Posts by Realista

    Yesterday he said in an interview that he’ll be in Italy next year (implying not Taranto). I think he’s ours or Monza (would hate it)

    I heard that Milano is very interested in Belgian Seppe Rotty, and even though he probably stays in Belgium, I guess there will be a group of 4 OHs in Milano next year, so maybe he'll join Milano after all.

    From all the comments above, it seems like, after all these explanations and notes, Ranking Index is not understood clearly. It is not indicating who is the best (OH,OPP,MB and Libero). It is not indicating that Bergman is better than Gabi or Kunzler is better than İlkin or Hande. It s just indicating the player's contribution to their teams for winning the sets and the match and these contributions are sorted by overall Rank Index figures.

    Huge offtopic, but...

    These rankings on dataproject websites are traditionally messy, because they overestimate the relevance, for example, of serve numbers and blocking in overall index of the players. I've analyzed it (in context of male volleyball) already and this is a continuous trend. Bergmann is great in both figures, so it's for me a no surprise that she's pretty high on such list even though her offense is pretty mediocre.

    And I was analyzing it, because during the Christmas break I got sick, so I had much more time than I needed/should have had - so I'd decided, but again, it was in context of male volleyball (have no time to analyze female vball in that detailed way in the past few years), to make my own performance rating calculations. I came to the conclusion that the best way to do it, and I've started with OH players of Polish/Italian league - is to, first, estimate league averages in every element (serve, blocking, attack, reception) for starter-level players (and some back-ups with the highest number of reception/attack attempts), and then, to compare each player's stats vs league averages to estimate their performance rating as a sum of standard deviations with specific weights (I went for weights with '1' for blocking, '2' for service, '3' for reception and '4' or '5' for an attack - again, it was made for male volleyball-driven analysis) vs league averages.

    I'm saying it all because it turned out that such pretty simple, even rudimental, analysis turned out to be pretty decent. The formula for every player is:

    blocks/set / league average * 1

    (((aces/set / league average in aces/set *0,3) + (serves/set / league average in serves/set) *2) *2)

    (((positive reception / league average in pos. rec. + perfect reception / league average in perf. rec.) / 2) * 3)

    ((((spike efficiency / league average in spike efficiency)+ (kills rate / league average in kills rate) + (attacks per set / league average in attack per set) / 3) * 5))))

    The biggest problem of this formula is that it devalues 'role players' often subbed in/subbed out (because it's based on per set basis), but for starter-level players - in context of male volleyball - it gave results pretty much corresponding to the eye-test, because it takes into account most of the measures that we know as fans from statistical standpoint.

    It even allowed me to make very quickly a 20-year performance rating ranking for OHs from Italian leagues which, once again, was pretty much in line with what the one could have expected (Juantorena and Leon being the best in this span with several outlier seasons). To be honest, I was quite proud of this because this 'vs league averages-analysis' allowed me to compare different eras of volleyball (as, for example, lower level in attack rate was represented by lower league averages). You have to take it with a grain of salt, but it was fun to do such analysis.

    The point is - within different formula, it is doable in context of female volleyball as well, I believe, to make such rankings, although the question is what would be the weight the one agrees to assign, because obviously, quantitative analysis in such field are in fact mixed quanti- and qualitative analysis, really, as these weights are pretty subjective.

    The biggest problem that I find is that reception stats from female Italian league, for example, are messy, because I copy-pasted the stats from (the same template as from male league) to Excel and I highly doubt that Cazaute is the best receiver, Herbots is the 3rd-best and Piva, Daalderop and Sylla are 8th-10th best, from what I remember them from the last season.

    Re: Turkish league, I took dataproject data and adjusted the aforementioned men-oriented formula with weights of 4 for reception and attack (assuming in female volleyball there's more of parity in this characteristics), and this is what I got:

    Name Rating
    MARKOVA 4,70
    FRANTTI 4,08
    WILHITE 3,77
    AYDIN 3,24
    VORONKOVA 3,03
    LEE 2,99
    BERGMANN 2,86
    GRAY 2,29
    DIMITROVA 2,13
    BEGIC 1,77
    BALADIN 1,73
    KUNZLER 1,12
    DIKEN 1,08
    GUERRA 1,02
    BUSA 0,95
    ARSLAN 0,09
    BEKTAS -0,71
    EGGLESTON -1,01
    CAFFREY -1,06
    MILENKO -1,08
    LODA -1,09
    LEYVA TAGLE -1,58
    MICAYA -1,60
    TANYEL -1,76
    SEKERCI -1,88
    BASCAN -2,12
    URAL -2,57
    LEBAN -2,79
    DURGUN -3,40
    YORDANOVA -3,51
    SALAS ROSELL -3,51
    NEZIR -3,62
    TECIMER -3,89
    AKMAN -4,57
    DEMIDOVA -5,57

    The highest values for men players were ~5 in Italy/Poland, but I guess Gabi's numbers are such an outlier due to the bigger disparity in level of female Turkish league (what results in lower league averages and her stats being the bigger statistical deviation vs stats of Leon or Juantorena). Obviously, 'positive' means statistics of player X being overall above league average and 'negative' being below league average.

    Like I said, you have to remember that players more often subbed in/subbed out will have their value 'deflated', but regarding the very top, it's obviously much more telling than these dataproject ranking and probably in line with an eye-test.


    Obviously, I'd be glad to move this post to another thread, I just thought this feedback may be interesting for some people, sorry for going off the road with such post as this is transfer topic.

    According to Ale Garotta the new coach will be Cedric Enard.
    Any thoughts on him?

    He did great in Tours and Berlin, not that much to talk about his work with Estonia and Croatia: Estonia flopped at the 2021 ECH at home and Croatia was great in pool phase at the 2023 ECH, but then choked against Romania in 1/8.

    Based on his work in Tours and Berlin, I'd say he should get a chance to coach a top club team, but it's kind of interesting because he left Berlin due to exhaustion and planned to switch into the management roles after Croatia tenure, but decided to take Turkey NT, I guess he was paid a lot + part-time job in the summer is fine for him.

    'Understandable' would be my grade of this move, Turkey was pretty mediocre under Giuliani, so hard to say how it will pan out with another foreign coach.

    Luca Porro is the new Kubiak? His reception is even better than Milano libero and he is very consistent in attack within his reach.

    Level wise, yeah, he may be, although I'd say he's more Ishikawa / Takahashi type of a player stylistically. It's bizarre he was a back-up of Desmet for majority of the season, he's already a miles better player - and it's no surprise, he was already the most coveted OH from '04 generation in the world basically based on his junior career (top3 alongside Nikolov and Lyabinsky in 03/04 generation).

    yeah, he is the only cuban that can really pass well. But from last Romano’s article it seems that we will retain merga… idk.

    Maybe Kaziyski-Mergarejo-Gardini-Gutierrez quartet? It would've been a disaster in reception to not have the latest (in general, a player with all-round skills).

    Jean Patry may join AZS Olsztyn, Hadrava is another option.

    As WZP said, Kurek may join Zaksa.

    Lisinac stays in Projekt Warszawa.

    Grozer is an option for Trefl Gdańsk.

    Judson may come to Poland as well.

    Agree on L. Porro, just believe he's already worthy of getting a chance, so if Milano is in troubles, it could've been an option.

    Re: Russian market - I guess Gazprom-sponsored teams (Zenits) and Dinamo Moscow are still rich resources-wise, but if it turns out that Abaev (really great setter) from Novosibirsk will join Monza, then it seems players from every team but these three can be affordable (we've had Sapozhkov in Italy as well). I don't see any very interesting option within OH pool though in those teams, Tetyukhin junior? It's a reach.

    I heard from credible source about Lopez in Italy actually on December, but then it was said he will probably go to Japan as well. So while I'm aware Milano may be financially able to pull some interesting move off, I wonder what are the options as well. It's so hard to even name eventual alternatives.


    Confirmed Jackson Howe (I’m not a fan)

    We have Gardini in hands, I HOPE as a third OH😬😬😬

    I'd go for Luca Porro, he's terrific. And I'm pretty confident in saying the next year he'll be by far the better player. I know Milano was interested in him a year ago, perhaps this brothers' connection could work. And Fusaro at this point is pretty well known from giving the opportunities to the young guys.

    Although I still believe Gardini may become something more than solid league player, I think his period in NCAA was a waste. Although - yeah - I don't think Milano with the current state of transfer market and Japanese expansion, can make anything more than solid playoff team to be honest. There's a serious drought on a market right now.

    It's kind of obvious that Milano have to find this all-round Outside Hitter to eventually play alongside Kaziyski (he still has a valid contract, doesn't he?) or (let's say) Gardini.

    Some first hand news:

    Loser and Yuki official to Perugia

    One among Howe, Demyanenko and Schnitzer will play for Milano next year.

    Any rumors about OH position? It looks really super dry considering Ishikawa is leaving and Kaziyski finally looks like a done player (with all respect).

    New info from Poland:

    Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle:

    - Śliwka moves to Japan

    Asseco Resovia Rzeszów:

    - Lukas Vasina will replace Yacine Louati as a 3rd OH of the team

    Jastrzębski Węgiel:

    - Timothe Carle will be a 2nd OH of Jastrzębski, 3rd OH - probably L. Vicentin from Argentina

    Projekt Warszawa:

    - Bołądź (the best OPP of this year's Plusliga) stays in the team

    Skra Bełchatów:

    - it is said that they'll renew contracts with Grzegorz Łomacz, Dawid Konarski and Benjamin Diez.

    Realista I have to ask about the france players, maybe we bring one up next year.

    We will bring an italian opp next year, so maybe the MB.

    Yeah, I guess Barrotto from the youth system will be a back-up of Reggers next season.

    - rumors about Leon in Turkey or Poland,

    - Bruno may leave Modena,

    - Cachopa will leave Monza,

    - De Cecco may leave Civitanova,

    - Civitanova thinking about Medei as a coach and Boninfante/Ordunas as a setters duo,

    - Clevenot in Civitanova?,

    - Ishikawa in Perugia, although Milano keeps fighting?,

    - Uros Kovacevic in Piacenza?,

    - Galassi in Piacenza,

    - Konstantin Abaev in Monza,

    - Buchegger in Modena, Sapozhkov returning to Russia?,

    - if not Ishikawa, Juantorena in Perugia?,

    - Luca Loreti (very talented teenage Italian libero) in Cisterna?,

    - Staforini in Perugia (another gem on libero position from Milano youth system)?

    - Takahashi in Suntory Sunbirds?

    I have some concerns about Soli's management of the players, because from what I've seen so far he rarely rests his starters and seems to have little trust in the bench. In some matches he could have definitely let D'Heer, Magalini or Nelli play.

    Yeah. And that after very exhausting national team season where Lavia and Michieletto played basically all the summer but first weekend of VNL as starters. Weird strategy, considering Magalini is a talent worthy of getting more and more chances rather than being a typical bench warmer.

    I understand the comments about Rychlicki, because he did make some bad mistakes when it mattered the most, but way too often he was the only option for Trento: Lavia and Michieletto were quite uninspiring and I would've kept Magalini in a bit more. Having Sbertoli running like a mad man and losing lucidity wasn't helpful too.

    Yeah, Trentino as a whole played disastrous volleyball, basically played only one competent set of volleyball and it's hard to scapegoat Rychlicki when Michieletto was awful and got subbed out while Lavia was mediocre throughout a game as well. It seems like Trentino messed up something in their preparations to this Final Four because two things you could've said about them are 1) they're already really experienced as a team 2) they were very consistent throughout a season, so it's really hard to explain such a flop.

    But that doesn't change a fact Monza deserves all the kudos for playing on 100% of their capabilities regardless of Ran's injury, Cachopa, Loeppky and the middles were all fantastic and Maar was probably better than his raw stats suggest as well. Also, the Frenchman Lawani was injured as well before the season, so basically they made it to the final without two core players in their pre-season plans (Ran and Lawani), what really says something about a job that Eccheli has done since he took the job from ... Fabio Soli (coach of Trentino) 3 or 4 years ago, he's really fantastic and completely under the radar, but his results considering Monza's potential (semifinal in 2021, CEV Cup, 5th place a year ago over Perugia and now Coppa Italia final) are FANTASTIC.

    Cisterna 3-1 Piacenza :white:

    Efe bayram is chosen MVP back to back second time:obey:

    I think his physical issues may be quite significant, hard to believe he started to play on some really great level by himself after disastrous first round, great three-four games by Efe in last couple of weeks nevertheless.

    Piazza stays in Milano until 2027.

    Lucio Fusaro (president of Milano) said it's a bullshit that Porro may join Civitanova and it's possible only if they pay '500 milions of bilions of dollars'.

    Ishikawa has offer from other teams (implying Perugia).

    Lavia stays in Trentino to 2026, Michieletto and Sbertoli - to 2027.

    Galassi in Piacenza, probably, with Bovolenta as a back-up of Romano and Maar.

    Ishikawa-Colaci-Loser as an option for Perugia.

    7. Verona

    - pretty disappointing season: Dzavoronok only recently found a better shape and overall has been disappointing so far; Mozic (another player with intense NT season) has been playing with an injury, and he's good-not great; Amin is decent, but he's not a player that can lead a team in out of system situations, he's more of a system-player, but there's no system in Verona so far; setters and MBs are fine, but nothing spectacular, so all the attention you can have is focused on spikers, and spikers' shape - as above - isn't optimal; Keita had surgery on his shoulder and only recently returned to play (as an opposite), but is very mediocre so far; the biggest positive is Francesco Sani - the Italian-American who decided to go pro before graduating from college and was hired by Verona because he can play in Italy as a local (I think he's eligible to play for Italian NT as well): he's very young (2002) and very raw, but shows some promising touches both defensively and offensively, he may improve to some decent level in a near future,

    - I don't think it's impossible for Verona to be dangerous in the playoffs, but this is veeeeery subpar season so far with only slight positives and pretty bright minuses.

    8. Modena

    - lol, if some teams are 'regularly' messy - Modena is a definition of messiness: weird roster composition, many injuries, some crazy disparity between very old (Stankovic, Bruno, Juantorena) and very young players (the rest of the team) with nothing in-between; individually, there's no player in top of the league on his respective position, some (Sapozhkov, Brehme) are severely disappointing so far; Petrella (young 1st coach) was thrown under the bus and so far he hasn't escaped from this trap; they had some disaster losing streak, but recently defeated Monza, so maybe they'll figure it out in the latter part of the season;

    - I like Sanguinetti, Davyskiba and Federici - but at the same time I don't consider any of them a potential cornerstone to build around a future top team, so a lot to think about for DS Casadei and the rest of Modenese crew;

    - on the positive note, Juantorena is way past his prime, and yet he's still a good player, but again, he's 39, you won't build anything around him, so it's a wash to play him, really.

    9. Cisterna

    - once again, I like this team and believe there are some players that will receive a chance from much better teams than Cisterna itself: Faure is pretty decent as an opposite, Ramon - besides reception - also shows big potential offensively (his serve is great and he's well-composed technically in attack); obviously, they have their own limitations: Efe had decent past two games, but Peric and him were probably the weakest starting OHs in the whole league in the first round of the regular season; Nedeljkovic is so weak offensively and so great in blocking, Piccinelli is solid as well; they could've been dangerous if they had hired someone better on OH2 spot than Efe/Peric.

    10. Padova

    - my personal disappointment: not because their ranking is so below their potential (I had them before the season on 9th spot and they're 10th two points behind Cisterna, not a big deal), but I expected much more from several players: Garcia from Civitanova hasn't improved on attack even a bit, his serve is great but his attack is on point every fourth game, Desmet is pretty meh, Cardenas is a major flop - Cuttini (coach) should have given already much more playing time to the 19yo Luca Porro, who shows flashes of enormous potential, but for some reason he's afraid of doing so; Zenger is top libero once again, Falaschi is fine, Plak is solid and Davide Gardini improved to the level of being solid league player (I think he has upside for even more, but his defensive game is so far way too weak).

    11. Taranto

    - they're funny, actually: at the beginning of the season, they badly choked in two or three completely winnable games, so the coach (Mastrangelo) was fired after early losing streak - but they weren't any bad level-wise, so after Travica took over, they continued to collect points and after 6 tiebreaks lost in a row, they won some games and look pretty comfortable so far in a safe from relegation spot,

    - Kyle Russell and Lanza are mediocre, but have better days, Gutierrez is completely raw (2001), but shows a big promise (one of the few Cubans that can actually receive), Jendryk-Gargiulo duo on the middle is surprisingly good (I wouldn't be surprised to see Gargiulo to get a contract in one of the better, even top league teams, due to Italian citizenship), Trinidad and Rizzo are a wash, but they have no real weakness on their team (no Peric/Bayram level of a player), so they are able to be respectable Superlega-level team.

    12. Catania

    - hello messiness, my old friend: they fired coach (Waldo Kantor) before the season due to some internal conflicts, and then fired Douglas Cezar because they were last after a first round, but that wasn't his fault, they have the weakest roster and thus the weakest team, nothing to see here, it so difficult to build a team in May/June (when they bought rights to play in A1 from Vibo Valentia),

    - Orduna, Buchegger, Massari, Randazzo, Masulovic, Cavaccini - they're not bad per se, can win a set, but overall there's no player that can guarantee them points with some regularity and I don't think anything can change in this regard - they'll get relegated.

    have you been following the league? Would love to read your input for the performances so far.

    Yeah, I'm doing a brief review of every leg on one Polish forum (so basically to some degree I follow most games played), and it's too much time-consuming to do the same on Twitter/in the other places.

    It showed me that my message is too long, haha, so it will be in two parts. :D

    1. Trentino

    - fantastic season by Michieletto: you may wonder how long he can maintain such level because this is Juantorena- or Leon-esque effort in terms of overall impact: >50% in reception, crazy splits on attack (55/46% kill rate/attack efficiency, this is nuts) and great serving-blocking (>0,4pts/set in both categories), this is really super-human effort we all expected at one point to see from Michieletto considering he was true MVP at the ECH 2021 as a teenager,

    - Sbertoli improved to the level of 1st-tier of setters internationally: he's pretty versatile as a player (great serving, decent defense and blocking), but first and foremost his sets are more 'tight' and quicker (due to Kaziyski <=> Rychlicki change, to some degree),

    - Rychlicki is sensational - I've never seen him attacking from as quick sets as he does this year with Sbertoli (even with De Cecco) and his offensive splits (besides serve) are crazy good (55/42% kill rate/attack efficiency without checking out IIRC), the question is if he can maintain such level in the latter part of the season,

    - Laurenzano got better this season in comparison to last year (as expected), Podrascanin and Kozamernik are steady and decent, as always,

    - the only weaknesses are Lavia (who once again, at least so far, plays well below his NT-level in a club, but we'll see what he has to offer this Spring) and lack of rotation (and Michieletto with Lavia have had pretty intense NT-season, so we'll see if they can maintain such level).

    2. Perugia

    - Semeniuk got much better than last season, when he clearly underperformed - in terms of all-round impact, he's probably no 1 in this Perugia team, at least as long as Leon is sitting out due to injury,

    - Plotnitsky is pretty good - and got better recently - but complained about knee issues and him being obliged to play due to Leon's absence, so we'll see if he keeps up this level throughout a season, I've heard from very reliable Polish source that he'll stay in Perugia, so let's see who's gonna replace Leon,

    - Giannelli is fine - Flavio is fantastic, and Russo recently returned from this ankle injury from the European Championship, it's all good in this department,

    - the question marks are: rotation on opposite's position - I'd prefer Ben Tara, but Herrera got major playing time recently, also at the CWCH, and Colaci as a libero, he's way worse than Laurenzano, Scanferla or Balaso,

    - Lorenzetti is doing what he's asked for so far - he won Supercup and Club World Championship without Leon, in a league I don't think they'll drop below 2nd spot, so should have home-court advantage up until a final (if they make it this time), nothin to complain really, some inconsistency in their service game, but it shows their upside really (they're pretty subpar in their service game and yet pretty successful this season).

    3. Piacenza

    - Leal is a mess with these injuries: hard to criticize him, he's an old man, but his contract seems like a disaster if he can't return to his regular shape in a month or so (he's not even playing),

    - Lucarelli is spectacular, my 2nd-best player of the league so far behind Michieletto, recently against Catania he was subbed off due to pain in calf, but I've heard it's nothing serious,

    - Romano after NT-marathon from the summer had some injury issues at the start of the season and is so-so after a return, what costed them a spot in Coppa Italia Final Four (even though Gironi gave him a decent sub in QF match against Milano),

    - Recine is fantastic this year in a league, what's really interesting, considering he's been awful last year to the level of being dumped to the B squad by De Giorgi during NT season - Piacenza needed something extraordinary from back-up players to maintain this level with all injuries they (once again) have had, and Recine is a reason why they're pretty stable level-wise throughout this season (and choked a little bit against Milano in Italian Cup),

    - Scanferla is pretty great, he may be the best Italian libero right now,

    - Simon is nowhere near peak Simon (and Brizard doesn't help him with shaky setting to MBs), but he's still elite from broader perspective.

    4. Civitanova

    - there are some positives: Nikolov is pretty great, Chinenyeze improved his serving a bit, Anzani is healthy,

    - there are more minuses though: overall, they're in subpar shape (bad losses to Monza, Galati or Perugia recently); I've always criticized Lagumdzija for being very 'streaky' player, and once again he's unreliable in terms of week-by-weak performances (but to some degree it may be caused by overall shape of Civitanova, who knows); Zaytsev is pretty weak as an outside hitter and yet due to limits he has to play if Blengini wants to use Chinenyeze as a starter; Yant should be an alternative, but besides some flashes, he's really weak this year as well, to the level of Beppe Cormio, DS of Civitanova, publicly criticizing him for being focused on transfer rumors (there were gossips that Zenit Saint Petersburg wants to buy him out this season - Civitanova allegedly refused - and he'll join Zenit the next season from what we could grasp in the latest LGDS piece on transfer market),

    - overall - once again Blengini has to create some coaching magic (like past couple of seasons) in preparing his team for the decisive part of the season (they've missed on Coppa Italia Final Four for the 3rd time in a row, and there's no coincidence in that, they regularly struggle at this point of the season),

    - all the best to Balaso whose mother passed away last week,

    - I wouldn't cross them out fully, but I don't think this is a final material of a team.

    5. Milano

    - damn, it's messy here as well: Kaziyski hasn't been even remotely close to what he had showed before joining Milano in Trentino past two years; Dirlic and Catania look like misfires on the market, none of them does what some expected from them before the season, me including; Reggers is as talented as raw and unprepared for typical opposite-volume on serve and attack, but shows big promise; Ishikawa was injured at some point of the season and while Melgarejo is okay, he's and won't be great; Loser is fantastic this season (besides awful game against Zawiercie in CEV Cup; Porro has been good since he returned from thigh injury,

    - they made it to the Coppa Italia Final Four, but there are several question marks (Catania, Kaziyski, rotation on opposite's position) that make me pessimistic whether they can replicate last year's success - the game against Zawiercie (which I personally considered a favorite in this matchup) basically pointed out all the weaknesses of Milano's team and I don't think they're capable of a comeback tomorrow, we'll see.

    6. Monza

    - they're four points away from 4th spot, so nothing spectacular, but obviously their ranking doesn't correspond with how great season they have, including elimination of Civitanova in Coppa Italia QF: Maar is decent, Szwarc is surprisingly good, Takahashi was fantastic up until recently when he finally played some couple of subpar game, especially against Modena last weekend (he had very intense NT season as well), Cachopa and Galassi are good, Gaggini is short of being spectacular libero, but he's very good as well - Loeppky as a 'first back-up' on both OH and OPP positions is pretty great as well, all-round decent team,

    - in other words, they're good, the question is if they can actually improve their best historical results (once they were 4th and once 5th in a league), I doubt it, but we'll see, nothing to complain about this team's performance so far.