As the 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) winds down and the teams for the 2020 Olympic Games are getting finalized, the players are preparing for Tokyo.
The young athletes have no idea what to expect, but they are bringing in their fresh outlook and creative plays to the court. The veterans are cool, calm and collected as they set their sights on making it to the podium this year.
An extra year meant extra touches and more playing time, but these players are restless and ready to compete. So who are some new and noteworthy players to look out for? Who’s coming back for another chance to secure the Gold?
Below are some of our top picks for the best players to watch during the indoor volleyball event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Our experts tell us who they are excited to watch
Opposite / USA
Betty De La Cruz
Libero / DOM. REP.
Meet the Pro – Ci Michel
Ci Michel played college volleyball for the University of Miami and went on to play for pro clubs across Europe and for Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Today, Ci is still playing volleyball, having been involved in the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Volleyball League in the USA and is a content creator, providing aspiring players and fans tips & insight via her YouTube channel and various podcasts.
Outside Hitter / JAPAN
Opposite / SERBIA
Meet the Pro – Kyla Richey
Kyla retired from professional volleyball in 2021 after a long career that saw her play professionally around the world and star for Canada for over 13 years, including 3 World Championships. Married to fellow Canadian international Rudy Verhoeff they have turned their talents to launching a winery, Valley Commons in their native British Columbia.
Middle / TURKEY
Opposite / ITALY
Meet the Pro – Marisa Field
Middle blocker Marisa Field was a teammate of Kyla Rickey’s at club and country. Her professional career lasted over a decade with stints around Europe and in Asia.
Debutants looking for success in their first Olympics
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