More often than not volleyball teams will have two or three consistently good pin players, usually what you are looking at would be one solid outside hitter and one offensively consistent opposite hitter, but what are you supposed to do when you have four incredibly good, and offensive pin players? That is the great situation the number one ranked team in the NVA, the Texas Tyrants, have found themselves in. The Texas Tyrants are able to flex their offense in more ways than one, with two consistently good outside hitters in Gianluca Grasso and Anthony Robinson, and two incredibly athletic opposites with Tim Johnson and Daniel Jacobs.
Starting with the outside hitters Gianluca Grasso and Anthony Robinson, you have two different types of players to deal with on the court. Gian is a consistent passer and blocker, but runs one of the fastest “go” balls the NVA has ever seen. “Go” balls are usually an up and down set landing in area four of the court, typically falling through the pin about half way up. What Gian runs is a “shoot” which has no apex and flies straight through the pin, making it hard for both the other team’s middle blocker and opposite to get to the right side to form a solid block. Gian also is very efficient in hitting the “bic” which is the back row quick, in which once again, he takes teams by surprise with his speed. Anthony Robinson on the other hand requires a slower set, but with the time in the set, he has more range to either hit down the line or cross court, both which are productive swings.
Finally we have our two opposites, Tim Johnson and Daniel Jacobs. In games past Tim Johnson has been getting the start, but due to experienced coaching from Coach Grasso, late in games you will see a double sub, where the backrow opposite will get subbed for a new setter and a front row setter will get subbed for a new opposite, which is where you see Daniel Jacobs. Once again both these players are radically different but highly effective players. Tim Johnson requires an incredible high set, with only being 6 ‘4, his 40+ inch vertical jump allows him to reach balls most players only dream of reaching. Contacting the ball at this height allows him to hit shots on the court that are usually taken away due to a well formed block being set up, but Tim just goes over them. Daniel Jacobs on the other hand has an absolute whip of an arm, while he may not jump like Tim Johnson does, he still jumps incredibly well and has tremendous range. Daniel Jacobs is also a very disciplined blocker, and thanks to his experience on the outside, can step in and pass to help shrink the seams in serve receive.
Check out Gian, Daniel, Tim, and Anthony as they dominate the offense next week July 9th-11th as they try to make their run in the NVA Championships.