New year, new title: US NCAA 2020 Women's VB Season

  • KENTUCKY WILDCATS


    This is, and always has been, one of the most under-the-radar, near-elite teams in the NCAA: especially in recent seasons. They often seem to be on the very cusp of a breakthrough into a Final Four...and yet fall short of "the dance" every time. The current squad seems fairly formidable: BUT, they lost OH Leah Edmond...4x AVCA All-American: 2x First Team (2017, 2019); 2018 2nd-team; 3rd team 2016; + 2x SEC Player of the Year...so, how will they fare now?



    PROJECTED STARTERS


    Alli Stumler, Outside Hitter, Junior: 2019 Third-Team All American


    Madisen Skinner, OH, Freshman


    Reagan Rutherford, Right Side, Freshman - OR - Azhani Tealer, OPP, Sophomore


    Kendyl Paris, Middle Blocker, Senior


    Madison Lilley, Setter, Senior: three time AVCA Second Team AA; '17 SEC FOY


    Gabby Goddard, MB, Junior


    Gabby Curry, Libero, Senior: 2019 HM AA



    KEY DEPARTURES


    Caitlyn Cooper, OPP


    Leah Edmond, OH


    Leah Meyer, MB



    KEY ADDITIONS


    Madisen Skinner, OH, Fr.


    Reagan Rutherford, RS, Fr.


    Sophie Fischer, OH, Fr.


    Bella Bell, MB, Redshirt Fr.



    BRIEF SYNOPSIS


    Well Let's go orange , here you go! I had to dig up around 5 different sources to be able to mix-and-match the preview together. Learned quite a lot about the program...which I enjoyed...so, happy to have done so! The biggest takeaway I got is that they'll have 3 new starters; perhaps 2 being Frosh. In losing a four-time AA....Edmond...both Stumler and (maybe) M. Skinner will have huge shoes to fill! Rutherford may end up being the RS; Fischer is a potential wildcard.




  • Thank you very much!:D


    Yes it such a shame they always fail when it matters the most:( I think a big reason for that is that SEC isn't the strongest Conference. The only real rival is Florida. In this way they play against teams in the NCAA tournament who faced better teams for a whole season, so they are better prepared than Kentucky...

    Last year was their big shot to reach the final 4 IMO. Unfortunately Curry had one of her worst matches against Washington, so their serve reception wasn't good. In this way Lilley couldn't play her fast game and she became to predictable...


    For next year I hope Skinner can do a good job. Most important is she has to receive on a decent level, so Lilley can play her fast game. The one playing on the right side has to take over Edmond role and scoring the most points for the team. They will for sure suffer from the loss of Edmond, but with one of the fastest system in the country they can upset some teams!

  • A program I really like, despite they struggles to get into the Sweet Sixteen, is Missouri. Joshua Taylor and Molly Kreklow create a huge appeal for the Grizzles, since they are both former elite NCAA and pro players.

  • I have a sad feeling there will not be any NCAA matches this year. With many states having increased COVID numbers and let alone the travel required to play across state lines.


    We are basically 2 months from the season starting this week.


    Yes, things are fluid but if players cannot safely travel, eat and stay in a hotel for 2.5 months on the road and at home, chances are going to be low for a complete season.

  • Thank you very much!:D


    Yes it such a shame they always fail when it matters the most:( I think a big reason for that is that SEC isn't the strongest Conference. The only real rival is Florida. In this way they play against teams in the NCAA tournament who faced better teams for a whole season, so they are better prepared than Kentucky...

    I agree. The Southeastern Conference has Always Been an enigma as far as the NCAA Tournament. Florida has made the FF eight times (two title matches + 6 Semifinals); LSU 2 semis; Tennessee one semi. No national championships in the 39-year history of the tourney. Concerning Covid & the season? Who knows?

  • I agree. The Southeastern Conference has Always been an enigma as far as the NCAA Tournament. Florida has made the FF eight times (two title matches + 6 Semifinals); LSU 2 semis; Tennessee one semi. No national championships in the 39-year history of the tourney. Concerning Covid & the season? Who knows?

    Also: I think, eventually, Kentucky will make it to a FF. Concurrent with that I feel that the SEC (most likely Florida and Mary Wise) will finally win a national title.

    I mean...for nearly10years..."experts" said Stanford couldn't win!

    There is always a chance for "a first time". Let's go orange :thumbup:8)

  • Also: I think, eventually, Kentucky will make it to a FF. Concurrent with that I feel that the SEC (most likely Florida and Mary Wise) will finally win a national title.

    I mean...for nearly10years...experts" said Stanford couldn't win!

    There is always a chance for "a first time". Let's go orange :thumbup:8)

    Yes probably Florida would have the biggest chance from the teams in SEC. Last couple of years Florida had and have some talented players like Monzeres, Hall, Hammons, Kramer, Snyder, Alhassan and Knop.

  • I heard a rumor awhile back that Melanie Parra (MEX) will be playing for Texas, is it true?


    She was only 16 at the 2018 World Championship, but made a name for herself then. Definitely a rising talent to keep an eye on.

    Looks like Melanie Parra will join Texas after all. Nice to see her in NCAA and really good replacement for White!:cheesy:


    https://m.facebook.com/watch/?v=551746858827184&_rdr

  • Looks like Melanie Parra will join Texas after all. Nice to see her in NCAA and really good replacement for White!:cheesy:


    https://m.facebook.com/watch/?v=551746858827184&_rdr

    I think that one word misspelled in that post was supposed to be "speculation", not spectative. Been combing the UT info sites: no official announcement yet


    I researched online dictionaries + every Texas site: there is no such word in English. Feel they could've meant "expectation", not speculation. Nothing firm yet.

  • MISSOURI TIGERS


    This is a program, much like Kentucky's, which has somewhat emerged as a near-elite team in recent years. They gave Nebraska a very good fight in the 2nd round of the NCAA tourney in 2019: losing 1-3 (25-20, 20-25, 30-32, 18-25). Quite a barnburner in Set three! They lose Kayla Caffey, Riley Sents & Sun Wenting from the '19 squad, yet they have a widely/well-spaced out roster for 2020. One top returner to watch for is Junior OH Leketor Member-Meneh.



    PROJECTED STARTERS


    Kiley Deberg, Outside Hitter, Senior; 2019 AVCA Second Team A-A


    Claudia Dillon, Middle Blocker, Soph.


    Leandra Mangual-Duran, L, Soph.


    Andrea Fuentes, Setter, R-Junior


    Dariana Hollingsworth, OPP, Sr.


    Leketor Member-Meneh, OH, Sr.


    Tyanna Omazic, MB, Sr.



    KEY DEPARTURES


    Sun Wenting, OH, Sr.


    Katie Turner, DS, Soph.


    Riley Sents, Libero, Sr.


    Brynn Paumen, MB, Junior


    Kayla Caffey, MB, R-Jr.



    KEY ADDITIONS


    Emily Brown, DS, Fr.


    Anna D'Cruz, MB, R-Jr. (UAB transfer)


    Anna Dixon, OH, Soph. (transfer from KSU)


    Erin Williamson, L/DS, R-Soph. (transfer from Arizona)



    BRIEF SYNOPSIS


    Lotta offense, not much D (worst defensive team in the SEC; lost their best blocker to a suspension/transfer; graduated the Senior L). Offensively look to Omazic, Member-Meneh, Hollingworth and Deberg for their top firepower. The Tiger program is in a coaching transition. Prediction? Middle of SEC.


    EDIT: in doing this piece I admit that I really overlooked the past accomplishments and potential of Kiley Deberg. Look for her to be a mainstay in '20.








  • HAWAII RAINBOW (NA) WAHINE


    Now, most non-UH fans usually do not understand why Hawaiians often refer to their women's teams as "Na Wahine". In the Hawaiian language, "na" is a descriptive collective adjective referring to the group of athletes as a whole: as one single group entity (not as individuals). It's a local-native thing here.


    Okay, linguistics lesson aside...this is a program that was once one of the premiere, elite teams in the early years of NCAAs. Under their first coach, Dave Shoji, they won four National titles (3 NCAA & 1 AIWA). Theyreally have not been as relevant of a program for the past 10-15 years/ since I have been here this past decade. The Hawai'i fanbase is one of the most passionate, loyal, stuck-in-the-past ones in the US. Robyn Ah Mow took over when Shoji retired.


    What will 2020 hold as Coach RAM resuscitates this program?



    PROJECTED LINEUP (* Returning Starters)


    *Hanna Hellvig, RS, Sophomore


    Kyra Hanawahine, L, Senior


    *Amber Iglede, MB, Soph.


    Kate Lang, Setter, Freshman


    *Jolie Rasmussen, OH, R-Sr.


    *Brooke Van Sickle, OH, Sr.


    *Skyler Williams, MB, Senior



    KEY DEPARTURES


    Kirsten Sibley, OH


    *McKenna Ross, OH


    *Rika Okino, Libero


    Kamalei Krug, MB (indoor-VB retired)


    *Norene Iosia, S


    Bailey Choy, Setter



    KEY ADDITIONS


    Mylana Byrd, S, Jr. (transfer)


    Anna Kiraly, MB, Freshman


    Kate Lang, Setter, Fr.


    Sienna Springborn, MB, Fr.



    BRIEF SYNOPSIS


    NO returning Setter or Libero will be the number one question marks/ potential Achilles' Heels for this otherwise deep, talented squad. The team lost two of their major offensive pieces for much of 2019 when both Van Sickle and Rasmussen went down with lengthy injuries. They returned in time to:

    finish 26-4; win the Big West conference (14-2); and make the NCAA Tournament...losing to Nebraska 0-3 in a Regional Semi. The main strength of this group will be the pin hitters (OH and OPP), with Swede Hanna Hellvig, Jolie Rasmussen, + Brooke Van Sickle starring (if healthy). Hanawahine probably will start at Libero; Lang begins at Setter: with Byrd waiting-in-the-wings if necessary. The MBs are solid/not spectacular. Floor defense is an unknown


    Their conference was the seventh best in the NCAA in '19. Wahine fans live in past glories, hoping for a return. Prediction? Win BW; 2nd round NCAAs.