Setter Dump as Offensive Threat

The setter dump is the quickest attack.
The setter dump is an attack in which the setter becomes an offensive threat to score points and cause a distraction to the opponent's block and floor defenders. It is often used as an emergency tactic for tight passes.

The setter dump is a tip that is usually made with the left hand. The setter should hide the tip -- going up with two hands and making it appear like they are going to set the ball. Follow these tips to obtain the benefits of an attacking setter on your team.

The Quickest Attack

The setter dump plays an important role in a fast offense because teams usually are not prepared to play defense on the second attack. Defensive teams are getting prepared for the standard third-contact attack when a setter dump occurs. As a result, the element of surprise makes the setter an effective hitter.

Note: Setters are often ranked among the top 10 in hitting percentages in collegiate conferences. The setter should account for at least 10 percent of a team's total attacks, although, discretion should be used when dumping.

Working It Into the Match

Like any tipped attack, as soon as the defense is on to it, they will be hammering the ball back across the net. Do not dump obvious tight passes, as the block and floor defense will be waiting.

The setter dump has a very different tempo from other attacks. If the setter gains the attention of the blockers and floor defensive players, then this attention will be drawn away from the hitters.

When the blockers and floor defensive players do not honor the setter dump, the setter earns easy points. The setter should jump-set all passes and digs within four feet and above the net. This must be made a disciplined skill in practice to become a routine in matches.

When to Dump

It is preferable to dump when:
  1. The middle hitter runs a slide behind the setter. This slide movement draws the blocker away from the setter.
  2. The setter moves forward, because they can see the block.
  3. No blockers commit to the setter. Get the blockers to commit to the setter. This will open up the hitters.
  4. The floor defense stands up or moves backwards during the second contact.

Where to Dump

Setters should dump to:
  1. The middle of the court, near the 10-foot line against a perimeter defense.
  2. Either sideline, in front of the 10-foot line, if the defense cheats in towards the center of the court.
  3. The opponent's sideline when players are switching or serving.
  4. A back row setter's defensive zone if the right front row player is a weak secondary setter and/or if the middle hitter is a threat while the outside hitter is weak.
  5. The weak link in the opponent's defense.

Mike Welch, currently the Head Volleyball Coach at Idaho State University, has led Division I and II collegiate teams to six nationally ranked seasons, five conference championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIVC appearance. Mike was Head Coach of the USA Youth National Team twice and assistant coach once. He is the Director for camps.

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