|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.
Thursday, 3 PM ET
Team USA has gotten out to a 2-0 start in pool play with convincing wins over Serbia and Germany. In the first of two matches that can now ultimately determine Team USA’s Olympic future, the USA takes on world No. 1 Brazil in a match that pairs two squads that are both unbeaten and have yet to drop a set. In fact, the South American team is coming off a sweep of No. 2 Russia.
Team USA was clearly in control of the match against Germany, and what was good was that the USA clearly had a game plan and stayed on it. The games were not totally one-sided, but the USA always seemed to have control over significant stretches of each set.
Brazil has a plethora of weapons, but the ones that will be a focus will not come as a surprise to most readers of this blog.
Players to watch for Brazil:
Endres' best season came in 2010 when he helped Brazil win the FIVB World League and FIVB World Championship, earning MVP honors in both. With him and Dante Amaral on the outside, Brazil has arguably the best two outsides in the world...and they're on the same team.
Brazil has consistency in all positions, and when they are on, are capable of dominating any team. Why then do I like what this match can be for Team USA?
- Priddy is playing with the same or better consistency than in Beijing four years ago. His leadership in all aspects of the game is instrumental to the USA’s success
- Stanley continues to be the hitter that no one can stop, front row or back, and when his serve is on, there is no one better in the world.
What are those small things that I mentioned earlier:
Continued focus on defense and back row play in general. It has gotten better and now is the time it to be fully on display for the USA.
Setting. Keep Brazil off balance with continued Offensive Diversity. It was on display against Germany and we should see more of the same against Brazil.
Stay with the game plan and make Brazil adjust to what I believe will be a better USA Team than they have seen in several years. When teams know each other this well, it comes down to who can handle the small things the best. The USA is due to have that kind of outing, and now is the time!