Volleyball returns this weekend to the crazy world of 2020!

#1

StrangeVol

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Yep...its time for the volleyballers to kick off, or maybe it's serve up, the 2020 season. In this really short season of 8 matches against 4 teams, some on weekends and some during the week, it's hard to see how any team can build much of a rhythm. The schedule is kinda hard to explain so I suggest you look at it here: 2020 Volleyball Schedule - University of Tennessee Athletics Suffice to say it's a crazy world we live in these days and the schedule reflects that. Kudos to the person that thought it up, I guess.

As to our team, it's another (like soccer) story of more questions than answers due to graduations and uncertainty as to how we'll replace our lost scoring and defense. Last season we had Tessa Grubbs (469 pts) and Alyssa Andreno (210 pts) as offensive mainstays plus Sedona Hansen the top setter in the SEC, imo. Those three plus Asha Phillips were all seniors they've moved onward with other pursuits. That's a lot of experience and scoring gone and it will be missed.

Fortunately, we have some other very good players returning. Lily Felts (268 pts) is back as is Danielle Mahaffey (277 pts), Morgahn Fingall (191 pts), and Addisyn Rowe (170 pts). That scoring plus contributions from others on the team stepping in to fill larger rolls as well as contributions from newcomers should help our offense a great deal.

On the other side of the net, we lost a blocker that had almost 100 (98) blocks by herself. Alyssa Andreno will certainly be missed on defense. Tessa Grubbs also tallied 41 blocks. Here's the good news; a lot of our blocking came from underclassmen who will no doubt get more opportunities this season. Who knows what reserves and newcomers might add.

So what should we expect from this year's team? It's hard to say with confidence as last season was a bit disappointing after Coach Rackham's first year having been so very good. This is CER's third season and I think we'll just have to see what materializes. I look for us to stay in the middle of the pack this season, building to another great season next year, when hopefully things will be back to near normal, whatever that is.
 
#2

Putbacks

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#2
I’m anxious to see if 6-4 R-Fr Emily Merrick brings a presence to the net. Also, there are some transfers, one a setter Natalie Hayward from DePaul and a couple of front row players in Carissa Bradford (Pacific) and Nicoletta Capizzi (E. Wash.) that bear watching.

The junior class looks solid, and I hope Mahaffey and Felts are preparing to level up this season. Raquel Perinar has shown glimpses of power. Also, I hope Ava Bell settles in and fulfills her potential.
 
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#4

jeebie

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#4
Yep...its time for the volleyballers to kick off, or maybe it's serve up, the 2020 season. In this really short season of 8 matches against 4 teams, some on weekends and some during the week, it's hard to see how any team can build much of a rhythm. The schedule is kinda hard to explain so I suggest you look at it here: 2020 Volleyball Schedule - University of Tennessee Athletics Suffice to say it's a crazy world we live in these days and the schedule reflects that. Kudos to the person that thought it up, I guess.

As to our team, it's another (like soccer) story of more questions than answers due to graduations and uncertainty as to how we'll replace our lost scoring and defense. Last season we had Tessa Grubbs (469 pts) and Alyssa Andreno (210 pts) as offensive mainstays plus Sedona Hansen the top setter in the SEC, imo. Those three plus Asha Phillips were all seniors they've moved onward with other pursuits. That's a lot of experience and scoring gone and it will be missed.

Fortunately, we have some other very good players returning. Lily Felts (268 pts) is back as is Danielle Mahaffey (277 pts), Morgahn Fingall (191 pts), and Addisyn Rowe (170 pts). That scoring plus contributions from others on the team stepping in to fill larger rolls as well as contributions from newcomers should help our offense a great deal.

On the other side of the net, we lost a blocker that had almost 100 (98) blocks by herself. Alyssa Andreno will certainly be missed on defense. Tessa Grubbs also tallied 41 blocks. Here's the good news; a lot of our blocking came from underclassmen who will no doubt get more opportunities this season. Who knows what reserves and newcomers might add.

So what should we expect from this year's team? It's hard to say with confidence as last season was a bit disappointing after Coach Rackham's first year having been so very good. This is CER's third season and I think we'll just have to see what materializes. I look for us to stay in the middle of the pack this season, building to another great season next year, when hopefully things will be back to near normal, whatever that is.
NCAA women's volleyball is also having a spring season starting around January 22, 2021 pending NCAA approval if Covid protocols are followed and the pandemic gets no worse.
More matches will be played in the spring semester and a NCAA women's volleyball tournament and final four will be held. The number of teams will be limited to 48 instead of the usual 64.
 
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#5

StrangeVol

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#5
jeebie, thanks for adding that, I was unaware. I hope it gets approved. In that scenario, would the games played now be added to the game played in the Spring? Seems like it would have to be as otherwise the present schedule wouldn't mean much.

Please feel free to contribute any time you have something to share. I started posting about volleyball and soccer about three seasons ago but I'm no expert just an garden-variety fan doing what I can, with the help of several others, to support Lady Vol sports. :)
 
#6

StrangeVol

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#6
jeebie, thanks for adding that, I was unaware. I hope it gets approved. In that scenario, would the games played now be added to the game played in the Spring? Seems like it would have to be as otherwise the present schedule wouldn't mean much.

Please feel free to contribute any time you have something to share. I started posting about volleyball and soccer about three seasons ago but I'm no expert just an garden-variety fan doing what I can, with the help of several others, to support Lady Vol sports. :)
 
#7

jeebie

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#7
jeebie, thanks for adding that, I was unaware. I hope it gets approved. In that scenario, would the games played now be added to the game played in the Spring? Seems like it would have to be as otherwise the present schedule wouldn't mean much.

Please feel free to contribute any time you have something to share. I started posting about volleyball and soccer about three seasons ago but I'm no expert just an garden-variety fan doing what I can, with the help of several others, to support Lady Vol sports. :)
I assume that the games and total record for the season will be cumulative and be a combination of the fall and spring seasons. Since the NCAA tournament is limited to 48 selected teams the LadyVols are going to have make every match count as it will be harder to make the tournament as an at-large team, assuming they don't make it as conference champions.
 

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