Post by rampageripster on Dec 8, 2022 15:32:26 GMT -5
I mean, it simply comes down to whether the Nuts can get the ball to Londot OOS and Gonzalez/Moore IS. That's the blueprint. Throw in competitive serve receive and Murr playing as well as she did today and the Nuts can go toe to toe with ANYONE.
One time VT god (per notsocal2), 2015 VT King Turkey, 2016 & 2017 1st Team All-VT
Class of 2011, THE Ohio State University
I like the Buckeyes... and gifs... but mostly the Buckeyes
Going to try to sum up my feelings on the game in one post.
Yeah, this was a tough end to the year. We've had a few key weak spots the whole year (aside from general inconsistency). Serving is a disadvantage. Our back row has really struggled, especially on tips. Other than a few key standout matches, we've had trouble getting back into games yet not nearly as much trouble blowing leads. We haven't put Shaffmaster in a good position to run an offense. We've gotten a bit antsy around the net (remember the Wisconsin loss where Booth had two violations in the last couple of points). We've had trouble keeping the energy up on the court as well. We haven't done a great job of closing the block on faster sets, and we almost never see more than two hands up in the middle. Almost all of this showed up today- credit to an excellent Ohio State team for finding and exploiting these weaknesses. While I planned the trip to see the Gophers vs Texas, I am really excited to see what this Buckeye team can do.
I absolutely don't think we should look back on this year as a complete failure, even though we never quite got it together (aside from those two games at the end of conference play). Two big reasons why are culture and player development. The sport as a whole has grown tremendously, and our fanbase is growing with it. We've got a lot of work to do to sell out the Pav—and I don't just mean a technical sellout, I mean look like a sell out on TV. But I think we're moving in that direction. As far as player development, we have to remember that this is a fairly young team. We've got great young talent and some mid-career players who are going to develop to be tremendous leaders on and off the court. Of course I wish our record and playoff run were better, but the team gained a lot from this year.
Now, looking ahead to next year... saying there's some uncertainty would be the understatement of the century. We don't know who our coach is going to be, and we don't know what our team is going to look like after the transfer portal. But there's good reason to believe most of our key players will stay, and the fact that we've been able to get high profile recruits after Hugh announced his stepping down is super promising. As a reminder, we will be losing (please correct me if I'm missing anyone):
CC McGraw. Of course, she's a culture leader and is a huge loss to this program. However, we all know she struggled a lot this year (playing as much as she has takes a toll on the body) and maybe this opening could help us find some new young talent. Naya Gros. I really wish we got to see more of her later in the year, she brought some great energy to the game. I especially think we should have used her more today. That said, we have great talent at middle in Booth and Davis, so I think the future is bright at that position. Rachel Kilkelly. To be honest, I think Kilkelly is going to be the biggest loss. Between her serve and picking up our back row, she was a bit of an unsung hero for many games out of the year. She absolutely had some issues around consistency, but I still believe her spot will be one of the tougher ones to fill. Miranda Wucherer. Her playing here was largely part of the family deal, she had four assists in some key moments but was not a consistent contributor. Ellie Husemann. She barely played this year because of our young talent at middle.
(I hope none of this comes across negatively, I love all of our seniors and am so grateful for everything they contributed to this program). With that said, I don't think there is any reason to worry about the future of Gopher volleyball.
Ski U Mah, and good luck to OSU on Saturday. I'll be cheering you on in Gregory (though in my gopheralls).