Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
Sign in to follow this  
TigersTigers

Volleyball 2022

Recommended Posts

Two home games this weekend against William & Mary, who is surprisingly in 3rd place. This standing is slightly inflated, as they have avoided all of the top teams in the league so far. They should pick up 2 losses this weekend, which will push them back into the pack. Speaking of, tournament seeding looks like it's going to be a mess up to the end. Hofstra (12-0!) and Towson (9-1) are clear at the top, while UNCW (1-9) and Hampton (0-12) have already been cut adrift. The entire rest of the league is sandwiched between 6-4 and 4-8, with everybody having either 4 or 6 games left to play. Those 7 teams will fight it out for the 6 remaining tournament spots, with Hofstra and Towson both already having clinched. Reminder that should both remain unscathed from here, Hofstra and Towson will meet at 14-0 and 13-1 on the final week of the season in Towson. Those two matches will determine top seed in the tournament, as well as who gets home-court advantage for next year's tournament.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick look at the league heading into the final two weeks of the season:

League Standings

  1. Hofstra (12-0)*
  2. Towson (11-1)*
  3. Northeastern (8-4)*
  4. Charleston (7-5)*
  5. Elon (7-5)*
  6. Delaware (8-6)*
  7. William & Mary (6-6)
  8. NC A&T (5-9)
  9. Stony Brook (4-10)
  10. UNCW (2-10)
  11. Hampton (0-14)

The top 6 have all already clinched spots in the 8-team tournament field. Both Hofstra and Towson will have difficult schedules to finish the season, with Hofstra play Northeastern at home before travelling to Towson, and Towson travelling to Charleston (where they almost never win) before hosting the Pride. It is worth noting that during their bye week, Hofstra played Chicago State and lost. 

At the bottom, the last spot is likely to come down to Stony Brook and NC A&T. Both teams only have 2 games left, but Stony Brook should get 2 free wins against Hampton. Meanwhile, A&T will have to go to Charleston. I actually see Stony Brook overtaking them and claiming the 8-seed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TigersTigers said:

A quick look at the league heading into the final two weeks of the season:

League Standings

  1. Hofstra (12-0)*
  2. Towson (11-1)*
  3. Northeastern (8-4)*
  4. Charleston (7-5)*
  5. Elon (7-5)*
  6. Delaware (8-6)*
  7. William & Mary (6-6)
  8. NC A&T (5-9)
  9. Stony Brook (4-10)
  10. UNCW (2-10)
  11. Hampton (0-14)

The top 6 have all already clinched spots in the 8-team tournament field. Both Hofstra and Towson will have difficult schedules to finish the season, with Hofstra play Northeastern at home before travelling to Towson, and Towson travelling to Charleston (where they almost never win) before hosting the Pride. It is worth noting that during their bye week, Hofstra played Chicago State and lost. 

At the bottom, the last spot is likely to come down to Stony Brook and NC A&T. Both teams only have 2 games left, but Stony Brook should get 2 free wins against Hampton. Meanwhile, A&T will have to go to Charleston. I actually see Stony Brook overtaking them and claiming the 8-seed. 

Sounds like td arena (assuming they play there too) is a house of horrors for everyone at Towson 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, TigersTigers said:

A quick look at the league heading into the final two weeks of the season:

League Standings

  1. Hofstra (12-0)*
  2. Towson (11-1)*
  3. Northeastern (8-4)*
  4. Charleston (7-5)*
  5. Elon (7-5)*
  6. Delaware (8-6)*
  7. William & Mary (6-6)
  8. NC A&T (5-9)
  9. Stony Brook (4-10)
  10. UNCW (2-10)
  11. Hampton (0-14)

The top 6 have all already clinched spots in the 8-team tournament field. Both Hofstra and Towson will have difficult schedules to finish the season, with Hofstra play Northeastern at home before travelling to Towson, and Towson travelling to Charleston (where they almost never win) before hosting the Pride. It is worth noting that during their bye week, Hofstra played Chicago State and lost. 

At the bottom, the last spot is likely to come down to Stony Brook and NC A&T. Both teams only have 2 games left, but Stony Brook should get 2 free wins against Hampton. Meanwhile, A&T will have to go to Charleston. I actually see Stony Brook overtaking them and claiming the 8-seed. 

It still feels like it will come down to that last weekend at SECU against Hofstra. At College of Charleston doesn't have as much recent futility as it did before 2019. Towson has only played at Charleston three times (2-1 record) since 2019 with all the COVID scheduling. However, like you said last year Towson won a tough five-set match and lost one as well at Charleston. They have already lost five times at home this year and don't seem quite as formidable as usual. Of course, they should not be overlooked. 

I was just looking at the attendance for the year, and it looked like they had 1,000+ fans for the Rutgers match which stood out compared to other matches this year. Does anyone know if there was anything special done for that match, and if there are plans to try to do something similar for that last weekend against Hofstra? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tiger93 said:

It still feels like it will come down to that last weekend at SECU against Hofstra. At College of Charleston doesn't have as much recent futility as it did before 2019. Towson has only played at Charleston three times (2-1 record) since 2019 with all the COVID scheduling. However, like you said last year Towson won a tough five-set match and lost one as well at Charleston. They have already lost five times at home this year and don't seem quite as formidable as usual. Of course, they should not be overlooked. 

I was just looking at the attendance for the year, and it looked like they had 1,000+ fans for the Rutgers match which stood out compared to other matches this year. Does anyone know if there was anything special done for that match, and if there are plans to try to do something similar for that last weekend against Hofstra? 

Hopefully yes, but away at CofC has still been a problem recently, despite the 2-1 record. In 2019, Towson was undefeated, and Charleston finished last. And yet, they still forced us to grind out a tough 4-setter. In 2021, we were down 2-0 before coming back to win 3-2. Then, the very next day, we went down 2-0 again before coming back to force a 5th set yet again. In the 5th set, we erased an 8-point deficit and still ended up losing. Going there is always a problem, always has been, will never not be. I'd bank on us splitting the two matches this weekend. However, I also think Hofstra are due for a loss this weekend against Northeastern. 

Both the volleyball team and the athletic department marketed the absolute hell out if the Rutgers match, and it paid dividends. The trouble is all the conference matches are played in the early afternoon, because the matches must be played early on Sundays to give teams time to travel on Sunday evening. Playing a match on Saturday night and then Sunday morning is a pretty nasty turnaround, so all the Saturday matches are played at 1 or 2 PM. This has been a death sentence to attendance. In the past few years, Friday night games had been very well attended. The Saturday afternoon games are much more difficult to drum up support for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cannot be understated just how big the two wins were this weekend on the road. It finally brings us to the main event of the entire CAA season next week: 14-0 Hofstra @ 13-1 Towson. I'm thinking I'll do a detailed breakdown of the matchup and provide a little context for the matchup later in the week. Long story short: Hofstra vs. Towson is the biggest sport-specific rivalry in the conference, and these 2 matches will be intense and emotionally loaded.

Edited by TigersTigers
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As promised, here is a breakdown of this weekend's pair of matches:

Hofstra (17-9, 14-0) @ Towson (24-1, 13-1)

The Stakes: The Pride and the Tigers are set to experience their most consequential matches against one another since the 2018 CAA semifinals, when the Pride withstood a furious Towson comeback to win in 5 sets. These two matches will decide who wins the CAA regular season title and gets the #1 seed for the upcoming CAA tournament, which will be hosted by the Tigers no matter what. Regular season titles are relatively meaningless, save for the fact that in the CAA, the regular season champion earns the right to host the tournament the following season. Not only are the two teams fighting for the usual bragging rights, but the Pride will have some extra motivation to break Towson's 3-year streak of hosting the playoffs. One win does the job for Hofstra; Towson must win both matches to get the #1 seed and keep the tournament in 2023. 

Why Hofstra's Record is So Weird: How does a team go from winning just 3 nonconference matches to going undefeated in one of the better volleyball conferences in the country? The answer is simple: Emily Mansur. Since she became Hofstra's head coach in 2014, the Brazilian native has carefully built a program that reflects her own personality: ruthless, pragmatic, audacious, and successful. She has shown over the years that she cares about one thing, and one thing only: winning the conference. She could not care less about nonconference record, RPI, rankings, or individual awards. As a result, Hofstra almost always does poorly in preseason, as Mansur experiments with many different players and lineups. Yet, they always end up playing their best volleyball come season's end, and have become a mainstay in the CAA tournament.

The Metil vs. Mansur Era: While Hofstra has dominated the series all-time, 37-17, the last 8 years have been far more contentious. With Don Metil and Emily Mansur at each helm, the teams have met 16 times, with the Tigers holding a 9-7 edge. In fact, they have split every single regular season series except for 2019, when Towson was undefeated. They have met twice in the tournament in that time as well, with each team winning once. In the modern era, these two programs could not be more even. And yet, they are fundamentally different. Despite having many international players, Metil employs the classic American model for success: Recruit players with great speed, strength, and jumping ability. Run your offense as fast as possible, and blow by teams with your tremendous athletes on the pins. Mansur is the polar opposite, in line with a more European approach to the game. Her players tend to be less physical and more technical. Vary the offense, don't be afraid to play unconventionally, and outclass teams with your superior ball control and quality. Which system is better? Who cares, it's a great watch.

Not for the Faint of Heart: In addition to clashing stylistically, Metil and Mansur also just so happen to be easily the two strongest coaching personalities in the conference. They tend to butt heads just about every time they play one another, and their teams follow suit. One mainstay of Mansur's program has been coaching her teams to give themselves the psychological edge by any means necessary. She has been known to coach her players to celebrate brazenly, physically intimidate opponents, and trash talk frequently. This doesn't sit well with any team, but has always been especially grating on the Tigers, who have developed a tangible aura of arrogance during Metil's tenure. While he does not deliberately instill the behavior in his teams the way Mansur does, he certainly doesn't do anything to stop it, and the Tigers are no strangers to nastiness themselves. Throw in a few unpleasant recruiting battles, decommitments, and social media shenanigans, and you have quite a fun time on your hands. This weekend will be the latest installment in the continuous mounting of bitterness between the two programs, and what do you know? They just so happen to be the two best teams in the league as well. 

This Year's Pride: It is easy to point to attackers as impact players on teams that you don't watch frequently. After all, they score the points and make the headlines. But Hofstra's two best players occupy the non-scoring positions, which is a big reason why they're so much better than expected. Setter Beatriz Alves and Libero Chiara Cucco, both Sophomores, are both the type of player that make everyone around them a little better. Their consistency, ball control, and defensive abilities have allowed the Pride's attackers (who are not as strong individually) to excel as a unit. It is reminiscent of Towson's spotless 2019 campaign, wherein a talented setter made the rest of the team's individuals coalesce into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The Pride are buoyed offensively by a quartet of pin hitters: Senior Zyare Abdul-Rahim (a Baltimore native who Towson passed on), Junior Yagmur Cinel (the most improved outside in the league), and Freshmen Izadora Stedile and Clara Bal (who are both ROTY candidates). None of those players are great, but they're all good. That's why they're so hard to predict, and even harder to beat. 

Prediction: The Pride have been a revelation this season, proving to be about two years ahead of schedule in their rebuild. They are a group of talented and classy volleyball players, who have proven that they know how to win. And yet, they are going up against the Tigers, who have established themselves as the conference's prominent perennial winners. Even with Hofstra's season turning out to be the absolute best-case scenario, Towson is still the better team. I still believe that the Tigers should win both matches, and not doing so should be considered a disappointment. Yet again, it is Hofstra, a team whose MO for the last 8 years has been making things difficult. So, I'll go for what these teams always do against each other: a 1-1 split. Hofstra takes the #1 seed, and it hopefully sets us up for a rematch in the championship game. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Towson Volleyball has been a stalwart in the athletics department going back to the days of Chris Riley (currently at Va. Tech, I believe). Coach Metil deserves incredible credit for how he has run his program from the day he walked onto campus!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ladies just clinched the regular season title and the #1 seed in the tournament. Congratulations ladies. Looks like a small possibility of cracking the top 25.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.

Footer title

This is an example of a list.

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.

×