Short characterization CUB
STARTING PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES
With two relatively clear defeats in the preliminaries (versus ITA and SCG), CUB already spoiled their chances of gaining a position among the best 4. With place 7 – surely not their ambition - the 5th of the current World Ranking is staying in close contact with the top and they have the potential of regaining their firm position among the top 4 they used to have.
Together with SCG, CUB (average age 23.2 years, 18-30) belongs to the youngest teams. Their body height (185 cm) ranges in the middle of all teams.
There were not any considerable modifications in their playing manner and they continue to use the 4:2 system (see short characteristics WGP 2005). The flexible 4 player reception formation with 2 main passing players (support for the net attackers in the formation) and the situative use of 2-player and 3-player formations for reception are interesting features. Elements of the current game concept (integration of libero, controlled jump serve with variation of spin, back court attack) are being developed. The team’s strengths are in the attack (teams ranking: 1st place), and despite technical reserves in the block (2nd place in teams ranking).
The play of the Cuban female players continues to be characterized by the qualities of power volleyball (4 players with jump serve, physically strong block with big action height, hard and straight outside attack).
The main actors of this typical manner of playing are player No. 12 Calderon (best spiker: 60 % success), player No. 3 Carillo (spiker's ranking: 3rd place) and player No. 1 Ruiz (spikers ranking: 4th place) as well as in the block Carillo and player No. 4 Gonzales (best blockers: 7th / 8th).
Their performances of setting and interplay concerning „set/attack“ do not have the excellence the former multiple World and Olympic champion used to demonstrate. While setting to the outside positions (high and quick setting) is working very well, the harmonization during quick attacks in the middle is not always optimal and the quick attackers do not act at same level.
It is our impression that there are performance reserves in the tactical adaptation of blocking and digging in connection with serving technique (use of scouting information) and in the safe, situative application of varied “open” digging techniques.