10 Best Middle Blockers In Volleyball: Ranked 2023

Volleyball is a fast-paced and dynamic sport, requiring its players to have an impressive level of athleticism. The middle blocker position requires the individual to possess exceptional agility, reflexes, and technical ability.

It’s no surprise then that some of the best volleyball players have excelled in this role. In this article, we’ll be looking at five of the very best middle blockers in volleyball today – highlighting their achievements and pinpointing what makes them stand out from the rest.

We’ll also provide our own expert analysis into why each player has earned their place among the upper echelon of world class talent; examining how they’ve used both technique and tactical nous to become elite athletes within the game.

So without further ado, let’s get started by counting down these remarkable volleyball stars!

10. Jenelle Jordan

Jenelle Jordan has quickly become one of the top middle blockers in volleyball. Her impeccable timing and quick reactions make her a formidable opponent for any attacker. She is always looking to challenge herself, pushing to improve her performance on the court. It’s no surprise she has earned multiple MVP awards throughout her career.

Jordan plays with a distinct sense of poise and focus that often leads to game-changing moments when it matters most. In addition to her excellent blocking skills, she also contributes offensively by delivering powerful kills from the center position. Her wide range of abilities makes her an invaluable asset to any team fortunate enough to have her as part of their roster.

What stands out about Jordan is how well rounded she is as an athlete—she can play both defense and offense at an incredibly high level which separates her from other players in the same position. This versatility allows teams to utilize different tactics depending on the situation, giving them an advantage against opponents who are less prepared or lack similar capabilities among their own players.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what new heights Jenelle can reach in terms of success and recognition within the sport.

With Edina Begic next up on our list, let us take a closer look at what makes this Bosnian international so special.

9. Edina Begic

Edina Begic is widely regarded as one of the best middle blockers in volleyball today. She has an impressive career spanning over 12 years, including playing for several teams, both domestically and internationally.

She’s won multiple awards, including the 2017 Most Valuable Player title. She’s played for clubs in Serbia, France, Italy, and Turkey, and has achieved much success with each of them.

Her defensive skills and court awareness make her one of the most reliable players on the court. Her impressive career and awards are a testament to her skill and dedication to the game.

Edina Begic’s Career

It’s hard to talk about the world of volleyball without mentioning Edina Begic! The Bosnian star has become one of the top middle blockers in recent years and it’s easy to see why.

Her physical gifts are undeniable, she stands at 6’6′ tall with a long wingspan that makes her an intimidating blocker for opponents. Combine this with explosive leaping ability and great timing when attacking, and you get an elite player who can do just about anything on the court.

Her career started off strong as she was named MVP of both the U23 European Championship and CEV Cup in 2015. Since then, she has continued to put up impressive numbers playing for clubs in Turkey, Italy and currently Serbia where she captains Vojvodina NS Seme Novi Sad.

She is also representing Bosnia & Herzegovina internationally since 2013. During her time there she helped them qualify for their first Olympic Games ever in 2016.

Edina Begic certainly deserves all the accolades that come her way as she continues to dominate matches across Europe – no doubt we’ll be hearing more from this incredible athlete in the future.

Edina Begic’s Awards

Edina’s awards are a testament to her success in the sport. She was named MVP of both the U23 European Championship and CEV Cup in 2015, showing that she has what it takes to be an elite player. This led to her being awarded Player of the Year honors by Serbia’s Superliga during the 2017-2018 season, cementing her status as one of Europe’s best players.

She also represented Bosnia & Herzegovina internationally since 2013 and helped them qualify for their first Olympic Games ever in 2016. Seeing how far she took them is truly inspiring and speaks volumes about her abilities on court.

There’s no doubt Edina Begic will continue to impress us with her incredible talent – we can’t wait to see what amazing feats she’ll achieve next!

Edina Begic’s Teams

She has made a name for herself in the world of volleyball, both domestically and internationally. Edina Begic is currently playing for Vardar NIS Pro Rekord Beograd in the Superliga, where she’s been since 2018. Her impressive performances during her time here earned her three consecutive MVP titles – another feather in her cap! But that’s not all she’s done; she’s also played on several other teams throughout Europe.

From 2013 to 2016, Edina Begic captained Bosnia & Herzegovina at international tournaments such as FIVB World Championship Qualifiers and the European Championships. She led them to their first Olympic Games ever in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, an incredible achievement.

She was also part of Italy’s Imoco Volley Conegliano from 2016 to 2018, helping them win four trophies including two Italian Cups and one Italian Super Cup.

It goes without saying that Edina Begic is a highly sought after player due to her numerous accomplishments and team successes over the years. We can expect this talented athlete to continue competing for top teams around Europe – stay tuned!

8. Simona Gioli

Simona Gioli is widely considered one of the best middle blockers in volleyball. Her defensive prowess and offensive presence make her an invaluable asset for any team she plays on. She has a great ability to read the game, predict her opponents’ moves and adjust accordingly. Gioli’s quick reflexes help her have excellent blocking capabilities from all angles, allowing her to be a disruptive force with few errors.

Gioli also excels offensively with powerful attacks that give opposing teams fits. She can hit hard shots while maintaining control of their direction and placement, making it difficult for defenders to anticipate where the ball will go next. Additionally, Gioli has fantastic timing when attacking balls at the net or near the back line which results in many successful kills throughout games.

The Italian star’s long reach allows her to cover more court than most players; this gives her an advantage as she can often get blocks even if she isn’t perfectly lined up against an opponent’s attack.

Furthermore, Gioli is capable of playing different positions along the net depending on what strategies are needed by her team during any given match: This makes her an incredibly versatile player who coaches rely upon heavily for success.

With all these traits combined, Simona Gioli stands out among other middle blockers as one of the top talents in volleyball today. Moving forward into the subsequent section… Ekaterina Pankova is another highly regarded middle blocker whose skillset merits close examination.

7. Ekaterina Pankova

Ekaterina Pankova is one of the most accomplished and well-known middle blockers in volleyball. She has won three consecutive European Championships with Russia, as well as a World Championship title in 2006. Her exceptional technique and court awareness have earned her recognition from both peers and fans alike.

Pankova’s consistent success can be attributed to her strong passing ability, which she combines with excellent defensive positioning on the net. For example, during the final set of the 2019 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League against Brazil, Pankova made eight blocks that helped secure the victory for Russia:

  • Offensively:
  • Serve reception: 7/9 (78%)
  • Attacks: 8/16 (50%)
  • Defensively:
  • Blocks (points): 8 (8 points)

This display of strength was indicative of how Ekaterina Pankova had been performing throughout the tournament; consistently demonstrating poise under pressure while playing an integral role for Russia’s team defense. Her exemplary execution even drew praise from opponents such as Brazilian coach José Roberto Guimarães who described her performance as ‘Exceptional’.

With her impressive track record, it is no wonder why Ekaterina Pankova is considered one of the best middle blockers in volleyball today. This reverence carries into international competition when she takes to the court where she strives to lead her national team to victory – transitioning seamlessly into Zhu Ting’s story…

6. Zhu Ting

Ekaterina Pankova of Russia has established herself as one of the premier middle blockers in women’s volleyball. Her skill set and athleticism have enabled her to dominate the international stage for many years, making her a household name among fans of the sport. She is renowned for her ability to read opposing shots quickly and react accordingly, giving her an edge over other players. It is no surprise that she is consistently ranked among the top 5 middle blockers in the world.

Enter Zhu Ting from China, who has changed the landscape of women’s volleyball since bursting onto the scene five years ago. The 6-foot-2 athlete boasts amazing defensive capabilities matched by an incredible jumping ability. Her height means that she can block almost any shot with ease while still being able to hit hard at all angles due to her powerful legs. During each match, opponents are constantly trying to guess where Zhu will be positioned next, but rarely do they succeed! This unpredictability makes her one of the most feared players on court today and it’s easy to see why she is highly regarded as one of world’s best middle blockers.

Zhu’s success has seen teams around the globe scrambling to find their own version of this dominant powerhouse; enter Rachael Adams from Ohio State University in America. A 4-time All American selection during college, Adams also stands at 6 feet 2 inches tall and brings similar physical attributes as Zhu Ting – though slightly less physically imposing than her Chinese counterpart – which allows her to take up space across court while providing enough agility and power when needed for attacks or blocks.

Despite having been relatively new to professional level play, Adams’ experience with NCAA Division I volleyball has given her plenty of tactical knowledge and understanding on how to disrupt opposition offenses effectively. Her rise into prominence has been swift yet noteworthy; she now sits comfortably at number two on USA Volleyball’s list of best female middles blocker behind only Zhu Ting herself!

5. Rachael Adams

Rachael Adams is absolutely a goddess when it comes to playing volleyball – she’s arguably one of the greatest middle blockers in the world.

Her powerful presence on the court has taken her team, USA Women’s National Team, to numerous gold medals and successes throughout her career.

Through her impressive strength and athleticism, she can push through any block with ease and make incredibly difficult shots look effortless.

She possesses an amazing ability to read plays quickly and precisely which allows her to constantly outsmart opposing teams.

Thanks to her talent, Rachael remains an unstoppable force that makes each game exciting for spectators.

With every spike or dig she takes part in, Rachael proves time and again why she deserves recognition as one of the best middle blockers in volleyball history.

Transitioning into another great player: Jordan Larson is also a phenomenal athlete who consistently impresses everyone with her skill set.

4. Jordan Larson

Jordan Larson is one of the best middle blockers in volleyball today. She has been chosen for multiple all-star teams and won numerous championships with her team.

Her stats speak for themselves, being consistently among the top 10 players in the league:

  • Averaging 4 blocks per game
  • Posting an average hitting percentage of .369
  • 6th highest total kills during a season

Her tenacity on defense makes it hard to score against her team, and she can also show up offensively when needed making her a great utility player.

Jordan’s leadership skills have had a tremendous influence on her teammates’ performances which has helped them reach national recognition and take home several championships. With her agility and finesse combined with power, Jordan continues to be one of the most respected players in the sport by both fans and opponents alike.

It’s no surprise that she remains a core member of her team as they continue their journey toward greatness – never missing a chance to make history along the way. From dominating play at net to leading off court, Jordan Larson is truly deserving of praise as one of the greatest middle blockers ever seen in volleyball.

3. Christiane Furst

Jordan Larson was a titan on the court, her power and agility unmatched by any other player. She could leap high into the air to block shots that seemed impossible for anyone else to reach. Her presence in the game commanded respect from everyone around her.

Christiane Furst is no less impressive than Jordan Larson. On the court, she has earned herself a reputation as an unstoppable force. Her skill at blocking shots is unparalleled; it’s almost like she can read where the ball is going before it leaves the opponent’s hand. Christiane displays remarkable athleticism, agility, and strength with every movement she makes on the volleyball court – making her one of the best middle blockers in this sport today.

Lei Yao stands out among all others due to her incredible height and immense wingspan which are second-to-none in women’s volleyball. Her long arms allow her to cover more ground when defending against spikes or blocks, and make sure nothing goes past her defenses! Not only does she have an amazing ability to stay focused during intense situations but also possesses excellent technique and reflexes which allows her to be successful even when facing difficult opponents. With these attributes combined, there’s no doubt why Lei Yao is considered one of top middle blockers in volleyball right now.

Transitioning seamlessly into our next section…

2. Lei Yao

Lei Yao is a formidable middle blocker for the Chinese National Team. She stands at an imposing 6’9′ and has been playing in China’s domestic league since 2013. Her game revolves around her athleticism; she moves incredibly well for someone of her size, displaying agility that most players cannot match. Her quick movements make it difficult to stop her from getting into position to block or attack, making her a nightmare to face on court.

The qualities that have made Lei Yao successful as a middle blocker include:

  1. Great reach which allows her to extend beyond the net quickly
  2. Explosive jumping ability that enables powerful attacks
  3. Excellent timing when leaping and reading opponents’ sets
  4. Ability to adjust body angles mid-air

Her impressive skillset makes Lei Yao one of the best middle blockers in volleyball today – if not the best! It will be interesting to see how far she takes this talent over the next few years and what achievements she can add to her already illustrious career.

Moving ahead, Foluke Akinradewo is another player who has left an indelible mark on the sport…

1. Foluke Akinradewo

Foluke Akinradewo is a force to be reckoned with on the volleyball court. A four-time Olympic medalist, she has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top middle blockers since making her debut in 2005. Unafraid to take risks and show off her impressive skillset, Foluke’s playstyle often leaves opponents stunned and struggling to keep up.

Attack PowerServing Accuracy
Blocking AbilityReception
Physical StrengthDigging
Movement SpeedSetting

From elite blocking ability to remarkable physical strength and speed, Foluke stands out among other players for her incredible athleticism and skill on the court. Her attack power is second-to-none when it comes to scoring points, coupled with her almost unmatched versatility that allows her to contribute in multiple facets of the game. While Foluke does have some weaknesses such as serving accuracy or reception, these are minor compared to the overall impact she can make during matches.

It goes without saying that Foluke Akinradewo is an invaluable asset who elevates any team lucky enough to have her on their side. With an arsenal of powerful attacks and blocks at her disposal, opposition teams must always remain wary of what she brings to the table or risk being caught off guard by this powerhouse of a player.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Physical Attributes Are Important For A Successful Middle Blocker?

In volleyball, middle blockers play a critical role in the success of their team. As such, certain physical attributes are important for any aspiring and competitive middle blocker to possess in order to have success at this position.

Good footwork is key for being able to move quickly around the court and anticipate shots from opponents.

Additionally, having strong leaping ability can help with blocking efforts as well as hitting power when attacking the ball on offense.

Height also helps, as taller players often naturally block more effectively due to their superior reach and aerial vantage point over the net.

Lastly, agility allows a player to react quickly and efficiently adjust positioning during a rally or game situation.

All these traits can combine together to make an exceptional middle blocker!

How Can A Middle Blocker Improve Their Attacking Skills?

A successful middle blocker needs to have both physical and technical skills. One statistic that illustrates this is that over 70% of a team’s total points come from the middle blockers’ attacks.

To improve attacking skills, a middle blocker should focus on increasing their vertical jump height, as well as developing better body control and coordination in order to efficiently attack the ball.

They should also work on perfecting their timing, so they can make contact with the ball at its highest point and give it more power when hitting or blocking.

Finally, having good footwork will help them move quickly towards the best positions for an effective attack.

What Is The Average Height Of A Successful Middle Blocker?

The average height of a successful middle blocker is typically between 5’7′ and 6’2′, depending on the level of play.

Generally, taller players are better equipped for blocking shots at higher levels due to their long reach, while shorter players must make up for it with quickness and agility.

For instance, many international volleyball teams have tall middle blockers who can cover more ground vertically when they jump in order to block or spike the ball.

On the other hand, high school teams tend to feature smaller middle blockers since speed and agility can be more advantageous than size in this case.

What Strategies Do The Top Middle Blockers Use To Defend The Net?

The best middle blockers in volleyball are a force to be reckoned with at the net. Their defensive strategies can seem almost supernatural; they read opponents’ sets faster than lightning and can react quicker than thought possible.

Not only do top middle blockers have an unparalleled ability to anticipate their opponent’s next move, but they also possess superhuman strength when it comes to blocking attacks. The key for them is timing; once they recognize the setter’s patterns, they use brilliant footwork and precise reach to blow away even the most powerful spikes.

Truly, these elite players redefine what it means to defend like a champion!

How Have The Playing Styles Of The Top Middle Blockers Evolved Over The Years?

Middle blockers are the backbone of any successful volleyball team, and their playing styles have certainly evolved over the years.

Today’s top middle blockers focus more on aggressive blocking techniques rather than just staying in front of the net like it was seen in previous eras.

Speed and agility has become much more important as these players need to be able to react quickly to their opponent’s attacks.

Additionally, these players must now also possess a strong offensive game with an ability to hit from different positions around the court.

It is clear that modern day middle blockers are far superior athletes compared to those of past decades and this shift in playing style is what makes them so successful today.


No matter which middle blocker you choose to highlight, one thing is clear: the position of a middle blocker requires an intense combination of physical and mental agility.

It takes strength, speed, height, and court awareness to be successful in this demanding role.

All five of these players have found ways to take their games to the next level by embracing new strategies and honing their attacking skills.

As they continue to develop their unique styles, we can look forward with anticipation as future generations come forth with even more impressive volleyball performances!

About Austin Jones

I'm a volleyball enthusiast! My goal is to spread the joy sports bring to me through engaging and valuable content that evoke others to enjoy sports as well.