King of Alternative Lineups

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I have written four different stories on ‘non traditional’ lineups (here, here, here, here) and it was inevitable that I would end up here, with the King of Alternative Lineups. Again the star of the story is Angelo Lorenzetti, who in the 2006-07 inherited a poorly performing team and left no stone unturned. The second star in Australian middle blocker Dan Howard, an extremely versatile player, who could literally do everything. In this lineup Lorenzetti turning over every stone, finds Howard under all of them as he plays as a receiver, middle AND opposite, all the same match. There are probably only two other players of the last thirty years who could have fulfilled that ‘role’.

I actually coached in this match and I had forgotten just how complicated it was to plan for and to play. There are some formations here that were mistakes, ie players forgot where they should stand, and some that in hindsight I am sure were spontaneous, provoked by subsitutions. There was a line, in bold and capitals, in the original match plan. STARE SEMPRE ATTENTI ALLE VARIE FORMAZIONI If you follow from here you will see why. I can tell you this took a lot longer to prepare than I was expecting.

The lineup, starting with position 1 was: 1 – Dante Boninfante (setter), 2 – Rob Bontje (MB), 3 – Peter Veres (OH), 4 – Francesco Biribanti (OPP), 5 – Zbigniew Bartman (OH), 6 – Dan Howard (MB). The other main characters in this play were the libero Guiseppe Sorcinelli, setter Marlon and Gabriele Maruotti who comes on as a sub in different places. In the 4th set, they changed the lineup. I haven’t ‘analysed’ that particular lineup but you can see it in the video if you scroll down.

P1 – Libero is in for Howard, Bartman receives jump serve, Veres attacks from position 2.
P1 – Double sub, mistake. Receiver Maruotti in for the setter, setter Marlon in for Bartman, libero in for Biribanti. This is the nominal P3. You will also notice that the players have made a mistake. All 3 frontrow players are on the left so one of them can’t attack. Veres is available to spike in position 1. Check the confusion in the video at 0:18.
P1 – Double sub, correct. Howard receives on the right. Maruotti stands out.
P1 – 4.0. Maruotti in for Biribanti, libero in for Bartman. Howard is available to receive, and spike pipe.
P6 – Libero in for Bontje, Howard and Veres receive, setter lines up on the left as Meoni would in 2 years time.
P6, double sub – Nominal P2. Libero in for Biribanti. Maruotti to attack from 2

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P5 – Bartman drops back to receive, Howard is a middle blocker. It looks ‘traditional’ except for the libero, in for Bontje, in the middle.
P4 – Libero in for Bontje. For jump serve Bartman comes back to receive. Howard is a middle blocker.
P4 – Variation. Maruotti replaces Biribanti and receives. Veres becomes backrow hitter.

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P3 – Mistake. Libero in for Bartman. Two middles in the frontrow again not quite sure what to do.
P3 – Correct. Howard as receiver on the left. Everything else normal.
P2 – Libero in for Biribanti, Bartman receives, Howard is opposite.
P2 – 2.0. Libero in for Bartman, Howard receives, Biribanti is opposite.
P2 – 3.0. Maruotti in for Biribanti, Libero in for Bartman, Howard is opposite.

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