Short characterization

USA

 

STARTING PLAYERS / SUBSTITUTES

RANKING 2000 - 2008

OG   2000

4

WGP 2001

1

WCh 2002

2

WC   2003

3

OG   2004

5-8

WGP 2005

8

WCh 2006

9

WC   2007

3

OG   2008

2

 

Even though the team showed unsteady performances during the Olympic tournament the success factors unshakeable fighting spirit/team work, experience /cleverness (strong nerves in critical moments and in the final phase of decisive sets) as well as especially the offensive play at the net led it into the final and to win the silver medal.

 

General remarks

·         The performance set-back following the 2004 Olympic Games was stopped by the comebacks of the “veteran” top spiker Logan Tom, of the defense specialist Stacy Sykora and of the setter Lindsey Berg as well as having Haneef to play on the position she used to, diagonal player.

·         Players of the 2004 Olympic team had the majority in the actual starting lineup (average age: 28,1); only one of the younger players managed to make the starting lineup (No 10 Glass).

·         Many tactical substitutions (with clear division of tasks) enabled all players to deliver an immediate contribution to the team’s performance whenever they entered the court.  

·         Elements of success were a fact, information based structure of the play, fighting spirit, but first of all an offensive play that was based on superior quality close to the net (movement speed, speed/power).

·         During the tournament the team was able to improve its performance with an extraordinary level of performance in many elements: Blocking, two very good setters, quick attack in front of and behind the setter connected with back row attacks.

 

Serve

·         Consequent and variable service adapted to the opposing team (application of modern information systems) and closely connected with the tactical preparation of defensive block; efficiency during the tournament: 1, 2 points per set.

·         Well controlled jump serve (No 4 very efficient with lateral spin), stable technique made successful serve series possible. Powerful floats with flat trajectory from standing position were dominating. Many variations in service position and distance to baseline (individual and inter-individual).

 

Serve reception

·         Reliable serve reception of all incorporated players with average performance values (only 45-50% precise actions). Applying three players as a standard to receive jump spin power serve, in case of floats/jump floats two players as an alternative.

·         Application of reception techniques according to the actual situation, overhand reception as one of the standards of the technical repertoire.

 

Set / Attack Complex 1 and Complex 2

·         Setting is characterized by effective double substitutes – in most cases with an increased quality. Quick passes are almost always set while the setter is jumping.  

·         First setter (No 11 Ah Mow-Santos) with very calm and stable actions. No 4 Berg often played, acting very vigorously and motivating her team mates, also reinforcing field defense and service.

·         Very dynamic cooperation of both setters with quick attackers in 1st quick attacks in C1 and C2 - quick anticipation, offensive reaction.

·         All players applied overhand setting techniques in complicated situations.

·         Quick attacks in Complex I: Simple attacking combinations (2 basic variations: parallel, with a cross) - 71 % of all attacks (24% Pos.4, 47%, 1./2. tempo in front of/behind the setter with special attention to outside attacks from position 2).

·         Attacks in Complex II: Efficient transition attack consciously for outside attacker Tom and diagonal player. Whenever there was a chance for a quick attack this option was consequently and successfully applied.

Backcourt defense-attack: High and quick attacks from outside positions pos.4/2 as well as, similar to Brazil, many back court attacks.  

      Coverage-Attack: Counter attacks in most cases from outside positions.

Freeball-attack: Finalizing of attacks in most cases with 1.tempo in front of the setter or

with a spike from position 4, in individual cases as back court attack.

 

Block / Defense

·         As an integral part of special blocking tactics when setter close to the net. Blocking with three players from all positions, good support by the middle blocker in quick attacks on intermediate positions.

·         Quick movements close to the net (variable step combinations), position of the block players adapted to the play situation (outside players), well structured offensive blocking actions.

·         Very experienced MB (athletic, aggressive block actions above the net).

·         Only a few direct blocking points compared to BRA/CUB, but very many rebounds (average by set: 2006: 2,9 points  2008: 2,7 points.

·         Well organized and flexible defense system, average performance caused by individual difference in the level of performance.

·         Very agile libero with quick reactions, strong defensive actions against diagonal attacks, sometimes she changed to position 6 as part of a playing action.

·         With the nominated libero and the former libero Sykora the team could play with two liberos as a tactical option to strengthen serve reception and defense.