American opposite Matt Anderson won the official FIVB Most Valuable Player award after leading Team USA to its second FIVB Men’s World Cup, but Italian superstar Ivan Zaytsev headed the Volleyverse ‘Top Six Players’ list.
Zaytsev was voted the FIVB’s Best Opposite Spiker after a superb campaign but was edged out by Anderson for the main prize.
Who was YOUR tournament MVP? And do you agree with our ‘Top Six’?
The Italy superstar finished the tournament first among spikers with a 59.15% efficiency, second in total serving, including 21 aces, and third in scoring with 197 points. Zaytsev started the tournament well but got better with each performance to lead the Azzurri to a second-place finish and Olympic qualification. His overall contribution was impossible to ignore and the 26-year-old is Volleyverse’s MVP.
The Argentina outside hitter was superb all tournament, narrowly missing out to Zaytsev. He finished second in scoring with 214 points, fifth in blocks, seventh in total serving and ninth in spiking efficiency (53.40%). His leadership can’t be measured in numbers but was a major factor in the Argentines’ impressive 7-4 campaign.
The big American spearheaded Team USA’s winning campaign. He was a model of consistency throughout the tournament, finishing first in total serving, including 26 aces, eighth in total points (172) and 14th among spikers with a 52.09% efficiency. We think Zaytsev and Conte had better all-round campaigns but the U.S opposite is undoubtedly a world-class player and deserves every accolade that comes his way.
The powerhouse opposite was the main reason Poland won their first 10 games before a final-day slip up cost them the World Cup and Olympic qualification. He had a brilliant all-round tournament that saw him finish fifth in scoring (190 points), sixth in serving (19 aces) and 12th in both spikes and blocks.
The American finished second on the official the ‘Best Setters’ list but he was the best player in his position on the team that won the tournament. Yes, he has more weapons to choose from on a loaded U.S team than his counterparts from other nations, but it’s his ability to pick the right option and control the flow of a game that sets him apart.
The 19-year-old sensation forced Japan team-mate Kunihiro Shimizu, and leading scorer Ahmed Abdelhay of Egypt, out of the Top Six with a brilliant finish to the tournament. Volleyball’s brightest young star finished fourth on the ‘Top Spikers’ list (55.82%) and sixth in scoring (188 points). His performances in the hosts’ final three games against Russia, Poland and Argentina proved his class as the teenager averaged 23 points per game.