Daily Dots (March 22, 2021): Club or high school volleyball factoids, notions and ideas to impress your friends (or not)

• For several years, the USAV qualifier manual has mandated that teams play off three-way ties, if the chance to qualify is still alive. It sometimes put courts behind (sometimes waaay behind, but it was the equitable thing to do).

This weekend, at MEQ, the 18 Open and 17 Open divisions witnessed seven such ties, with no playoffs. Instead, teams were advanced or demoted based on set percentage differential and, if necessary, point percentage differential.

Big South qualifier director Lauri Dagostino said that the lack of playoffs to break ties is related exclusively to COVID-19.

*Teams in that pool are not being kept in the gym longer than necessary

*The cross wave “build-up” of teams, which occurs when the afternoon wave is waiting on the morning wave to finish, does not occur. This (1) keeps attendee exposure levels down; and (2) allows events to meet/maintain attendance requirements on building maximums.

This all seems proper and sensible under the unique circumstances of playing during a pandemic. Just don’t try explaining this to Union 18-1 UA, the overall top seed in 18 Open. Union lost one match on the first day, 15-13 in the third, to Impact VBC Smack 18 Jay, and that was enough to drop them from the upper half of the field. Impact won the pool because of the best points percentage. East Coast Power KOP 18-Royal finished second.

All three teams swept Elite 18 Blue. Impact yielded just 24 points over two sets, ECP 25 points and Union 33 points. That was enough to determine which teams advanced and which team did not.

“Hard to believe,” Union director Eric Garvey said on Friday.One 15-13 loss on Day 1 and now bottom half. Will hope for an at-large bid!”

Qualifier predictions … genius or dope?

Genius or dope will be an early-week Dot so long as there are national qualifiers played the weekend before. This week, I made predictions in 18 Open at Crossroads and 17 Open and 18 Open at MEQ.

Rating how I did, TikTok style:

Let’s start with 17 Open at MEQ, because that’s where I appear closest to being on my predicting game. Here’s what I wrote last Thursday:

In the 17 Open division, there is a full field of 48, and it includes seven nationally-ranked teams. Two, No. 6 Adversity G17 Adidas and No. 8 Drive Nation 17 Red, already have bids in hand. The other ranked teams include No. 2 A5, No. 9 Circle City, No. 11 TAV, No. 15 AVC and No. 20 Nebraska Elite.

Who am I picking? I like A5 over Drive Nation for the title. Adversity finishes top four, meaning the bids trickle to fifth. Academy Volleyball Cleveland takes third to snag the second bid. Circle City gets by Nebraska Elite for the final bid.

What about TAV and “king maker” coach Ping Cao? His team will have to wait for its opportunity later in the season…

A5 and Drive Nation did, indeed, play for the title. I am so smart!

Drive Nation won the match, in three sets. I am such a dope!

Circle City and Nebraska Elite did, indeed, play for the final bid. I am so smart!

Nebraska Elite won the match, in three sets. I am such a dope!

Adversity finished top four. I am so smart!

How did AVC, my other pick to click, do? Mer Gromala’s team fell victim to the dreaded three-way 2-1 tie on Day 1 and failed to advance. (I am such a dope!). As a result, the team ceded the final bid to TAV and Ping Cao.

When you look at the picks as a whole and consider there were 46 teams, this is pretty good. 8/10.

In the 18 Open at MEQ, I picked Adversity to qualify and win. I was right! 10/10!

In 18 Open at Crossroads … wait, what? What about the other MEQ 18 Open predictions, you ask? OK …

The field was huge and stacked, with nine of the 46 teams already with bids. I predicted that three bids might not get awarded, but if they did they would go to Union and CVC in addition to Adversity. Turns out, I was nowhere close with these prognostications. The bids did not trickle beyond T-3 and they were snagged by Houston Juniors and Tri-State. As for Union and CVC, they finished T-28 and T-19, respectively.

So I had Adversity, which is good, but I whiffed on everything else. 3/10.

Okay, now we take a look at the Crossroads 18 Open division.

I said Coast would qualify easily. It did not.

I said Tstreet would win. It did not.

I said Northern Lights would qualify. It did not.

I said that previously-qualified Premier Nebraska would finish top three. It did not.

I said Colorado Juniors would not have qualify because it hadn’t played enough. Not only did CJ qualify; it won! 

Dismal, dismal, dismal! The only saving grace was that Tstreet did qualify. 1/10.

• Below are the teams I picked to click this past weekend, with their final placement:

MEQ — 17 Open
A5 Mizuno 17-Jing – 2nd
Circle City 17 Purple
– 6th
AVC CLE Rox 17 Red
– T-31

MEQ — 18 Open
Adversity G18 Adidas – 1st
Cleveland Volleyball Company 18 Black
– T-19
Union 18-1 UA
– T-28

Crossroads — 18 Open
Tstreet 18-Kasia – 2nd
Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1
– T-5

Coast 18-1 — 7th

• Here are the teams that actually qualified this weekend at national qualifiers, with their final records:

MEQ — 17 Open
A5 Mizuno 17-Jing – 2nd (7-3)
TAV 17 Black – T-3 (8-1)
Nebraska Elite 17 Alpha – T-5 (8-2)

MEQ — 17 USA
Texas Tornados 17 Adidas – 2nd (9-2)
Ozark Juniors 17 Elite – T-3 (8-1)
TAV 17 Blue  — T-3 (9-1)

MEQ — 17 American
Milwaukee Sting 17 White – 1st (11-0)

MEQ — 18 Open
Adversity G18 Adidas – 1st (9-1)
HJV 18 Elite – T-3 (6-3)
Tri-State 18 Blue – T-3 (7-2)

MEQ — 18 USA
Upward Stars 18 Corey – 1st (10-0)
PVA 18 Elite – 2nd (9-1)
Texas Pistols 18 Black – T-3 (8-1)

MEQ — 18 American
Dunes 18 Black – 1st (10-0)

Crossroads — 18 Open
Colorado Juniors 18 Kevin – 1st (9-1)
Tstreet 18-Kasia
– 2nd (8-1)
Encore 18 Goldhahn
– 3rd (8-1)

Crossroads — 18 USA
Texas Image 18 Asics Black – 1st (6-2)
Forza1 Volleyball North 18 UA
– T-3 (7-1)
Norco 18 Black – T-3 (6-2)

Crossroads — 18 American
Mizuno Northern Lights 18-B
– 1st (9-0)

• Shout out to these teams, previous qualifiers, that “double qualified” this weekend:

MEQ — 17 Open
Drive Nation 17 Red – 1st
Adversity G17 Adidas
– T-3

MEQ — 17 USA
Texas Pistols 17 Black – 1st

MEQ — 18 Open
OT 18 O Felix – 2nd

MEQ — 18 USA
HP ILL 18 Elite – T-3

Crossroads — 18 USA
Mizuno Northern Lights 18-2 – 2nd

• Early in January, national No. 16 Revolution 16 Premier played No. 11 Aspire 16-UA and lost in three sets. The teams played again on Sunday, with Revolution turning the tables this time, 25-19, 27-25. The win clinches the No. 1 16s seed in the Arizona Region for Marc Swindle’s squad and puts them fourth regardless of age in Arizona.

Swindle said the sweep required a rally from down 20-15 in the second set.

Evan Hendrix went on a tear,” he said.

The eighth grader finished with 15 kills (hitting .583) and seven digs. Kendal Murphy added 10 kills and five digs.

Stuff Block of the Week!
Check out this rejection by 6-0 freshman outside Amanda Mack of K2 15-1 Adidas Jason. Mack had 315 kills, 243 digs and 43 aces for 31-6 Maryville (TN) last fall and was named District Tournament MVP. Interestingly, she had only four stuff blocks. Maybe that’s because teams didn’t challenge her. She clearly is capable, as is on full display here.

Terry Pettit coached at the University of Nebraska for 23 years and put the Huskers on the national and local maps. Not only did the AVCA Hall of Fame coach win a national championship in 1995 along withy 21 conference championships, but he also worked tirelessly in the community to develop a rabid fan base for his program. Volleyball, at all levels across the state, is the sport for Nebraska schoolgirls because of what he started more than two decades ago.

These days, Pettit teaches coaches and has a site, https://terrypettit.com/, dedicated to coaching, leadership and team building. He has graciously allowed us to reproduce his “Ten Suggestions for Coaches,” one at a time. Here is No. 1:

1. Limit the amount of talking you do in a practice with the use of keywords. If it takes more than two minutes to explain a drill or behavior you are entertaining yourself and confusing your players.

• High school volleyball has been ongoing for three weeks in Oregon and 30 teams remain unbeaten. The six reigning state champions, Jesuit (6A), Ridgeview (5A), Valley Catholic (4A), Santiam Christian (3A), Kennedy (2A) and St. Paul (1A), are a combined 34-5 at the shortened season’s midway point.

• Finally, today, I went looking for a “matched pair,” names that go together on a roster. My search took me to 18 USA at MEQ and third-place finisher HP Illinois 18 Elite. The roster had some great last names to work with, (Maycie) Beer, (Alysa) Bias, (Madeleine) Grimes, but I found two that go well as a pair: Natalie Edson and Audrey Lampe. Now, it is commonly (and erroneously) assumed that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. He did not, but improved on the concept by, among other things, purchasing patents for lamps that other people developed. Edson and Lampe…they just go together! More than once, in fact! Both have sisters playing on the 12s team!

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