Virginia Tech Volleyball Overview

Here at, we know you love all the traditional sports, such as football. But one sport that we know our Lady Hokies would love for us to mention is the Women’s Volleyball team. Last year, the Virginia Tech Women’s Volleyball program made it to the second round of the NCAA playoffs, losing to Penn State. Penn State, by the way, went on to win their 4th consecutive national title.

That being said, we wanted to take the chance to give you some basic information about the sport of volleyball so that if you are flipping through the channels, or wandering by the gym, you’ll know exactly what’s going on.

The game of volleyball consists of two teams with six people on the court at once. The main objective is to attack the ball in such a manner that the other team can not return it over the net. There are a variety of ways to achieve this goal, with a number of different rules and limitations that affect how the teams are allowed to play the ball.

The rules state that a team may only contact the ball three times before they send it back over the net. The normal progression of play is as follows: The ball is passed on the first contact toward the team’s setter. The second contact is usually the team’s setter, putting the ball in prime position to be attacked. The third contact is traditionally an attack that is aimed at terminating the rally. A rally continues until the ball hits the ground, or a rule has been violated. After each rally, one team is awarded a point. Each set is to 25 points, and each match is the best two out of three. If the match goes to the 5th set, the game is only to 15. This is the basic progression of play and you will see each team adopt a style of defense and attack patterns.

Here is a list of basic rule violations that may be called during a game. They may be confusing to someone unfamiliar with the sport:

-Four Contacts. This is called if a team touches the ball four times before returning the ball over the net. Note: If a player attempts to block the ball, but the ball still comes down on their side of the net, the block does not count as a contact.

-Double Contact: If one player contacts the ball two times in succession. This again does not apply for a blocked ball. This is often called when a setter miss-handles a ball and it hits both of his or her hands as they attempt to set.

-Lift/Carry: This is called if the ball at any point in time comes to a slight rest or does not move freely from a point of contact. This can also be called if a player attempts to throw the ball on an attack as an attacking motion must be made with an open palm.

-Back Row Attack: This is called if a back row player attacks a ball over the net ahead of the ten foot line. The ten foot line or “attack line” divides a team’s court into two zones. If a player from the back row wants to attack the ball they must leave their feet from behind this line. This is often called on a setter who is attempting to set out of the back row.

-In the Net: This is called if a player touches the net during play. This is not allowed unless an attacked ball hits the net into a blocker’s hands.

These are some of the basic rules. As we move forward we will share more posts about the various positions in volleyball to help you get a better understand of the game. Make sure to get out and support the Women’s Volleyball team this coming fall. And when you play at home, stay cool and comfy in our Virginia Tech Women’s Under Armour Shirt.

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