Greatest Volleyball Match Of All Time

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There are many great volleyball matches that noone has ever seen.  There are some that lots of people have seen.  The greatest match of all time is at best a subjective exercise and there is obviously no definitive answer.

Having said all that, the best match of all time is still the Netherlands – Italy Olympic final from 1996.  Two star packed teams, both at the absolute peak of the powers, playing at their best form.  You can count the unforced errors on one hand.  Oh, the stories I have heard about this match that I would love to write (but won’t).  Needless to say, but just in case, the Olympic final next year will, with 100% certainty, NOT be as good as this match.

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9 comments

  1. They showed this match on ESPN2 on Foxtel last Friday morning. Great match. Randomly followed it up a few hours later with NCAA women’s semi-finals.

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  2. I did have the pleasure of seeing the match, it is a memory I cannot convey in words. My first Olympic Games and this match was the culmination of two + weeks of absolute entertainment!

    The match lasted well past three hours but the audience was glued to the action throughout.

    Thank you for the reminder 🙂

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    1. I’m a bit jealous, but actually kind of glad I didn’t see that match live. I’m not sure I would have properly appreciated it. Now when I see it I have a much better understanding of the background of the two teams, what they are trying to do tactically, which players are mad at the coach etc etc and watch the game in a different way.

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      1. I have heard stories that the Italians were mad at their coach, especially Zorzi and Bracci. I am sure you can see that when they come on the court during the match. I don’t know if this is true, there are a lot of stories.
        What I do know from a series of clinics Alberda and Velasco gave in 2001…
        About team building… the Dutch spent a lot of time on team psychology and developing the team. The Italians focus was on the technical / tactical.
        About tactics… the Dutch based their blocking tactics around commit blocking against the first tempo, and studied when and how to do that. The Italians basic strategy was read blocking, and they almost never committed.

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