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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball 101: Outside Hitters and Middle Bockers

Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat Madi Kingdon, No. 9

With volleyball season in full swing, the Daily Wildcat felt it as perfect a time as any to educate its readers on the intricacies of each position on the volleyball court. First up: Outside hitters and middle blockers.

Outside Hitter

On the roster

– Taylor Arizobal sophomore 6-foot-2 (starter) – Emily Bemis, freshman 6-foot-2 – Madi Kingdon, sophomore, 6-foot-1 (starter) – Shaquillah Torres, sophomore, 6-foot-1

The outside hitter must be one of the most well-rounded players on the court.

She generally plays around the entire six-man rotation and is expected to be able to receive serves, pass for defense, block on the net, hit the ball front row and serve. An outside hitter has to be consistent in all aspects of the game while also being a playmaker, because the first touch and the last touch can often be by the outside hitter.

“The best part about being an outside hitter is you get set a lot, you get a lot more kills,” sophomore Taylor Arizobal said.

Home base for the outside hitter is generally on the left side of the court. When in position, the hitter will be at the front left side of the net while the other outside hitter is back row playing defense. The rotation works in a way so that someone is always front row and able to attack at the net.

“There are a couple of tougher components to hitting on the outside,” Arizobal said. “You have to think a lot more about where the ball is going to go because there’s usually a big block waiting on the other side.”

An outside hitter is generally one of the taller players on the floor and she has to be conditioned well enough to play full matches. Because the outside hitter works on all skills, it is often a beginner position — but in more competitive play, the outside hitter position is difficult to master.

Middle Blocker

On the roster

– Halli Amaro, freshman, 6-foot-1 – Olivia Magill, freshman, 6-foot-2 – Rachel Rhoades, sophomore, 6-foot-2

The middle blocker is the most physical player on the court. The setter usually releases the ball quicker and runs a much faster offense for the middle hitter in order to beat the block on the other side.

“Blocking is one of the best parts of being in the middle just because you’re taking out the other player,” freshman blocker Olivia Magill said, “When you get a touch of the block, it’s great because you know you’re helping out your defense.”

While the opposing team is on defense the middle is responsible for dictating the block. They track the ball as it approaches the net and are generally expected to engage in any block on any part of the net.

“The toughest part is probably staying active on every play and being able to get to every block on time,” Magill said.

Once the blocker has completed the three rotations in the front row, she will play one offensive rotation back row where she is the server. After the point is lost, the middle blocker will be replaced with a defensive specialist or a libero in back row defense.

It is not as imperative for the middle blocker to be a consistent passer as she is only expected to pass in the single rotation back row or on last resort defensive situations.

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