Illini Volleyball 2019

#2
Is there a sit out year in volleyball? Twitter suggested there wasn't, but I thought it was pretty universal.
 
#4
If Bruna Vrankovic joins the team we will have a roster of 19 players. Can't imagine that some won't move on. Five or six of them are walkons and Tamas doesn't play more than nine.
 
#7
The camera never lies
Champaign
Many of the walk-on players are told what their duties are. Mainly to be practice players and that they will probably see little court time unless injuries happen etc. The coaches have made it clear to how important they are towards the success of the team. Some accept that as their role, some do not. They also get the perks of being on the team minus playing time. Travel, nice hotels, academic support, food/nutrition plans, Illini swag etc. It's not for everyone, but for those who do, it can have a rewarding impact on their college experience.
 
#11
Many of the walk-on players are told what their duties are. Mainly to be practice players and that they will probably see little court time unless injuries happen etc. The coaches have made it clear to how important they are towards the success of the team. Some accept that as their role, some do not. They also get the perks of being on the team minus playing time. Travel, nice hotels, academic support, food/nutrition plans, Illini swag etc. It's not for everyone, but for those who do, it can have a rewarding impact on their college experience.
I believe the NCAA limits travel squads to 15 and some conferences or schools to fewer. Though they don't receive an athletic scholarship walkons are entitled to all other types of financial aid that any other student might get. Often times they are very good students as well as volleyball players which can enable them to receive academic aid. The new Illinois Commitment program could be a boon for recruiting middle class Illinois students. Often times administrators will encourage female walkons for Title IX reasons.

Oh, and if you are a 300 farm boy in Nebraska you are almost assured of receiving a full ride 'leadership' scholarship to the state university if you agree to walk on to the football team.
 
#18
So for the locals that can follow a bit more closely, what is our outlook for this season looking like? The girlfriend and I watched the Final Four game vs. Nebraska together, and it was honestly riveting ... volleyball is cool! Lol, it was also genuinely fun and rewarding to watch the Illini be on a national stage again, regardless of the sport. I would love to see us back there. I even got my originally-a-Hawkeye-fan girlfriend to get really into it, though I did receive a friendly eye roll when I stated that my favorite player was Morgan O'Brien. :oops: Lol
 
Likes: krushdad
#19
So for the locals that can follow a bit more closely, what is our outlook for this season looking like? The girlfriend and I watched the Final Four game vs. Nebraska together, and it was honestly riveting ... volleyball is cool! Lol, it was also genuinely fun and rewarding to watch the Illini be on a national stage again, regardless of the sport. I would love to see us back there. I even got my originally-a-Hawkeye-fan girlfriend to get really into it, though I did receive a friendly eye roll when I stated that my favorite player was Morgan O'Brien. :oops: Lol
The outlook is very good. We lose two All-Americans in Poulter and Bastianelli, but return one in Jacqueline Quade and we return pretty much everyone else. Poulter was probably the best setter in the country last year and the best to ever play at Illinois, so losing her REALLY hurts. However, we have two very capable new setters (redshirt freshman Diana Brown and sophomore transfer Mica Allison) who will both compete for the starting spot. As for replacing Bastianelli, we have two solid freshman MBs coming in along with Bruna who's an OH but can also play MB. We should definitely be at least a top 25 team this year. I would expect a little bit of a dropoff from losing Poulter and Bastianelli, but we have a ton of returning and new talent. If the X-factors play well (new setters, Bruna, freshmen) then I don't think another Final Four appearance is out of the question. Should be a fun season!
 
#20
The outlook is very good. We lose two All-Americans in Poulter and Bastianelli, but return one in Jacqueline Quade and we return pretty much everyone else. Poulter was probably the best setter in the country last year and the best to ever play at Illinois, so losing her REALLY hurts. However, we have two very capable new setters (redshirt freshman Diana Brown and sophomore transfer Mica Allison) who will both compete for the starting spot. As for replacing Bastianelli, we have two solid freshman MBs coming in along with Bruna who's an OH but can also play MB. We should definitely be at least a top 25 team this year. I would expect a little bit of a dropoff from losing Poulter and Bastianelli, but we have a ton of returning and new talent. If the X-factors play well (new setters, Bruna, freshmen) then I don't think another Final Four appearance is out of the question. Should be a fun season!
I'm looking forward to this upcoming season and would absolutely love to see them return to the F4. I'm taking my daughter to the F4 this year as part of her graduation gift and we would love to watch our Illini in it
 
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#21
The outlook is very good. We lose two All-Americans in Poulter and Bastianelli, but return one in Jacqueline Quade and we return pretty much everyone else. Poulter was probably the best setter in the country last year and the best to ever play at Illinois, so losing her REALLY hurts. However, we have two very capable new setters (redshirt freshman Diana Brown and sophomore transfer Mica Allison) who will both compete for the starting spot. As for replacing Bastianelli, we have two solid freshman MBs coming in along with Bruna who's an OH but can also play MB. We should definitely be at least a top 25 team this year. I would expect a little bit of a dropoff from losing Poulter and Bastianelli, but we have a ton of returning and new talent. If the X-factors play well (new setters, Bruna, freshmen) then I don't think another Final Four appearance is out of the question. Should be a fun season!
I expect that Tamas will run a 6-2 offense with both Allison and Brown in the rotation and setting from the back row. With Quade, Vrankovic, Cooney, and Prince as OHs/OPPs; Fleming and Holzman as MBs; two of Kuper, O'Brien,and Welsh as DS; and Allison and Brown as S, Tamas has all the tools he needs to run a 6-2, and that doesn't even consider Swanson or Hinton who might force their way into the lineup as the second MB and maybe shifting Holzman to a OH/OPP spot.

If Quade and Vrankovic are six-rotation players, they might go with an initial rotation of (where players substituting in when that position moves to the front row are in [ ] and players substituting in when that position moves to the back row are in { }):

Quade - Fleming {Kuper}- Prince {Allison}
Brown [Cooney]- O'Brien [Holzman]- Vrankovic

That would keep their six front row hitting/blocking lines as:

Rotation 1: Quade - Fleming - Prince
Rotation 2: Cooney - Quade - Fleming
Rotation 3: Holzman - Cooney - Quade
Rotation 4: Vrankovic - Holzman - Cooney
Rotation 5: Prince - Vrankovic - Holzman
Rotation 6: Fleming - Prince- Vrankovic

We know that Quade can kill opponents attacking out of the back row. If Vrankovic can as well, that would give them four attacking options on every rotation.

Even with the losses of Poulter and Bastianelli, both of which are major, because they are going to be (much) deeper than last year, they may actually be better.
 
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#22
Holzman is not projected to play middle by most. I'm pretty sure she played outside on her club team. It is very possible that no freshmen start.
 
#23
Holzman is not projected to play middle by most. I'm pretty sure she played outside on her club team. It is very possible that no freshmen start.
Who their 2nd MB will be might be the most interesting question.

Based on what the university has put out, they list Fleming as the only returning MB, they list Swanson (Fr.) and Hinton (Fr.) as MBs, Collins (Fr.) as an OH and they list Holzman (Fr.) as both an OH and a MB.

https://fightingillini.com/news/201...ball-welcomes-three-for-2019.aspx?path=wvball

https://fightingillini.com/news/201...al-student-athletes-for-2019.aspx?path=wvball

Maybe Prince or Hollowell could move to the middle, but that would certainly remain to be seen.

In an interview I read, Tamas made it pretty clear that Vrankovic is going to be a pin hitter, so she's out as an MB option.

So I'd assume that Quade, Vrankovic, and Cooney at a minimum are going to be OHs/OPPs, Fleming will be their MB #1, and they'll have to figure out one more OH/OPP and one more MB out of Prince, Holzman, Swanson, Hinton, Hollowel, and Collins. It seems like a lot of it will depend on just where Beth Prince ends up fitting in.

I'm just hoping that Holzman is simply too good to keep off the court in some capacity. But, long term, I'd expect Holzman to be on the outside.
 
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#24
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Who their 2nd MB will be might be the most interesting question.

Based on what the university has put out, they list Fleming as the only returning MB, they list Swanson (Fr.) and Hinton (Fr.) as MBs, Collins (Fr.) as an OH and they list Holzman (Fr.) as both an OH and a MB.

https://fightingillini.com/news/201...ball-welcomes-three-for-2019.aspx?path=wvball

https://fightingillini.com/news/201...al-student-athletes-for-2019.aspx?path=wvball

Maybe Prince or Hollowell could move to the middle, but that would certainly remain to be seen.

In an interview I read, Tamas made it pretty clear that Vrankovic is going to be a pin hitter, so she's out as an MB option.

So I'd assume that Quade, Vrankovic, and Cooney at a minimum are going to be OHs/OPPs, Fleming will be their MB #1, and they'll have to figure out one more OH/OPP and one more MB out of Prince, Holzman, Swanson, Hinton, Hollowel, and Collins. It seems like a lot of it will depend on just where Beth Prince ends up fitting in.

I'm just hoping that Holzman is simply too good to keep off the court in some capacity. But, long term, I'd expect Holzman to be on the outside.
Great insight, thanks. Casual observer take: despite 2 big losses, we're reloading. Floor is a VG team, ceiling is perhaps even better than last season's squad. This is how big time programs roll. Tamas appears to be the right guy at the right time.
 
#25
Holzman will most likely redshirt this season. She’ll be a stud for us, but this year there’s just way too much depth at OH especially with the addition of Vrancovic.