Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by BeBe, Oct 8, 2014.
Woohoo! Go CU Volleyball!
:dance: :dance: :dance:
She's got some ups. Seems well coached, too. She gets a big arm swing with great timing to generate power.
Looks like CU is doing some big time recruiting.
Wow- Ms. Dorrell does look impressive in that video, both physically and technically.
As we're talking 2016 recruits, I don't this has been mentioned yet- we also received one from Arizona a bit ago- Outside Hitter Justine Spann ( http://ctownrivals.com/2014/08/07/bashas-justine-spann-commits-to-colorado/) It's going to be interesting for me to see how she's utilized at CU, as she's currently “only” 5'8". Of course, as with basketball, there are some athletes who are able to overcome being shorter than the norm, especially if the athlete has a high, quick jump, a strong arm, and a good volleyball IQ. I know fans usually find these shorter players (current ones include 5’8” Cassie Strickland at #3 Washington and 5’7” Demi Morales with last year’s NCAA finalist Wisconsin) fun to watch to see how they work the blockers with power and guile given their height disadvantage.
(Off the top of my head, re memorable shorter Buffs of history, one of the favorite players I’ve gotten to see live since I’ve followed Buffs volleyball was 5’10 outside hitter Amber Sutherland (2004-2008). And, although it’s going back a bit, probably the most famous Buff volleyballer (much due to a successful beach volleyball career, with a little modeling thrown in), is probably 5’8” Rachel Wacholder (now Scott, 1993-1996), who is still 3rd in all-time kills for the Buffs.)
Anyway, a couple notes on Ms. Spann-
1) One thing that's positive to me (by association), is that the article I linked to above says USC had already offered her as a freshmen. Their coach is considered one of the top recruiters in the country, and usually gets his choice of recruits (I believe they may have the #1 ranked class for 2015), so if the Trojans thought highly of her, it’s a little extra verification (in addition of course to the Buffs offering) that she has skills and potential.
2) Per stats on Maxpreps.com (http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/basha-bears-(chandler,az)/volleyball/stats.htm ), looks like her team is ranked #12 in Arizona, so must be pretty good. And, as a junior, she's the dominant hitter on the team, averaging 5.1 kills/ set (hitting ~.350). She's also 2nd on the team in digs, so could provide 6 rotation, as well as pure back row support if needed, versatility.
3) (Edit)- Re volleyball IQ, it looks like her mom is the coach at her high school, so hopefully Justine has the stereotypical "Coach's son/ daugher" sports IQ. (Per another article I found regarding her mom when she took over this coaching job, "Spann was an assistant at Arizona State and Texas Tech. She also was a standout player at ASU and earned all-conference honors in college. ...".)
Welcome to both Ms. Dorrell and Ms. Spann!
To Aztec's point on shorter players, Arizona had someone playing the middle like that. She played well for them in the loss to CU. She may have been a Setter, but the girl could play. Snuka?
Love the way we are trending in vb. we should be able to pull our share of players out of SoCal especially now we are in the pac 12. Lotta really really good players concentrated in LA.
Yep, Snuka is a 5'6" setter for AZ, and is averaging .53 blocks per set, a very respectable number for any non-middle. (Our best non-middle blocker statistically so far this year is Alexis Austin at 0.64/set, so for someone 5'6" to be close to that is very impressive.) I know the setter we also just saw with ASU, Arellano, is also a decent blocker, and is only 5'8".
(I appreciate these shorter players a lot. With the height teams like the Buffs and the rest of the top teams have, let alone a few player's like one of Stanford's middles who is 6'8" (Lutz), I'd just look across the net before the match and probably walk off the court shaking my head, never to play again. Of course, that's probably one of the reasons I s*****d at sports.)
I think it's vital for the program to add Sand Volleyball as a varsity sport at CU. It's going to become harder to keep up with recruiting, coaching and player development without that. Really tying one arm behind our backs if we're last to that party.
Sand Volleyball is up to 6 full rid scholarships next year. Without looking into it, I am assuming the sand pairs are made up mostly of indoor players? So maybe it doesn't eat up a bunch of money to add it, other than travel cost and building a sand court? Not yet a NCAA sport, but looks to be growing that way. Would definitely like to see us add.
Is there a thread where all the volleyball recruiting info is stored? It seems there have been a number of verbal commitments I have missed and would to see a list of all of them in one place.
I was thinking, especially with early signing day coming up pretty soon (November 12- for all CU sports but football and soccer), it might be fun to set up a dedicated thread for recruiting news on all the Olympic sports, especially for the 2015's who will officially become "Buffs in waiting" at that point. Maybe I'll try at least starting that, assuming one of the mods doesn't.
Until then, I think you'll find this thread is all that's been discussed for 2016 recruits, while you can go to http://www.allbuffs.com/showthread.php/101420-Buffs-Host-Pair-Of-Ranked-Opponents/page4 to see discussion start on next year's/ 2015 volleyball Buffs.
Edit- the bare essentials of the recruits we know about so far who will be coming next year referenced in the thread I'm pointing to above (Of course, everything's verbal at this point, so none of these are official, and could I assume change their minds):
Taylor Joachim, a 6'4" rightside hitter from Michigan
Brianna Karsseboom, 5'10" or 5'11" outside hitter from the East Bay of Northern California.
Aiden Lea, a 6'5" or 6'6" middle from Kelowna, British Columbia
Naghede Abu from the Inland Empire of Southern California. a 6'3" or 6'4" middle blocker.
Some rambling thoughts by me- re recruiting and sand. As always, my “facts” and opinions are worth what’s been paid for them (a big $0), so appreciate any corrections and differing opinions. (The main point of this post is probably that I really need to get a life.)
1[SUP]st[/SUP], regarding sand scholarships and SD Buff’s comment (and general considerations re sand)- a couple points I think that should be noted-
1) sand vball is what I believe is called an equivalency scholarship sport, so colleges can give kids partial scholarships, spreading out the funding value = to six full scholarships to MORE than six student athletes. In other sports with this approach, I believe most athletes generally end up only receiving partials, so it could be assumed that most sand players will end up getting at least some scholarship funding. (Per one search I did, football, men and women's basketball, and women's gymnastics, (indoor) volleyball, and tennis are the only sports which only allow student athletes to receive full scholarships.)
2) And, one important thing to note-to avoid schools using sand scholarships to help the indoor team, the NCAA says sand scholarship players may NOT play on the indoor team.
Re recruiting in general- I was originally with some of you that, when CU joined the Pac 12, that we might become “SoCal east”, with the bulk of our players having to be from there to be competitive. However, that doesn’t seem to have happened (although we do have 3 now, and it will be 4 with another coming in next year). I don’t know if we’ll ever NEED to go beyond that level of SoCal players, and it seems to be panning out OK.
(Of course, we’re talking about a relatively small # of athletes here. If there is a group of septuplets out in SoCal who will end up tieing for being #1 recruit in the country in a few years ratings, and they all want to come to the Buffs- I’m fine with the roster being close to 100% from SoCal.)
A few things re recruiting I see/ think:
1) I think INDOOR volleyball is pretty much a national/ international sport at the high school level (heck- looks like next year one of our athletes may be from Canada), with talent spread around the country/ world. (Just one example I can give quick- Maxpreps.com has a weekly (???) “Top 25” high school team ranking. This week, only one SoCal school is listed, and that’s at #25.) Given that width of talent, I’m thinking the Buffs might generally have more of a competitive advantage recruiting kids from OTHER areas of the country. I’m thinking this based on:
a. The Pac 12 is THE destination conference for volleyball (although the Big 10 is close), and that should/ could have allure for top level nationwide recruits (think SEC for football, or the ACC, at least traditionally, for men’s basketball) who want to compete with the best. This could/ should become even more so as we show we are competitive to, and then hopefully one of the top teams, in the conference.
In addition, the Pac 12 Network and live streaming availability (best in the country) makes it I assume awesome for families who, this year for example, could be able to watch every (???) conference game CU has played and still are due to play this year.
b. In addition, we’re a little closer to the heartlands, with Boulder having more of a (GREAT/ THE BEST) heartlands college town vibe to it, which might appeal to some mid-westerners, Texans, etc. who want to play in the Pac, but don’t want to live in big cities or duller college towns (Corvallis, Pullman, etc.).
c. And, then of course, it’s also about recruiting our state. We of course are already well represented, with five of our main contributors being Coloradoans, 3 of whom were highly rated out of high school (N. Edelman, T. and G. Simpson). I’m definitely not a believer in the infallibility of rating services. (I don’t believe A. Pfefferle was rated at all, and based on stats and my “eye test” is already looking like she has the potential to become an all-time CU great middle blocker. And, last year, I don’t think teams nationwide thought of C. Simpson in terms of being a potential great defensive only player/ Libero, so she was probably evaluated lower than she would now be seen.) However, if we want to look at rankings, I believe the state of Colorado has had at minimum a total of 4 prepvolleyball.com Top 10 “Senior Aces” over the last 4 years (2011-2014 HS graduates), and none have chosen CU. So, hopefully, as we show we can compete at a high level, some local Top 10’s and some more top 50’s who like home cooking will decide to stay close to home. (This year, prepvolleyball.com, a pay site, did publish their Top 10 as a marketing tool here (http://volleytalk.proboards.com/thread/55027/senior-aces-2015-100-posted?page=14 ), and Colorado and California were the only states with two players graduating high school this year ranked in the top 10.
Note- of the 4 Top 10 Coloradoan’s I know of the last few years, 2 are setters, and since we’ve already got 2 VERY good to great in-state setters, I can’t complain with us not being able to land those 2 Top 10’s.)
Re adding Sand, I also found some things about that. (I should start by saying I’m all for adding sand Vball to CU for its own sake. I have many pleasant memories going to professional tournaments when I lived in SoCal in my 20’s, as well as going to a few AVP tournaments when they came to Boulder some years ago.) Anyway:
d. I found an article in Volleyball Magazine (http://www.volleyballmag.com/articles/43289-season-three), and they think as the sand sport gets more serious, it will get SO serious that NO (or hardly any?) indoor player will be able to compete with sand only players who train year-around in the sand, so the two types of volleyball will end up being TOTALLY separate within universities that have both. If that is true, then I can’t think of a way adding the sand game benefitting the indoor game at all. (Note- the person being quoted in the article is the head of the Coach’s association, so maybe they’re prejudiced in wanting each school to hire at least one dedicated sand coach.) Early on, there has may be even been a case or two where it’s HURT the indoor game in that some of their good players have decided they liked sand more, so have quit the indoor team. (Some USC fans have complained that’s happened at their school.)
This significant skill difference between indoor and sand players playing in the sand has even been shown somewhat in results so far, even with the sport in its infancy. This past year, Stanford and Nebraska, two of, if not the, most athletic and talented indoor teams in the country, were just using their indoor players for the sand season, and neither one came close to competing at the top, losing to teams who’s indoor teams couldn’t win a set against them indoors. Conversely, the teams that ARE taking the sport seriously are offering scholarships and hiring separate coaches, which will I assume become even more prevalent (including at Stanford and Nebraska) when the sport becomes official. (To become an official championship sport, as I understand it, you need to have at least 40 schools start playing, which happened last year for sand. After that, if they then keep that 40 number competing for at least 2 years, they can petition the NCAA for official championship status. So, the guess is the sand vball sport will become official in 2016.)
I guess CU could be an outlier and start and continue to treat sand as mainly a training and recruiting tool for indoor players who also like the sand game, but I don’t know if fans or administration, let alone hyper-competitive division one athletes, would want to do this if, year after year, we’re getting destroyed by the “serious” schools.
e. The 1[SUP]st[/SUP] 3 champions of the unofficially sanctioned sand sport so far have been Long Beach State, Pepperdine and USC, and all (six) schools who went to the “Final” tournament last year were from warm weather schools. Unlike indoor, I’m assuming the bulk of sand recruits, at least until a lot more scholarships and facilities become available for the kids, will come from SoCal, Florida and other beach and/ or warm weather places. I’m therefore somewhat worried the Buffs may always have a (MAJOR???) recruiting disadvantage in recruiting sand only players with our weather, so may just get “leftovers” looking for scholarship money to come to Boulder, and never be competitive. (Would you rather be practicing in an indoor facility throughout what I assume is the main January – March training period, or be at the still relatively mild weather on the SoCal beaches/ outdoor facilities, let alone the warm weather in Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, etc.?)
Note- I looked quick, and of the 45 schools which have started or declared they plan to start sand so far, the only one’s I’d say are not in a warm or at minimum mild weather area are Boise State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington. (And, of course, Oregon and Washington are more mild than the others, just dreary.)
I do want to emphasize I don’t have any crystal ball, so don’t want the above I wrote given back to me in derision in a decade, when the Buffs are (hopefully) 5 time defending NCAA sand champions, and THE destination sand school in the nation!
Here's an interview with Liz Kritza from last year: http://www.buffzone.com/ci_22654797/could-there-be-sand-cus-future
Kritza believes if the Buffs jump on the bandwagon it will help her indoor program keep up with its peers on the recruiting trail and give CU volleyball a better chance to compete in the nation's best and deepest volleyball conference.
"Clearly we want to position ourselves well in the league with our competitive ability, much like we want to do with our announcements about all of the facilities upgrades and the general support we need for our sports to do well in the Pac-12," Kritza said. "I think this goes in line with that thinking. We're at the beginning of the discussion and a lot of pieces have to be put in place, but we're definitely talking about it."
If anyone wants to start a thread for recruiting news, go ahead. I'm graduating in December, so this semester has been kind of crazy for me and haven't had too much time to contribute as I usually do. After that, I should be back to posting like normal.
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