[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Montreux Volley Masters, an international women’s indoor volleyball competition, is a most unique event. Each year the organizer invites 8 national teams among the best teams of the world. The event takes place outside the official tournaments of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the results do not count in the ranking of the teams.
For the teams it is a unique opportunity to measure themselves against the other top teams. They are able to check where they are good and what needs to be improved as well as to test different strategies and to evaluate what works without any of the pressure of the score points.
For the public, it is a unique event where one can watch top class volleyball right from the very first day.
The 27th edition of the last 3 decades ended on the 12th June. The national teams that were present this year were the USA, Japan, Italy, China, Cuba, Germany, Peru and The Netherlands.
The qualifications took place from Tuesday to Friday. The qualified teams for the semi-finals were already known on Thursday which were the USA, China, Japan and Cuba. On Friday there were some long lasting games of more than 2 hours featuring world class volleyball. There was very tight competition between the USA vs China (2:3) and Cuba vs Japan (3:2) which were probably amongst the very best games during the entire tournament.
During the semi-finals on Saturday Japan defeated China and Cuba defeated the USA which meant that for the very first time in the history of this Volley Masters, Japan made it into the finals which were held on Sunday. During the finals China beat the USA (3:1) and in a very clear and fairly short game, Japan beat Cuba ending in a score of 3:0.
The final ranking of this year’s Volley Masters is:
Next year’s event is scheduled from the 22nd – 27th May 2012. See you next year for another edition of top world class volleyball in Montreux on border of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
See www.pbase.com/tcom/volleymasters2011 for more photos.
Originally published in June 2011 on International Press Association