Best Player/Team of This Decade (2011-2020)

  • It has been an amazing decade of volleyball - despite the ending is a bit bitter due to Covid19. Let’s go down to memory lane & share your own personal favorite according to the following categories. It will be nice to see how everyone’s opinion on who is the best of this decade!


    Best Opp Men & Women

    Best OH Men & Women (2 person)

    Best MB Men & Women (2 person)

    Best Setter Men & Women

    Best Libero Men & Women


    Best National Team (Men & Women)

    Best Club (Men & Women)


    MVP of the Decade (Men & Women)


    This will be a good walk down memory lane to all the fanatic of volleyball & informative thread for newbies who fall in love with volleyball recently. Happy discussing!

  • This decade started in 2011, but that's fine :P


    Though list to do for me, after London I stopped watching volley that closely, so for a couple years of this decade I wasn't watching that many games (it was really difficult to find some matches at the times + i was feeling a little bit burnout) so many players weren't on my radar.. so it will be more of "Players that I enjoyed the most", not just Best Players


    WOMEN


    Best Opp:


    Sheilla


    Such a complete player. I think her best years were in the end of the the last decade but she did amazing this decade too until her stint at Vakifbank, at least. A fierce player, always training to be the best she can be, deadly when matters the most. A different type of go-to-player from a different time of volleyball.


    Honorable mentions:

    Neslihan Demir, Kasia Skowronska


    Best OH:


    Kim Yeon-Koung


    I watched her at her peak in London + her stint in Fenerbahçe, but not to many seasons, but what I saw blew my mind, she's for me the best player of the decade - or mind I say, of all time, she was THAT special. What she was able to do, on a such high level, almost looking like it was a walk in the park for her, making super players at the time look almost like amateurs. Plus that serve routine of hers was A KILLER, unbelievable good. Oh, such good times!


    Zhu Ting


    Her skills speak for herself, the most complete player at the moment, the current best player in the world in my opinion. Nonchalant leader, leading by example with a winner mentality. Another really special player, but Kim came first, and nostalgia is a bitch, sorry.


    Honorable mentions:

    Jordan Larson, Tatiana Kosheleva


    Best MB:


    Thaisa


    Time to be a little bit biased but I think it's fair. She's a monster, a blocking-machine and most of all, a fighter. Aggressive blocker, can read players like no other can + she's amazing in attacks and have an old-school MB vibe, being able to defend + her sets are top-tier, she could've played in any position she wanted. After that injury, everybody but her thought that she was done. I'm not saying that she's the current best MB in the world, but she is the best MB in the world.


    Milena Rasic


    Rasic + Ravva + Ana in Cannes was one the of the most beautiful things I had the pleasure to watch, then she goes to Vakifbank to make part of the best team of the decade. It's a no-brainer, really. She's special, a generational players not only for Serbia, but for the world.


    Honorable mentions:

    Christiane Furst, Foluke Akinradewo


    Best Setter:


    Maja Ognjenovic


    Skills + accomplishments, she has been the heart and brain of Serbia for many many years and if this was a prolific decade for them it was specially (but not only that, to be fair) because of a player like Maja. She's so out-of-curve special that I can totally see her being the best setter of the next decade too if she keeps playing. I'm definitely up for that.


    Honorable mentions:

    Nootsara Tomkom, Dani Lins


    Best Libero:


    Monica De Gennaro


    She's the current best libero and she's amazing. I little bit flashy sometimes, but does the job super well and has the authority and confidence + skills of an amazing player. I was debating whether I should choose her, Fabi or Castillo. I think Fabi was the best player overall, but in this decade De Gennaro was the better libero, with Castillo in close second place.


    Honorable mentions:Brenda Castillo, Fabi


    I probably forgot so many amazing players that it's not even fair, but I think it's a good list, they would put a good fight against Conegliano :P

    MEN


    I don't watch Men's volleyball so I'm not the best person to do a list about it

  • akitoakie

    Changed the title of the thread from “Best Player/Team of This Decade (2010-2020)” to “Best Player/Team of This Decade (2011-2020)”.
  • I read your post and immediately changed it to 2011. 😂


    A great list and I agree with all of em. They are my personal faves too. I would put KYK as the MVP of this decade. And I loved that you put Nootsara on your honorable mention because I think sometimes she is a bit underrated.

  • sloth pretty much nailed it. :thumbup: The only position I might change would be OPP because Sheilla's level really dropped around the middle of the decade but I don't know who I'd pick. I love both of those HMs too.


    I think Boskovic should be in the discussion because she's now being playing great volleyball since WCH '14. Egonu is obviously fantastic as well but I think for too short a time to be considered best OPP of the decade, but maybe next decade.


    Also I would definitely add Naz as a setter HM as she was such a key player for 2 great club teams (Fenerbahce at the start of the decade and then Vakifbank) as well as the NT.


    Maja Poljak deserves a mention too, she was like a wall at her best but I agree with Thaisa and Rasic because they've been among the best for the WHOLE decade.

  • You point out a good question. Other tha Sheilla, who? Seems like this decade is divided into two — the early and the late 2010’s when it comes to Opp. So having Boskovic as the best of the later part could be acceptable.


    Maja, Naz, Tomkom, & Dani Lins are definitely the stand out.


    who is the MVP of the decade according to you?

  • who is the MVP of the decade according to you?

    KYK. Because as well as her monster scoring ability she really has all the skills, she can even set.

  • Right now, I can only give you Zhu and KYK as OH1 and OH2, Maja as best setter and Zhu as MVP (she has objectively achieved the most of any players in female volleyball in this decade). For the rest I would have to think a bit more.

  • I am not following male volleyball regularly, so I will make my list for female players:


    Best Opp

    Boskoviç: Although she is very young and her prime will be next decade, I think she has already been dominating this decade since her debut at WCh2014. Sheila and Neslihan are back-up options. Both are very special, once in a decade type of opposites. Their perfect techniques are hard to find in today's volleyball world which relies heavily on athleticism and physical strength.

    Best OH

    Zhu Ting and KYK. Both are very complete all-around OHs who dominated every tournament at both NT and club levels. Back-up options would be Piccinini and Gözde. Both have shown consistently good performances at the highest level and won so many trophies at the club level, they both left their marks on this decade's volleyball.

    Best MB

    This one will be tough but I will go for Rasiç-Poljak. Both players are not only great blockers but also great attackers. They are very intimidating MBs. I haven't seen any other MB with such good block anticipation. Back up options are Thaisa and Eda. Both of them are balanced OHs who can score a lot but also can set perfectly, serve great, can attack even from back-row, can even receive when necessary. This kind of MB is almost impossible to find nowadays. I've watched all these 4 players alive, it was amazing!

    Best Setter:

    Naz Aydemir. She has been playing at the highest club level for so long. She has played in every CL final-four during this decade. This is something very notable! She played a crucial role in bringing Turkey among the top teams at the NT level. A backup option would be Ognjenoviç. She is one of those setters who can bring the best out of every player she plays with. Her club level success was not as good as Naz due to her personal choices. That's why I considered Naz above but of course, both are unique and deserves to be on such a list

    Best Libero

    De Gennaro. She is not only a great receiver and defender but also a great setter. She has the ball to set to MB in most difficult situations and some of the moves are now known as De Gennaro moves. She definitely dominated this decade. The backup option is Castillo. She is such a spectacular libero, I haven't seen any other libero who elevates her team so much. She could easily outplay De Gennaro if she would pick to play in better clubs

    Best National Team

    China NT. Lang Ping made a great success story out of a bunch of youngsters. The level of volleyball they are showing was the closest thing to perfection, especially in the second half of this decade. The backup option would be Serbian NT. They competed at the finals of all the top-level competitions. Their top-level players will be remembered as some of the best players of this decade.

    Best Club

    Vakıfbank. Their record-holding performance is still a phenomenon no other club achieved (maybe Conegliano will do the same in the next decade). They won both CL and WCCh many times. Vakıfbank has been the ultimate club that all top players wanted to play for.

    MVP of the Decade

    Zhu Ting. She won any MVP that a player can win and she did that at such a young age. She is THE QUEEN of volleyball with the most decorated career at the age of 26

  • WOMEN


    MVP: Zhu Ting


    She’s undoubtedly the best player of the decade. She won the silver medal of the 2014 World Champ in just the second year she started to play in international tournaments, then she has won the most titles both on NT & clubs levels, as well as countless individual awards. The World Champ is the only tournament she hasn’t won, but a sliver & a bronze are still quite an accomplishment.


    Best Opp: Sheilla / Boskovic


    I can’t single one as both were the best during their prime. Sheilla’s performance in London, esp. in the match vs. Russia will always be remembered. Even though Brazil lost in that five-setter in Rio, I think Sheilla was still their best player in that match. Considering her age, she’s still incredible.

    Boskovic, Serbia would not have won the World Champ and the silver medal in Rio & 2015 World Cup without her.


    Best OH: Zhu Ting & Kim Yeon-Koung


    Both are the most complete and all-around players in this decade. Some may claim Zhu is not the best receiver, but she is now definitely a stable passer. Before Zhu, I couldn’t imagine there’d be a female player at nearly 2m tall able to receive at this level.


    Best MB: Thaisa & Rasic


    Both of them aren’t only the best blockers, they are the best at attacks as well. The only MB who is close to match with them is Akinradewo, but she is a little bit weaker in blocking.


    Best Setter: Maja Ognjenovic


    In my mind there’re many great setters in this decade, Dani Lins, Wei Qiuyue, Takeshita, Lo Bianco, Ding Xia, but the only two who have played throughout the whole decade constantly at their best were Maja & Naz. Considering Maja’s achievements in Serbia NT, she’s my pick.


    Best Libero: De Gennaro


    Without a doubt, who else can bump set a quick attack to the MBs?:cheesy:


    Best NT: China

    A Gold in Rio, a Silver & a Bronze in World Champ, two Gold & a Bronze in World Cup were what they achieved in this decade. They’re not always the best, but they often bring out their best in when it matters the most, thanks to Jenny Lang Ping, the best coach in my mind.


    Best Club: Vakifbank

    They created the world record in the first half of the decade, and then they won CL & Club World Champ two more times respectively in the second half of the decade, just no other club even came close.

  • Don't watch men's vb -- so for women:


    MVP - Zhu Ting, who has 3 major world-title MVPs (15, 16, 19) and best OH in literally every major tournament she played in since debut in 2014 (except 2015 WC but she had MVP that year). She also has back-to-back CWC MVPs with Vakifbank and others from Turkish league/Euro club championships


    Outside Hitters: Zhu Ting (2013-now) and Kim (2010-15), of course. The most complete players of the decade, and the two olympic MVPs. The leadership roles they play in their teams is quite significant.


    Opposite: Tijana Boskovic (2014-now). She was key to so many of Serbia's successes (2015 WC, 2016 OG, the two ECh in 15, 17, 2018 WCh, and bailed them out of the 2019 qualification match vs. Poland. I would guess either Sheilla or Gamova before 2014 but I'm not as familiar.


    Middle: Milena Rasic and Thaisa. Balanced in both blocking and attack, and strong on both areas. Yuan Xinyue is only 24 and hopefully next decade will be hers (although she started in 2014 and had some good performances).


    Setter: There are many close ones, but I would say Maja Ognjenovic, given her successes with the Serbian NT. Some others that come to mind are Naz and Ding Xia.


    Libero: De Gennaro. Doubt anyone would argue this.


    NT: checked some statistics, just to avoid home-team and recency bias:


    2011 ITA USA CHN

    2012 BRA USA JPN

    2014 USA CHN BRA

    2015 CHN SRB USA

    2016 CHN SRB USA

    2018 SRB ITA CHN

    2019 CHN USA RUS


    China 3/1/2

    USA 1/3/2

    Serbia 1/2/0

    Italy 1/1/0

    Brazil 1/0/1

    Russia 0/0/1

    Japan 0/0/1


    But recently it's all China and Serbia with China having an edge historically. USA also medaled as consistently as China did, but with less golds.

  • Love this topic! :)


    If you haven't listened to it yet, there is an The Ace Space podcast episode about this exact same subject, in which some famous coaches decide who are the best players of this last decade.


    I found a link but you probably can listen on all platforms: https://theacespace.podbean.co…e-decade-2010-2019-women/

    Ah I remember watching this on youtube a while back. That was really interesting.
    Here's the link to the video (hope its not geoblocked or something):

  • Why add anything to perfection, and write my own list when I can just underwrite this one, which summarises my thoughts completely.


    Btw, it's funny that you post this now, since volleyball.world has had a similar idea:


    Roster 100


    Incidentally, if people want, we can open a separate thread for this story.

  • I found it really hard to choose, because I wanted to choose the players who I enjoyed the most watching but maybe weren't the best statically this decade. So I'm really happy sloth introduced the honorable mention, so I could give some players I enjoyed the most some credits there:) Here are my choices for the women:


    Best Setter:

    Maja Ognjenovic

    One of the best volleyball brains on the court, she can read the game as no-one else. As a setter she can do everything: playing high precise balls or playing a fast system. Most of all I like her creativity, her second balls are just:obey:Above all she is a great leader and a role-model for every player.


    Honorable mentions:

    Naz

    Especially in her clubs she had her biggest successes. I admire she can adapt her sets to any player on the court. From high balls to Zhu Ting and mihajlovic to fast and balls to Hill and Sloëtjes. Also her presece at the net is noteworthy:box:


    Alisha Glass

    Changed the game of volleyball with her fast system. Such a shame she decided to retire after the Olympics in Rio.


    Dani Lins

    Physical setter with great connection to the middle. One of the biggest reasons Brazil was able to defend their Olympic title in London.



    Best Opposite:

    Tijana Boskovic

    Maybe not my most favorite player, but I had to choose her, because she this decade she competed on the highest level for the longest time. She is still young, but belongs to the best opposites since 2014. At first I thought it was all about power, but since 2018 she has shown she has big variation in her attack and became way more stable.


    Honorable mentions:

    Lonneke Sloëtjes

    My personal favourite opposite from last decade. Not only her playing style I admire, but also her personality is lovely:heart: Sloëtjes role-model, Flier, said it herself: between 2015-2018 she was one of the best players who could play at a consistent level for a whole tournament. It is a shame that her body no longer cooperates, all the best to her!


    Sheilla

    IMO the best opposite hitter of all time! Such a smart hitter a pleasure to watch:super:


    Paola Egonu

    She may not be playing at the highest level for a long time, but I think she's worth mentioning. Her performance last 2 years in both club and NT is just remarcable! IMO she will become the best opposite for the next decade.



    Best Outside Hitters:

    Zhu Ting

    Currently the best player in the world. She is a complete player, because she can do anything and she still adds something to her game year by year. It is not without reason that she has won almost every individual award at all major tournaments since 2014:win:


    Kimberly Hill

    Most people won't mention her, but IMO she is one of the most valuable outside hitters in the world! She can do anything, attack, receive, play defense, block and a good serve. I just love her playing style:rose: Especially in her clubs she has proven her added value, but also in NT which her MVP title at the 2014 WCH shows.


    Honorable mentions:

    Kim Young Koung

    One of the most all-round volleybal players of all time!


    Fe Garay

    During her career she has proven she can adapt to any playing style, looking at all the competitions she played at all over the world. Such a explosive player despite her hight.


    Saori Kimura

    Her ball control is just crazy! She can score a point in offense just after she made an incredible dig:cheesy:


    Larson

    Another all-round outside hitter with great leadership!



    Best Middle Blockers:

    Thaisa

    Her presence at the net is just scary:rolll: Her spikes are great and she is an aggressive blocker. Besides that she can do anything on court, setting, serving, play defense and hit the pipe-attack:whistle: So much respect for her in which shape she returned after that horrible injury!


    Robin de Kruijf

    She is my favourite player, so I had to include her! Her slide attack belongs to the best in the world, but also improved her blocking the last couple of years. It is not without reason that she has played for the best 2 club teams of the last decade: Vakifbank and Conegliano. It's a shame she had some injuries, because since 2014 she is one of the most consistent middle blockers in the world. Also her fighting spirit is noteworthy, she will never give up:box:


    Honorable mentions:

    Rasic

    One word: Blocking machine!


    Yuan

    Showing great level of volleyball since an early age. Hope to see her in Europe after the Olympics, so she can develop even further.


    Fabiana

    Great middle blocker duo for Brazilian NT for years with Thaisa. Great attack, both infront of the setter as the slide attack.


    Akinradewo

    Crazy jump and hang time, she could jump out of the gym:lol:



    Best Libero:

    Monica De Gennaro

    Adds so much to the team! She is not only a great receiver and defender, but her setting is just remarcable:cheesy:


    Honorable mentions:

    Castillo

    Spectacular player to watch! IMO a better receiver than De Gennaro, but overall De Gennaro is a bit more stable.


    Fabi

    First libero who showed the importance of a good libero to the team. A player to build on!



    MVP:
    Zhu Ting

    Speaks for itself...

  • I know that you people don't like her so much, but why don't you people mention Goncharova (at least honorable mention)? :| She has been playing every single year of this decade at the highest level. She even played as OH (one of the best scorers of the better game of this decade). I also know she doesn't reach the last stages (mostly because she played alone and with an awful setter), but she was always there... :win:

  • I know that you people don't like her so much, but why don't you people mention Goncharova (at least honorable mention)? :| She has been playing every single year of this decade at the highest level. She even played as OH (one of the best scorers of the better game of this decade). I also know she doesn't reach the last stages (mostly because she played alone and with an awful setter), but she was always there... :win:

    I like her and agree she deserves a mention at least. People are mostly only naming 2 or 3 options so some good players are are being skipped over but I think most people here would agree she's been among the elite OPPs for most if not all of the last decade.

  • Her "curse" (if it can be called that) is that she has been among the best Opp for a decade now, but at no point in time clearly THE best (and perhaps only in 2015-2017 can she make the case for being in the Top 3 in the world, IMO). On the other hand, in the Top 5-6, she has been for probably the whole duration of the decade.

  • Her "curse" (if it can be called that) is that she has been among the best Opp for a decade now, but at no point in time clearly THE best (and perhaps only in 2015-2017 can she make the case for being in the Top 3 in the world, IMO). On the other hand, in the Top 5-6, she has been for probably the whole duration of the decade.

    Yes, I know she wasn't the best Opp of this decade for many reasons I have mentioned before, but at least she could have an honorable mention :heart:. IMO, Boskovic is the best Opp.


    Btw, Goncharova was top 3 in 2013-2014 along with Sheilla and Gamova (or other). Neslihan, Flier, and Kasia were not at their peak, and Hooker practically disappeared. Other players that could be nominated are Brakocevic, Tandara, and Sloetjes, but they missed some years for multiple reasons.

  • I agree for 2014 (was thinking of writing 2014-2017 originally), but in 2013 Brakocevic was still in her peak and they were about even, at least.


    Btw, on further thought, the year she was closest to being #1 is 2015, IMO, both because that was arguably her highest peak (or just about), and because of the timing of opponents forms (some previous greats were falling or have fallen off the cliff, while new greats haven't yet achieved their peak).

  • OPP:
    Boskovic - She has been an important factor for Serbia's huge success in the past years. Serbia is lucky they have someone like her who showed amazing performance at such a very young age. She'll continue to be huge for many more years


    Goncharova - Showed her peak performance in 2015 particularly in WGP and she was the best OPP at that time. Although her reign was short, she continued to be among the top 5 Opposites from 2011-2020.


    Egonu - An absolute beast and a killer. What I really admire most from her is how she manages to score at clutch moments. (The Vakif-Conegliano semifinal from last year was a testament to this). Although she's miles ahead of Goncha right now, I'd still put Egonu behind her for now because she just started to explode into the scene just two years ago. She and Boskovic will battle it out on the next decade for the Best Opp title and could possibly be even better than Bosko.

    Special mention:
    Sheilla - Her play at 2012 OG quarterfinals against Russia was her most remarkable moment for me. Brazil would be so different without her.
    Gamova - Although this decade sees her decline, her outstanding performance in 2014 at Champions League and Club World Championships shows that she still has it at that time.

    OH:
    KYK - The player who has it all! Great at spiking, scoring, receiving, defending, and serving! It's a pity she never won an olympic medal. I'm afraid we won't see a player like her in the years to come.

    Zhu - Although widely hailed as currently the best player in world and the main reason for China's dominance in the past years, I'd put her behind KYK mainly because she's a limited player compared to Kim who excels at a wide range of skills.

    Runners-up:
    Kosheleva, Larson, Saori

    MB:
    Rasic & Thaisa

    Runners-up: Fabiana, Poljak, Eda, Furst

    Setter:
    Ognjenovic - Thanks to her, I got to appreciate how important a good setter is in a team. It's such a pleasure watching her movements on court.
    Alisha Glass
    Wolosz

    Libero:
    de Gennaro
    Castillo
    Fabi