Middles of 2025: The Most Intriguing Group in the Rankings
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The middle blocker position is the position that almost no one wants to play and the hardest to play. The athletes who can stand out in this position usually find themselves at great programs doing great things. One of the…
The middle blocker position is the position that almost no one wants to play and the hardest to play. The athletes who can stand out in this position usually find themselves at great programs doing great things. One of the hardest things to do when recruiting or scouting volleyball is to find and effectively use the middle position. These 5 athletes have shown the skills, athleticism, and the IQ to be able to excel at the position. It’s especially important for the middle position to be good at very precise skills and to be able to execute their offense at a high clip when given the opportunity. Other than Hazel, I thought these next 5 middles had a great combination of skill and the ability to execute their offense or defensive scheme.
– Gulfside (#6)
Sofia is the perfect body type for what college coaches look for in the middle position; tall and lanky with great balance and athleticism. She uses all of that height and length to her advantage when she’s at the net. Her skill level for the position is really high because she’s able to do all of the skills, not just specialized into what the position asks of her. She not only has the technique on her blocking or her hitting, but she’s also able to dig a ball if needed to or even set an out of system ball. When it comes to her blocking, she does a great job trying to get to the spot with her feet first. If her feet are closed with the right side or the outside blocker, there’s almost no getting past her. If she leaves space between her and the pin blocker, Sofia still does a great job closing with her arms and hands while still pressing over the net. It’s imperative when reaching outside your body that you stay consistent with pressing; Sofia does a fantastic job at this. On the offensive end, Sofia has the range to bounce it straight down or to drive the ball deep to either corner. She will also mix in some tips and pushes to keep the opposing defense honest. The diversity of skills and the ability to execute these skills at a high level is why I have her as my #6 ranked player in Florida.
– Game Point (#21)
Sydney is a dynamic athlete that uses her athleticism to put other teams in really bad positions. She may not be the tallest or the longest middle, but she definitely uses her God given abilities on both ends of the floor. She has the ability to run really quick sets out of the middle and get on top of the ball even quicker. She actually does a good job of being able to still swing high through hands or outside of the block entirely while running those fast tempo sets. She uses her athleticism to trick blockers into taking where she’s facing and either hit away from that, over, or even tip around it. Her favorite set is the 3 ball, which gives her the space and the range to turn it through the seam and back towards area 1 or be able to swing early and drive it to deep 5. Overall her offense is her main calling card, but she does a good job defensively being able to close blocks and being a threat to opposing offenses. She’s definitely quick and bouncy enough to be able to close holes and take away a ton of space, so I’m excited to see her game grow to the next level with more reps and time to learn small technical skills that are going to make her an even scarier option from the middle.
– Tribe (#30)
Sophia is a consistent blocker who does a great job getting big blocks for her team in key situations of games. She is one of the most disciplined blockers in her class, not only using her height and length but really does a phenomenal job with her hands. Not many prospects her age have the awareness and the body control to be able to use her hands to redirect the balls path back towards the middle of the court. Even when she may get beat with her feet to the ball, she makes up for it with her quick press over the net and rounding her hands around the ball. She makes blocking look like the easiest thing, even when that skill may be one of the hardest to master. Offensively she still has some work to do when it comes to her overall technique and impact, but she has the necessary tools and athleticism to close that gap really quickly. She has the quickness with her feet and the IQ to understand what’s open, it’s all about her getting more comfortable with the timing and speed of the offense she is in. When she does have the correct spacing and timing she does a great job driving the ball high, hard, and deep to a corner. I just can’t wait to see what type of impact she will make when she really starts dominating on the offensive end as well.
– Tribe (#32)
Kendall reminds me a lot of Sydney for the length and athleticism she brings to the position. However, Kendall is definitely bringing more of the power aspect to her offense whereas Sydney brings more of the quick game. You can tell just from watching her film the potential that she has to be a great middle not only defensively but offensively as well. She has the tools in the tool box to execute on offense, whether she needs to hit with power or tip/push to a spot. The next part of her game that will really raise it to the next level is the consistency that she’s able to use different arm and body angles to help get outside of the block. What really impresses me about Kendall is her understanding of what the defense is allowing her to take advantage of. You’ll see on film that she will hit to the same areas over and over again and they consistently work for her. She uses that power and awareness on the court to put defenses in a bind. The few things you can’t teach in life is size and length which Kendall has plenty of. She’s going to be a fantastic middle once it gets to her time to play at the next level.
She may be the smallest player to make the top 6 Middles in my rankings; it doesn’t compare to the explosiveness and skill she brings to the position. I’ve been able to watch her grow her game over the past few years, and it has been an exponential climb in her abilities as a middle hitter. Connore is one of the rarest prospects you’ll find where her height and size make no difference on her ability to execute and put away balls. She’s so explosive on her last two steps and has the ability to swing fast at different arm angles that it’s almost impossible to stop. One of the best skills that’s not only underrated but under-coached is the awareness of the block in front of her. She has the ability to make quick decisions and make an even quicker swing to finish off the play. She can run any set at any tempo along the net, while having the body control to hit fast or even roll or push it to open spots on the court. She’s not too shabby about her defense either, having good hand technique and impeccable timing on blocking. She is one of the most intriguing prospects I have had the pleasure of watching in a long time.
The middle blocker may be the most underrated position to play, but might just be the hardest and one of the more crucial positions in our game today. The top teams in the country are usually able to be in that position because of how much their middles contribute not only defensively with blocking but their effectiveness on the offensive end as well. These 5 prospects have shown the ability not only to execute the game plan but to do it at a high level. When looking for middles these are the type of athletes that college programs want to grow their programs.