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UT Volleyball: 2021
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northcoastRocket Online
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UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets opening the season this weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational, with VaTech, Elon and Lehigh.

Rockets played Elon 1st this morning and won in straight sets. Taylor Alt led the Rockets with 13 kills. Interestingly enough, UT played true freshamn setter Elaine Redman, from Chattanooga TN, rather than last years full-time setter Peyton Morman.

Rockets play VaTech tonight at 7. VaTech beat Lehigh in 5 sets earlier today.
08-27-2021 01:58 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets lost 0-3 to VaTech last night, and defeated Lehigh 3-1 this morning, to start out the season 2-1.

Not sure what happened against VaTech, as Lehigh took 2 sets from them, and Elon 1, while UT beat both of those teams soundly.

Next weekend they play at the IUPUI Tourney.
08-28-2021 06:21 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Taylor Alt named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week. Had 41 kills and hit .310 in the VaTech tourney.
09-01-2021 08:03 AM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets demolish Western Illinois in 3 sets (25-8 in the third) in the 1st match of the IUPUI tourney. WIU is winless, but they did take a set against NIU when they played them last week.
09-03-2021 05:55 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Looks like the non-revenue sports are really stepping up this season. Took a few years for the coaches to get their programs right, but recruiting and on field/court product is definitely taking a turn.
09-03-2021 09:55 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets beat Chattanooga in 5 today, coming back from 2-1 down. UT now 4-1, against mediocre competition so far. Chattanooga was 2-3 coming in against not great competition, so good to get another win, but too early to get too excited about the team, yet.

In the mean time, BG beat Notre Dame and WMU beat Indiana this weekend, so the MAC is gonna be tough.

And the MAC website is as messed up as ever, as the scoreboard shows many of the scores reversed (e.g. they show WIU beating UT yesterday, and there are others like that.) I think they could hire a handful of high school kids to manage the website and it would turn out better.
09-04-2021 04:50 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets beat IUPUI in straight sets. Now 5-1 on the year, but haven't played any good teams yet.
09-04-2021 07:34 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
VB had their 1st home match of the season, and come away with a 5 set victory over South Dakota State. SDSU was 4-1 coming into the match, so this was a better win for UT. Lots of inconsistent and sloppy play by the Rockets, but they found a way to win. Taylor Alt finished with a double-double - 19 kills, 10 digs and added 3 blocks, 2 aces and 2 assists to boot. Rhyenne Filisi added 12 kills.

Rockets are 6-1 on the season. They play Valpo and YSU tomorrow.
09-10-2021 08:38 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-10-2021 08:38 PM)northcoastRocket Wrote:  VB had their 1st home match of the season, and come away with a 5 set victory over South Dakota State. SDSU was 4-1 coming into the match, so this was a better win for UT. Lots of inconsistent and sloppy play by the Rockets, but they found a way to win. Taylor Alt finished with a double-double - 19 kills, 10 digs and added 3 blocks, 2 aces and 2 assists to boot. Rhyenne Filisi added 12 kills.

Rockets are 6-1 on the season. They play Valpo and YSU tomorrow.

Have we ever started 6-1?
09-11-2021 09:20 AM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-11-2021 09:20 AM)H2Oville Rocket Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 08:38 PM)northcoastRocket Wrote:  VB had their 1st home match of the season, and come away with a 5 set victory over South Dakota State. SDSU was 4-1 coming into the match, so this was a better win for UT. Lots of inconsistent and sloppy play by the Rockets, but they found a way to win. Taylor Alt finished with a double-double - 19 kills, 10 digs and added 3 blocks, 2 aces and 2 assists to boot. Rhyenne Filisi added 12 kills.

Rockets are 6-1 on the season. They play Valpo and YSU tomorrow.

Have we ever started 6-1?

Surprisingly, UT started out even better than that several times:

2002 started 7-0, finished 11-19, 3-15 in the MAC
2004 started 10-0, finished 16-14, 5-11 in the MAC
2009 started 9-0, finished 17-12, 8-8 in the MAC

Just goes to show that the MAC is a lot better VB league than most of the teams UT can/chooses to play in OOC. So, even though SDSU was 4-1 coming in, those wins were not exactly against powerhouse schools, and UT did not (in my estimation) play a very good match and still was able to win. So, it remains to be seen what MAC play will be like for this team.

Coach has been running a 6-2 system this season, subbing out setters when they come to the front row, and I do not recall a UT team using that system as long as I can remember. Also, the the two setters are a true FR and a COVID FR, so there will likely need to be some time for everyone to get used to that. Hopefully, the chemistry will improve as the year goes on.

Also, he has pretty much abandoned playing any of his DS (defensive specialist players) (except Jaqua at libero) instead favoring all-court players, which is also a change in style for UT.
09-11-2021 09:48 AM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets lose to Valpo in 5 sets. Valpo is now 7-1, UT 6-2
09-11-2021 03:19 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
northcoast, not sure if you know more or are just running reports after the games, but does UT run a 6-2 or are they transitioning to the freshman being a primary setter? I see Morman (from SUA) and Redman both putting up decent assist totals, but Morman seems to be getting fewer and fewer opps and isn't increasing her attack numbers despite having a pretty good year statistically last year as the primary setter as a freshman herself.
09-14-2021 02:19 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-14-2021 02:19 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  northcoast, not sure if you know more or are just running reports after the games, but does UT run a 6-2 or are they transitioning to the freshman being a primary setter? I see Morman (from SUA) and Redman both putting up decent assist totals, but Morman seems to be getting fewer and fewer opps and isn't increasing her attack numbers despite having a pretty good year statistically last year as the primary setter as a freshman herself.

Few of the matched so far have been streamed, and I am no volleyball expert, so take my assessments with a bit of salt. I've only seen parts of a couple matches, but he has definitely been running a 6-2, at least for parts of matches. Gretchen Brown (former Rocket) was doing color for the one match I saw and commented on that specifically. I do not recall a Rocket team ever running that before as long as I have watched. (Of course, it is rare for a MAC-level team to have 2 top setters on the same squad that you want to play both.) Brown noted that in interviews with the coach he said he has 4 setters and never had he had 4 setters on a team in his life - like that just happened by magic or something.

I too was surprised that Morman was not the defacto starter, as she played well last year, and seemed to have a very good on-court rapport with Alt and the other hitters. Redman does seem to be very talented and can make all the sets, but hasn't built up that chemistry yet. I saw a lot of missed connections, not necessarily because of bad placement of sets, but lots of missed timings which can be as much or more on the hitter as on the setter. Also the offense was very predictable. But it is clear the coach is very much enamored with the freshman. As I recall, he made some comment during the recruiting - I don't remember exactly - like she was the best setter in his recruiting area and so he had to get her no matter what, or something like that. Remains to be seen if they will continue to platoon, or once MAC play starts, they will go back to a 5-1 with Redman in all the time.

More interesting to me is the almost complete lack of play of any of the DSs. Previously, the Rockets always played one full time setter and usually subbed out their hitters for DSs when they rotated to the back row. Last season was the 1st time I had seen significant back row play from hitters like Alt. This year Neal (who came back for a 5th year,) Ray, Eiden and FR Wagoner barely see the court at all. The transfer from Wichita St (Uluave) is an all-court player who rarely leaves the court now. Alt seems to play all 6 rotations too. Hasn't helped the passing yet, which has been the Rockets' bane for as long as I can remember. That and serve-receive. Both those need to improve a lot if the Rockets are going to rise in the MAC ranks this year.

Also, the 6'4 FR Alford has not played at all yet, although she reportedly played in the exhibition. I assume that means they plan to redshirt her.

Rockets play Fort Wayne tonight at 7 on ESPN+ I think.
09-14-2021 04:32 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
I think your last point specifically about less substitutions on the backline shows that recruiting has finally started to pick up. Hell, they pulled a kid who was originally committed to West Virginia for this coming class who is supposedly even more talented than Ali. That's going to be DANGEROUS in the MAC.
09-14-2021 04:44 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-14-2021 04:44 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  I think your last point specifically about less substitutions on the backline shows that recruiting has finally started to pick up. Hell, they pulled a kid who was originally committed to West Virginia for this coming class who is supposedly even more talented than Ali. That's going to be DANGEROUS in the MAC.

I hope you are right, but the Rockets have had their share of big-time recruits before. Lauren Rafdal, I believe was a high school all-American, and ended up being an All-American at UT senior year, although that only led to a share of a MAC west title for us. Carly Townsend was Miss Volleyball in Wisconsin, and also a high school All-American, I believe. Zoe Birnbrich was maybe the top MB in Ohio. Sage Thomas, was out of Texas and also very highly regarded as I recall when she came in. Rhyenne Filisi transfered to UT from West Virginia. All very good players. Had good careers but did not necessarily dominate the MAC. Volleyball, like few other sports, really needs 6 top notch players on the court at the same time to have a great team.
09-14-2021 05:18 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-14-2021 04:32 PM)northcoastRocket Wrote:  
(09-14-2021 02:19 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  northcoast, not sure if you know more or are just running reports after the games, but does UT run a 6-2 or are they transitioning to the freshman being a primary setter? I see Morman (from SUA) and Redman both putting up decent assist totals, but Morman seems to be getting fewer and fewer opps and isn't increasing her attack numbers despite having a pretty good year statistically last year as the primary setter as a freshman herself.

Few of the matched so far have been streamed, and I am no volleyball expert, so take my assessments with a bit of salt. I've only seen parts of a couple matches, but he has definitely been running a 6-2, at least for parts of matches. Gretchen Brown (former Rocket) was doing color for the one match I saw and commented on that specifically. I do not recall a Rocket team ever running that before as long as I have watched. (Of course, it is rare for a MAC-level team to have 2 top setters on the same squad that you want to play both.) Brown noted that in interviews with the coach he said he has 4 setters and never had he had 4 setters on a team in his life - like that just happened by magic or something.

I too was surprised that Morman was not the defacto starter, as she played well last year, and seemed to have a very good on-court rapport with Alt and the other hitters. Redman does seem to be very talented and can make all the sets, but hasn't built up that chemistry yet. I saw a lot of missed connections, not necessarily because of bad placement of sets, but lots of missed timings which can be as much or more on the hitter as on the setter. Also the offense was very predictable. But it is clear the coach is very much enamored with the freshman. As I recall, he made some comment during the recruiting - I don't remember exactly - like she was the best setter in his recruiting area and so he had to get her no matter what, or something like that. Remains to be seen if they will continue to platoon, or once MAC play starts, they will go back to a 5-1 with Redman in all the time.

More interesting to me is the almost complete lack of play of any of the DSs. Previously, the Rockets always played one full time setter and usually subbed out their hitters for DSs when they rotated to the back row. Last season was the 1st time I had seen significant back row play from hitters like Alt. This year Neal (who came back for a 5th year,) Ray, Eiden and FR Wagoner barely see the court at all. The transfer from Wichita St (Uluave) is an all-court player who rarely leaves the court now. Alt seems to play all 6 rotations too. Hasn't helped the passing yet, which has been the Rockets' bane for as long as I can remember. That and serve-receive. Both those need to improve a lot if the Rockets are going to rise in the MAC ranks this year.

Also, the 6'4 FR Alford has not played at all yet, although she reportedly played in the exhibition. I assume that means they plan to redshirt her.

Rockets play Fort Wayne tonight at 7 on ESPN+ I think.

Heard coach say they would redshirt her before the season started.
09-14-2021 05:21 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
So, I have noticed that if you go to MAC conference menu pick in the ESPN App, or on the website for streaming, the UT games do not show up at all. What's up with that? Is that a hint that UT is leaving the MAC, or has ESPN shadow banned us? Inquiring minds...
09-14-2021 06:04 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets beat Fort Wayne 3-0. Fort Wayne was 2-7 coming in, but somehow one of their wins was over WMU, so, weird.
09-14-2021 09:18 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
(09-14-2021 09:18 PM)northcoastRocket Wrote:  Rockets beat Fort Wayne 3-0. Fort Wayne was 2-7 coming in, but somehow one of their wins was over WMU, so, weird.

During the ESPN+ broadcast, it was mentioned that Purdue-Ft. Wayne’s top two players are out with injuries.
09-15-2021 02:49 PM
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RE: UT Volleyball: 2021
Rockets lost in straight sets @ Morehead State tonight. Morehead was 3-6 coming in, although they have played a really tough schedule. Still, UT looked all kinds of bad tonight, just ... bad. After watching this match I am not optimistic for MAC play, which starts next Friday against Ohio. Fortunately OU, historically the cream of the MAC is 0-9 this year. Still, the Rockets need to play way better than tonight.

One more OOC game tomorrow against Marshall, who is 4-8, although they did beat Morehead St.
09-17-2021 06:31 PM
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