Daily Dots (March 3, 2021): Club or high school volleyball factoids, notions and ideas to impress your friends (or not)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday ended mask mandates in the Lone Star State, effective next Wednesday, and allowing ALL businesses to open at 100% capacity. This shouldn’t change the Tour of Texas Pre-Qualifying Stop for 13s-17s, Tour Stop 2 for the 18s and Tour Finals for the 12s, this weekend in Round Rock, but it has profound implications for other tournaments in Texas.

For instance, the Lone Star Classic in Dallas currently has a policy in place to limit attendance to “1 spectator per player each day at the tournament, no exceptions.” Will the tournament, slated for the first three weekends of April, now be open for full attendance (including journalists)? Stay tuned…

• Speaking of politics, you may have read that former President Donald Trump five days ago endorsed Ohioan Max Miller in his run for Congress. The volleyball world has a Max Miller. He’s the club director at Mintonette, which is located in Columbus, Ohio.

Are they one and the same?

The answer is “no.”

“Everyone around here has had a lot of fun with it,” our Max Miller said. “Next thing I’ll see is bumper stickers on our parent’s cars … ”

Why are grades important in the recruiting process?

1. They open doors.
2. They are an accurate measure of your work ethic and character.

Good news: It is never too late in your academic journey to become a more focused and driven student.

Finishing the mock draft top 30 countdown we started one week ago today — college coaches could pick ANY PLAYER in the HS Class of 2021 or younger to start a team with, based on how good the player was projected to be as a college freshman — here are picks numbered 5-1:

5. Elia Rubin, 6-2 OH, ’22, Sunshine
4. Sami Francis, 6-6 MB, ’22, Coast
3. Ally Batenhorst, 6-4 OH, ’21, no club this year – Nebraska
2. Lindsay Krause, 6-3 OH, ’21, Premier Nebraska – Nebraska 
1. Kennedi Orr, 6-0 S, ’21, no club this year – Nebraska

• Speaking of Krause, she is still recovering from an MCL sprain and other knee-related injuries suffered in the final of the 18 Open Northern Lights Qualifier on January 31. MAVS KC won in three. The injury not only is costing her time on the court with her Premier Nebraska club mates, she also will miss the Nebraska basketball state tournament. Skutt Catholic was 15-1 ranked No. 1 in the state in Class B when she got hurt. The SkyHawks are 4-3 without her. Krause played basketball her first two years at Skutt before skipping her junior year. She came out for the team again as a senior, hoping to lead the SkyHawks to their first-ever basketball state title. Skutt volleyball is working on a streak of six titles in a row.

• Can anybody guess the No. 1 college recruiting class in the Class of 2021? It should be obvious based on the above. Nebraska’s class also boasts top libero Lexi Rodriguez, 6-4 middle Rylee Gray and 6-1 outside Whitney Lauenstein.

• In NCAA Division I, the largest class of incoming freshman has to belong to Baylor, which has nine commitments listed at www.richkern.com. The class includes two setters, four middles, two defenders and a lone outside hitter, 6-3 Riley Simpson from Colorado.

• Riley Simpson is the last of the Simpson sisters. Taylor Simpson, 11 years Riley’s senior, was a star outside whose collegiate stops included Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado. Gabby Simpson, who is nine years older than Riley, set and hit right side at both Colorado and Kansas.

• Some things that have changed about club volleyball from when I first started covering it 20 years ago: 1. Rally scoring; 2. Real-time results reporting online; 3. The rise of AAU Nationals and Triple Crown and demise of the Volleyball Festival; 4. Live-streaming of matches; 5. Paid admission to attend tournaments; 6. “Stay to Play” at major events; 7. Libero serving; 8. Proliferation of club divisions – used to be just Open and Club.

• Finally today, I know everyone’s clamoring for more nicknames! Let’s get the randomizer going…and it falls on…NORCO 15 Black! That crazy, because the club just filled out its form this morning!

Ella Noble “Fur”
Karsyn Fetzer
“Valve” (But it’s all ball bearings these days, right dads?)
Karli “Jay” Krueger
Macy You Around” Mahoney
Maddy “Thunder” Stucky
Julia “Tai” Bohlinger
“Forward” Marsh
“Oh My” Smith
“Averah, Avery, Averah hahahahahahaha” Pearson
“It had to be” Ewing

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