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2019/20 off-season Buff volleyball news & awards (Parker named to All-Pac 12 freshman team)

AztecBuff

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I always like to set up these threads for all the sports to account for any off-season and spring (for this sport) scrimmage and training period news.

To start with, congrats to Sterling Parker for being named to the Pac 12 All-Freshmen team! In addition, she, as well as senior Justine Spann and sophomore Jenna Ewert were named All-Pac 12 honorable mention (https://pac-12.com/article/2019/12/02/pac-12-volleyball-postseason-honors-announced).

Also, the cubuffs.com release -


 

AztecBuff

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Assume very few here would be interested, and those who are are probably already aware, but just in case anyone else might be interested in watching (hopefully) great volleyball wanted to mention today is one of if not the best of the season for NCAA volleyball fans, as it's regional semifinal day (AKA the "Sweet 16"). (Hopefully this round will be of great interest to BUFF vball fans within the next year or two when CU is still in "it" at this point.)

Per a thread in Volleytalk (http://volleytalk.proboards.com/thread/79706/regionals-viewing-schedule-friday-december?page=1), all 8 matches are on either ESPN3 or ESPNU.

The 1st match is already completed, and overall #1 ranked and seeded Baylor defeated Purdue. The 1st of 3 Pac 12 teams remaining, #8 seed udub, is up 18-12 in the 1st set over Kentucky. The other 2 Pac teams remaining, Utah and Stanford, are facing off against each other at Stanford at 9:00 PM MT.
 
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AztecBuff

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Again, just in case there are any volleyball fans out there, wanted to note the 1st of the 4 Elite 8 games is starting now, with all of the matches scheduled to be shown back to back on ESPNU. (There's only 2 hours budgeted for each, and that's typically only enough for matches that are either 3 or a VERY short 4 sets, so assume they may also need to offer at least the start of the one or more of the later matches on ESPN3 or ???.)

The 1st match is the Pac 12's Washington against the #1 ranked (and host of their regional) Baylor. The other Pac 12 team remaining, #3 seed Stanford (which won a 5 setter over Utah last night), is in the last match vs. Penn State, which is scheduled to start at 8:00 tonight MT.

The full lineup can be seen in the http://volleytalk.proboards.com/thread/79774/regional-finals-december-viewing-schedule Volleytalk thread.
 

AztecBuff

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I've been watching
With the Buffs not involved, can't say I find anything that exciting, but should be an interesting final 4 next weekend with Pac 12 and National power Stanford (going for championship #3 for it's current powerhouse senior class and #9 overall) being joined by 3 schools (Baylor, Minnesota and Wisconsin) that have never won an NCAA women's vball championship.
 

buffgal

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With Plummer back, I think and hope Stanford takes the championship again.

I would not mind if Wisconsin or Minnesota won, but **** Baylor.
 

buffgal

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Highlight of the season, but I think it was the Pac-12/Big 10 Challenge because the game was held in Iowa City, which is not in China.
 

AztecBuff

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Congrats to all!

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Also, wanted to mention tonight are the Final 4 matches, with #1 seed and ranked Baylor facing off with #4 Wisconsin at 5:00 PM MT, while #3 Stanford meets #7 Minnesota at 7:30 PM (depending on the length of the 1st match). Both matches are on ESPN.
 

buffgal

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National championship will be Wisconsin vs. Stanford.

I watched most of the Wisconsin- **** Baylor match Then life totally got in the way and I didn't see the Stanford match
 

AztecBuff

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Just wanted to wish CU's conference-mate Stanford best wishes today, as they go for a record-extending*** 9th NCAA national volleyball championship at 6:00 PM MT (televised on ESPN2) against a tough Wisconsin squad. (***Penn State is 2nd in all-time NCAA WVB Championships with 7.)

 

AztecBuff

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As I did with soccer in its thread a couple days ago, I have a note re volleyball's recruiting, and also wanted to post some of the team's rankings, ratings, etc. for reference when next season closes in :
  • 1st, wanted to note that Prepvolleyball.com at the end of last year released its "Top 50 Junior" list, (this would be for the freshman class of 2021), along with a list of 13 players who JUST missed the Top 50, along with "The Other 65" who missed the other lists. Prepvolleyball is a largely premium website, but they do often allow some Volleytalk posters to give generic information about their rankings (typically the college to which the player has committed, and their position, but not their name). In the Volleytalk thread about the Class of 2021 (http://volleytalk.proboards.com/thread/74829/top-2021-talent?page=15), Colorado is listed 3 times as being in one or other of the lists. I only know of 3 Colorado 2021 verbal commits at this point,and they all play different positions, so would assume the (hopefully) future Buffs being recognised are:
    • The one Colorado player in the Top 50 is a setter, so assume it must be Taylor Simpson (who hails from Chatsworth CA). (Note - unlike Prepvolleyball's "Senior Aces" list, they don't give individual ranks for the players in the junior Top 50, but just list them by position and name.)
    • There is also an outside hitter listed in the "Just Missed 13" list. I assume that must be Phoenix AZ's Jahara Campbell.
    • Finally, they have a will-be Colorado defender (libero/ defensive specialist) listed in the 65 "Other Top Players Considered" list. Assume that must be Northfield Minnesota's Emma Torstenson.
Hope all 3 continue to develop their games, and enjoy the remainder of their time in high school!

(Edit- This has already been noted in the recruiting thread, but for anyone interested who doesn't frequent that thread, Buff volleyball currently only has one signer for its 2020 frosh class (after a huge 7 member 2019 class), outside hitter Maya Tabron from Gilroy California. In their "100 Senior Aces" rankings for that class announced early last September, she was Prepvolleyball.com's #82 ranked high school senior in the country. See https://cubuffs.com/news/2019/11/13/volleyball-buffs-add-elite-talent-in-tabron.aspx for more on her.)
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Also (mainly for my own reference when next season gets close to starting), have been meaning to just put in one place some Buff soccer facts and figures for last season:
  • The Buffs ended up with a 13-17 overall record, and 5-15 in conference play. That record in conference equated to them ending up in a 3 way tie (with Oregon and Arizona) for 9th place in the final standings. (All 5 of the wins came in the 2nd half of the season, as the team was winless (0-10) the 1st half of conference.)
Re RPI -
  • At the time of tournament selection:
    • the Buffs had the #70 RPI, with a .56788 score. (Their Strength of Schedule ended up being #23 overall, while it was #111 only considering non-conference matches This is out of 336 teams that make up D1 volleyball.)
    • As a conference, the Pac 12 was the highest rated in the country, with a 0.5877 score. (The Big 10, which the Pac seems to always compete with for top conference, was close behind in 2nd with a 0.5838.)
  • Not that it matters as much, but at the end of the season (after the tournament was over), the final RPI ratings were:
    • The Buffs final adjusted RPI stayed the same at #70 (with a .56633 score), while the overall strength of schedule moved up a bit to #21.
    • I could not find a conference rating listing for the final RPI.
In the final Massey rankings (I don't believe they matter for selection, but are another way to evaluate a team):
  • The Buffs ended up #38 with a 1.77 score, with the #10 strength of schedule in the country.
  • As with RPI, the Pac 12 was also the top rated conference in Massey, with a 1.93 score, ahead of the Big 10's 1.83. (The B10 was quite a bit ahead of the #3 Big 12, which had a 1.63 score.)

The "gold standard" rating for volleyball fans/ experts in the Volleytalk forum seems to be the Pablo ratings. (Like Massey, these are NOT used by the NCAA selection committee.) These are generally proprietary ratings visible only to premium subscribers of, I believe, the richkern.com website. However, that website has allowed one or two Volleytalk posters to release the information for Pac schools as part of a weekly Pac 12 thread. In the last one of those threads I could find, which looks to have the ratings from before the last week of conference play (the Buffs went 1-1-1 at home that week, sweeping Oregon before getting swept by Utah, http://volleytalk.proboards.com/thread/79482/pac-final-standings-honors-2019?page=1), looks like the Buffs were #43.
(One other fun thing that thread did was quickly analyze all the Pac teams and place them in order of average conference finish from 2014 on. Based on that, the Buffs have finished an average of 7th place during that period.)

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In a totally unrelated piece of Pac 12 related news today, there is big news (to vball fans) about a surprising coaching change, as (now) former USC coach Brent Crouch has been announced the new coach at Auburn (https://auburntigers.com/news/2020/1/14/brent-crouch-named-auburn-head-volleyball-coach.aspx ). From a pure volleyball perspective, this is VERY surprising, as I'd say USC is, at minimum, one of the historical top 8 programs in volleyball, while Auburn looks to have only made the NCAA tournament once in its history (2010), and are coming off a 1-17 SEC season. (To put this in football terms I'd say, based on the prestige of the programs, this is roughly equivalent to the head coaches at Notre Dame or Florida announcing, without any prior warning or rumor, that they had decided to leave their schools to become the head coach at Oregon State or Kansas.)

Main talking points related to this (based on my always suspect discernment) on the Volleytalk forum:
  • I assume it can be assumed that at least part of this is related to cost of living, as obviously a dollar goes a lot farther in Auburn than L.A. (The thought is Auburn may have loosened its purse strings to get a relatively big name coach. Per https://247sports.com/college/auburn/LongFormArticle/Breaking-down-Auburns-1476-million-in-operating-revenue-128729307/#128729307_1 , looks like the OLD volleyball head coach, INCLUDING benefits, made ~$175K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018.)
  • In the Volleytalk thread, this led to the usual questioning (also in Allbuffs) of Larry Scott's competence in negotiating media contracts, and how that relative lack of revenue might have limited USC's ability to compete with Auburn. (Of course, in addition to revenue, I believe USC's AD may also have some legal issues and costs expended and/ or pending (???) that other Pac 12 schools don't have.)
  • If one wants a counter argument to the last one, then I know frequenting Volleytalk a LOT that USC fans were not that impressed with Coach Crouch, who was only the head coach there for 2 seasons (with his prior job being head coach at Portland). So, it may also have been that USC did not want to fight that hard to keep him, and won't mind (especially with a new AD) having a chance to get "their own" coach in. (Note- Coach Crouch replaced legendary (probable future Hall of Famer if not already) coach Mick Haley, who was let go after the 2017 season, and last I'd heard has an outstanding age discrimination lawsuit going against USC.)
 
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