The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

74° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball 101: The Setter

Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat Chanel Brown, No. 5 Setter, and the UA volleyball team play Utah Valley on Aug. 25, 2012.

On the roster:

Chanel Brown, 5-foot-9, junior

Lauren Fuller, 5-foot-11, freshman

Aubrey McKinney, 5-foot-7, freshman

In volleyball, the setter is essentially playing a role similar to that of a quarterback in football. The setting position runs the offense and generally requires a player who is confident and reliable. Depending on what type of offense the coach wants to run, there can be as many as two setters on the court at once so there’s always a pair of hands at the net.

“As a setter, you have to be a natural leader,” junior setter Chanel Brown said. “You have to be very vocal and create connections with your hitters so they trust you one the court.”

Some coaches prefer running one setter who plays all the way around and sets from the back row as well as the front. This means the setter needs to have very quick feet and perfect footwork in order to make it to the net by the time the passer has touched the ball.

Brown recently transferred from the University of Florida where they ran a 6-2 offense, meaning two setters played. The Wildcats run a different system, a 5-1 where one setter plays the entire rotation around the court.

“I think a 5-1 is really my strong point so I’m excited to be working with coach and having them improve my abilities as a setter,” Brown said.

The setter’s main job is to set up the play in advance, communicate with the hitters, and put the ball in a position where the hitter is able to hit the ball effectively. The passer receives the ball, the setter sets it into place, and the hitter put it away.

Since the rules state a team cannot exceed three touches per play, the setter’s hands are likely the most used on the court, meaning it is important to get the second touch to the setter. If the setter forgoes the second touch, then the player is free to participate in the offense by preparing to hit.

“We have two very talented setters but there’s some room still there,” head coach Dave Rubio said, “we need to work on some footwork and getting to the net quicker.”

Soft hands, a very calm demeanor, and a clear vision of the court are all traits that coaches look for in a setter. The ability to predict where the ball will be and where it needs to end up are some of the setter’s primary responsibilities.

More to Discover
Activate Search