View Full Version : What will be most difficult to replace?

08-21-2008, 09:24 PM
UD lost three very good juniors last season, and it looks like Kortney may not return. What will be the biggest contribution of the seniors to replace this season? We lost a powerful outside hitter who also served up big aces at opportune times. We lost probably the best libero in UD history. We lost a middle/outside hitter who came through in almost every tough match even though she didn't start.

I think the grit of these players and their knowing that they could come through in the clutch will be hardest to replace. Any thoughts?

Chris R
08-21-2008, 11:42 PM
Even with Jamie Lee gone, we do bring back Akerhielm and hopefully a healthy enough Fletemier in front. I think we can do some kill damage at the net.

I think Adrienne may be the toughest to replace. She owned the middle of the court and just seemed to do a little of everything. Not the best at any one thing, but very very good at everything. Lunch pail player who never got credit she probably deserved. I called her a ground hog when she played because she just got down and dirty.

08-22-2008, 09:46 AM
I only "saw" Adrienne play her senior year, but I thought she was very-very good at everything including leadership. Funny thing is I'm not too concerned about replacing her. I think we have 3 or 4 candidates who are excellent defensive players who could all fill the libero position.

Chelsey played next to Adrienne for two years and learned from one of the best. She was the starting DS last year and played well. Nicole played next to Adrienne for two years and learned from one of the best. Her role last year was OH who played all-around. I think her greatest contributions came from her backrow play. Rachael had a year of completing with all these young ladies in practice and learned a lot about what it takes to start at this level. TH used her a lot at the end of matches for both serving and defense.

Valerie didn't play with Adrienne, but I bet she's seen her play a bunch of times and learned a lot from watching. Plus KS had her as the starting libero last weekend. How good is this girl going to be?

I think we have more depth at hitting talent than every before -- and more potential talent at the net than ever before that will develop as the year goes on and younger players get playing time that leads to experience that leads to confidence that leads to playing at a higher level. We have the talent to replace Jamie-Lee's hitting and Robyn's hitting and blocking. Neither of these girls played all-around.

What I'm "concerned about" is do we have hitting talent that can play the backrow? Substitution limitations pretty much dictate you have to have 2 OHs that play all the way around and with the new 25 point sets, they also lowered the number of substitutions you can have. You might need 3 all-around hitters in some sets if they go long.

Most teams use their libero to substitute in for their two MBs. This makes since more from a "keep your MBs fresh -- they have a lot of net real estate to cover in the frontrow" and in most cases these are your tallest players and they have not developed their defensive skills at a level you need for D1 competition. Most teams then use 1 or 2 DSs to rotate in for OHs in the backrow and 1 or 2 OHs play all the way around. A rotation of your 6 starters and libero is a 7 player rotation. If you use 1 DS - that's an 8 player rotation. If you use 2 DSs - that's 9. All of those work within your substitution limitation plus usually gives you a couple extra to replace a player who is having a bad day at the office. In the shorter set format with less substitutions, I think you will see less 9 player rotations. If these sets go past 25 points, a coach could be stuck with the players he has on the floor at the end of a close set -- versus your best defensive players in the backrow - exactly what you want in a close set.

Jamie-Lee served, but didn't play the backrow after that. Last year TH used Kortney, Nicole and Mandy some in both the back and front row as OHs. As great as Robyn Green was at the net -- and she was a lot better than any of these three, she didn't play the back row and TH started other players that were stronger in this area than at the net because they had better all-around games.

I think the talented hitters who step up and develop their backrow games will be those that surface at mid-season as the starters. And I still think Jamie-Lee's serve will be missed greatly. It's too early to tell if we have someone who will excell in this area. After last weekend, I think improved serving will be an area we are all interested in seeing. I think this is an area like replacing Faye was... if we can have a group of players improve their serves, we will be stronger from the service line and not miss all those great serves Jamie-Lee gave us last year.

08-22-2008, 10:20 AM
...it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. Be hungrier than your opponents and give it your best on the court. The team has the talent, it's going to be an exciting year. Go UD!!!!!!

08-22-2008, 12:48 PM
Lynton, good point. The mental part of the game, intensity, concentration on each point and fight are very important. There is no question that last year's team could fight under tough circumstances, if this year's team can match that desire they will be very good.

08-22-2008, 01:16 PM
From what I saw saturday, every single time the ball was up someone was going after it. I don't recall anyone giving up a play. One girl took a pretty hard slam into a ball rack near the backcourt chasing down the ball. It's obvious that this team will come out fighting no matter who they are playing--even against themselves.