My Favourite Spikes

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That is not a typo in the title. I do not mean spikers. I mean individual spikes. Spikes where athleticism, aesthetics and outcome combine to produce something special. For example, I was going through video the other day and came across this action.

I haven’t watched Nimir play in person nearly as much as I would like, but having the opportunity in the Rimini VNL bubble was eye popping. Watching him spike and serve was so much fun, I almost didn’t care what happened to the ball after contact. The best were the clean cross court spikes. There is something about the angle of approach and where it goes past the block that just doesn’t seem right. Seeing the clip made me give some thought to my 4 favourite spikes.

Wallace is another opposite with a very distinctive cross court hit. It seems to come from nowhere. His approach is an amble. His jump is a spring. His takeoff is so close to the net and the ball that he can hit angles that others just can’t. The variation where he turns in the air and pumps it down the line is very nearly as good.

The 2nd ball pipe is pretty common these days, as well as its sibling the fake 2nd ball pipe fast set to the outside. While he may not have invented it, Earvin N’Gapeth definitely popularised it. And he is still the best.

My favourite attack is the floating quick that is being used more and more. It is not impossible to defend, but when done well has the capacity to make middle blockers look very, very bad indeed. There are a few that do it very well, Kochanowski, Sole, Loser… I could have picked any of them, but instead I picked Chinenyeze.

I am sure I will work on a part 2 during the Olympics. Suggestions welcome.

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