2017 was a year of transition for volleyball globally. In a post-Olympic year, there are always changes, and that showed true in 2017, as national teams dealt with large-scale absences from their rosters. The flip-side, however, is that it allowed new stars to emerge. American Ben Patch got his first big crack at a major senior international competition, and while he’s still got some development to go, he might not have gotten that chance with a full American squad.
Similar emergence showed through on the women’s bracket too, where Italy’s Paola Egonu began her journey as the world’s next female superstar at just 19 years old.
FIVB killed off one of the most popular competitions in the world, the FIVB World Grand Prix (women) and FIVB World League (men), and replaced them with a smaller, more focused, and more predictable competition – the FIVB Nations League.
The NCAA men’s season brought about a familiar storyline – Ohio State beat BYU in the national championship game for the 2nd-straight year. The women’s season was less predictable – many of the country’s superpowers had big turnover. Yet, it was one of the country’s historic superpowers, Nebraska, that came through for their 2nd title in 2 years. It was a different-looking Nebraska team, that started 2 walk-ons in the national title game, with a rock in the middle at setter: Kelly Hunter, the VolleyMob National Player of the Year.
Below, read the 50 most popular VolleyMob articles of 2017. Here’s to another exciting, unpredictable, high-flying year in 2018.