Many VolleyFamilies look forward with anticipation to the September 1st date of their Junior Year because of the opportunity to 'interact' with NCAA Division I coaches. Please note that the contact rules have been changed for DII coaches. With the onset of internet technology, the ability of PSA's to call college coaches, and how aggressive many coaches are with going through club directors/coaches (or just cheating) in reaching out to PSA's, the 9/1 date has become a little less 'heavy'.
VolleyFamilies should realize that the September 1st date is in the early part of a college team's pre-conference tournament schedule. 9/1/12 was on a Saturday, so every college program was playing matches. While all college coaches know the importance of the September 1st date, it is a very busy time (arguably the busiest because there is just so much going on the first two weeks of competition), that getting emails out to PSA's on 9/1 can take a back seat.
I know from my NCAA DI experience, that while I wanted to get emails out to my recruits on 9/1, most of the time 9/1 became 9/8 or 9/14. Too many DI programs are not fully staffed with a second assistant coach, much less a Director of Operations. We know we should be getting out the emails to Junior recruits, but we have so many other things that we have got to get done because of the time of the year and we don't have enough staff.
A better time window may be to change 9/1 to 9/21, and that may even be too restrictive. It is great that your PSA did hear from two programs immediately, but my bet is she is going to hear from many more because of two reasons; 1) College coaches will get more into a rhythm of the playing season and thus be able to circle back to recruiting, 2) Scholarship and roster openings will emerge as the season progresses because of injuries, academics and cuts.
Don't judge recruiting interest by the 9/1 date. Welcome the fact that schools did immediately reach out, but view this as affirmation rather than summary. You must keep reaching out to college programs, keep an open mind to region, size of school, majors, etc. Don't shut down your efforts because there is still so much that can and will change within the college volleyball recruiting landscape.
College coaches will contact their considered list of recruits. Each coach will determine how large that list is; Top 10 programs may only consider 20 athletes as having the ability to play at their program, while a mid level program could have 100's of players they are actively recruiting.
With regards to the Ivy League school you mentioned as your top choice (and this goes for any #1 choice), you can't make a program scholarship your PSA. I understand this is your PSA's top choice, and the school has many wonderful qualities, but the college coaches are going to make their recruiting decisions based upon their needs, and not so much your efforts. If your PSA responds to their emails promptly, suggest and/or accepts any unofficial visit offers and keeps them updated on her season, with attaching current video, this is all you can do. Calling them every day, or sending 100 videos, or buying the school's sweatshirt will not make the college coaches think your daughter is a better player or hits harder or jumps higher.
Look at your #1 choice in this simple way; they reached out to you on 9/2 which is a positive and you are among their considered group of recruits.
It is good to cultivate all collegiate support interests just because you can't predict the future - An old saying is that it is easy to say no, but hard to say yes. It is better for your daughter to say no to an option because she had that option available, than saying yes to something which is not there.
If she is gifted within the world of art, then by all means pursue that as a possibility; better to have this choice available, then to retrospectively say you wish that choice would have been available.
As a 5'10" SA, for NCAA DI purposes, she is better suited as an outside attacker (either right or left side). I would be stunned if the SEC school had her as projected middle, and even in the Ivy League, 5'10" middle would be on the small side. If your daughter's goal is to play at the highest level of DI, then as a 5'10' player who jumps well, she needs to go outside. If she is a good passer, then outside means passing and attacking as a left side hitter. If she struggles in serve receive, then she needs to be a right side player who focuses on shutting down the opponents left side hitter by blocking, and then hitting a high percentage as an attacker.
Don't judge your daughter's viability on being a DI volleyball player based upon the college coach outreach at this point. Also, don't limit your daughter's options to just DI. In today's collegiate sports climate, I seriously question whether or not Division I volleyball is the best option for players. I think NCAA Division II many times offers a well rounded experience where players can play high level collegiate sports, but also have a life outside of the gym and can experience the many facets of being a kid in college. With your daughter's gifts within the creative world, maybe being a Division II Volleyball player would allow her to be an artist and an athlete?
My blunt response is that you are putting way too much weight and thought into the fact that two schools (only two schools) have sent emails since 9/1. If anything, that tells me not enough effort has been put into the outreach process by her/you. Contacting 40 schools is not enough; you should be contacting 100's of schools based upon a wide range of parameters. Remember, easy to say no, hard to say yes. You want to put your daughter into the position that she does say no many times, because this makes saying yes the correct decision. Reach out, and re-reach out to hundreds of schools - Elite DI's, schools out of your region, mid-level DI's, elite DII's, schools with art programs, schools with a large campus, schools that are in a rural area, small schools in a big city, etc.
I would not worry about calling coaches at this point, just because that is getting a bit too far ahead of the game given the information you have shared with me. Focus instead on reaching out to potential schools during this fall period, which also coincides with coaches who are determining their updated recruiting needs. Give the recruiting process more time to gather more options; this is the slowest time for collegiate recruiting because college coaches are in season; all of them will get back on the recruiting train later in the fall!
Coach Matt Sonnichsen