This is an esoteric collection of thoughts about volleyball from someone who thinks about this stuff way too much.
Rumour season is upon us! Is Matt Anderson going to Modena? Is Tsvetan Sokolov going to Zenit Kazan?? Will Lube kick Dragan Stankovic to the curb for some new, pretty, and young middle??? Am I going to Trentino???? At least if you are a big 4 Italian team or Kazan, sometimes the next season begins before the current one ends. Just don’t believe everything you read on the internet, or else Modena would have a 50-man roster of all the best players in volleyball next season.
I just did a podcast on the top 21 and under volleyball prospects in the world, so now I am qualified to predict the 2028 LA Olympics men’s indoor volleyball medals. 1. Poland (by a lot) 2. Russia/Ukraine 3. Canada 4. Italy 5. Russia 6. Bulgaria. Sorry Americans but your youth talent is looking pretty sparse right now on the men’s side.
Speaking of prospects, can we appreciate for a second that the 2 leading scorers of the Italian Women’s league are 20 and 19 years old? Paula Egonu and Isabelle Haak are already two of the best players in the sport when theoretically they should still be half a decade from their prime. Boskovic isn’t much older at 21 either. Can you imagine if those three were playing in the NCAA? oof.
Kevin Tillie is playing his first game in a Modena uniform this weekend against Siena. And given the state of Modena right now, I could actually see them losing the game. Tillie is a great player but his more defensive skill set doesn’t really compliment a team that is desperate for offense. I’m not sure if he is enough to stop their “season from hell”. Which is a hyperbole anyway because they are still 4th place in the most competitive pro league in the world.
Katowice’s loss to Skra in the Plusliga this week means that we have our playoff teams barring any extraordinary results. Zaksa, Warsaw, Jastrzebski Wegiel, Radom, Zawriercie, and Skra. How about a round of applause for Skra, who dealt with a what I assume was a witch’s curse given how much bad luck they had this season. There were so many injuries at one point they played a match with one middle. They could have easily given up and written off the season and no one would have blamed them. But they kept fighting and seem to be getting healthier at exactly the right time.
I see a lot of people quit volleyball after high school or college, depending on how far they take it. Bad decision! I just got back from a tournament where everyone was several years out of college and it was a ton of fun, even if my knees hurt a little more after than they used to. Volleyball is one of the best sports to get into as an adult, as you can see but the tons of rec leagues and people who start the sport in their 20s (and post on reddit). Don’t waste the fact that you got to learn the game early (although I understand that sometimes life gets in the way).
Thank you for reading my ramblings if you made it this far, have a great weekend.