|Phil Bush, FIVB Broadcaster|
Over the previous three decades, you'd be hard pressed to find someone in athletics with a greater level of expertise in volleyball production and promotion than Phil Bush. He will be entering his fourth year working for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as a broadcaster on the FIVB “Match of the Week.” He has also handled 17 seasons working for FSN South, ESPNU, CSS and Sun Sports providing both play-by-play and color analysis on volleyball broadcasts. Through his MavRen Marketing & Productions company, Bush has worked in the production and promotion of volleyball events for over 25 years.
Saturday, 3PM ET
The Opening Ceremonies loom, but the USA Women will be focused on their first match against an opponent they are heavily favored in South Korea. The problem is that when you are heavily favored, it can work against you. Your opponent has nothing to lose and if you come out even a little bit flat, things can start to go downhill quickly.
- Win and win convincingly.
- Get many players acclimated to the Games – particular Destinee Hooker, who can play a deciding role in practically any rally. I don’t think this will be difficult because both USA teams are accustomed to life on the road.
- Prevent other teams from focusing on any one combination of players – mixing the line-up is something that McCutcheon may do at seemingly strange times, but there is always a process and a purpose that leads toward the long term goal.
- Set the stage for the upcoming back-to-back confrontations with Brazil and China. Team USA will want to be confident and ready to take on the great teams of the world. If you are a coach for the opposing team, the USA will be very difficult to define coming out of this first match.
While Korea may be out-gunned, they will look to extend rallies as long as possible. Nothing will come easy against Team USA, but Korea has been known for long rallies and great defense for many, many years, and the Korean squad will want to come out and establish some momentum for the rest of the tourney. Put more simply: even if you lose to the U.S., you look for small victories during the match and find a way to use that moving forward.
This is a match that will tell us a lot about the strategy of Team USA as the Olympics go on. Look for the coaching staff to be true to their process, but if changes need be made on the fly, McCutcheon has shown he will do just that.
Next Match: USA vs. Brazil - July 30th at 11:45AM ET