Keys to Various Setting "Saves"

Although we would all like to think our team could make it through numerous games without our setter needing to make a "save" but the reality is that this game has a level of chaos that requires players to make plays.

Tight Pass

After establishing position at the net, setter turns her shoulders parallel to the net. When the ball arrives, she takes the ball off of the right shoulder, step into the ball and with the right foot forward. NOTE: If the setter turns and takes the ball in front of her face, the ball will be delivered off the net to the hitter. 

Low/Flat Pass

This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult plays for a setter to make; a pass that is low and tight to the net. Again, this is where quick feet and getting off the dime quickly will make a major difference in the setter’s ability to make this play. When the setter gets to the point of the ball and the net, she needs to either “step through” or “step down” and she plays the ball. This will allow her to move fast to the ball and at the same time prevent her from going under the net. It would be difficult for me to describe what step through and step down mean, but it is similar to the basketball move of stopping on a dime to shoot a jump shot off the dribble. 

Off the Net

Setter should learn to get to the ball with as few steps as possible, and to get to the ball with quick feet. Although the body does NOT have to be square to the hitting position, the shoulders must be turned and squared up BEFORE the ball is delivered. When delivering the ball to the hitting position from beyond the 10’ line, the setter should deliver the ball just left of the standard/pole. No matter where she is on the court (beyond the 10’ line), by delivering the ball just left of the standard/pole, the ball will stay in the hitting position (two feet off the net). The setter should NEVER turn her shoulders toward the net or turn her shoulders to set the ball as she is delivering the set. This will result in a ball that is headed into the net and will mean the ball is unhittable or that the ball will carry the hitter under the net (ankle breaker). 

Ball Toward the Left Sideline

As the setter moves toward the ball, she turns her wrists further back so the set is more up-and down and remains inside the antenna. It may also help for her to shift her shoulders back slightly as she gets closer to the sideline. She must also be aware of not running through the set as this will take her directly into the hitter’s path. 

Knee Slide

This is used for very low passes. The setter runs to the ball and slides down to her knees BEFORE setting the ball. After sliding to her knees, the setter, keeping her back straight, delivers the ball with chin up, hands high.

Jump Setting

From at the net: Get to the ball and jump, with right foot slightly forward, before the ball gets to you. This is very important: It’s jump and set, not jump-set! In other words, the setter needs to jump and meet the ball, not jump to try and catch up with the ball. On tight balls, the shoulders should be parallel to the net, as explained earlier. When the ball is off the net, be sure to square the shoulders to the hitting position. Obviously, the speed of the wrist flick must be increased on jump sets as the setter no longer has her legs to rely on for additional power. 


This post was created from content originally written by Steve George