Archive for September, 2015

Capital Volleyball League Finals

September 26, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Been so busy since getting back from World Grand Prix.

A couple of weeks ago we wrapped up Capital Volleyball League. My team lost in 5 sets in the grand final. It was close, with each side scoring 48 kills and 10 aces. Was a good close game.

* * *

We had only beaten the opponent 3 times in the the last 13 encounters since I coached the team. We have historically lost the serving/receiving battle against them and were often aced off the court. They had the 3 best servers in the competition, and we didn’t have strong receivers.

Tired of getting aced, i decided in our previous match against them to use only 2 receivers for the whole game. I only had 2 players who could capably pass and betted that it could be better being very good receiving a small area than receiving a bigger area poorly. I was also sick of having my opposite receiving in the backcourt and having one less attacker – on an average pass it meant that without the opposite or middle we were down to 1 option. 2 receivers worked and we won that time.

* * *

Our strategy this time was the same. Using only 2 receivers would also let me play an attacker in a passer hitter position who was a weaker receiver. What I found interesting was that a tactic that we used to free up our opposite and play a strong attacker, had an unintended consequence on how the other team responded.

2 Receivers in women’s volleyball is unusual. Maybe it’s the low net, but it’s become conventional wisdom that you can’t receive with less than 3. The other team was rattled. Sometimes they’d try to serve the ball short into the gaps. It was often rushed – as if serving quickly would make it hard for us to get there. Sometimes they’d try to serve down the middle in the seam, which turned into either an easy pass or a ball that went flying out. Often it went straight to a player – in which case their confidence seemed to drop – being unable to ace less receivers gave the illusion they were playing worse and worse. Conversely, the confidence of our own team grew. As the game went on, reducing the number of servers from 3 to 2 became a potent mental weapon. It was like playing poker and raising the bets with an ordinary hand.

We didn’t win the game, but managed to even up the odds significantly. We finished the season in good spirits.


Photo after the game. It actually felt like we had won.