STARTING PLAYERS / SUBSTITUTES
RANKING 2000 - 2008
As the 2004 Olympic champion and host the Chinese team had to try to meet the very high
expectations of repeating the Olympic victory. With the 2:3-losses in the preliminaries against CUB and USA, that both did cost the team a lot of energy and power, the bronze medal can be considered a success and reflects the actual level of performance of the team.
· Team composition as a well balanced mix of older (still 6 players from the 2004 Olympics, first setter No 2 Feng playing in the team since the 2000 Olympics) and younger players, especially to strengthen the attacking and blocking performance - 5 players born 1986-1989). Average age (25,1) allows for a possible further improvement of that team in future.
· Basic playing approach is characterized by a connection of the typical Asian playing concept with psychic-physical features of power volleyball.
· Stable starting lineup with substitutions during the sets especially on the outside position (here, but also in the block formation changing positions of players from the starting lineup).
· Variable serve with a well balanced mix of actual techniques from varying positions (with a striking performance of an extreme jump power service by No 1 Wang; but with an even greater efficiency by floats, especially powerful jump floats by No 7 Zhou - 16 asses/rank 2 in players’ ranking). Average performance in the tournament: 1,2 points per set.
· Very good performance in serve reception: No 7 Zhou and libero Zhang ranking 1 resp. 3); against jump power serve and distance floats always with three players, against jump floats and floats backline alternatively with two players; if required by the situation reception from the top.
· Effective and secure in performing actual serve reception techniques, the quick movement in the frontal serve reception position to the left and to the right is worth mentioning.
Set / Attack Complex 1 and Complex 2
· The number 1 setter of the team for many years No 2 Feng again impressed by her elegant and precise setting technique (quick jumping passes or in standing position, a great variety in setting speed). The young second setter played quite a lot and showed a reliable performance. Application of the overhand setting technique in difficult situation by all players.
· Quick attacking in Complex I: In case the setter is in the back court, and depending of the availability of the middle blocker for the 1st tempo, the team has many approach options for the diagonal player who is part of the serve reception formation, in most cases the attack was terminated by an action behind the setter. Only a few 1st tempo attacks from position 3. In case the setter is close to the net quick attacks from outside positions with integrated back court attacks from the positions 1 and 6 were dominating.
· Attacks in Complex II: strongly focussing on the impressive power attack of the young outside attacker No 1 Wang (C1/C2: 107 attack points), besides CUB biggest portion of transition attack from position 4 (more than 50%).
Backcourt defense-attack: more than 50% high outside attacks from position 4, as an alternative one foot take-off behind the setter and backcourt attack from position 6; sometimes medium-high passes for the middle blocker on position 3
Coverage-attack: primarily termination from position 4, depending from the actual play situation the player who just attacked received the next pass again.
Freeball-attack: dominating termination of the attack with quick outside attack from position 4, as an alternative quick set behind the setter.
Block / Defense
· Blocking with one, two or three players on all positions. No superior blocking perfor-mance, especially in comparison with the TOP 4 (MB Ma among the TOP 10 in individual ranking).
· There is a outside trend for blocking position 4 and 2 when starting the block action. - Fine tuning of the positions, getting closer to the MB and offensive blocking actions, very active and successful block by the outside player, mutual support against quick attacks.
· Well coordinated and effective defense play, especially worth mentioning the typical defense actions in different positions and the level of performance of libero Zhang (best digger: Average by set 3,7) and diagonal player Zhou (rank 10) in the defense as well as in diagonal attacks on position 5 resp. 1 (positioning and two arms techniques!).
· In case the team played without libero, positions were changed between outside attackers (pos.6 back) and MB (pos.5).