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2014 Minnesota Golden Gopher Volleyball Recap

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November 28th was the last game of the 2014 season for the Minnesota Gopher Volleyball team. We recap their 2014 season and give an early look at the 2015 season.

Better Know a Non-Rev
Better Know a Non-Rev

While the Gophers won their last game of the season, at home in the Sports Pavilion vs. Indiana, the season as a whole might be looked at as somewhat of a disappointment. Despite that statement, don’t despair as even in this down season there were bright spots and plenty of reasons to have optimism for 2015!

Gopher Volleyball - 2014

Via twitter.com/GopherVBall/media

The Season Results

Minnesota finished with a 19-12 overall record; however, in the Big Ten the finished below .500 at 9-11. As a positive, they were 11-4 at home and 4-0 on neutral courts, however they were only 4-8 on enemy courts. The Gophers went from being ranked in the teens to being ranked #54 out of 334 D1 programs in the nation.

Non-Conference

The Gophers went 10-1 in the non-conference, splitting their games in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (defeated Notre Dame, lost to Louisville), and winning the Yale , Diet Coke Classic (@ UofM), and Toledo Tournaments outright.  The teams that that Gopher’s beat who ranked higher than the Gophers at the end of the year include were Tulsa (#50) and Iowa State (#15). Louisville, the Gophers sole loss, ended the season ranked #96. The Gopher’s won 31 out of 39 sets in the non-conference schedule.

2014 Gopher Volleyball Stats - Non-Conference

You can find the raw file here in PDF format: 2014 Gopher Volleyball Stats - Non-Conference

As you can see, the Gophers either tied or won the stats battle in every game except for the game they lost, with the notable exception of digs. But despite winning the stat battle and ultimately the games, the sense that I got from the games I saw is that they lacked a killer instinct, failing to put away games as quickly as they could have. This was somewhat of a prelude of what was to come in the Big Ten schedule.

Big Ten Season

Going into the Big Ten season the Gophers were ranked

2014 Gopher Volleyball Stats - Big Ten

You can find the raw file here in PDF format: 2014 Gopher Volleyball Stats - Big Ten

As you can see, the Gophers lost the battle of the stats and with that the sets.Yet, despite this, there is reason to look forward to next season and beyond.

For full 2014 Gopher Volleyball stats, checkout this link to Gophersports.com.

The Future

Minnesota was a young team. On senior day they only had two players to say goodbye to out of 14.

The Seniors

The two seniors who have played their last set as Gophers are #12 Morgan Bohl (DS/Libero) and #16 Nora Adrianna (Opposite). Bohl, who is from Colorado and earned two letters while at Minnesota, was not a starter this year but saw action in at least 12 matches this year. Bohl's biggest year at Minnesota was her Junior (2013) year. Over three years, Bohl had 208 digs while at Minnesota.

Morgan Bohl Profile Picture
Adrianna Nora Profile Picture

Via Gophersports.com

Nora, who is my eldest daughter's favorite player (initially because she thought I said "Dora") transferred to Minnesota from  Baylor as a Junior (she is a Minnesota native). After the 2013 season Nora was an honorable mention All-American & a 2014 preseason All-Big Ten selection. Nora was named tournament MVP for the Yale Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament team for the Rocket Invite. In her two years at Minnesota had 104 digs, hit .285, and scored 452.5 points.

Next Women Up

As mentioned before, there was only 2 seniors on this years team, next year there will only be one! That player is #1 Daly Santana (Outside Hitter). Daly, who is from Puerto Rico, was one of the biggest stars of this years team. Santana led the Gophers with 425 kills this year and also had 250 digs; Santana rarely (if ever) sat out during matches. Santana was named "All-North Region" and honorable mention "All-Big Ten."

Daly Santana

Via twitter.com/GopherVBall

After Santana, the Gophers have 6 players who will be Juniors next year. These players include #4 Paige Tapp (Middle Blocker). Paige Tapp, like Santana, was named "All-North Region). In addition, Paige was named "All-Big Ten." Tapp played in all 31 matches and hit over .400 in 14 of the matches with 222 kills. Amazingly, as a Sophomore, Paige had 1.65 blocks per set, good for third best blocker in the nation. The other returning sophomores include #2 Erica Handley (Setter), #3 Katie Schau (Setter), #7 Hannah Tapp (Middle Blocker), and #8 Sarah Wilhite (Outside Hitter), & #18 Laura Caluori.

Next year's Sophomore class will be #5 Alyssa Goehner (Outside Hitter, #6 Maddie Beal (Middle Blocker/Opposite), #10 Carly Rasmussen (Setter), #13 Molly Lohman, & #17 Dalianliz Rosado.

Prediction

Minnesota was a young team. On senior day they only had two players to say goodbye to out of 14.

With the great experience gained this year by so many of these players, plus many of our Big Ten brethren being senior laden this year, the Gophers are poised to have a big year next year. Look for the Gophers to return to the NCAA tournament and advancing to the Sweet 16. Santana, Tapp, and Wilhite are all strong candidates to make preseason All-Big Ten lists.

Gopher Volleyball 2014

Via twitter.com/GopherVBall