Minnesota volleyball mid-match notes

Minnesota saw plenty of success offensively in the first two sets, hitting .415 as a team to win both sets by the score of 25-20. Kyla Roehrig collected 10 kills, while Brook Dieter and Lauren Gibbemeyer added nine apiece. After starting a little slow, Minnesota shored up the defense to collect 26 digs, but still allowed TCU to hit .258, a higher percentage than expected against the Gophers. Krista has the rest of the analysis. Daily: How have the Gophers done so far, closing out the block on the right side? Krista Chin: The Gophers have done a decent job of closing the block on the right side. However, it may not be sufficient against teams like Penn State and Wisconsin. As a blocker, it is important to keep your eyes on the hitter. If you watch Rachel Hartmann or Pamela Luiz, you will notice they follow a pattern while blocking. This pattern goes as follows: watch the pass, the hitter, the setter, and the hitter again. TCU seems to be moving the ball around quite a bit on the left side, hitting down the line and hitting cross-court. This is forcing the Minnesota block to become more disciplined. They are, however, getting numerous touches on the ball and allowing the back court to make adjustments. Daily: TCU hasnâÄôt been able to stop Lauren Gibbemeyer so far, as the GophersâÄô middle blocker has hit .900 with 9 kills so far. What have you seen from her? How does TCU try to contain her in the third set? Chin: With Lauren Gibbemeyer, the only words that come to mind are “competitive” and “fearless.” The Gophers were struggling a bit with both offense and defense. Just by looking in GibbemeyerâÄôs eyes, it was obvious she was not going to allow the Gophers to give up a set. She has been unstoppable on her deadliest weapon, the slide, and I have not seen any adjustments from TCU thus far. In the third set, TCU needs to take away her slide. Most of her slide kills have been cross-court hits. If TCU wants to stop her, they need to take away that cross-court hit. The blockers could start at the pin (antennae on either side of the court) and act as though they are blocking line, and at the last minute dive into the court. Daily: Today’s “Question of the Day” comes from Steve F. from Worcester Mass. Remember, you can ask the “Question of the Day” by sending an email to [email protected], subject line “Question of the Day” “In one of your more recent posts at the MN Daily website you commented: “Minnesota will, of course, continue to work on the passing, serving and receiving of serve that has already shown marked improvement so far this season.” Unless I am vastly mistaken, these fundamentals of the game ought to be fairly developed at the college level. Thus I must wonder if you were simply put upon to fill a word count requirement, or if this implies that the no. 8 ranking that the Gophers have achieved in the latest AVCA poll indicates that this is a ‘soft’ ranking, and that the Gophers will soon fall back to earth once Big Ten play begins?” Steve Worcester, MA Daily: Steve, you are right, these fundamentals should be, and are, well developed at this level. However, these athletes also have a high level of expectations set on their passing, and when facing stronger competition, passing well isnâÄôt an easy task. What I didnâÄôt include in my article to explain that statement, is the fact that coaches grade a teamâÄôs passing on a 3-point scale. Krista can explain this better, but basically a 3.0 is classified as a âÄúperfect pass.âÄù Coach Mike Hebert explained that Minnesota is averaging 2.2 right now, and would like to be at around a 2.3. That said, here’s Krista to explain in more detail. Chin: Many coaches instill a passing scale in practice in order to increase the competition between the players or even help determine the starters for the approaching competition. A âÄúperfect passâÄù is when the setter does not have to move one step. The ball is passed near the top of the tape, and the setter is able to jump-set and distribute the ball to any of her four options (three front row and one back row). This would be marked as a 3.0 pass. A 2.0 pass is where the setter makes a few steps to the ball, yet it is still passed within the ten meter line. In this situation, a setter is generally still capable of setting to her four options, but it may not be as discrete. A 1.0 pass is a ball that is a good distance from the net or is a line drive to the setterâÄôs head. Typically, a pass this far off the net would leave one or two options open, thereby allowing the other team to make immediate adjustments with their block. Lastly, an ace or a pass that does not go within the vicinity of the court is a zero. Head Coach Mike Hebert would like the passing average to be around a 2.3. This would require the main passers (the libero and defensive specialists) to pass near a 2.4.-2.6. A team average of 2.3 is very good for a team who is looking to compete with the top teams in the country. Daily: So no, we do not expect to see Minnesota fall once the Big Ten season begins. The Gophers have the talent and are already one of the top teams in the country.