November 6, 2014

College Volleyball Recruiting - The Libero and Injury

Hi Coach,

Thank you for all the great advice you've posted over the years.  It has been an invaluable resource for me as well as some of my VolleyMom friends.

My daughter is a 5'4 libero and currently a senior recovering from an ACL+partial meniscus injury.  The injury happened at the beginning of last year's club season, in the middle of her junior year.  As devastating as it was (and still is, since it's had a ripple effect on her college playing options), we continued communications with college coaches before and after surgery as well as during her long rehab process.  I'm sure she missed out on some opportunities because of the unfortunate timing of her injury.  Still, she has garnered interest from the top, academic D3s.

What we are struggling with now is trying to read between the lines and interpreting what certain coaches' statements mean.  I'm hoping you can shed some light!

(1) Her first choice school invited her to attend a recruiting weekend where she got to stay with current players, attend classes, watch some matches, etc.  The coach has sent mixed messages:  first that his support doesn't guarantee admission; however, he's also said his support means enough that if she doesn't get in early decision like she wants, not to worry.

(2) The rest of the schools on her list are highly selective academic d3s & all relatively competitive in their respective volleyball conferences.  We've visited and met with the coaches at 2 of the 4 and a 3rd just invited her to come for an official visit after sending her stats thru a preliminary admissions screening.

Given the above, is there anything you can tell us about what might be going on behind the scenes?  Mind you, my daughter is currently still in rehab but should be 100% by start of club season. It's been encouraging that these schools plus a few more have been so patient during her rehab process.

(3) Last, at this stage in the recruiting game, should she suspend committing anywhere until end of club season?  Is it possible/likely that additional schools (academic D1s, for example) might show interest?

Thank you for your attention!

Concerned VolleyParent

Apologies for the later reply - your email just got lost in my queue.  So glad to hear that has been of help during your PSA's recruiting process and I hope you have had a chance to also read Inside College Volleyball.

The Junior year injury can be a tough one on the recruiting process, but not devastating, especially as a Libero.  Remember that Liberos are Last when it comes to recruiting.  The positive is that this scenario allows these families more time to manage and understand the recruiting process, along with recover from any unforeseen circumstances.

As to your questions:

1.  DIII coaches are pretty much mandated to tell their recruits that being a Volleyball player does not guarantee admission, but, as the coach indicated, there may be some influence which can be exerted during the admission process.  Don't read anything into the responses of the coach, as they seem typical to me.

2.  This time of the year is one of the slowest for the recruiting process; college coaches are in the heart of the season and concerned about so many other details than recruiting.  Right now, the non-DI programs (and many of the DI's) have put recruiting on hold and are just trying to keep the players interested while they finish out their collegiate season and determine exactly what they will need for an incoming recruiting class.  DI's recruit early and late and everything in-between; the non DI schools generally wait to secure their recruiting class until after their season and focus on high school seniors.

3.  I would encourage your PSA to fully recover from her injury and engage in the club season before moving forward with committing to any college program.  Coming soon is the crazy season of collegiate recruiting - the November to late January time frame is just zany; coaches get fired, resigning, taking new jobs, getting hired, players quitting, getting cut, not recovering from injuries, flunking out, etc., etc., etc.  All of this leads to significant opportunities for players (roster spots and scholarships) in DI, DII, NAIA and JC's. 

This is the same advice I give all seniors and juniors; don't panic, keep reaching out to new colleges/universities, work on your skill sets, and manage the process.  There will be many opportunities come open, which cannot be seen now.  Better to see how these present themselves over the next few months, than accept an offer/roster spot when a PSA is not 100% all in.

Good luck and keep encouraging your daughter in the finishing stages of her rehab.


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