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Volleyball Flyby: Sooner Rather than Later Would be a Very Good Thing
Volleyball Flyby: Sooner Rather than Later Would be a Very Good Thing
Published by BeckysTXA
Volleyball Flyby: Sooner Rather than Later Would be a Very Good Thing

As the 2023 regular season winds down this weekend with two matches against VCU and Senior Day on Saturday, I was curious to find out where the program was regarding a Challenge Review System (CRS). I noticed via ESPN+ coverage this season that Loyola, George Washington and Davidson already have systems in place.

“This is an important addition we want to add and have been hoping our league would make this mandatory and unfortunately it hasn't,” Horsmon stated. “We've extensively researched this topic and have pitched some proposed CRS systems to our administration and our counterparts in the A10. Long story short there has been significant back and forth about implementation and the fact of the matter is the A10 as a conference will be one of the last conferences in the nation to implement CRS. The major sticking point is that the A10 has not mandated CRS in any capacity.”

Mandated and approved are two different things.

“In 2019 it was approved that the A10 Championship host site has the ability to implement CRS in order to host the 2020 championship,” he continued. “That year it was George Washington who purchased it in 2019 but never implemented it until this year, specifically our match against them. Loyola has it but had it in place because (their former conference) the Missouri Valley Conference mandated it and in fact was one of the early adopters among mid-majors.

“We have been given the go-ahead to bring in CRS but it will be a significant capital investment. In doing so we also run the risk of bringing in a system that could be out of date or below requirements of a would-be conference mandate. If we have to fund this at this point it's something we will need to address this off season."

UD has looked at several different systems according to Horsmon. “There are three to four major competitors in this space. DVSport is widely used by basketball and football. Echo Reply (which has an iPad interface) has been gaining a lot of traction in the volleyball space, and a few others. Personally, I think Echo has the best ease of use and implementation,” he revealed.

Although I think we are out of the running to get awarded a host spot by the NCAA this season, I also believe we will be better next season and hosting is very possible.

“The NCAA does require the ability to implement Challenge Review in order to host for the NCAA Tournament,” Horsmon explained. “In the event the powers that be stick an NCAA Tournament Pin on Dayton (this month) we would have to have CRS in place. Our administration and rockstar facility people have assured us in the event we are hosting we will have CRS.”

Having to install a system sooner rather than later would be a very good thing and exciting for the Flyer Faithful because NCAA Tournament matches would be back at Frericks.

Finally, a little more insight into what goes on in practice that keeps this program churning out Championships. The Flyers have secured at least a co-regular season championship this year and the #1 seed for the A10 Tournament. For at least the last 18 year - as long as I’ve been following Dayton Volleyball - they have utilize practice players in the program. They are a group of guys that are a behind-the-scenes component that helps the team prepare each week.

“Each year we have anywhere from 2-5 practice players,” Head Coach Tim Horsmon said. “These members of our program have been integral to our continued success year in and year out. Our practice players often, but not always, play on the nationally ranked men's club volleyball team here at Dayton. We try to have a steady flow of up and coming talent each year to create some consistency.”

By definition, they of course play & scrimmage in practice but I was surprised to learn they do much more than that. They study the upcoming opponents’ video so they can emulate key players and their tendencies.

“Our practice players mimic the best players in the country and compete against our players every day,” Horsmon continued. Our "Make Others Better" (MOB) side of the net competes against our primary players. The MOB side consists of our players combined with our skilled practice players. Our practice players work hard to know our opponent's tendencies.”

Lastly, an editorial note. I’m not inclined to write an article during tournament play. Being the daughter of a high school football coach, I learned long ago when tournament (playoff) season kicks in, it’s best not to bother the coaches. I will be doing an interview after the season ends. But if history is made this year, I’m going to want to get a couple quotes while it’s happening. So we will see how it plays out. Until then, Go Flyers!
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By Lifelong Flyer Fan on 11-09-2023, 06:08 PM
Thank you very much for the info about the CRS system.
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By BeckysTXA on 11-09-2023, 11:33 PM
You are very welcome.
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