Listen to the podcast if you have the time but here is the main stuff. Especially interesting stuff about Dave's view of the rankings, the Illinois assessment, what is the "key to success" for his players and a story about Eva Torrance.
Interesting Points in Dave Shondell’s Podcast “Dig City” Wed 9/28/2022
Interesting Points in Dave Shondell’s Podcast “Dig City” Wed 9/28/2022
- No opposition team likes coming to Holloway
- If students want to be a difference maker, be a volleyball fan because you will be heard
- Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We catapulted up to 5th ranking but as I said before, we are not that good.
- We were picked 8th in the B1G and we could still finish there
- (Moderator) This team seems to have the knack to take close sets - twice against Minnesota they took two point sets
- We will be in a lot of close matches and we need to be tough enough to win those matches
- We are already 1/3 of the way thru the season - it goes very fast.
- Meg Renner’s concussion occurred Monday 9/10/22 and we knew at that point that Grace Balensiefer would be playing in her stead
- Balensiefer sets a beautiful ball - that doesn’t happen if she does not have 4 yrs of highly competitive set expierence in the MAC
- She has a swagger about her that was really needed by our team - she believes in herself
- I don’t remember ever before having 4 injuries to key people in the 1st 5 wks of the season like we have this year (Koch, Chinn, Renner and Schermerhorn)
- People have stepped up
- (Moderator) Eva Hudson continues to perform. She hits balls that I haven’t seen others hit.
- The more competitive the match, the better Hudson will play
- The best thing Hudson does is tool the block
- There are players on our team that I can tell you what shot they are going to hit in a given situation but not Hudson
- She knows where the empty spots are and she can hit them
- Illinois is a bit down by their standards.
- This is almost the exact same team we played last year.
- Their right side player graduated after 5 yrs but they brought in a really good 6’4” transfer from Missouri to replace her
- Barnes, their libero, is new. She is a sister of the kid who was an All-American libero at Wisconsin
- I don’t feel sorry for them. They are big and physical. They serve the tar out of the ball. They block well.
- They have probably the best left sided hitter, Raina Terry, that we will see this season and we’ve seen a lot of good ones.
- She is as physical as we have seen all year long
- Both their right side hitters, Nunge and Mosher, are terrific.
- They also have two really good middles who have both been playing starting for the last couple of seasons.
- Their setter, Diana Brown, is a 4th or 5th year is a really good player
- They stubbed their toe a couple of times this year but they have a really good VB team. It will be a donnybrook.
- They beat two good teams - Northwestern & Maryland who will both be in the NCAA tournament or close to it
- They start the season with three straight games at home which is a good recipe for a good start
- They have one of the best student sections in the Big Ten. I would love to see Boiler fans make the trip to support us
- (Moderator) Then on Sunday you take on Rutgers at home.
- Rutgers did not have a good non-conference schedule but then surprised me by knocking off MSU
- This is the 2nd weekend where we are home for a match and away for a match
- I really, really like the the way our schedule is set up
- I don’t think we play back to back nights the whole season and I really like that. It helps the athletes stay healthy
- I like that we are not away from home two entire weekends in a row
- I think that it is also good for attendance where fans are not giving up two nights of a weekend to watch us when there are so many other things gong on
- So far we are not doing a lot of traveling - the furthest has been to Iowa which is a 50 min flight
- We will have Illinois (stopping at the Beef House on the way over) which is 90 mins by bus and then IU which is two hours.
- I like our schedule but it looks like the teams that, based on their non-conference performance, are likely to be in the bottom of the league we are only playing once.
- That hurts our record but helps us with the all-powerful RPI
- (Moderator) Just to note, the Iowa match was on the flagship ESPN. It won its time slot on cable and had over 230,000 viewers.
- That was only the 7th VB match ever shown on ESPN (versus the other members of the ESPN family)
- (Moderator) The senior class is six players that came in together. They came in as a highly touted class and all six of them are still here.
- Go look at the top 5 recruiting classes from 2019 and tell me how many still have all their class on their campus
- We’ve bee through a lot together. We’ve been through COVID where some players above them stayed an extra year and squeezed them our of playing time.
- We were to the Sweet 16 their freshman year, the Elite 8 in the sophomore and junior years and now we will see where they take us.
- I told Koch, Chinn and Ellis that they were going to dictate our direction. You can talk about the other additions but that “3-headed hydra” will dictate how we do
- Take Ava Torrance - she has played less than any of the others. But she was learning and developing every day
- She had to play out of position at middle back last weekend instead of right back because that was best for our team.
- But she was chomping at the bit to do everything she can to help this team.
- Sometimes quietly, sometimes not so quietly, she does everything to help this team
- So Torrance, Renner (a redshirt senior), Schermerhorn, Ellis, Koch and Chinn at the end of the day will decide our fate this season
- (Moderator) I love Ava’s attitude. She is only 5’1” roster height
- Ava kept calling me and calling me that she wanted to come to Purdue. She probably called and wrote me 50 times. We had a lot of backcourt players then and I told her I don’t think we have a spot for you
- She was playing libero for Avon, a state powerhouse and the Circle City Club team. (She could have gone lots of other places.) But she kept calling and writing and said I don’t care what happens, I just want to be part of the team.
- Finally I thought if someone wants to be here that bad, we will take her. And that is just what she has done - rarely played for three years and now suddenly she is in the bright lights and on ESPN.
- The key to success for all their players is their families. They all come from terrific families. There is so much adversity in VB and then you need your family’s support.
- But that is not to say everyone who leaves is a making a mistake. I used to think that but I do not any longer.
- When Penn State was so good and went undefeated for two years, I think they learned a lot during that time but I truly believe you learn more when you struggle.
- The times when things don’t go as you hoped but you eventually push through, that pays off down the road in your life.
- Look how good Schermerhorn is. For the last two years she was on the floor for two rotations. That was okay and she never complained about it or had a sour look on her face but she wanted more.
- And now I believe she is one of the 3 best liberos in the conference.
- Both games this weekend, Friday night 8PM and Sunday matinee 1PM, are on Big Ten Plus