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Thread: Men's Volleyball 2018

  1. #31

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    No surprise: 3-0 versus on overmatched Barton team. Did give Olmstead an opportunity to get a lot of subs some playing time. They set Storm a lot, and played Storm and Lincoln together at OHs. At the end Olmstead did sneak in Cyrus Fa'alogo who just got eligible. I hope they give him a lot of reps tomorrow.

  2. #32

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    Disappointing couple of days. Really tough loss tonight: 5 sets and 15-13 in the fifth. I think the short answer is BYU is just not as good as the last few years, and I think UCI is a top 3 team. BYU is probably a 5-6 team.

    Just a few observations:

    1. Growing pains for Garcia the last couple of nights. I think he's going to struggle against teams with really good blockers; UCI is very big. I don't think BYU can rely on him (yet ... he's still young) in the way it did with Patch (he's a better server than Patch and as good of blocker). I just don't think Garcia gets as high as Patch, and I think Patch gave his setters more margin for error.

    2. BYU is more vulnerable to big/good opposites than previous years, and UCI had one (nasty left handed one). Last year Langlois/Sanders were the down the line blockers against an opposite. This year it's Storm/Sanders. Storm just can't give you near as much as Langlois did as a blocker so it's a big drop-off for half of the rotations.

    3. Storm was BYU's best pin hitter against UCI (last points of the 5th set excepted). For the most part he was explosive and consistent both at the pin and the pipe. Storm actually the only pin hitter that's hitting above 0.300 for the season. Of course, you give up a lot in terms of blocking with Storm.

    4. I thought BYU played better with Stanley as setter (well except the very end). The tempo is just a little quicker which I think is needed against elite teams (not sure I see much difference in terms of placement between the two). I don't blame Olmstead for his hesitancy to switch to Stanley (4th set tonight) because Stanley did play poorly against Barton last week (I thought he particularly struggled to set Garcia well against Barton last week ... which is a huge problem for the BYU offense ... and I'm assuming that led to Olmstead not switching earlier).

    5. This year's UCI team reminds me a lot of 2016 BYU team. Even out of system they are dangerous because of their big pin hitters.
    Last edited by pelagius; 01-27-2018 at 10:53 PM.

  3. #33

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    Big week for BYU Volleyball. The boys play (8) Pepperdine on Thursday and (3) UCLA on Saturday. Pepperdine is probably under ranked. Pepperdine has been playing really well since they lost to Grand Canyon a couple weeks ago. Best home matches BYU has this season so if you plan to see any volleyball matches this year these are the ones to go to.

    Given the way the way the boys have been playing it wouldn't surprise me to see them beat both Pepperdine and UCLA or lose to both. Reasons to be optimistic:

    1. BYU is blocking much better and much more consistently. I think they are reading and reacting to stuff much better. Even when they are not blocking stuff they are affecting hitter's shots a lot.

    2. BYU's serve receive is better on average than early in the season. Still not as good as elite teams. I think in part because most of the elite teams have elite liberos and BYU doesn't. I like Sikes and I think he does some things quite well (good bump setter for example), but he overpasses hard serves more than elite bros do (e.g., Hawaii's libero).

    3. Storm is playing much better at OH2. He still has weaknesses; given his size he's a below average blocker by BYU standards. I think that's one of the reasons Olmstead is still bringing him off the bench. BYU starts with a bigger guy at OH2 (Lncoln or Eschenburg) which allows them to establish the block and change the hit selection of the opponent's pin hitters. Then they bring in Storm. Storm has played well lately. He was borderline great in the second Stanford match. He particularly looks good on the back row middle stuff (called the bic or pipe attack). For example, here is Storm creating a real world Scott Sterling out of Stanford's setter off a pipe attack:

    Last edited by pelagius; 02-27-2018 at 04:08 PM.

  4. #34

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    Man, nice match tonight; completed the reverse sweep despite missing Garmin (hand is in a cast). Thought Sander was exceptional and Storm was very good. Also, Ferreira (MB) is going to be really good. He's very long and moves side to side quite well. Cyrus Fa'alogo also got some time as OH in the first set; has very good hands.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Man, nice match tonight; completed the reverse sweep despite missing Garmin (hand is in a cast). Thought Sander was exceptional and Storm was very good. Also, Ferreira (MB) is going to be really good. He's very long and moves side to side quite well. Cyrus Fa'alogo also got some time as OH in the first set; has very good hands.
    This may be the thing I miss most about living in Provo (of the very few things I miss). Loved attending volleyball games. I've watched a few matches on TV, and it just doesn't translate for me.

  6. #36
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Two great comebacks in a row. Interesting team this year.
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  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    This may be the thing I miss most about living in Provo (of the very few things I miss). Loved attending volleyball games. I've watched a few matches on TV, and it just doesn't translate for me.
    Yeah, it really is a fun environment.

  8. #38

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    What a match: 3-0, BYU. BYU played really well. That's six straight sets of great volleyball. I think hats off to the coaching staff. I thought their strategy tonight was great. The boys served a bunch of short floaters and it made it difficult for UCLA to set to their middles (Gyimah is such a great hitter from the middle for UCLA). They really limited the touches of the middles. UCLA was out of system a lot. Also, hats off to the coaches for starting Cyrus Fa'alogo instead of Storm (who has been playing great). Cyrus has great hands and passes really well which you really need against UCLA. Finally Ferreira is really impressive at middle. I think he's the boys best blocking middle since Hatch (2016). He's really emerged over the past 3 matches.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    What a match: 3-0, BYU. BYU played really well. That's six straight sets of great volleyball. I think hats off to the coaching staff. I thought their strategy tonight was great. The boys served a bunch of short floaters and it made it difficult for UCLA to set to their middles (Gyimah is such a great hitter from the middle for UCLA). They really limited the touches of the middles. UCLA was out of system a lot. Also, hats off to the coaches for starting Cyrus Fa'alogo instead of Storm (who has been playing great). Cyrus has great hands and passes really well which you really need against UCLA. Finally Ferreira is really impressive at middle. I think he's the boys best blocking middle since Hatch (2016). He's really emerged over the past 3 matches.
    I do think Long Beach St is way out in front of everybody, but BYU is playing well and I certainly wouldn't be shocked if the make it the the national championship again. Hawaii at Hawaii next week will be interesting.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    What a match: 3-0, BYU. BYU played really well. That's six straight sets of great volleyball. I think hats off to the coaching staff. I thought their strategy tonight was great. The boys served a bunch of short floaters and it made it difficult for UCLA to set to their middles (Gyimah is such a great hitter from the middle for UCLA). They really limited the touches of the middles. UCLA was out of system a lot. Also, hats off to the coaches for starting Cyrus Fa'alogo instead of Storm (who has been playing great). Cyrus has great hands and passes really well which you really need against UCLA. Finally Ferreira is really impressive at middle. I think he's the boys best blocking middle since Hatch (2016). He's really emerged over the past 3 matches.
    That was a great match. And what a fantastic atmosphere. Really fun time.
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  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    That was a great match. And what a fantastic atmosphere. Really fun time.
    Yeah, a little over 5k tonight in attendance.

  12. #42

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    Here a very BYU thing through the eyes of UCLA/Men's volleyball fan:


  13. #43
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    Does it seem like BYU has a chance to make the NCAA finals?
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  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    Does it seem like BYU has a chance to make the NCAA finals?
    I think so. They are certainly capable of playing with and beating the top teams this year with the possible exception of Long Beach St. They are playing much better than early in the season, but they still can go through periods in matches where they get into a funk and pass terribly and give up long scoring runs. Sometimes Leo and Fernandez struggle to connect well particularly when Fernandez is behind the 3M line (last night was an exception ... I thought Leo set Fernandez really well ... but they were able to confine that connection to mostly in system sets).

    To me the key is Cyrus Fa'alogo at OH2. If he gets comfortable, it makes BYU a lot better. He looked great against UCLA (his second start of the season ... his first start was against Pepperdine two days before). He is a good passer for an OH (I think he may be a better passer than brenden Sander); he's also taller than Storm and gives you more on the block and really quick hands to dig up balls. Last night he was as good of a hitter as Storm. He won't ace like Storm, but his float last night was just fithly. The question is can he do these things night in and night out? I don't know. If he can, I think BYU is a top 3 team. If he can't, I think BYU is a 4-6 team.
    Last edited by pelagius; 03-04-2018 at 08:51 PM.

  15. #45

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    Really nice week for BYU. Beat #11 Penn State, #8 Lewis, and #2 Hawaii. Really nice match against Hawaii despite the fact that BYU was missing 3 starters:

    Jarman (MB): finger surgery
    Miki (MB): ankle (I think) in the Penn St. match
    Sikes (libero): concussion in the Penn St. match

    Really great serving by Sander, Fernandez, and Storm. I think it was 11 aces for the match. I think they exposed Hawaii a little in terms of serve receive. If Tillberg plays OH (not oppo) for Hawaii, he's a weak link in their serve receive. Other good serving teams can take advantage of that (wouldn't shock me if they go to a lineup with Tillberg at oppo to avoid that ... in fact, by the end of the match Hawaii did exactly that (we'll see if they go to that lineup more in the future)).

    Storm had a really nice match at OH2. Really nice set of shots: hard off the BIC, tooling off the block, etc. Blocked well too.

    Also, it was good to see Hendrickson play well for the concussed Sikes. I think he gets to more balls than Sikes but hasn't been near as consistent. At times I think it hurt BYU to play him so much early in the season (the loss to UCSB comes to mind), but clearly a nice payoff tonight. Except for a few lapses in the first set he passed well, got to a lot of balls, and even bumped set out of system pretty well.

  16. #46
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Really nice week for BYU. Beat #11 Penn State, #8 Lewis, and #2 Hawaii. Really nice match against Hawaii despite the fact that BYU was missing 3 starters:

    Jarman (MB): finger surgery
    Miki (MB): ankle (I think) in the Penn St. match
    Sikes (libero): concussion in the Penn St. match

    Really great serving by Sander, Fernandez, and Storm. I think it was 11 aces for the match. I think they exposed Hawaii a little in terms of serve receive. If Tillberg plays OH (not oppo) for Hawaii, he's a weak link in their serve receive. Other good serving teams can take advantage of that (wouldn't shock me if they go to a lineup with Tillberg at oppo to avoid that ... in fact, by the end of the match Hawaii did exactly that (we'll see if they go to that lineup more in the future)).

    Storm had a really nice match at OH2. Really nice set of shots: hard off the BIC, tooling off the block, etc. Blocked well too.

    Also, it was good to see Hendrickson play well for the concussed Sikes. I think he gets to more balls than Sikes but hasn't been near as consistent. At times I think it hurt BYU to play him so much early in the season (the loss to UCSB comes to mind), but clearly a nice payoff tonight. Except for a few lapses in the first set he passed well, got to a lot of balls, and even bumped set out of system pretty well.


    We stayed up and watched the match last night. Really fun. Those last two points were exciting.

    Holy cow, the serving by Matautia in the first set was incredible. Great to see the team rally in the next three sets. Funny how we seem to struggle with weaker teams and play well against good teams this year. And somehow find a way to win against everyone lately. Nice win streak.

    Yes, Storm was fantastic last night.
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  17. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Funny how we seem to struggle with weaker teams and play well against good teams this year.
    Yeah, it's definitely a higher variance team than we've seen in the past few years. Here is what I think drives that:

    1. A few days after the UCLA match, UCLA assistant Brad Keller said something like the following: If BYU passes well, good luck, you're not going to beat them. BYU has been quite inconsistent at serve receive. First, because the boys are inexperienced and young at OH2 (Storm, Cy, Lincoln, Eschenberg). I think both Cy and Storm's passing is rounding into shape but there are still lapses. Second, the coaching staff clearly made a decision to get Hendrickson experience at Libero. I think that's paying off now but he is relative high variance (he's young: 18).

    2. The same thing can be said about serving. BYU has three guys who can really rip a jump spin: Storm, Fernandez, and Sander (Will Stanley too but he's only a serving sub). They also have some really good floats. But I think altitude really leads to high variance particularly for the aggressive jump spin servers. It doesn't surprise me that it was the third straight match at sea level when the boys really were able to dial in their jump spins. It was also third straight match at altitude (UCLA) where the boys finally dialed in a whole bunch of wicked floats.

    3. I do think the coaching staff has come up with really good game plans for UCLA and Hawaii. I think to some degree they just expect he boys to line up beat the Penn Sts and Lewises of the world.
    Last edited by pelagius; 03-11-2018 at 05:20 PM.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Yeah, it's definitely a higher variance team than we've seen in the past few years. Here is what I think drives that:

    1. A few days after the UCLA match, UCLA assistant Brad Keller said something like the following: If BYU passes well, good luck, you're not going to beat them. BYU has been quite inconsistent at serve receive. First, because the boys are inexperienced and young at OH2 (Storm, Cy, Lincoln, Eschenberg). I think both Cy and Storm's passing is rounding into shape but there are still lapses. Second, the coaching staff clearly made a decision to get Hendrickson experience at Libero. I think that's paying off now but he is relative high variance (he's young: 18).

    2. The same thing can be said about serving. BYU has three guys who can really rip a jump spin: Storm, Fernandez, and Sander (Will Stanley too but he's only a serving sub). They also have some really good floats. But I think altitude really leads to high variance particularly for the aggressive jump spin servers. It doesn't surprise me that it was the third straight match at sea level when the boys really were able to dial in their jump spins. It was also third straight match at altitude (UCLA) where the boys finally dialed in a whole bunch of wicked floats.

    3. I do think the coaching staff has come up with really good game plans for UCLA and Hawaii. I think to some degree they just expect he boys to line up beat the Penn St's and Lewis' of the world.
    This season has shown the strengths of the coaching. The variance is frustrating but the upside is fun to watch. Great report, pelagius.
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  19. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    This season has shown the strengths of the coaching. The variance is frustrating but the upside is fun to watch. Great report, pelagius.
    Yeah, I tend to think they deserve a lot of credit for bringing the young guys along and the way the team is coalescing. If they continue to improve into the tournaments it will be a really impressive coaching job.

    This is the last year of Luka Slabe as an assistant. That worries me a little for the future, but he will be with the team for the rest of the season.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Yeah, I tend to think they deserve a lot of credit for bringing the young guys along and the way the team is coalescing. If they continue to improve into the tournaments it will be a really impressive coaching job.

    This is the last year of Luka Slabe as an assistant. That worries me a little for the future, but he will be with the team for the rest of the season.
    I think Shawn is losing Jaylen and Luka. He will need to get some help in there. That said, he has done a great job with this team. They could be in the mix for a Natty again.

  21. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerDog View Post
    I think Shawn is losing Jaylen and Luka. He will need to get some help in there. That said, he has done a great job with this team. They could be in the mix for a Natty again.
    Yep, Jaylen is headed to Nebraska. Obviously a good opportunity for him given how many Nebraska assistants transition to head coaches. And certainly it speaks highly of Olmstead that he picked Jaylen right off the team to an assistant coach and now three years later he's an assistant on arguably the premiere women's program.


    Last edited by pelagius; 03-17-2018 at 04:01 PM.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Yep, Jaylen is headed to Nebraska. Obviously a good opportunity for him given how many Nebraska assistants transition to head coaches. And certainly it speaks highly of Olmstead that he picked Jaylen right off the team to an assistant coach and now three years later he's an assistant on arguably the premiere women's program.


    Long Beach can ball. Our team is progressing quickly and has the upside to win a Natty. Can they catch the beach? I don’t know. Our setting is a little weak for that.

  23. #53

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    New poll out. BYU is still #2. Hawaii really dropped; from 3 to 7 after three straight losses (2 x CSUN and Pepperdine) on the road. A big function of the collapse is Hawaii having to play their first road matches of the season. But I also think it's a function of the fact the BYU, CSUN, and Pepperdine are all really good serving teams and Hawaii's OHs aren't great passers (Tilburg is really struggling at passing but he's by far their best terminating pin). Tui is a good libero but he can't cover enough ground against elite serving teams. Furthermore, we've reached the point in the season where the good serving teams are really dialing in and reducing their error rates.

    Last edited by pelagius; 03-19-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    New poll out. BYU is still #2. Hawaii really dropped; from 3 to 7 after three straight losses (2 x CSUN and Pepperdine) on the road. A big function of the collapse is Hawaii having to play their first road matches of the season. But I also think it's a function of the fact the BYU, CSUN, and Pepperdine are all really good serving teams and Hawaii's OHs aren't great passers (Tilburg). Tui is a good libero but he can't cover enough ground against elite serving teams. Furthermore, we've reached the point in the season where the good serving teams are really dialing in and reducing their error rates.

    Loyola-Chicago's athletic department seems to be having a very good March so far.
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  25. #55

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    Also, here is a nice little slo-mo of Storm hitting in practice:


  26. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Loyola-Chicago's athletic department seems to be having a very good March so far.
    No doubt given the Basketball team's performance, but this is super typical for the Volleyball team. Loyola and Ohio State are the midwestern powers in volleyball. In fact, they won back to back NC in 2014 and 2015.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pelagius View Post
    Also, here is a nice little slo-mo of Storm hitting in practice:

    Hitting it out of bounds.
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    How many universities have D1 men's volleyball programs? Since the poll includes D2 teams, and only goes to 15, I'm thinking its about 15 schools.
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  29. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Hitting it out of bounds.
    Off the block. That's a kill, bro.
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  30. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    How many universities have D1 men's volleyball programs? Since the poll includes D2 teams, and only goes to 15, I'm thinking its about 15 schools.
    Around 30, I think. But for volleyball D1-D2 are combined even at the conference level: Lewis (MIVA), Concordia-Irvine (MPSF).

    Notable teams currently unranked: USC, Stanford, and Penn St. I doubt that's every happened before.
    Last edited by pelagius; 03-19-2018 at 05:58 PM.

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