View Full Version : Look What's Left in the Tank

12-09-2007, 01:34 PM
This is a long post, so I'm pasting it in by section. Thanks!


Usually after a magical season and graduating the most decorated Senior class ever, an athletic program has to prepare for the fact that schools in the conference are circling the wagons and licking their chops on next year’s opportunity to seize control of the championship. That’s not the case in the volleyball offices at the University of Dayton. Not only will they be in control of the A-10 conference next year, this program HAS ARRIVED on the national level. We aren’t looking to build a National program anymore… we are looking to sustain one and knocking on the door of a TOP 10 ranking and beyond. Let’s say that one more time, because I still have to pinch myself to know I’m not dreaming… University of Dayton Flyers…. one of the elite volleyball programs in the nation.

It didn’t happen overnight, but I can’t imagine it happening any faster than it did. In fact, I think I read were between Robert Morris and Dayton, nobody comes close to Tim Horsmon’s NCAA record of 8 appearances in his first 9 years. And there is so much more to come. The tank is not empty. In fact, it’s never been more full. AND, we just added three 6’3” hitters to the mix. I just read a post-match quote from Nebraska’s Coach Cook after the Cal loss knocked them out of the tourney. He said something like… “we didn’t perform all the different skills as well as we can tonight. It starts with blocking and defense and build from there…” So I took a really close look at the different areas of skills and here’s my predictions for next year…

12-09-2007, 01:35 PM
We had a very good back row and we will miss Adrienne. We all know how good she was. But we shouldn’t miss a beat as a team. We return Nicole, Kortney, Chelsy and add Rachael B. As a team we averaged.951 which is very good, but I think we go .960 - .970 next year. A lot of returning experience here.
Nicole .965
Kortney .959
Chelsy .954
Adrienne .954
Rachael .952

12-09-2007, 01:36 PM
There will be a big jump in assists because our Hitting % is going way up next year. Erin Schroder will finish her career as A-10 Setter of the Year. Last year she had to work with 4 basically new hitters out of 6 in the main rotation. This coming year that changes. Lindsay, Bethany, Yvonne and Kortney all have experience with Erin. Tiffany and Becky will be added to the mix but they will have a whole off-season to work together. One of the new recruits will be starting college in Jan. (Anna Eytchison). There will be only 2 “new” hitters (Erinn Bickle and Rachel Krabacher) come fall training camp. I also think you will see more diversity in the sets – ie quick sets, low sets, floaters, 5 footers, etc – because we get more athletic. Less predictable and less likely a team can identify tendencies. And I’d like to see a back row attack. Both Tiffany and Becky can jump out of the gym. Sarah Pavan from NE is unbelievable killing the ball from the back row. She gets 2-3 kills from back there every match and you just shake your head. We have the talent to develop this weapon. I also think you will see more success from other people setting the ball. Lindsay, Bethany and Becky are all pretty good setters so I think you’ll see more DESIGNED sets from the Middles. And finally, you might even see a 6-2. With our conference schedule, as much as it might hurt us in RPI, it does give us an opportunity to “try” some new things and to develop younger players.

12-09-2007, 01:36 PM
This is the one area I don’t see a replacement for Jamie-Lee. Right now we don’t have a Nationally Ranked server left on the team who will deliver over.50 SA/G. That said, I’m sure it will be worked on in the off-season, and there are candidates to step up and fill this role. bbyrds pointed out below that he's seen both Tiffany and Yvonne serve quite a bit and thinks we have two excellent candidates to fill J-L's serving performance. Yvonne only served 4 atttempts this season, so its hard to comment on, other than I know this young lady will work very hard in this area to help the team. Tiffany served 43 attempt with a .23 SA/G. Considering she was a freshman and only 43 attempts -- that's actually a pretty good result. Serving is a lot of confidence and reps. If she gets the opportunity to do it more often and game-tapes some opponents and spends time that week practicing the zone placements, she could easily double her results. That's really good news. Having two jump servers in the rotation would be great. I can also see a “team” of servers improving on this year’s team average of 1.94 SA/G. Really good serving teams average over 2. I’m also hopeful Rachael B will step up next year in this area. If memory serves me right, I think she ranks 3rd all-time for service aces in Colorado history. Our candidates and their SA/G include:
Chelsy .33
Erin S .29
Bethany .28
Tiffany .23
Rachael B .14

12-09-2007, 01:37 PM
We will see a major improvement in this area. This was not a strength of ours last year. Mostly that had to do with lack of experience hitting against college blocking teams and it took some time for our setter and hitters to gain experience together. As a team, we had a hitting error on 15.3% of our kill attempts. You want that number to be 10-12% or lower. Too many balls simply went out of bounds. The good news is, aside from the MSU match, we got a lot better towards the end of the year. I was looking at Penn State’s stats from their quarter final game. No one had more than 2 hitting errors – and remember this was against one of the best teams in the country. I remember some matches this year were we had hitters with 8 hitting errors. Penn State had 83 total attempts and only 7 errors – under 10%. There was a time we were over 18% as a team, so we got better as the year progressed. And, when you look at this list, you just know ALL these girls are going to get so much better with a little more experience. All these percentages should drop next year.
Erin 11.5%
Becky 12.5%
Bethany 13.2%
Lindsay 14.2%
Yvonne 16.5%
Mandy 20.0%
Tiffany 21.1%

12-09-2007, 01:37 PM
We will have 3-4 girls hitting over 400 next year. As a team we will hit over 300 and be ranked in the Top 5. Lindsay and Bethany averaged over 400 for the last 12 matches – including MSU. And other than Rhode Island, there were no easy teams in that mix. You look at this list and there is no way ALL these girls aren’t going to get better. Their % of Errors are going to go down (see above) and they are flat out going to get so much better at hitting around and over the blocks and finding the hole on the floor. They are going to get stronger. They are going to hit harder. They are going to learn to hit off-pace which is not the same as a dink. They are going to learn to hit all of these at different angles. Here’s how close we are:
Lindsay .364
Bethany .343
Becky .304
Erin .279
Yvonne .213
Mandy .138
Tiffany .085

12-09-2007, 01:38 PM
As a team I hope we average 17.5+ and are ranked in the Top 5 as a team. And… I hope NONE of our girls are individually ranked in the Top 75. I hope we have such a deep hitting team that Erin just sets what the defense gives us and it’s someone different every match and ALL the hitters take their turn at leading the team in kills for any given match all year long. I hope the MSU match is the last for a long, long time were a team has point runs based on our rotation and who we have on the floor, where. We have the chance to be so DEEP on the front line that a rotation of 5-6 hitters leaves no weak rotation offensively or defensively. That was not the case this year. But with who is returning and the three new recruits, we will be VERY deep in the front line. PLUS, I agree with UDBrian, the MSU outside hitters were very good. Two really talented seniors. My guess is our hitters will spend some time watching that tape and learning both offensively and defensively from it.

12-09-2007, 01:38 PM
My personal favorite… we will LEAD THE NATION IN BLOCKS PER GAME next year. Hated missing out on the Sweet 16, but love the fact our team now has a point of reference on how blocks can dominate a game. Not only did MSU have a great blocking night against us, Penn State as a team is awesome. I hope we get some of their tapes to study, because we have the talent. Blocks score points and also cause major doubt and confusion for hitters – making them second guess and less affective. We experienced some of that against MSU. Next year, our front line will be more athletic. I would bet our “average jumping ability” improves 2-3” per girl on the front line over this year. That’s HUGE when it comes to blocks. How does that happen? Tiffany and Becky - both these girls can jump out of the gym. I think both of them can dunk a volleyball in a basket. We’re going to learn how to put a ROOF on that net – that’s what they call it when the blocker reaches over the net to stop a kill. Red Scare will learn to chant “ROOF, ROOF, ROOF…” I’m sure there will be some kids wearing dog masks to emphasize the point. You only have to look at the MSU match to get a very good visual. I also think the girls will get stronger and more physical. The trainer and weight room just got a lot more in demand. They will not be out-muscled by anyone next year. And you can’t teach height – which will serve us well. I think ALL our front line players will average over 1.0 block per game and 1-2 of them will be over 2.0. That seems almost unheard of – but when you look at the numbers, we are almost there already. Here’s the break out:
Bethany 1.19
Lindsay 1.05
Yvonne 0.77 (50-60% = 1.54)*
Becky 0.46 (15-20% = 2.30)*
Tiffany 0.23 (15-20% = 1.53)*

*In basketball they keep minutes played for each player. I wish they kept “points played per player” for volleyball, but they don’t so I have to guess what percentage of points the girls played. For the most part, none of these girls played in the back row – and you wouldn’t get a block from the back row anyway. So my GUESS is Bethany and Lindsay played 85-90% of the front row points available in their rotation. My guesses for the other girls’ percentage of front row points played are in ( )’s with the blocks per game adjusted as if they played 85-90%. These are GUESSES – but they can’t be too far off. We can be a DOMINATING blocking team next year. The talent is already in house. AND, when you have one talented blocker next to another talented blocker, the combination is even more successful. Robynne Green was a very good blocker. She played less than 50% of the time and still averaged 0.69 b/g. She would have led the team and probably averaged over 1.50 b/g if she had played 85-90%. Bethany and Lindsay’s numbers would have been better too. Blocking is such a combination-thing. The 5 women above are a much stronger blocking team right now than this year’s team – plus they will have an off-season to get even better working side-by-side. We don’t know about the 3 recruits, but since all played Middle in HS – chances are they too were called on to contribute blocking. Then add Erin S. at .41 b/g which is very good for a setter her size. We will be a force at the net defensively and it’s going to be so cool to watch.

12-09-2007, 01:39 PM

SA/G = 2.0+ Top 30 Ranking - somebody steps up!

A/G = 15.5+ Top 15 Ranking - great setters + great hitters = kills & assists, but we also score a bunch off of blocks, which means less assists and thus Top 15 but playing at a Top 5 caliber.

B/G = 4.0+ Number UNO - Total Net Domination across 5-6 hitters – no weak rotation.

D/G = 19.0+ Top 30 Ranking - Our back row is STILL awesome even with Adrienne gone. Again, blocks limit this number.

H% = .300+ Top 5 Ranking - Crank it up girls. The fun is just beginning. The Top 6 H% teams all made it through to the Sweet 16 and all hit 300. TX=.341; Penn State=.338; NE=.330; Stanford=.311; FL=.310; Mid TN=.297. I think the National Champion comes out of this group. If not, the team that wins it will have a hot hitting night.

K/G = 17.5+ Top 5 Ranking - Every girls averages 3+ and nobody can stop 5-6 great hitters. Pick your poison.

ELITE 8 or Beyond! (Beyond is good! It’s all good! LOL) We want to be a Nationally Prominent Program, it starts with Top Rankings in every skill phase of the game. These are the numbers we shoot for.

ONE MORE THING: Dayton can finish no worse than #2 Nationally in Win-Loss Percetnage this year. If Stanford wins it all, Dayton and Stanford will have identical 33-2 records. If Penn State wins it all they will be 34-2 and Dayton will be 2nd at 33-2. Cal or USC win, Dayton finishes all alone in this category at #1. I guess we should back Stanford, but I think PSU wins it all.

Chris R
12-09-2007, 02:36 PM
XTA you are without a doubt a bonafide SuperFan.

12-09-2007, 09:04 PM
This is the one area I don’t see a replacement for Jamie-Lee. Right now we don’t have a Nationally Ranked server left on the team who will deliver over.50 SA/G. That said, I’m sure it will be worked on in the off-season, and there are candidates to step up and fill this role. I can also see a “team” of servers improving on this year’s team average of 1.94 SA/G. Really good serving teams average over 2. Right now I know of no strong Jump Server in our mix, but there is the off-season to find/develop one. I’m also hopeful Rachael B will step up next year in this area. If memory serves me right, I think she ranks 3rd all-time for service aces in Colorado history. Our candidates and their SA/G include:
Chelsy .33
Erin S .29
Bethany .28
Tiffany .23
Rachael B .14

I would disagree with only this sentiment. Obviously, I am a big JLR fan but she can and will be replaced in Aces. Last year she was not allowed to jump serve very often. She rapidly improved in the off season. As a result of her efforts, you all saw how she improved. I saw Yvonne and Tiffany alot this year and I would not be surprised to see either one of those two lead the team in Aces. They have to work hard and earn the coaches confidence and also thier own.
I am sure that TH will have this team firing on all cynliders next year. I look forward to next year already.

Avid Flyer
12-09-2007, 09:14 PM
Well not only is it left in the tank but its super premium to boot. No low octane here.

12-10-2007, 09:31 AM
I agree with you bbyrds -- every stone will be turned over in a search to replace J-L's serve and as was evident in the off-season between the last two years, TH pushed the girls to improve the team's serving. Im sure it will be emphasized again this off-season, especially since J-L will be gone.

I missed Tiffany's stats - my mistake - but ya gotta love it just adds more to the tank. Tiffany only served 43 times this last year and had .23 SA/G. Considering she was a freshman and only 43 attempts -- that's actually a pretty darn good number. If she gets the opportunity to do it more often and builds confidence - maybe actually game-tapes some teams and practices zone placement, I can see her doubling that number. That's really good news. Yvonne only served 4 times this year with no aces so I'm absolutely deferring to your "more information". Two jump servers in the line up would be really good. I'm thrilled you've added their names to the list of candidates we have (and I've edited the post above to do just that) who could step up and fill this role. I hope others will "back-fill" anything else I've missed since I don't see a lot of matches.

12-10-2007, 02:49 PM
Wow, what a breakdown. It would be fun to pull out tape of UD and other teams to analyze strengths/weaknesses and tendencies. Why did you have to do this now when it is impossible to watch the team play for many months? LOL :)

I agree that Tiffany and Yvonne can become dominant servers and I think Becky can too (whether it is a strong jump floater or topspin). I watched Tiffany serving in warm ups and the potential is tremendous. She needs to master her toss first and after that she will have a great serve. I watched jamie lee closely when she served this year and as good as she was her toss was pretty inconsistent, which got her into trouble sometimes.

Do the players play doubles in the off season? I'm pretty sure Yvonne does because I watched her and Tiffany (? not sure) play doubles against three woman teams at the vball camp. It is a great way to work on your individual skills except hitting.

Now we are left waiting in anticipation for next year too early :)

12-10-2007, 05:01 PM
It's called "Reloading" not "Rebuilding". It's what the good programs do.

P.S. - Watched the UCLA/Stanford regional final. UCLA gave them all they could handle. klineman was outstanding - especially for a frosh. My take from watching that match is that there is still one more level above where we are - the elite level - that to which we aspire.

12-10-2007, 08:10 PM
I've seen Nebraska play quite a bit the last 3 years and I saw Penn State a couple times last year and about 6 times this year. They play at a different level. You are correct -- UD is not there yet -- but boy does it look like we could get there sooner rather than later.

12-10-2007, 08:13 PM
The Stanford match is live at 9pm eastern Thursday on ESPN2 but the penn state match is only on ESPNU and will be shown on ESPN2 replay