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?
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
Caitlyn Cooper, OPP
Leah Edmond, OH
Leah Meyer, MB
Madisen Skinner, OH, Fr.
Reagan Rutherford, RS, Fr.
Sophie Fischer, OH, Fr.
Bella Bell, MB, Redshirt Fr.
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!
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!