Posts by Realista

    All the OH you mentioned + Populini are very young, they'll have time to improve in defense/reception, you don't improve in these skills in just one/two years. Sylla improved a lot in that and now she's fundamental for Conegliano. The only problem is that these girls need to play full time in A1 as much as possible, italian league is the best league in the world and italian teams and playing very well in CL, if these girls will be given enough opportunities to play at high level they'll learn quickly, we saw that in Conegliano with Fhar, Gennari, Omoruy. You can't judge a player perspective when she's 18-20, we just need not to bench them and give them enough time to play, unlike is was done in the past.

    I'm not questioning a fact that generally almost all young players improve under friendly circumstances, but I don't think Sylla, Pietrini or Omoruyi will ever improve to the level of all-round OH, and this is what I was referring to. Italy has a strong group of talented offensive OHs (Sylla, Pietrini, Omoruyi, Gardini from Club Italia), and I don't think Populini in juniors was really an all-round OH neither. On the other hand, there's only Cate Bosetti and maybe Perinelli (and none of them is really 'young') to fill a spot of an all-round OH, although both have had serious injuries in the past (Cate) or right now (Perinelli). What's the alternative here?


    So yeah, both Sylla and Pietrini have improved their reception a lot already, and maybe Omoruyi will do so as well, but to pair them together, your reception will always be more or less shaky. That doesn't mean you can't win big trophies with a shaky reception (especially with a great libero, and Italy has plenty of candidates for this spot), but with Egonu you don't really need to pack your lineup with offensive OHs, so that's why I consider this as a question mark for a future for Italy. Although - let's be precise - it is kinda obvious that probably no other NT has so talented and experienced already group of players that will be able to play in Paris in 2024. Basically, excluding injuries, only De Gennaro is a question mark age-wise if she's able to play in the next Olympics, not to mention that Italy is already one of 3-4 main contenders for a title this year.

    Il bisonte can save a bad season being placed 8th if they win from brescia who is already relegated

    Bisonte will be 8th if they win against Brescia and Trentino loses to Perugia, so probably it ain't gonna happen.


    Great game by Mingardi against Casal, I'm not totally sold on Mingardi in as good team as Busto recently, but the fact is she's been good, even if not spectacular.


    I'm pretty confident that Scandicci will secure 4th spot today considering potential lack of motivation and maybe some reserve management from Monza.


    Maybe in chieri or casal she could be a good option

    I see three options for Diouf: Chieri, Casalmaggiore and Perugia, I wish we will see Rosamaria, Nwakalor and her in those clubs next season and have eigth good teams capable of suprises. I don't think Diouf is a great fit for Chieri style-wise, I'd love to see someone good in fast-sets-system there.

    Other than that, I guess the main difference is literally their team to me :gone:

    Yeah, I can't recall a single important game when these two played against each other and a worse team on paper won that game thanks to the fact that one of them outplayed the other. Once Boskovic played much better (Euro semis), once Egonu did (CWC final), once they were equally great (WC final), but at the end of a day, a clear favorite of those games won. People are so obsessed with individuals, but at the end it is a team sport.


    Yet, people are criticizing Boskovic because ... front office of her club mismanaged a roster this year and ... she has decided to stay here. But if you claim that Egonu is a better player, while Boskovic is definitely more accomplished player right now (and she's only one year older) , you should be aware of a fact that circumstances matter, both with national teams and clubs, and Eczacibasi this year is no exception.

    Monza can offer her around 700k or even more so She can play in Italy for nice salary. And I do believe Scandicci has budget for her, but okej.

    That's false, the only team that MAY offer 700k to Boskovic is Scandicci, but firstly, they kept Stysiak, secondly, I don't think Scandicci on its own is an example of well-managed team, and thirdly, it's not even that sure that Scandicci would be able to give her as big contract. The highest contract of Novara was on a level of 200k euro this season and Monza FOR SOME REASON decided to extend contract with Lisa van Hecke.


    Basically, the choice Boskovic realistically had was between Eczacibasi and Fenerbahce, so to criticize her that she chose Eczacibasi is crazy.


    Boskovic at age 24 is 2x European Champion, 1x Olympic silver medalist, 1x World Champion, 1x Club World Championship, while being one of the best players of every mentioned competition, the only people she needs to prove herself are probably people from the internet. Come on.

    But CL semifinal is an overachievement that nobody would have ever expected. A huge success for this Italian club with low budget which should be taken as model example for many others, especially some Turkish ones, who just have money but with no vision at all.

    That's something that I forgot to comment about.


    First of all, I'll write that I don't want to bash different league and other teams, so please don't perceive this post through prism of neverending discussions about Turkish and Italian leagues, blabla, because I don't care about that.


    I think that Busto is an outlier (they won't repeat this result next year almost for sure), but at the same time, also an example why Italian league is really special: Busto has 5th/6th-highest budget in Italy (after Conegliano, Novara, Scandicci and Monza for sure), so they can't compete with top teams on trade market. That's why before this season, they lost Orro, Lavarini, Washington, Bonifacio, Lowe and Herbots, mostly to Novara, but also to Monza. On the other hand, they still have this fifth budget in very strong league, so they were able to hire interesting players from middle-level teams (Poulter from Chieri, Mingardi from Brescia, Olivotto from Bergamo), as well as nice players that for some reason didn't show their best while playing in top teams (Gray and Stevanovic from Scandicci). They also took some interesting players playing outside of Italy (Escamila from Germany).


    So if you write that this is a 'model example' for some Turkish clubs, then I don't agree (although I know what did you mean). First of all, Busto has plenty of solid (Olivotto, Gennari), good (Mingardi) and very good (Leonardi) local players that weren't even with National Team in 2019, what says something about a depth of Italian NT in this specific moment. Secondly, with loose limits for foreigners, even when players like Herrera or Escamila didn't show anything special all season, it hasn't hurt Busto as a team, because other foreigners (Stevanovic and Gray) are suprisingly (in comparison to the past season) good. And thirdly, there are plenty of interesting players playing in middle-level teams, that can be a nice addition even for Champions League-calibre teams.


    So this is a pure exemplification of why Italian league is really that joyful to watch: basically, within a league with solid-but-not-the-highest budget, if you're lucky enough you can build competitive team to the best teams in Europe. I know that you meant that fit, actual disoposition of players and so on are equally important to pure quality that these players possess, and this thinking some managements of Turkish clubs are lacking. But is Busto really an example to teams from other leagues? No, they're not, because outside of Italian league (depth of local players, number of foreigners, limits of foreigners, level of coaching) it would be much, much harder to create this Busto. And to create Busto in Italy is hard enough, because let's be honest, they were quite lucky that Gray has developed into first tier of offensive OHs this year, no one has truly expected she'll be among very best players of both Italian league and Champions League.


    On the other hand, I wouldn't be so triumphic towards the Turkish clubs in place of Italian fans. Fenerbahce and Eczacibasi are lacking quality in fundamental areas both roster and management-wise, but it won't last forever, because those teams are still financially dominant over anybody in Europe. It's not a guarantee of a success, what is on display past few seasons in case of these two aforementioned clubs, but these clubs won't be disappointing forever. We're talking about organizations that are ~top5 European teams for over a decade, after all.

    Egonu was a beast and go to player when she played for Novara but her teammates were helping her a lot.

    Yeah, there's no comparison honestly, Novara had very good reception with Piccinini, good 2nd option on offense (Bartsch, who was the real MVP of the final against Conegliano), okay setter, very good middles and very good coach.

    Well, I hope we get to see exciting matches in semifinals, even perhaps golden sets that decide the finalists. Fingers crossed.

    I'm in love with what Busto has been showing past few months, and I'm generally Novara supporter, but to be honest I don't predict that these semifinals will be competitive, Conegliano and Vakifbank are clearly better teams, and, although suprises are always possible, I think that in reality the advantage of these two teams over every other club team is pretty significant. This doesn't mean that those matches won't be nice to watch, I think style-wise those teams are pretty good matchups to each others, but the other question is if I really think that Busto can beat Vakifbank or Novara can overcome Conegliano: and I truly don't.

    To bad that L.Bosetti is staying in Scandicci because her defense and reception skills could help a lot of teams. Especially Busto next to Gray.

    I don't want to be offensive towards Lucia, but she hasn't played as regular OH for two years, no one will give her spot in a starting lineup in any team with aspirations for top4 of a league. Gennari isn't anything more than solid player, yet she's much more safe option if anyone wants local allround player to fit in a team, and I'd still say that Busto is surely capable of finding foreign OH that is better and can play alongside Gray.

    I thought Stevanovic is going to Monza?

    Yes, there were rumors about Stevanovic in Monza, but I'm not suprised if Zakchaiou ends up there, and it looks like it's 'unofficialy' confirmed (according to GLP): Monza likes taking young, promising players (Orro, Orthmann, Danesi, Parrocchiale, Plummer, Davyskiba etc) to their team and give them chances, the same does male section of this club, and Zakchaiou is young (23yo) and extremely promising (she's top5 MB this season at least). Stevanovic is still really solid, but Zakchaiou may develop into world class player, and she's already better (although Stevanovic may be better replacement fit-wise of Heyrman, IMHO - still not). Furthermore, it seems like Busto (no suprise) wants to maintain current roster what maybe has made things more difficult, because it looks like two cornerstones (Poulter and Gray) are about to stay there, so maybe the same will be done by Stevanovic.

    It's weird though that with Zachaiou and Danesi they won't have an actual slider. Danesi slides sometimes but she's not really great at it...

    Sonia Candi is rumored to return to Mozna as well, and she's been suprisingly good this season for Cuneo, so it looks like Monza wants to have solid trio in the middle. Candi and Zakchaiou are two best scoring MBs in Italy this season, with Orro they can get only better, not to mention that Zakchaiou and Danesi are two-best blocking players in a league this year. After all, they'll be fine there. The question is what they gonna do with OH position ultimately, it's do or die question for them.

    Frosini is a solid talent, but she's not dominant on A2 level, IMHO she needs at least one more season in A2 to be ready for bigger role in A1. She's averaging 14.7 points per game in one of the weaker teams in A2, it's not like she's above a level of A2, at least for now, in some matches Gardini was a first option on offense for Club Italia.


    She (Frosini) may develop into really nice player, but I don't think she'll be any difference maker for a country that has Egonu, Mingardi, Nwakalor, Piani, Enweonwu or perhaps Antropova. Antropova is an example of a player that is clearly much, much better than A2 level already, she's like heads and shoulders over any other player there, it's pity that she decided to go to play for Scandicci, but maybe she gets her chances in some matches if Scandicci is finally good, like Omoruyi this year.

    Frosini is nothing special unfortunately, she's not dominant on A2 level, and she'll be 19yo already this year. She can become a solid player, but I wouldn't perceive her as any potential difference maker, with Egonu, Nwakalor, solid players like Mingardi and Piani, and then Antropova, and maybe Enweonwu. She can develop into Piani-like type of player, but with this number of solid opposites, will she be a factor here? I don't think so. Antropova is much better, their stats in A2 are incomparable, and it can't be explained only by the level of their teams, Antropova is scoring like 10 points per game more on better efficiency, and she's even younger.


    If you ask about Tokyo, it may be Sorokaite, because of 12-people rosters, her versatility may be very useful, and then IMHO Mingardi, because she got a lot of experience in Busto this year.


    In longer perspective of time, it will be one of Antropova and Nwakalor. Mingardi and Piani are okay for a second opposite spot, but Nwakalor is physically suited for a big volleyball while the other two, especially Mingardi, have its limitations. Curve of the development of Nwakalor is also very interesting: she's been pretty average even one year ago, while this season she's been among very best opposites in Serie A. If she continues to grow, she may be even better next year, not to mention her prime. Antropova is even more talented, she's probably among the most talented teenage opposites in the world, she's probably A1 material already while being only 18yo, but until I see a confirmation about her citizenship status, it's only a theory to talk about her in context of Italian NT.


    The only position where Italy is lacking a group of really solid talents is defensive/allround OH position: there's Cate who's 27yo and theoretically can play through Paris Olympics, but in fact you have to have some solid substitute for VNL/Euros/alternative for some injury factor (and Bosetti has her history with those) - and I don't think Italy has any, Perinelli is solid, but she's not tested on international level and she got severely injured lately, Populini hasn't been defensive OH when she used to play, Sara Bellia is too young (although I liked her in junior competitions), Gardini is rather offensive OH.


    And that might be an Achilles heel of Italy in next years to come, because on other positions they have quality and depth to really dominate in female volleyball: Egonu, awesome middles, good setters and several talented offensive OHs (Pietrini, Sylla, Omoruyi, Gardini) and liberos to replace De Gennaro. But there's only one Cate to fill a spot of more defensive OH.


    On the other hand, with Bosetti they can build a dream team without any weakness.

    I also have to count the times when setters under pressure are less likely to become erratic when passing a ball to a RHOp than to a LHOp because a righty usually can adjust to longer balls than lefties.

    Not at all, in fact, setter can be less precise in setting to the left-hander on the right wing, because if ball is too short, left-hander is able to correct her jump and body movement for a spike in much better way. That's the same reason why right-handers are generally better from a left wing.


    Boskovic is among very best players past 5 years, if she gets criticized for Eczacibasi results, it's based on a fact she's no Wonder Woman nor Paola Egonu, but in fact she's only reason why Eczacibasi is any competitive this year. Tijana isn't setter-dependent, unless her setter is a mess, but then everyone is dependent on a setter but Wonder Woman and Paola Egonu.

    Herbots is a first option on offense in Novara while Bosetti is very good in every element you can think of, so I think she's even harder to replace nowadays. You can't go wrong here, they've been both amazing since they joined Novara, but I agree, IMHO Bosetti is even more important to Novara. If Herbots goes to Turkey, Novara may think about hiring Gray or other offensive OH, there are some interesting options. If Bosetti decides to go to Conegliano or to Turkey next year, I don't think Novara will be realistically able to get as good replacement.

    They are comfortably wining and they may not know how to bounce back because of lack of challenging matches. I have a feeling Busto will go through the semis.

    It's obviously not an easy situation to dominate as much as Vakifbank (and Conegliano) in terms of building different types of team experience, but this is still very experienced team, playing together second season, with clearly superior roster in comparison to every club team but Conegliano. Busto may be quality opponent if they both advance to semis, but Vakif will be still huge favorites.

    If Novara have hired Rosamaria they would be a better team for sure. She is not a star but with the game focus on OH she could have shined as Novara's Opp.

    Rosamaria might have been better, but she's not what Novara really needs: their goal should be competing with Vakfibank and Conegliano (as long as they have Bosetti-Herbots duo), and to do so they need strong OPP efficient in out of system plays. Rosamaria is really good, but she isn't that good on high balls. That's why Karakurt - if she develops further in Italy - may be a gamechanger for Novara next season, especially considering that I don't think they'll be able to keep both Bosetti and Herbots past 2022.

    And what about Herbots as opp or maybe even Bosetti as receiving opp?

    Well, I guess this the same dillemma: you have your best offensive player (Herbots) and you want to use her to exploit her potential in 100%, and to do that you need to give her as much space as it's possible as a left wing spiker. You can use her as a primary opposite, but will she be as efficient as she's right now? If not, you won't get better on offense without Smarzek.


    I'm not saying that Novara has no theoretical options to substitute Smarzek (the one with Bosetti as fake OPP may be the best one), but they don't have second good opp, so it would be risky and complicated. So it's completely understandable for me that Lavarini hasn't made any drastic change so far, because Novara is still top3 team in Europe this year. After all, they're no Conegliano or Vakifbank to have some crazy depth to mix things more if one of their supposedly cornerstone players disappoint that much.


    The question is if lack of opposite determines their results sooner than in matches against Conegliano in CL SF and Italian League Final, because without strong opposite they won't be realistically competitive, but IMHO they may get upset if Monza or Fenerbahce find its top shape for potential semifinals/QF rematch.