Best of 2014: My picks for Best International Volleyball Players and Moments


1. Taylor Sander (USA/BYU) – Rookie-MVP in an international scene. Amazing leap and excellent volleyball IQ.


2. Marius Wlazly (Poland) – Led the country for a world championship. Beat that.


3. Ivan Zaytsev (Italy) – Italy’s own workhorse. Can score anywhere.


4. Wallace De Souza (Brazil) – Still good despite the injury (also biased cause he’s my favorite)


5. Ricardo Lucarelli (Brazil) – Most improved player


6. Earvin Ngapeth (France) – Breakout year, definitely


7. Seyed Mousavi (Iran) – 48 blocks in a world tournament. Beat that.


8. Matthew Anderson (USA) – Still an amazing player no matter what and the heart and soul of USA


9. Jenia Grebennikov (France) – Amazing libero! Brought the house down in the World championship!


10. Mir Saeid Marouflakrani (Iran) – Amazing setter! Probably the best in the world right now.


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Rookies dominating the FIVB World Grand Prix

So there are so many rookies this year, well that’s kind of normal every after Olympics. But what’s very significant this year is that most of the rookies are the ones doing the job for their national squads. So far, I’ve been impressed with three and here are they:

3. Kim Hill (USA) – 6’4 Outside Hitter, 23 years old

Although she’s not really a rookie cause she’s kinda old, this is her first time to join the US National Squad. Although it is her first time, she has been impressive and has been posting solid numbers for the defending 3-peat champions. I was able to see her in a tune-up game against Japan a few weeks back and can’t help but be impressed with her athleticism. It would be interesting to see her get better in the coming years and I hope she can really be a monster inside the court. She’s very kind and she doesn’t really have swag. USA has a bright future especially if she will play with the likes of Destinee Hooker, Logan Tom, Foluke Akinradewo and others in the coming years.


2. Zhu Ting (China) – 6’3 Outside Hitter, 18 years old

Ahhh. She has impressed me so much the past games. She’s the reason why I’m not really hating that much on China right now a midst the massive trashtalking of Yunli Xu and Hui Ruoqi. Haha. But then again I can always appreciate talent like everyone else. I’ve always loved Yimei Wang. But damn, Zhu Ting just made me love China more. This girl has the potential to not just be Asia’s best but the world’s best player. I’m amazed with her leaping ability and power. Aside from these, she also has good blocking and floor defense. She’s like the Ms. Everything for China now. It would be interesting to see her in the next years.

Zhu Ting

1. Melissa Vargas (Cuba) – 6’1 Opposite, 13 years old

They say everyone can play volleyball. But not everyone can play great as young as 13 YEARS OLD. Yes, that has been the highlight of my tweets lately because I was so impressed at this girl! Although she’s the youngest player in the tournament, she has been posting impressive numbers. Truly remarkable was their game against Russia. She, I meant Cuba forced a strong Russia team to 4 sets. She was the top scorer of the match. Imagine that, beating her teammates who are mostly 20 years old and above. I’ve got to give it to her, she leaps high and she has the power. She has good blocking as well. Cuba’s future is safe with this kid especially if they will train her to become the next Regla Torres or Mireya Luis. Plus she’s 6’1 already at age 13 so she can still grow like 5-6 inches more. This would be interesting. I suggest you begin watching Cuba games. You’ll be amazed at what this kid can do! (Look at the pic and she looks like a kid talaga! Swear!)

Vargas 1