After settling in to my new abode in Charlotte (my cousin’s house), another stroke of good fortune came my way learning that there is satellite TV here! Awesome! So not only did I have the great opportunity to watch Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano smack a game winning grand slam in the 13th inning last night, but I also watched the USA play the Netherlands in a World League match. This is the first World League match I have watched on TV post Olympics. Here are a few thoughts:
- I can’t see the ball! The ball is moving so fast, that it is tough for even my trained eye to follow it. In addition, the colors in the crowd and the new new Mikasa purple and yellow ball make it even more difficult. Maybe they need a tracking device like they have in hockey to see the ball.
- Too slow between points, especially after two or three missed serves in a row. I think the women’s college game seems much faster between points.
- In contrast, baseball takes-up a significant amount of time between pitches. If American’s receive volleyball like they have baseball, indoor volleyball has a chance.
- It looked to be a decent crowd, or was everyone just forced to sit together for a good tv showing?
- The USA Men’s team, even though they won 3 – 0, is not playing with the same intensity or chemistry as the Gold Medal Team of the Olympics. Of course, there are some definite roster and coach changes.
- Donald Suxho is not the same setter as Lloy Ball. Ball has a nice pace and consistency with his sets, a nice connection with his players. His players (Clay Stanley in particular) have confidence in Ball’s sets. Suxho is still trying to find a rhythm and gain confidence in his teammates. I’m not sure if he’ll ever find it.
- David Lee is still a stud.
- Scott Touzinsky and Andrew Hein are up-and-coming players.
- I’m glad Tom Hoff is still playing on the team. I got a chance to play against Tom when he was at rival Maine South High School as I went to New Trier High School. He grew about a foot during and after high school. I didn’t.
It was nice to see the USA Men’s Team still playing at a high level with the new roster under Alan Knipe. The next four years will not only be interesting for the USA Volleyball Teams, but for volleyball in the United States. Can we better promote the sport after our Olympic success?!?!
Remember, volleyball is the second most played sport in the world. Catch up America!