1. After going 5-5 against a mediocre non-conference schedule, the Irish lost their first four ACC matches and then won their next four. A nine match losing streak moved them from the middle of the ACC pack to the bottom. A road win over Va. Tech moved them to a 12th place finish in the conference.
2. The team had three grad transfers and one of them was their best middle blocker. The other two made minimal contributions. Another grad transfer or two will be needed.
3. There were no seniors of note on the roster that had been depleted by transfers.
4. Junior libero Hattie Monson was the star of the team. Lauren Tarnoff was the second best middle.
5. Sophomore Phyona Schrader was the setter in every set of every match and seemed good to me. Paris Thompson is a promising outside hitter, but missed some matches. This could be an injury problem, but I don't know because the team receives almost no media coverage.
6. Freshmen Lucy Trump and Avery Ross showed some promise as outside hitters. Maisie Alexander and Cailey Dockery were regulars in the server/defensive specialist rotation.
7. There has not yet been an announcement on the signings for 2023. I believe that there will be two Texans, a libero and an outside hitter. Coach Rockwell's first real recruiting class will be 2024 because the best prospects tend to commit at the beginning of their junior year of high school. She has commitments from three tall and talented prospects for 2024.
8. I do not know volleyball well enough to judge coaching. This year's results were not unexpected, although ND did lose to a couple of teams who finished below them in the standings. A reasonable goal would be to finish in the middle five of the ACC in 2023 and make the top five in 2024. The top five usually receive NCAA bids.
By all accounts Rockwell is a good coach
But she needs players, so we will see how she recruits/gets transfers
Of course, I thought Johnson was doing a good job, but then the mass exodus of current players and his firing says something was wrong
Bottom line, after the almost complete depletion of the roster, it will take Rockwell time to get a full competent roster - enough to practice, nevermind compete in the ACC. I would think 2-3 more years just to get back to where we were - top 3rd of the ACC and NCAA tournament qualified. That would be the first goal
She had 19.5 points and 17 kills for the Warriors in a 3-0 shellacking of Georgia Tech. Yes, I know the Warriors were a solid program but Hamilton showed just how good she was/is.
Like Doggie, I thought Johnson was doing a good job so I'm totally mystified why the exodus started? Was it him? Or players reacting to him leaving?
In any case, Rockwell is supposed to be a solid coach, having grown up in the vaunted Penn State system. But like everyone has said, ND needs players.
What's so frustrating is ND was starting to get them. Deja vu all over again.
style. As you know that team underachieved during the 2021 season. If Coach Rockwell can convince a few strong additions to come through the portal for 2023, then that will help her make some immediate gains. Otherwise, she'll need to wait for her outstanding 2024 recruits to arrive and work on developing her current players.