With this post I will wrap things up for the 2021-22 school year.
I made 3 separate trips across the border into Canada for the Ontario Provincial Championships. This is an event that takes place over about a month in a couple different locations. My first trip was to watch the 17U (2023) boys. Then it was the 17U girls. Finally, I went again for the 18U boys and girls. The latter was mainly to watch one of our incoming women’s commits play with her team, along with one of her teammates who’d applied but not yet commit, but I also watched the boys.
The big challenge of these events is a lack of information. There’s no University Athlete, or anything like that. Rosters are available through the event app, but they were pretty limited. Some didn’t event have numbers, just a list of names. That meant having to do a fair bit of work to try to turn my observations into athlete contacts.
The women are now up to 8 commits for 2022. It was 9, but one had to pull out because the finances she thought she had lined up fell through. As I noted in the last women’s update, we’re looking to have 6 returners. That means a squad of 14 for next season, and there’s the possibility to yet add one more. Definitely a far cry from last season! I’ve been fully shifted to 2023 recruiting for a while now.
On the men’s side, we added another commit, and there are some of guys in the works, though obviously we very late in the game now. Since I’ve still been working 2022 I haven’t been able to go fully at 2023, but that’s ramping up.
I managed to get the two women’s dates filled that had previously had teams drop out of. It was definitely a scramble, but in the end I think it worked out OK.
One of the replacements was a strong opponent midweek in early September. I debated whether to include them, but ultimately decided to go with it because they’re about the same level as the top team in our new conference next season. Plus, we play a few others around that same kind of level in the first couple weeks.
The second replacement was a tri-match toward the end of the season. One of our now former conference opponents was hosting a conference match that day against a team happy to also play us. Actually, as part of picking up that tri-match we also gained another match. That same host team asked to join one of our home Saturday conference dates. The other team agreed (as did the administration), so we booked it.
As a result of these moves, we have 27 matches on our women’s schedule for the Fall. Of those 9 are conference fixtures. We’re not likely to be up to challenging for a regional ranking this year, so our non-conference schedule is one we can use developmentally.
On the men’s side, we have one more date to fill at this point. Basically, I’m trying to nail down some competition for us as we come out of Spring Break before resuming conference play after nearly a month away from it.
The school held it’s annual Athletics awards ceremony – the first in-person since 2019. It was an entertaining event. Medaille held graduation on May 12th. There were four volleyballers involved. One finished her degree in 3 years. One was a standard 4 year graduate. The third had finished his Master’s. The fourth technically isn’t graduating as she’s in a 3+3 program. She finished her first 3 this year, but technically the first year of her next 3 is what finishes up her undergraduate degree. She’ll be at a different school for that, though.
Rolling things over for 2022-23
Once the last of the Medaille teams finished their post-season play our Head Trainer got straight on rolling our medical records systems over to the new school year. Likewise with Compliance, though there the NCAA part of things will have to wait a while. As you can imagine, I have the women’s team working on that now. The men’s, though, can wait a bit.
A notable change
It’s been decided that Medaille is changing from College to University. Of course, this means lots of rebranding! The school said that will officially switch over as of July 1st, the start of the next academic fiscal year.
With that I will close the book on the 2021-22 log. I will probably start the 2022-23 journal in August as we start to approach the women’s preseason.