My daughter is 15 years old, 5'11" and left-handed.
She plays on a club team that has competed at the National Championships the last two seasons (2nd in American in 2014, and 13th in National in 2015), and started varsity at a large class high school as a freshman. Last season she played RS for high school and MB for club. Now she will probably play MB for high school, but her club coach is talking to her about moving to RS for next club season. Her club coach said she is getting some feedback from one of the DI colleges we have reached out to that she needs to move to RS for college recruiting purposes. This is also her coaches' alma mater.
We've always heard that the right side is where she will probably end up playing in college, since she's left-handed. However, looking at recent rosters, especially DI, I'm seeing more and more of the height moving to the right side and a lot of girls at 5'11" - 6'0" still at MB.
Can you explain the reason for this trend and the pros and cons of MB vs. RS for her situation (height and left-handed)?
Thanks for your help.
I played with a left handed middle when I was a professional athlete in Europe, and that is the only time in my setting career. Off the top of my head, I cannot remember the last time I saw a collegiate left handed middle blocker?
Because of the geometry of volleyball, the left handed players dominantly play the right side of the net, seldom the left side and never the middle. The middle attack options are based upon right handed players, with the slide being the dominant play and then the quick middle (called an A or 1); these two attack options are extremely difficult for setters to connect with left handed players.
Conversely, left handed players on the right side are fantastic - Their left handedness opens up many attack options which are better performed by them, than a right handed player.
Without hesitation, moving your daughter from the middle to the right side, is the best thing to do for your college recruiting and collegiate future. Especially if she has the blocking mentality of a middle, applied to the right side block!!!
Don't focus on height for the MB vs RS position, focus on getting her into the best suited geometric position for being left handed, which is opposite the setter (on the RS) - If she is a tall RS, then that is just icing on the recruiting cake!