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Van de Vyver’s dream picks

Ilka Van de Vyver setting the ball during a 2018 VNL match
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 16, 2019 – In line with other interviews ahead of the second edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Ilka Van de Vyver was asked to select six volleyball players (past or present) she would like to have as teammates on her ideal squad. The captain and setter of the Belgian national team provided a detailed answer, and even pointed to the exact club where she sees this fantasy unfold.

So here it is, setter Ilka Van de Vyver’s dream team line-up of Sesc Rio de Janeiro of Brazil:

Middle blocker: Milena Rasic (Serbia) - I played with her at RC Cannes (in my first year as a professional player) and in my opinion now she is one of the best middle blockers in the world. When you see her blocking, it’s really impressive. I like to play against her, but it would be amazing to play with her again.

Middle blocker: Victoria Ravva (France) - I also played with her at RC Cannes. She was our captain. Because of her experience she read the game well and had a lot of different combinations in approaching her attack. It is hard to read where she will hit the ball. She was also an amazing captain and made every player of the team important.

Outside hitter: McKenzie Adams (USA) - This year she was the one to watch in the German league. Her explosivity and her height are her strengths. It looks like she’s always going full-on, so I like her attitude a lot.

Outside hitter: Logan Tom (USA) – In my third year at RC Cannes, Logan and I played together. I never saw anybody reading the game in defence like she does. She knows exactly where to stand and how to pick up the balls. She always found a way to make things difficult for the opposite team. She meant a lot for the USA team - you can see that, because she played at the Olympic Games four times. But still she is really down to earth. Watching her is like watching a show.

Opposite: Tandara Caixeta (Brazil) - For me she is one of the most impressive opposites in the world. I always love playing against Brazil. We don’t get a lot of opportunities for that, so I enjoy it every time. In the World Grand Prix and the Volleyball Nations League is where I got to know her as a player. She likes fast balls, also behind the three meter line, she likes tempo, so that’s a ‘match’!

Libero: Hatice Gizem Orge (Turkey) - For me, the libero is an underrated position - you only see it when she’s not doing her job, but when she is, then everybody takes it for granted. It’s important that the setter and the libero have a good connection. So a stable libero, who fulfils her responsibilities and reduces the pressure from the other positions, is the thing that counts. Gizem is the perfect example of that, giving comfort to the setter and avoiding a ball on the ground.


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