The What Makes This Play Great? and What Just Happened? series of articles are unquestionably the highlights of the volleyball year and today we have one from the Champions League semi final between Trentino and Perugia.
The most difficult situation for receivers is to control the direction of the platform when the serve is strong and far away from the body. The further away from the body, the harder it is for the receiver to get their platform pointing towards the target. Most commonly, as soon at the ball is far from the receiver, they will turn their hips to chase after the ball, their shoulders will follow, and the ball will end up in the stands. The worst variation of this is when the receiver is in position 1. In order to successfully receive such serves, the receiver has to take the ball in front of their body to create the correct angle. As you can imagine the stronger the serve the more difficult it is to take the ball early, and the further away, even more so. When you see a player do it successfully, it is a thing of beauty.
The only thing I can add is that the player in question, Alessandro Michieletto is 2.05 and has only just turned 19. I suspect this is not the last time you will hear about him.
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