Posts by chagrin

    Again, schedule is ruining the matches. Eczacibasi plays without any real chemistry. Kreklow knows how to run preperly just Larson, who's the only scoring player for her team. Teams need more time to build their chemistry, their confidence, their game. :down:

    I partly agree completely. ;) Kreklow was disappointing, not only out of sync: many sets were off anyway, and her contribuition on defense, notably in sets 1 and 2, was detrimental.

    But yes, if somebody ever starts a petition to redefine the offseason/international season activities (M and F), I will be the first to subscribe. It kills volleyball. Just learn from basketball, it isn't that hard to copy the most similar model...

    Tirozzi didn't swing her arm at full force yesterday. Her tie-break "serving show" had an excellent sideshow in Neriman.

    So far I could only find RaiSport as a source to re-watch some games online. They uploaded the Supercup match and also Ravenna vs. Lube from the league's first round. Please, do tell if there are more games available somewhere else. Thanks!

    Mmh... In a couple of weeks I will know which local tv channels will broadcast the replays. Maybe they have a webcast and maybe their schedule goes well with yours.
    But most likely not.
    So I suggest you to visit sporttube, load the streams of the matches you are interested in on VLC, and stream them to your disk so you can watch them later.

    has the ball being used in italian league changed ? why so many passing errors ? is this normal?

    They can't keep statistics. There are more reception errors than serve winners.


    This is my superficial take on serie A, also for the benefit of volleycountry internationals.
    Day 1 confirmed some of my feelings about the season, which is already advertised as "high-quality", "unpredictable", "difficult", "exciting". Let's see which teams will fight for what.

    Vicenza have the worst team on paper and should be relegated. They made a crucial mistake when they substituted the local setter who signed out with a foreign setter, thus removing one foreign spiker from the lineup; starting their Young Italian reserve is a viable solution.
    I feel sorry for Partenio. The rest, as of now, is barely serie A material.

    Club Italia: can they force some 5-set matches and sneak off with the win? Perhaps they will, but their season isn't about the team so much as it is about the single players and their development.
    Bonitta is fan of Malinov, Orro and Egonu and showed it already.

    Bolzano started the transfer market late and with limited resources. Anyhow, the roster is made with purpose and has kind of an international appeal.
    Thanks to under-20 WC Mvp Martinez, and former olympic champion Mari who, if healty, is an above average talent.

    Firenze changed little and in selected roles from last year, maybe not always for better. They aren't immune from the "whatever young european setter will work" syndrome.
    Turlea is a legend, Calloni is their best local player, Ninkovic and Vanzurova are the top summer transfers.

    Montichiari mostly confirmed a roster that proved to be more than good enough for a safe survival. The changes aren't obvious upgrades.
    They need Gioli to drink the elisir of long life, and Dalia, Brinker, Tomsia to be on top of their game like last season.

    Scandicci is an interesting team, a band of discontented players. The coaching staff will be working with a different skill set from last year's.
    Stufi is the fan favorite. Merlo, Fiorin, Nikolova, Rondon had their moments in the past seasons, so did Toksoy in her home country.

    Busto Arsizio deserves to make the playoffs because they made a bold decision: they traded their "A"team and have invested on young players -together with a specialized coach- who may be making their big break. Not sure if they can mantain a high level of play in such a tight competition.
    Hagglund, Lowe and Gozde Y. are gifted athletes and more or less established, how they adapt only time will tell; Degradi and Thibeault have a decent serie A experience.

    Modena felt the urge to change. A lot.
    Diouf is the linchpin of the offense, Folie Heyrman and Bertone patrol the middle, but Ferretti, Di Iulio, Horvath and Arcangeli are the security blankets for this ambitious team.

    Bergamo, after the talks of shutting down (more of a cry for help, and the help finally came) is a whole new team, with sophomores and veterans. A step closer to the ancient Foppa in terms of budget and expectations.
    Lo Bianco's comeback is both useful and symbolic. Gennari is quietly becoming a star. Barun, Plak, Sylla can score points.

    Coaches and players, when asked about the best teams, tend to agree on the following - although admittedly it is hard to pick a single favourite because so many teams can beat one another.

    Casalmaggiore will need to find a new balance for a starting six that is comparable to the scudetto Champions but with a major difference at the setter position. Increased depth will help for the (hard) CL pool.
    The solid-as-a-rock roster includes Lloyd, Stevanovic, Gibbemeyer, Kozuch, Matuszkova, Tirozzi, Sirressi and Piccinini; the Italian volleyball diva is always an asset when it comes to weekly serie A matches.

    Novara - regular-season winner and Coppa Italia defender - adopted a new style of play and also added more depth for CL purposes. Gone are the big lanky OHs, they brought in backrow-oriented receivers.
    Fabris will carry a big load alongside Malesevic, Cruz, Bosetti C. The Group of players from this summer's Italia NT includes Sansonna, Guiggi, Chirichella, Signorile.

    Conegliano must blend two groups together: the one coming from the USWNT and the Italians. Many players are (currently or usually) among the world elite at their position, making this team an early contender.
    Glass isn't available from the beginning so there is Bechis running the offense. The other starters definitely are De Gennaro, Adams, Arrighetti, Robinson, Hodge and Ortolani (once again teaming with coach/husband), but many others can and will have playing time even with no European cups.

    Piacenza have infamously attempted a revival of Yama circa 2012, which isn't a bad idea if all the insiders agree on the potential of this CL wildcard.
    Ognjenovic is one of the most acclaimed setters. If she lives up to the hype, Sorokaite and Meijners will be free to attack with Marcon and Leonardi Handling receiving duties and Bauer, who will need to shake off the rust.


    A reminder: Fantavolley cup, with season-long teams and scores, starts next weekend. Week 1 was a one shot, with a Samsung smartphone as #1 prize.

    Wow. I was totally wrong in my gut prediction. I thought this would have turned into a battle of... serves and break points, and Russia would have prevailed. But the ball was in play more than I expected, and luckily our boys had the winning face today (especially the Russian of Italy) and, under these circumstances, we can beat them any day. Yeah, the Russian middles' terrible day did help.
    Also, I didn't expect Italy to have such a strong home court factor. You could just feel it from the tv.

    I had a feeling this would happen. Loss by over-coaching. In fact, a whole summer lost by over-coaching, as it turns out.
    It was the bitter ending because this team eventually pulled off a good performance, but still wasn't good enough ... and I can tell that it should have been enough against a surprisingly "normal" opponent.
    The personnel management by Bonitta was just as controversial as last year's, only this time there will be no popular success to hide behind. If he were weak/stubborn (like, say, Berruto) I'd give him a pass. But this coach who wanted to leave his mark, to be the smartest guy, was a big disappointment.

    It isn't too late to involve other players who are NT-caliber but received little (or none) consideration. We can't afford to fill the roster with people who've shown no sign of improvement in many long summers of training and tournaments invested on them. Possibly somebody who has already showed something consistently, so that we aren't wasting the next five years building around the latest teenage sensation.

    Spoiler: the results indicate that this group isn't going to qualify for the Olympics.

    Not much of a surprise. Unfortunately I couldn't watch the weekend matches, but the results spoke for themselves: we found a way to give up a set to Slovenia...
    The Dutch "big hitters" have good skills and court awareness, whereas the Italian "skill" players had a weak day hitting, besides displaying very average skills. To make matters worse, I've never counted so many missed/shanked plays on our defense as today.
    Bonitta continuously refused to make the obvious adjustment and chose the difficult way instead (inversion in 1st set? strange/late substitutions?). The players didn't help him either, as they would constantly ignore his time-out suggestions.
    Give credit where credit is due; the Netherlands are back where they belong.
    Italy should regroup and turn back to its historical identity: play defense hard, keep hitting off the block, set to the middles all along the net. Even if it means using Diouf in a limited role. But first, De Gennaro, Lucia and Del Core will have to improve their receiving %, I'm confident they will.
    On a side note, ajde Hrvatska
    mmm... this one can be misunderstood. So, much love to Croatia unless the next match is Italy - Croatia.

    :thumbsup: Come on, Balotelli of volleyball can't exist. Balotelli can't count backwards.

    Because Zaytsev always speaks up. O well, we will never know.

    Scarpetta, making fun of the gossip is the easiest way to forget the real issue, and it is only speculation (although at this point there is some truth to it). Oh, and "Balotelli of volleyball" is such a wrong statement on so many levels that it isn't even funny. :hit:

    Berruto resigned because he could no longer endure the criticism from his own players (unspoken or spoken), from his bosses, maybe from the public opinion too. Okay, it's my guess, but it is 90% of the truth. I don't blame him for that. He took the criticism during and after the WCh. He took the criticism during this WL. Then the moment came when everybody jumped off his wagon, especially those mighty bureaucrats who rule Italian volleyball (and sports overall) with disdain of sportsmanship. He felt hurt and humiliated personally by the speeches and quotes that have surfaced since the day after the Rio incident. At least, that's what I understand from his latest blog entry.
    It's funny that one of them was a false scoop taken straight from the message boards and put into the mouth of some "anonymous source". :aww:

    Italy NT reached the top in the last twelve months at the WL finals, from a team morale standpoint and - just in my opinion and many will disagree - the game wasn't bad either, all things considered. And this isn't nearly the strongest argument as to why it is an idiotic decision to make this move now. If the successor will indeed be Blengini, then I will have to think of something more emphatic than "idiotic", regardless of how competent and adequate the current coach of Lube might be.
    Having said that, hopefully we are coming back to the world elite soon anyways, but this is not the right way.

    I read somewhere that Blengini intends to bring Zaytsev back at OP. It will do wonder for his self-confidence, and he is the kind of guy whose performance depends a lot on confidence.

    In terms of the technology, the challenge system used in the Final Round system is the best, with ultra HD slow-motion and synchronous replay of shots taken from various angle (to help judge whether the ball lands or a player touches the net first). There is still room to improve in terms of the speed of execution, of course. Compared with the Eagle Eye system in tennis, the challenge system in volleyball needs to handle way more challenging situations, like players touching the net or the ball when blocking. This is somehow too complicated to rely on computer simulations to make the judgement. When human (referee) judgement is still needed in the challenge system, it's understandable that it would cause some delay.

    I would rather have a referee at the video station making the line calls. Hawk Eye looked a little off to me on occasion, and the deformation of the ball has to be evaluated each time.
    To help cut on the time, let's just challenge the action where a point is awarded. In addition, what about stopping the play when an infraction (subject to video check) is noticed and either win the point (video check confirms) or lose it?
    When the video check doesn't give evidence, what solution do you prefer: replay the point or stick with the ref's decision?

    A sum of the players' strengths in a vacuum? It's a tie.
    Add the third receiver-hitter (for real, edit the message and add them :D ) and other part-time starters and it separates the first three from the last two.
    Modena have the biggest discrepancy between their "best" and their "worse". Civitanova has the biggest question mark in a single starting position but he's just fine in the long run in Superlega. Perugia may be the weakest receiving team.

    Caterina deserved it, for once. Unfortunately Gennari needs a little therapy.

    [end of OT] On top of my mind, based on serie A only, I can think of Degradi, Pascucci, Guasti, D'Odorico, Guerra, Mambelli, Lestini, Mingardi. How are you so well informed about Italian pro volleyball?

    Strong teams in a strong pool is fair. Some strong teams in the strong pool and one not, isn't fair. Anyway, why would FIVB be more concerned with equality if so many teams try not to qualify for the WGP finals...

    So there IS a problem, but there is some time for these players to improve

    Add Partenio to the mix, reconsider who you called "mediocre", wait for at least six young/very young players to develop.
    The only problem I see is abundance. Bosetti is a non-problem. She was much better than this in the past weeks.


    Let's pretend that this World Grand Prix were for real instead of this sideshow with first units vs. second units and viceversa. :roll:

    Since nobody knew the answers to my questions @ post 524 , or nobody bothered to answer, in which case I repeat:
    - are the draws guided by some kind of seeding? e.g. Brazil is #1 seed and benefits from easier schedule?
    - who decides which teams play multiple times the same opponents?
    - is it because of an agreement based on the venues? Or, are all teams assigned to a location randomly?

    So, since nobody answered, I proceeded with the calculation of strength of schedule as if it were completely random, and came to the conclusion that it is in accord with what common sense suggested.
    In the end, justice was done because Germany wasted the chance to qualify with the weakest schedule (along with Brazil) as opposed to the very strong schedule of Japan.


    The main problem of Germany definitely isn't their middles, as you feared! I'm also glad that the criticism of Brinker diminished because she must be a very nice person, a better player than you think (head and shoulders above her younger teammates), and has improved tremendously over the Italian years.

    Quoted from "saishuu"

    it's not like Italy has problems in the OH position.
    they don't?! I think they do...

    No, we don't. 8)

    It was useful to take a closer look at her, maybe decide whether she is better suited as OP or OH and stuff like that.
    You don't burn her out if you make her understand what she needs in order to play at the next level.

    Yes I think we had problem with concentration. Watch Poland's matches under high pressure against USA or Iran with its the full squads, they played much better than yesterday. I dont't support posts like what would happen if... or Gianelli chosed wrong options. Our team didn't let them more than one set didnt let spread wings unlike to Serbia. Aftet lost set they won next last one 25-20 so?. I like to critize when some team deserve on that we have not.enough arguments so far and we should wait for semifinal then we will have clear form of team.

    This time I must insist. After lost set Poland won the last 25-20, correct. All the same, after almost-lost set Poland lost the following 20-25. One can't say that yesterday Poland gave up one set just because of lack of attention.
    I don't want you to change your mind. My opinion is: Poland started focused, took an early lead, remained focused, Italy fought their way back into the game, Poland won because they played better - not their best volleyball, not our best either. Now convince me that I'm wrong. Where exactly, in what fundamental, what player, did you notice problems with concentration?
    Finally, I'm not playing the "what if...". I was making the point, for the benefit of the readers of this topic, that Sabbi is currently more than good enough to replace Vettori if needed, and yesterday we definitely needed.

    I bet that Serbia will win today and send Italy home :rolleyes:

    The odds are 2.30. It's your money, do as you wish. Remember to bet responsibly!


    So weak match... Poland wanted so easy win, one set lost due to lack of contrentration

    Do you think that Poland won the second set because they suddenly regained concentration in the last three points? Then lost it again in the third?

    Sabbi not level for starting six

    False. Bring Sabbi in, taking the same shots that Vettori had, and this match could end either way.


    I still hope tomorrow we will play with better contretration and not to play with reserves and not to give rest for main players. We should fight for 1st place in group and wait for theoretically weaker rival from other group.

    Let's say that USA and France decide to take Brazil out. :down: Which team would you "choose"? :whistle:
    I'm not saying that anything like that is going to happen. Unfortunately, this format allows this kind of "arrangement"