July 6, 2015

New High School Volleyball Season….

Hello, I am the coach of a high school program in Florida. Last season we made the state final four and lost in the fourth set by two points. We had our most successful season in school history. 

My issue now is that we graduated our setter who will be playing DII in the fall and lost our school record holder in kills and all hitting records. The hitter is replaceable but the setter is not. 

We have a group of setters coming up and our options are a setter who played Rightside last year, who knows the game well and is a good all-around volleyball player, but has below-average to poor hands and is very injury prone plus is going to be a senior. Option two is a  very athletic and determined setter who is very small at the varsity level, this one does not play club and has not improved at all since last season, she is probably going to be an average setter at best. Option three is the one I am leaning towards unfortunately, she was our libero last year and is going to play in college as a libero at the University of Miami. She is athletic, competitive and would do a pretty good job. She has not set since 8th grade and will be a senior. We do have another player who can play libero at a pretty high level. 

Do you have any advice on who would be the one to use? I plan on training all three plus a younger setter who is definitely not ready yet, but will be good in a year or two. 

Thank you. J.P.


First of all, congratulations on your State accomplishments!  That is fantastic and I hope you were able to enjoy the season; I know from my experience that we coaches get so caught up in process/strategy/drama management/competitive craziness, that we can miss the stepping back to enjoy the view.

With Rally Score volleyball, the priority is Outside Hitter, Passing, Setter and Middle.  I put the OH in front of Passing because a good OH can bail out the passing, but a good passer can not attack.  Granted, a team needs a setter to deliver an attack-able ball, but setters don't need to good, just competent.

Based upon your setter options, my instinct would be Option Two.  It is apparent that Option One does not inspire confidence (in skills or health) and would be better suited to the right side position.  I would hesitate use Option Three because I would not be comfortable moving a DI level Libero out of the pass pattern, even with another competent Libero in the wings, simply because with DS'ing the back up Libero, you could have two excellent passers on the floor most of the time.

If Option Two has the personality and can effectively run a basic offense (set the correct hitter, with a good set), then average will work for you.  The OH ability and the Passing will make an average setter good.  

I like your confidence that the hitter is replaceable, because that would actually be my primary concern……

Good luck!

Coach Sonnichsen

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 06, 2015

    As a former MB and the father of a setter, I'm not liking that order. :-)


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