Posts by usantvolleyball

    From Reddit r/volleyball

    Karch Kiraly, Will he Wake up from his Dream? I hope Not!

    In a most somnambulist manner Coach Kiraly has stumbled upon his best starting 7 in a fashion that goes against everything he has done before. He grabbed Kelsey Robinson from her OH position and inserted her mid game for a struggling JWO. Previously Kim Hill only got that kind of treatment. Then when the Hill/MBH combination didn’t click and he got better success from Larson/MBH he benched Hill, his 2014 WC gold MVP.


    But when his Murphy, MBH, and Larson combo struggled in the gold medal VNL match against Turkey he moved MBH to OP and brought back Hill to join with Larson and that team pulled out the match in impressive closing fashion.


    With the big summer friendly being a four match week in Brazil will Karch play coy and go back to trying different Hill/Larson/MBH combinations using his traditional lefty Opposites? Or will he go all in with MBH at OP and then try to quickly burn-in a new third OH.


    Madi Kingdon has the inside track. She played well last year on the B-team but couldn’t quite grab a spot on the A-team. Sarah Wilhite was just given a long look at #3 but just didn’t grab the opportunity. The dark horse here is Megan Courtney and whether she has recovered enough from her ACL tear to compete this year.


    In 2015, the wake Karch, got caught up in experimenting with his players and never could quite settle on his group and in doing so lost the magic from the 2014 WC gold medal. This fed right into his last-minute decisions on who would go to Rio and a frustrating Bronze medal.

    Hopefully now we have a sleeping/woke coach who has slipped on the Ring and will let it guide him to another WC gold.

    I think the FIVB would really like to raise the profile of the VNL to take the prestige factor up a notch from what the Grand Prix was. They hired one of the leading US sports management company to consult with and it shows minus the stats. If they get 3 really competitive years out of four I think they will have done well. Plus rotating it through the countries is genius. One year the US will host and it won't be in Nebraska but Las Vegas, LA, or Miami. The need to grow the fan base in the US and China seem obvious.


    There can never be enough volleyball between the top teams either Club or National and the improving ability to watch it on demand is great.

    Taylor Agost, a recent University of Oregon grad, has indicated that she will be playing in Europe next season. She is 6'2' with athleticism similar to Bricio and beauty like the Tapp sisters. She played both MB and OH for Oregon but her future is clearly as an OH. She was named an NCAA all-American honorable mention.


    She came late to volleyball so she has a huge upside for growth. I think she would be well suited to the French or German leagues. Early rumors had her headed to Le Cannet. Here's hoping that another Oregon gal can make the big time and eventually play her way on to the USNT.


    Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylor_agost/

    Bricio was solid in all phases during the Scudetto playoffs and through the later part of the CL right up to the semi's against VAkif when Imoco was still only one great play by Zhu from what would have ended up winning the CL gold. Bricio's biggest problem is consistency. She can vary dramatically between bad and sensational. I think she is going to have a stellar season in Turkey. She's a good combination of size and athleticism and was the best NCAA player her senior year.

    Big week coming up for the USA with Russia, Brazil, and China. With the US not in the "develop the pipe line mode" they will want to win all three of these matches but especially Brazil which is playing its A team. Hill and Larson will probably start two out of the three matches. At OP we will see if Drews takes over the #1 spot from Murphy. Foluke remains the #1 MB'er but the #2 spot seems up for grabs between the other three with Gibby being the blocking leader. Expect no change with Robinson and Lloyd and I'm sure Karch will continue with the double sub.


    The one thing that I will be curious to see is if the US gets in trouble playing their current OP's whether Karch will really shake things up and put Bartsch over at OP. I think that would be their strongest lineup.

    If they sub Krob for Zhu on defense, Zhu is at lisk to have that ankle really tighten up. You can see she is clearly favoring it as she isn't moving with her normal quickness. Vakif probably wants to close out the match this set.

    KRob seems to be perfect for Vakif. She quickly melded into the team and clearly has a good connection with her team mates. She seems content with her limited playing time. Guidetti appears to like her. She has a versatile skill set.


    But best of all she is the current social media queen of Club volleyball and she also is a big evangelist for Istanbul and touristy Turkey. She has the personality to be a marketing figure in Istanbul and the exposure playing for Vakif and the USNT is serving her well.