Volleyball is a game I enjoy playing, and that I suck at. It’s always been one of those casual, family reunion or backyard BBQ games for me. I’m tall, but I can’t jump very high, and when I try to spike the ball, it usually goes out (or up), but rarely flies down into the sand with anything resembling fearful velocity.
I’m headed to a family reunion tomorrow, where the sandy volleyball pit awaits. So I got to thinking and wondering: what is the fastest volleyball spike?
I’ve had friends who played at more advanced levels (JR college and above), and they are fearsome specimens. I would not feel very confident about returning or blocking anything that smacked at me. But how do they stack up against even more formidable competition?\
Internet research on this question has been spotty at best. Yahoo Answers is a pitiful site full of spammers, and so is just about every other website that exists mainly to provide answers to questions. Especially crucial, high-stakes questions like this one.
Now, we’re talking about spiking here, not simply hitting the ball. Spiking a volleyball is jumping up and swatting it down over the other side of the net. Usually with a fierce grunt, if the Olympics have taught me anything.
It looks like 80 mph seems to be consistent with the top speed for spiking. I’m able to find a lot of references to the awesomely-named Matey Kazinsky. I’ve seen his last name spelled several ways, but I’m going with that one. He is also mentioned as being able to hit the volleyball an 90 mph if he’s not required to pound it down over the net into someone’s poor face.
Here’s the man. I don’t know anything about volleyball history, but if the comments on the video are to be believed, Kazinsky is a revered figure.
Now I’m looking in the library’s Guinness book of World Records. Its entries on volleyball have no mention of spiking, surprisingly. I could tell you plenty of other stuff, like:
- Most volleyball Grand Prix wins: Brazil’s female team
- Most points in a pro beach volleyball match: 164 points for the match
- Most Men’s World League Titles: Italy and Brazil have each won eight gold medals in the League
But nope, nothing about velocity and fearful striking, of any sort.
Do any of you readers actually hold the record and are too shy to come forth?
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