier years refreshing. In fact, I don't find weaknesses in any area refreshing. But I understand your point.

I still think they're going to be good, just not at an elite level like past teams. If they prove me wrong, I'll be thrilled. But they've established a pattern of shrinking in big moments against good teams in recent years and I don't see that changing, regardless of where the deficiencies are within the team.

Mark me down as predicting they will finish somewhere between 4th and 12th nationally and between 2nd and 5th in the Big Ten. If so, not bad.
 




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