What do you get when you add two active middles to a consistent setter? A team that is a handful to defend. The Aurora Huskies play a tough schedule, and though their record may not show it currently, they are a…
What do you get when you add two active middles to a consistent setter? A team that is a handful to defend. The Aurora Huskies play a tough schedule, and though their record may not show it currently, they are a force to be reckoned with. The team is powered by their two middles, Corrie Schneider (Sr.) and Adrianna Smith (Jr.).
Schneider has tallied 408 career kills and 108 career blocks up to this point. The four-year varsity player has worked her way into a definite role her senior year and is the “go-to” for setter Tanner Ohlson (Sr.). Schneider is effective in all zones of the net. Outside, quick middle, slide, you name it, she will hit it and she will terminate.
Adrianna Smith is the opposite middle leading Aurora. With 208 career kills, the junior is also a key hitter for the team. Smith will swing at any spot on the net and has experience on the outside as well. Both girls played for Nebraska Juniors this past club season.
Advantages to a middle-centered offense:
Middles are hard to defend because of the general areas from which they attack. Traditionally, outside and right side attackers hit primarily in their respective areas, making it easier to defend them. Middles, however, will hit from pretty much anywhere on the net depending on individual athleticism. Aurora’s middles are both athletic and fundamentally sound enough to swing a hard driven ball off of the left side and right side. It is rare to find one middle, let alone two, that can put pressure on the defense every play and in various situations. The active middles for Aurora also take pressure off of outside hitters, since they are not relied upon to take so much of the offensive load.
Disadvantages to a middle-centered offense:
The number one disadvantage of relying mostly on middle attacks is that 80% of first contacts are not to the setter’s head, and in fact are close to ten feet off the net. Though Aurora’s middles stay active, there are times when it is very tough to get them the ball out-of system. Therefore, if their team gets in a rut passing in serve receive, Schneider and Smith may not see the ball for numerous rallies, which throws off the game plan.
Setter, Tanner Ohlson, does a fantastic job of running this unique offense for Aurora. With 690 career assists, she is notably seasoned as a setter. Ohlson is underrated for her position and is the offensive glue for her team. Brooke Williams (Sr.) is also a notable player for Aurora. Williams is a versatile swinger and solid in the back row. Because of the raw athleticism of this team and the tools that can be utilized in different players, disregard the win-loss record for Aurora because their upper end is a ways out there and they have time to chase it.