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Monday, July 18, 2016

Don't Call It a Rebuild - Monday Cardinal Couple

After my column last week about Coline Coessens joining the Volleyball team, a commenter asked if this would be a rebuilding year for Cardinal Volleyball after the graduation of Katie George and Erin Fairs.  I thought I would take today's column to consider that question.

LL Cool J famously said, "Don't call it a comeback", and I think I'm going to paraphrase that to be my theme for the column today.

Don't Call It a Rebuilding


First, of course, we can't forget the third graduate from the wide-net squad, Roxanne McVey.  I think pretty much everyone is confident that our defensive stance in Volleyball is in good hands with Molly Sauer, Gabbie Wiley, and Eleni Georgiafandis.  Roxanne was, her senior year, a solid passer, and an asset to the team, but I think we're in good hands in the back row.

Katie George, a powerhouse of a competitor in whatever she does...witness her tour-de-force of Louisville media since her graduation...and could reasonably have been considered among the top tier of setters in the college game.  I'm not worried about our setting position, though.  We've got Kali Eaken, possibly supplemented by the rock steady hand of Lindsay Palmer to run the setting position.  We even have Morgan Miller, who can slide into the setting position and hold her own as well, though I suspect she'll be too busy swinging on the outside and from the back row.

The biggest challenge for the Cardinals will be in generating offense.  In addition to the graduation of Erin Fairs, Maya McClendon and Aniah Philo have transferred to other schools.  This seriously decimates the offensive firepower available to the Cards, but help is on the way.  The three incoming freshmen are all hitters (a left side, a right side, and a middle), Jasmine Bennett has been doing some pretty good things in the middle, from what I've been hearing, meaning that Maggie DeJong is likely going to move to an outside hitting position (and maybe even see her playing some defense in the back row!).  Coline Coessens, as mentioned, is an outside hitter, bolstering the crew and the aforementioned Morgan Miller shares a lot in common with Janelle Jenkins...mostly that you can put her anywhere on the court and she'll do well.  That's a pretty solid hitting capability with that mix.

So, no, I don't think it will really be a rebuilding year.  The line-up with take on a fairly different look from last year, and I think, even moreso than in the past, you'll see players in multiple different positions and playing multiple roles.

Truthfully, the sport that I think is most likely to have a rebuilding year is Lacrosse, but we can talk about that as we approach that season...maybe sometime over the winter.

-- JMcA

5 comments:

  1. I really don't follow ULWVB closely so maybe this question is going to show my ignorance of the program, but based on your piece why would offensive strengths like McClendon and Philo transfer out if they were next in line to step up after the Fairs graduation? Makes zero sense to me.

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    1. I don't think the answer for volleyball is really significantly different than for other sports that you're probably more familiar with.

      Personal reasons, wanting to be closer to home (perhaps for Aniah), wanting to be *further* from home (perhaps for Maya), just a better opportunity presents itself, some perceived or real slight on the team like getting benched halfway through the season (perhaps for Maya), personality conflicts or something.... The list of potential reasons is lengthy and may not always be perceived as rational to an outsider such as myself and yourself. *shrug*

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    2. I would venture that both of them getting benched at different parts of the season probably had a lot to do with it. Philo was going great and then her playing time got reduced. With McClendon, she was a powerhouse two years ago and then sent to a reserve role last season. That has to play upon your mind. Coach Kordes my have been seeing something there but the results were the same in the last two seasons. Failure to advance past the second round. Can this team do any better than that?

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  2. Any news update about the woman's basketball summer session?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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