I've always wondered why Azerbaijan have such a strong female NT compared to other former URSS countries. The Soviet Union always had a strong team, so I thought that volley will develop equally in all former URSS countries. Russia is the follower of the URSS team, with very strong attackers and blockers, but no other country (except Azerbaijan) have a solid and decent NT.
Why just Azerbaijan developped good players? Is it the influence of Turkey more than that of Russia?. Considering also that Russia is developping strong spikers but not setters and liberos, while Azerbaijan certainly have one of the best liberos (Korotenko) of the World and one of the best setters (Parkhomenko). If we think also Turkey has strong liberos (Gulden) and setters (Mert, Aydemir, Celik). From Russia on the other hand come strong attackers that are not good receivers and diggers, while Azerbaijan and Turkey generally have more balanced spikers that are good receivers and in defence (Shabovta, Mammadyarova from Azerbaijan and Gumus, Kirdar from Turkey). Also Azeri and Turkish MBs are better than Russian in my opinion, or at least they have different characteristics (if we compare Kovalenko, Parkhomenko, Ozbek, Erdem to Borodakova, Merkulova and Alimova).
Why Armenia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kirghizistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Moldova, the Baltic countries, Ukraine don't have at least a decent NT? Belarus and Kazakhstan are a little bit better, but still struggling.
Some individual players emerge from those countries, but generally they are strong spikers and weaker receivers (Tocko from Latvia, Petrauskaite from Lithuania, Pavlova, well she is a better receiver, from Kazakhstan, Aksenava, Kovalchuk, Tumas, Andrushko and Hendzel from Belarus, Mammadova, Maksimenko, Gasukha, Goncharova, Marchenko, Gansonre from Ukraine).
No good setters or liberos emerge from those countries (except Zhukova) and just some MBs (Hendzel and Tumas, however they play also as OH, they are more universal players). Ravva is an excellent MB from Georgia, but I think she learned volley from Azeri school. Is Kovalenko from Belarus? I think that her being a good MB is also thanks to Azeri school.
And what is even worse that many of them become Russian without having the possibility to play in NT (Andrushko, Kovalchuk, Goncharova, Gansonre). On the other hand the ones who change to Azerbaijan play in the NT.
So can someone from Azerbaijan or former URSS, explain me this situation?