June 10, 2023
College beach volleyball: TCU servers;  GCU swells;  Nebraska closed the season

The faculty seashore marketing campaign is midway dwelling. On this weekly report, coach Kristen Rohr affords perception into the Grand Canyon’s path to potential postseason slack. In the meantime, Nebraska has completed its seashore program and coach Jaylen Reyes is discussing its place within the Huskers’ massive image. Earlier within the week, we summarized final weekend’s greatest outcomes.

This week’s massive gathering is in Fort Value, the place TCU #1 (16-0) hosts #6 Grand Canyon, #9 Cal, #15 FIU, and Texas, which we launched final week.

Second-place USC is off till subsequent week’s East Meets West Invitational, whereas UCLA #3 welcomes #8 Hawaii on Wednesday. UCLA can also be at East Meets West.

Fifth place LSU, No. 4 Florida State hosts a event that features Washington, Southern Miss, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Spring Hill. LSU and Florida face off on Sunday morning.

Stetson Invitational, No. 17 Stetson, No. Consists of 14 Florida Atlantic, FGCU, and Coastal Carolina. FAU’s Emma Grace Robertson and Jillien Cangelosi had been honored as couple of the week on the US Convention.

Hawaii, No. 12 Lengthy Seaside State and Cal Poly headline the Large West Problem in San Luis Obispo, California; and the West Coast Problem in Santa Cruz, California, sees Loyola Marymount #7 and Pepperdine #18, amongst others.

The Cougars, UNC Wilmington and Erskine will host the School of Charleston’s Creekside Seaside Blast. UNCW’s Gabby LaPata and Sadie Sharkey had been named Solar Belt couple of the week.

Lopes has “unfinished enterprise”

Leaping to sixth place this week, the Grand Canyon appears key for a second consecutive journey to the NCAA championships and represents pure air for a college sitting in the midst of a desert and never near an ocean seashore. .

The Lopes (12-4) top-ranked TCU (16-0), California (12-3), Florida Worldwide (7-6) and its upstream debut present Texas (0-10) this weekend, Friday and Saturday. ).

“We method every weekend as a possibility to seek out out what we have to proceed working to get higher and in addition place us to compete for a convention championship and a nationwide championship,” Rohr mentioned.

“I do know we’ll be enjoying #1 in Cal, FIU and Texas this weekend, so we’ve got 4 actually good competitions. However that is not a lot totally different from what we had in our first three weekends. We had a extremely tight schedule early on and USC, UCLA, FSU, Cal “We noticed Poly, Loyola Marymount. We wished to push ourselves. We wished to problem ourselves each weekend. These are the form of groups that can reveal what we have to work on and inform us how one can get to that convention championship and that nationwide championship.”

The prospect of a serious breakthrough victory in opposition to a top-ranked group naturally elevated the stakes.

“We have not crushed a group forward of us this 12 months,” mentioned Rohr. “TCU is the following group we play forward of us, so we positively wish to be tremendous sturdy by enjoying one of the best volleys of all 5 {couples} that day.”

The Grand Canyon took victories over national-ranking Lengthy Seaside, Georgia State, Stetson and Pepperdine, and 3-2 to No. 2 to USC, 5-0 to No. 7 to LMU. Having completed seventh independently for practically all the 2022 season earlier than ending in ninth place, Lopes joined the CCSA this season. Rohr has launched some mid-season roster adjustments among the many high flights that he hopes will profit when event occasions come.

“We modified our 1s and 2s defenders,” Rohr mentioned. “It was time for a change and we wished to strive some new issues. Final weekend we gave it a shot whereas we had been dwelling and we actually favored it. Now we’ve got Alli Hansen and Abbie Hughes within the 1s. Alli was our 2 second blocker final 12 months and had an excellent season enjoying Allanis Navas. Additionally they gained the doubles West Coast championship final fall.”

Photograph of Alli Hanson/GCU from GCU

The 1.80-meter younger participant Hansen is 12-3 this season and 47-18 all through his profession. A 5-9 senior, Hughes is 82-30 years previous. They’re forward of them in Saturday’s duel in opposition to the top-ranked Horned Frogs in a match in opposition to Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno, who took their first lack of the season final weekend in Miami. In keeping with TCU coach Hector Gutierrez, Moreno was blocked as a consequence of a gentle tummy drawback and was evaded the 2 duos on the second day as a precaution. On Friday, Hansen-Hughes will face FIU’s Rachele Mancinelli and Milica Vukobrat, who defeated Alvarez-Moreno.

Rohr, who has coached Lopes since 2016, praised the opposite diggers who moved to the roster.

“We actually had three defenders who could possibly be in our 1s,” he mentioned. “Anaya Evans is at present enjoying in our 3s. He is been our 1st defender for the final two years, in order that’s a extremely good drawback. Allanis is now in our sophomore 12 months with Samaya Morin and Samaya is only a sophomore. Samaya tackled a vital knee and improved a ton.”

Grand Canyon completed final season 26-7, however was amongst eight groups eradicated within the single-elimination first spherical of the 2022 NCAA Championship of 16 groups. Lopes had been eradicated 3-2 by George State, a group they defeated throughout the common season. The primary spherical survivors then superior to the double elimination competitors. Nevertheless, the format was modified to a 16-team, single elimination event for the Could 5-7, 2023 event at Gulf Shores, Alabama.

“We have now some unfinished enterprise,” mentioned Rohr with conviction. “We received again a whole lot of athletes who participated within the competitions. [in the NCAA Championship] and we realized quite a bit there. We had a whole lot of younger folks on our group final 12 months, a few of whom had been racing for the primary time in faculty, a few of whom had been going to the nationwide championship for the primary time. we did not get [to play in] a convention championship event. earlier that weekend [the nationals] Whereas everybody else was racing below excessive strain, we had been practising as a result of we weren’t on the convention. I felt this was a major drawback for us.”

The format change can serve to stage the enjoying subject considerably, eliminating the chance for a group to bounce again from a loss.

“Yeah, it is actually exhausting to beat a great group twice, particularly on the identical day or the identical weekend,” mentioned Rohr. “[Single-elimination] brings an entire new stage of strain. The brand new format will probably be totally different for everybody, but it surely’s a part of our sport now and we’re excited for the problem.”

Huskers wrap up milestone season

Not like the ladies’s indoor volleyball event, Nebraska has no NCAA championship goals for its seashore group. The ladies of Coach Jaylen Reyes completed the 2023 season final weekend by enjoying a program that featured largely smaller packages, ending with a file 15-5 (one of the best at school historical past) and a streak of six doubles.

The Huskers’ most notable victories got here throughout their journey to Hawaii in opposition to Pac-12’s Oregon and long-time indoor rivals Texas. Nebraska’s 12-man junior seashore group was all made up of crossover gymnasts.

“We wish to compete in all of the video games we play. Clearly, the ‘competitors’ appears totally different than what we do indoors,” Reyes mentioned. “We do not have to program the identical method. We solely performed till final Saturday [March 18] And now our season is over. We use it as a constructing software to develop versatile volleyball gamers basically and to work on particular expertise. A number of the expertise are just like indoor and a few are totally different.

Photograph of Andi Jackon/Nebraska

“[Unlike] the specificity of indoor volleyball permits seashore volleyball crosses to serve, cross, set [and] makes the setters hit. It permits Liberos to hit, and typically even block, relying on what their group is. It simply takes them out of their consolation zone to carry out their duties indoors. Now on the seashore they must work with a sure associate who could or could not play the identical place as them. [The objective is to] practice them in expertise they can not do each day at dwelling.

“We have additionally used this season as a time to bond with the group,” added Reyes, who’s coach John Prepare dinner’s high assistant on the indoor group, accountable for protection and liberos, and in addition because the recruiting coordinator. “We have been on the street for the final two or three weeks. The schedule is not as strenuous as indoor season and the ladies are allowed to spend time with one another, typically even doing non-volleyball stuff.”

Might the time come when Nebraska raises expectations for seashore volleyball and branches out a program to compete for a nationwide title by design and schedule?

“I have been requested this query typically, particularly since our women have been so profitable this 12 months,” Reyes mentioned. “I do not know the reply to that. The stability is sweet. Frankly, I am the seashore coach right here however I am Coach Prepare dinner’s lounge assistant first. I like the way in which our schedule and my personal schedule look so I suppose it is egocentric, I hope we by no means break up it up. [Playing beach] It’s actually useful for our indoor women. So if we had been to interrupt up [the rosters] As many faculties have, our indoor gamers could not be capable of take full benefit of this seashore season.

“If we actually went after that and realistically tried to win a nationwide championship, we might share that 100%. We have been working this program for just about 10 years now. [the program] must change and add seashore volleyball to the Large Ten Convention for us to depart.

Nebraska is the one faculty within the Large Ten to approve a seashore volleyball program. Whereas UCLA and USC will probably be attending the convention within the 2024-25 faculty 12 months, the apparent hurdle for many members is that seashore volleyball is a hot-weather sport and the Large Ten is a cold-weather league.

“Loads of Large Ten faculties will ask me about us once I’m hiring. [beach] program, how are we going to cope with it,” Reyes mentioned. “I really feel like some faculties wish to do it. [add beach as a sport]they might have achieved by now. However as for us, I imagine Coach Prepare dinner actually loved having the lounge suite undergo this course of, so I guess we’ll maintain it that method for now, so long as it isn’t too exhausting.

Highlights for Nebraska within the Sand embody award-winning All-American libero Lexi Rodriguez, a 1.75-tall sophomore who was named Nationwide Freshman of the Yr indoors in 2021; Ally Batenhorst, 6 toes tall sophomore exterior spiker; and Andi Jackson, a 1.82-tall freshman who has a major benefit.

“Lexi is an excellent volleyball participant general and has superb ball management,” Reyes mentioned. “He passes the coin and sends the ball into the web. [6-foot-4 sophomore partner] Bekka Allick will hit. Lexi understands volleyball and she or he understands volleyball very properly, which was necessary to us as a result of we had been studying immediately as a group.”

Batenhorst and Jackson have intriguing dimensions and expertise.

“After Ally finishes enjoying indoor volleyball right here in Nebraska, she may wish to spend her fourth or fifth 12 months enjoying seashore volleyball someplace,” Reyes mentioned. “He has a tall physique and positively the construct of a seashore participant. Ally is in fairly good condition on the finish of the 12 months.

“One of many women that stood out on the finish of the season was Andi, particularly once we began enjoying exterior. She’s a bit new to the game of volleyball and this was her first seashore enjoying expertise. Andi is one other tall physique, however she jumps a ton even within the sand. It is also actually quick work. Whether or not you wish to play on the seashore or indoors, I imagine you’ll be able to grow to be a global stage volleyball participant.”

Lexi Rodriguez doing all the pieces at Nebraska seashore resort whereas photograph of coach Jalen Reyes/Nebraska

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