This post is from September 2015 – early during my time in Sweden.
There was a post on the Volleywood website following the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup. In it the author sought to explain why the US failed to finish in the top two. It’s something I’ve wanted to talk about since seeing the article. PhD thesis work occupied my non-coaching time, though.
Now I’ve got a chance, so here goes!
The author of the piece spends a lot of time talking about hitting errors and the team’s low hitting percentage in key matches. At the end, though, he also says the US had by far the best serve reception efficiency among the key contenders. It’s easy to blame the hitters for poor hitting. I couldn’t help but think, though, the problem was with poor decision-making and/or execution by the setters.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch any of the matches. However, when a team passes well and generally speaking has a pretty good collection of attackers, but hits poorly, then my first question is whether the setter is getting the job done.
This is actually an under-examined element of the game. Setters can make poor set choices. So long as the set is a good one, though, people tend not to blame them for any attacking failure.
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