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2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
21 - 26 August 2010

 Press Release
The silent work of a key player

Libero Tiffany Morales is one of the key players for USA

Singapore, Singapore, August 23, 2010 - Talk to any player or coach in the Youth Olympic Games Volleyball competition at Toa Payoh Sports Hall and they will tell you how important the Libero is to a team's success. Not just in their playmaking skills but frequently as the emotional motor of the team.

Andrei Kukushkin, coach of the Russian boys' team, likens the position to one in football.

"An ideal Libero is made of a combination of explosive character and psychological steadiness,'' he said. "He should be like a goalkeeper, always managing teammates during the game and being a true team leader in terms of personal character."

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The Libero is also the ball controller, passing smartly so the team can switch fluently from defence to attack. Just as important are their defensive skills. Liberos must be able to "dig" their opponent's crushing spikes and keep the point alive with good passes to the setter.

Unglamorous in comparison with the crowd-pleasing big hitters who soar above the net, the libero must develop a Zen-like attitude and take pride in frustrating attackers with solid defensive play.

Two of the Liberos competing at the Games, Rasko Jovanovic, Serbia and Tiffany Morales, USA explained how they see their role within their respective teams.

"Besides good reflexes, I think it is important mentally for a Libero to have the guts to receive the opponents' spikes. They also have to have a certain personality to able to cheer the team at the back row every time, even if we have just lost a point," Jovanovic said.

Morales painted a similar picture of what it takes to play the position.

"They are someone that everyone feeds off. Liberos are the captain of the back row and their main focus is to pass and keep the team working as one, even through the hard times. We are the glue that keep everything together" said Tiffany Morales.

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