Ricardo v Vullo

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I don’t remember the exact context, but after seeing the following video of Ricardo making a ridiculous set, I was moved to comment that it is the exact same set that I’ve seen Fabio Vullo make to Steve Timmons nearly 30 years ago.  I then suggested that the Ricardo set wasn’t that tough (relatively) because he was setting to a left hander (Andre) while Vullo was setting to a right hander (Timmons).  In hindsight, the sets themselves have exactly the same level of difficulty, the difference is for the hitters.  Anyway, the Vullo set just surfaced so you can decide.  For the record, I think the Vullo set is much more impressive.  Ricardo has ample time to get his feet set and everyone in the gym knows where it is going.  Vullo comes right out of the blue.  But that’s just my opinion.

You can decide for yourself…



Tagged Volleyball History

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    1. There are two answers to that…
      The first is, given the time he had to move and to square up, I would say that was the easier option. It was the shorter distance.
      The second is, for Ricardo, the reason not to set the easier option is because it is the easier option..
      I think the question is better asked of Vullo. His was a jump set that didn’t have to be. He definitely took the more difficult option. OutRicardoed Ricardo if you will.


  1. Reading between the lines of what I think you’re saying… If by ‘brilliant’ you mean the ability to make impressive plays and by ‘mediocre’ you mean lacking the ability to make impressive plays then my answer is…
    A good setter has great leadership skills, coupled with high technical proficiency and tactical awareness. Technical ability is only one part of the role and maybe not the most important. And one cannot forget a very important point: setters are not magicians and don’t make any points themselves and only magicians can win without good spikers.


  2. 1 – Vullo’s set is much better (jump set and right hander), though neither of them squared up!
    2 – You missed Fabiani in the list of setters and had Ball in there based in the fact that he happened to win a match 2.5 years ago (and would never have had him there otherwise)


    1. 1 – I agree about Vullo. But Ricardo is pretty square to 2. It’s a pretty simple set when all is said and done. And if you notice the score is 23-12, so it’s not much of a risk.
      2 – I didn’t think of Fabiani, but wouldn’t have added him anyway. My answer to the question was heavily biased towards winning setters. Fabiani might well fit Hugh’s description of brilliant setters who underperformed. As for Ball, he is widely regarded as the best setter in the world right now, and for that last 3 or 4 years, including the Olypmics.


    1. Maybe a setter’s performance is more impressive when his team is passing like rubbish? More eye catching maybe, because it has to be?


  3. Fabio Vullo won 8 Italian leagues (84, 87, 88, 89, 91, 95, 97, 01) in 3 different decades, as well as 7 European Champions Leagues (90, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98). Besides in 1992, he did not play on the national team under Velasco, but he is without a doubt the best Italian setter of all times, and in my opinion one of the very best overall. When Lloy Ball went to Modena after Vullo had quit, in 2000, coach Bagnoli used to show him all the time Vullo’s videos. Ball got fed up! =]
    Vullo was way better than Grbic and Lloy (who are great) and he had both qualities: he was spectacular and a winner.


    1. Fabio is without question one of the great setters, as his record shows. There was a 10-12 year period when he, Tofoli, Blange and Jeff Stork (who had 1) won every Italian championships.
      I think there are a few guys (Dall’Olio, Tofoli, Meoni) who would argue about the ‘without a doubt best Italian’ part, and I’m not sure about ‘way better’ than Grbic and Ball.
      As good as his club record is, his lack of international success (Velasco once said that picking him in 92 cost them the gold medal) counts against him, just as Ricardo’s lack of club success counts against him.
      But he was definitely both spectacular and a winner.


  4. I can’t imagine Tofoli arguing about being a great setter. Just saying.

    Did you actually see Nekoda playing?


    1. I don’t think Tofoli spends too much time complaining about his career.
      I’ve only seen odd snippets of Nekoda. If I did see him, I would probably be disappointed. But he must have been pretty good.


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