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  1. I don't know the team dynamics well enough to know if that is based on their identification of the lynchpin / must-win matches, which coaches have the best bead on certain players/teams, etc. At LBSU, I recall the coaches moving around more between duals and even across matches within a dual.
  2. Didn't notice a big arm brace. I was walking around - mainly splitting time between courts 1 and 2. Yep - I'd imagine she'll need to put some armor on (borrowing a term from the OnTexas guys) with the nutrition and strength/conditioning folks to be ready for a full schedule next season.
  3. My takeaways from the TCU invitational: CSB Part II: Coach Metzger recognized me from the Long Beach tournament and stopped by to chat. He seems excited about the building process and establishing a solid foundation for the program. Talked a little about the mixing/matching of the duos and the winds on Sat. Again, it impressed me that he took a few mins to talk to someone who he doesn't really have anything to gain from, other than fan support and enjoying talking vball. I'm re-reading my post from LBSU on 3/17. I'll add any noteworthy changes or continuations of those observations as well as new observations In my 3/17 post, I commented on our youth. You can still tell we're young and the late start to the season has us at a disadvantage. While it seems like we did clean the miscommunications up a bit since March, they are still there. Switching partners will contribute to the persistence. I think our playing up and down to competition is another sign of immaturity. How do we lose to HCU and, the next day, beat them and nearly beat a top 5 team on their home court? Also a sign that we don't have a winning culture in place yet. The wily craftiness and mentoring that comes from a few beach upperclassmen would be awesome for this team. Most of the teams we play against have a handful and I can't wait until we have a few of those. We'll just have to grow it. I hope the indoor upperclassmen (Devin, Jenna, Riley, Emma, etc) are able to mentor the beach girls a bit, but a) I know that it's a challenge to bridge that beach/indoor gap and b) mentoring when you're not a full timer is going to be a challenge due to face time and perception from the full timers I noticed the 1s and 2s starting to mix in more angle and show blocking... the execution on those calls were often underwhelming. I noticed the lower teams continue to just call line blocks and pat their hip during the rally. That's probably fine, but there are some players who look for that and can use the hip/butt pat against you. In my 3/17 post, I said "I don't see a clear #1 on this team". What I meant was "a #1 on the level of the 1s from a top 5 team" because that's where I expect us to be in ~2 yrs. After watching the 1s more this past weekend, I think Hashman has the potential to be that next year. Maybe Butler in 1.5-2 yrs. I struggle to get a good feel for Robertson's future upside. She doesn't look out of place on Court 1 - just wondering what her ceiling is. What happened to McCloskey? I really liked what I saw from her at LBSU. I did notice something and didn't want to pry with those in attendance. Don't want to mention it here unless something was publicized already. Butler looks very promising going forward. Lots of individual talent and seemed to mesh well with Devin's game where other littles seemed to struggle - indicates to me that she has a good ability to adapt. Devin has good potential if she would consistently hammer the hammer-able balls and smother on the block. She will have flashes and then be passive for a few points. Her serving, serve receive, and bump setting are not major deficiencies from what I saw. She struggles when pulling or if she ends up in the back row after a scramble, which isn't a surprise. I can kind of see why Ava was playing on Ct 1 and 2 early in the year - her ball control and digging are pretty good, but she's going to have to hit the weights and add some power to maximize her side out and blocking game Wright had some struggles with serve receive and some unforced errors. Disappointing because she's really fun to watch when attacking and serving. I didn't watch the 5s, 6s, or indoor girls much. Without deep diving the scores, I noticed a trend where the indoor girls get a lead or win a set and then really tail off. Wonder if it was due to conditioning, getting figured out by opponents, small sample size, ... or me imagining things. I was impressed with everyone's management of the wind on Saturday Trivial Hot Takes Jersey talk not going away... I still don't like the orange tops with the big white stripe in the back. The reverse/away version with the white front is a little better. I noticed TCU had a similar design that looked better. The purple/white may just be a better color combo for that design than orange/white. I don't like our monochrome orange warmups. They look like an orange offering from the George Costanza velvet line We need to get some sweet Texas Beach Volleyball apparel at the Co-Op or wherever. I'm not wearing cotton shirts to play beach vball The scorekeeper had a horns down t-shirt on... As a Wisconsin alum/fan as well, I just can't wrap my head around spending so much of my energy and identity on a Michigan, Ohio State, etc. Volleyball fans/parents can be really annoying. The constant yelling of "side out" or whatever other fan clichés needs to end. There was a TCU fan near me whose encouragement consisted of mentioning "the lead" in 70% of his offerings... that's not an exaggeration. "Get the lead", "nice lead", "keep the lead ladies", "this is a huge lead", "retake the lead"... A couple of TCU fans made some polite jabs about enjoying beating Texas. I played along a bit and gently hinted to them that 1) a team of freshmen, sophomores, and indoor girls playing partial seasons almost beat their #5 ranked team at home and 2) we're building a beach volleyball Death Star (or are we going with Starkiller now?) in Austin, so have fun now. I see a lot of parallels to the 2022 Football team: going through growing pains, developing key players, stocking the roster with top end talent and key depth, a new coach establishing a winning culture. When will this giant's alarm clock start ringing?
  4. Who's going to be on site this weekend? Fri looks nice. Winds may create some problems Sat.
  5. Yeah, I noticed that in their fb posts. On the one hand, I'm excited for her to get out there as she flashed talent last year and has good height. On the other, I'm concerned about her foot on the uneven surface.
  6. Alright, I have thoughts. Just got back from the Long Beach tournament. CSB - After the win vs Nebraska, I ran into Coach Metzger. I'm one of those people who assumes famous/public figure types aren't interested in shooting the breeze with the plebs, so on the rare case I do engage, I'm careful to be quick. I was just going to say hi and congrats on his first dual win, and let him continue on his way. He stopped me for a few mins to talk - was interested in my ties to UT and the beach team, we talked AVP a bit, I told him how exciting it was to have him and Coach Akers on campus. We went our separate ways. [a few hrs later] After their last match concluded Sat, I was watching one of the other matches going on. Coach walks by, we make eye contact, and we do the mutual head nod. He takes a few steps past me, stops, walks back to me and asks "What did you think about the team's performance today?" So you have an Olympian and an American beach volleyball great asking me, a guy who's skins on the wall include a few BB level bar league titles and the occasional 0.500 season at A level, what I thought. We talked a bit about the pairing changes, the struggles on the first court, the late start to the season, etc. I apologize to this forum for missing the opportunity to send him the link to this thread for all the answers. I take the blame for any future losses. Either way it was a cool experience - I'm not a parent of one of the girls; I'm not a BMD; I'm not a high school or club coach with a hotshot recruit. Just a UT grad who loves beach volleyball and traveled out to see the team play and he took the time to engage. Also got to speak briefly to Coach Akers. Looking forward to seeing what those two can build at UT. On to my thoughts: The bad news: We're young and starting the season a few wks later than most teams. So many signs of youth and limited chemistry: Too many marriage balls / balls falling between the girls on serve receive due to miscommunication Simple defenses. We're line blocking almost exclusively - at least in the matches I saw. On Sat, a few teams started mixing things up. You usually keep it simple when 1) you're not confident your defender will read and react to blocking calls correctly or 2) the game is moving too fast and you don't have the ability to process everything going on in addition to identifying opponents' patterns that you can exploit via defensive calls. The few times I saw us try angle or show blocks, maybe 1/3 of the time it was executed well and 2/3 they were late or out of position. I wish we'd be more aggressive (but smart) on sending free balls. There's a difference between floating an easy ball that they'll return in system at a 99% clip and a ball you purposely drop in between them, drop within 5', or push to the back line where you might cause some issues 10% of the time. The set is to 21, but it's usually one or two points that lead to a win or loss. I don't see a clear #1 on this team We're weak at the #1 and #5 spots. That means you need to sweep 2-4 to win a dual. It's like our team is out of tweener casting. Everyone is 5'9" - 5'11" aside from Robertson at 6'1" and Devin. Makes for good split blocking and defender reach, but not much in the way of blocking intimidation on this roster. It would have been nice to put some of them behind Molly as a true blocker. Those uniforms… I still don't like the big white stripe on the back. And I could go on about the Macho Man glasses everyone seems to be wearing the past few years. I don't get it. The good news: This team with mostly beach players is night and day from last year. Aside from Madi, Molly, and maybe one or two others last year, this team is way more fluid on the sand, quicker to get down and up, and more well rounded skill-wise to play beach. No more littles who can't side out or bigs who are a huge liability in serve receive and setting… Ok, "no more" is too strong, but we're in much better shape. There are still some lopsided scores, but I didn't see anyone that looked unnatural on the sand like we saw last year. It seems like the coaches are teaching the girls how to scout opponents in these tournament environments. The girls are still young and there's an element of seriousness/business that will have to be built to reap benefits from that studying. It seems snack time can occasionally take priority over scouting… but I noticed similar from some of the LBSU girls who are very good. Keep forgetting many of them are still teens. Depending on the lineups, we can put together very competitive teams in the 2-4 spots Hashman and McClockey have some pretty mean serving when dialed in. Not tallying a bunch of aces, but can put the opponent in a bind. Wright/Ogden and Butler/McCloskey are fun duos to watch. Lots of live arms and Wright seems to have some fight/grit/spunk to her I didn't see the notes about the scores being messed up until too late. I hate trying to read my phone in the bright sun. If memory serves, the had issues keeping the teams straight at this tournament last year too. It looked like they had extra players and LBSU communications majors running the scoring. Who's going to be at TCU?
  7. Anyone else going to be onsite for the opener at Long Beach?
  8. I think we may have sleuthed together the entire schedule ourselves in the posts above
  9. Me figuring out my AVP travel plans: Saw this on Volleytalk and volleyball mag, but nothing on the AVP website. They can't get out of their own way
  10. Lots of compliments for Molly
  11. The Weds 20 Mar event in Austin with HCU includes Washington as well.
  12. https://beachpackagingdesign.com/boxvox/bread-loaf-lunch-box
  13. Thanks for posting. Props to Molly for taking on that level of competition. I think USC has four players with at least AVP main draw experience, not to mention the string of national championships. Looking forward to the beach schedule release.
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