Short characterization RUS





With high and powerful attacks, offensive jump spin serves and a strong block (during the whole tournament), the characteristic features modern power volleyball, RUS deservedly won the gold medal after a well-balanced and dramatic World championship final. The Brazilian team presented in the usual way their dynamic and attractive manner of playing; however, at last, they had to bow to the strong Russians. The individual technical tactical performance capacity of the for the most part very tall players - 7 of them between 190 and 202 cm body height – was remarkable.


The cooperation with the new Italian coach and his assistant has helped the team very much in their development (team work, playing concept, manner of playing). The players all present themselves calm, confident and psychically stable. With self-confidence, fighting spirit, and cleverness, the team organised critical phases of the match much more successfully than before and they adapted their manner of playing to the current trends without refraining from particular Russian strengths.


Experienced veteran players (player 6 Godina, player 5 Shashkova, player 11 Gamova) and strong, younger players (block players 1 Borodakova - 190 cm - and  16 Merkulova - 202 cm -, setter 18 Akulova) make up a perfect formation, exploiting consistently and efficiently the advantage of their body height. As a „complete“ player and “integration person”, Shashkova is even standing out from the balanced top team.


RUS has played continuously with a stable basic formation: tactical aspects determined selective, short-term substitutions: player 7 for outside and right, player 4 is pinch server for player 16, player 12  - in her style similar to the regular setter - is back up setter,  player 17 is pinch blocker for setter 18


Serve is characterized by three excellent jump top spin servers 6, 11 and 5, who are mostly able to perform controlled hits with spin and power. RUS has been the best team of the team ranking (56 aces) and with player 6 Godina, they also had the best server (28 aces).


The team’s passing ability is fairly good (more than 50 % excellent; errors below 10 %). The main passers are players 5, 6 and the best libero of the tournament, player 9.


Attacking from high and medium quick set outside to pos. 4 is still the best option of Russian attack for the majority of scored points (using their height and power). However, differently from before, after perfect passing, they now use quick sets to outside, of course adapted to the attackers’ actions at great height. The organization of attack is simple, easily to understand and is strictly oriented toward the players’ outstanding individual potential (third place in team ranking). Quick attacks behind the setter and back row attack are performed with similar portions in C1 und C2 – like with other teams- very efficiently.


RUS was the best blocking team in this tournament (142 kill blocks, average by set 3.5). The high and compact block was one decisive feature of their winning the title (12:6 points in the final against BRA). The fresh young blockers smoothly took over   the functions of former top players (e. g. Tichtschenko).


RUS used a different defensive system from the one they used to use. Thanks to the reliable, solid block defence was able to organize itself well (coordination, optimal positioning) and to act efficiently (strong diagonal defence, defence of attacker at pos. 6 back with changing of position along the basic line, digging techniques with both arms).


The well coordinated cooperation of block and court defence was at the same time an essential prerequisite to force longer rallies, to design with variable play and to complete successfully. (The decisive importance for performance and the efficient design of the “transition” sphere is moving back into the focus in today’s top volleyball.)