By some sort of miracle, volleyball actually made ESPN's Top Plays yesterday. It only irks me a little that they only way volleyball makes the national sportscast is with a kick save. While I'll admit that kick saves are fun to watch, I sort of hate that they're legal. I mean, this isn't something teams should be training their athletes to do. Frankly, it seems a little lazy to me. That said, this was a nice play by a high school player and a nice recovery by her team.
The clip features Macy Willoughby of Carroll High School in Indiana who chased down an errant dig, kicked it up and then one of her teammates free balled it over. The other team, apparently caught admiring the play, overpasses the free ball and it comes back in their faces.
Macy's team won the point but they ended up losing the match in five. They can take solace in being the only volleyball clip to make SportsCenter all year and possibly for a long, long time. I also have to give props to MTC Sports for the high quality video footage, not often seen in high school regular season matches.
Was this the best kick save ever? No.
Though I'm not a fan of the rule in general, they have made for some good video. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight some of my favorite kick saves. Obviously, a kick save is only good if your team wins the point. So with that restriction in mind, my favorites are the ones that turn into perfect sets and are killed by a teammate.
Here are my top three. Number three is from some sort of international pro league, hard to tell which, but you can check it out here. My second favorite is Stanford libero Erik Shoji kicking one from the ground and somehow making a perfect set to his outside hitter who buries it. Amazing.
But my number one favorite kick set was from last year's London Olympics. Donald Suxho's kick set out to Matt Anderson for the kill against Russia. On that same page, you can also watch Brazil's libero make a kick save against Korea from London. That one didn't make my list because while Brazil won the point, they just ended up free balling it over. But it was still a nice play.
Though Shoji's was more spectacular, Suxho gets the number one nod by doing it in the biggest event on earth, the Olympics. Have you seen a better one than that? I doubt it. But let me know if you have and provide a link to the video so we can compare.