Best Outside Hitters in Volleyball: 2023 Rankings Revealed!

Volleyball is a highly competitive sport that requires great athleticism and strategy. One of the most important positions in volleyball is an outside hitter, responsible for attacking the opponents from the front row. Middle blockers, opposite hitters, and spikers are also crucial players on the court. Fans of the popular anime Haikyuu will recognize these positions as key roles in the show’s dynamic gameplay.

An effective spiker or scorer, such as those seen in the anime Haikyuu, can make or break a team’s success on the court alongside skilled middle blockers. That’s why today we are looking at some of the best outside hitters in volleyball – those who have shown consistent performance and dynamic play-making ability throughout their careers.

Let’s take a closer look at these amazing athletes!

Karch Kiraly

Karch Kiraly, known for his exceptional athletic ability, is widely considered one of the best outside hitters in volleyball history. His three Olympic gold medals and numerous other awards, including MVP, are a testament to his success on the court. Kiraly’s impressive career has also inspired many fans of the popular anime and manga series, Haikyuu, which features a high school volleyball team striving to make it to the national league.

But how did he, a male volleyball player, become such an influential force in the sport, especially for fans of haikyuu and high school volleyball? Analyzing his skills, it’s clear that Kiraly has always been committed to perfecting the fundamentals of the game: serving, passing, setting, hitting—he excelled at them all. He was also renowned for his ability to read opposing teams and adjust accordingly; no matter what strategy opponents threw at him, Kiraly could counter with a smart adjustment from the back row or through clever shot placement.

However, perhaps even more impressive than these technical skills were his boundless energy and enthusiasm—his athletic ability and dedication made him an inspirational male volleyball player both on and off the court. With this combination of skill and determination, it’s easy to see why Karch Kiraly was able to reach such dizzying heights as an outside hitter. Aspiring high school volleyball players can take inspiration from Kiraly’s achievements, and even those who watch the anime Haikyuu can appreciate his talent.

As we turn our focus towards another great player in Misty May-Treanor, we cannot overlook her exceptional skills that made her a valuable asset to any volleyball team in the league. It will be interesting to see how her strengths compare to those of Kiraly’s and pick out the standout qualities that set them apart.

Misty May-Treanor

Karch Kiraly is a legendary outside hitter in volleyball history, known for his exceptional skills and ability to pick up points for his team. He was a key player in three Olympic gold medal-winning teams, and his work ethic was admired by players and coaches from around the nation. Kiraly’s agility on the court allowed him to quickly adjust to opponents’ strategies, making him a force to be reckoned with.

Misty May-Treanor, a legendary outside hitter in professional volleyball, followed Karch Kiraly’s footsteps and dominated the middle of the court. She won three consecutive gold medals at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games with her partner Kerri Walsh Jennings, scoring crucial points with their pick plays. Misty May-Treanor’s defensive skills were particularly noteworthy throughout her career due to her ability to read plays and anticipate shots from opposing teams before they occurred, making her an invaluable asset during each season.

Moving onto Logan Tom…

Logan Tom started playing professionally at 16 years old and became known as one of the top female players in U.S. history. Her skills with the ball have led to four Olympic appearances over a span of sixteen years—a record she shares with another legendary player, Kerri Walsh Jennings—and she even served as captain of the national team during their silver medal run at London 2012. Throughout her season, Logan Tom has shown remarkable consistency and skill when it comes to blocking and attacking quick sets from the middle, proving herself time after time as one of the best outside hitters in international competition today.

Logan Tom

Logan Tom has been one of the premier outside hitters in volleyball for over two decades, showcasing her exceptional skills on the court. Her impressive career stats include 2,495 kills and 507 aces, making her the most decorated player on Team USA’s roster with six gold medals across three Olympic games. She also holds the record for total blocks at 543, proving her dominance as both an offensive and defensive middle blocker. Logan’s outstanding performance has made her a national icon, and she continues to excel every season.

Here are some notable accomplishments that have cemented Logan Tom as one of the greatest outside hitters, but what about a male volleyball player? If you’re looking for a standout volleyball team, Tom’s kills are sure to impress. So why not go ahead and check out this legendary player’s stats?

  1. Most Decorated Olympian – 6 Gold Medals & 3 Olympic Games
  2. Record-Holder – 2,495 Kills & 507 Aces
  3. Defensive Dominance – 543 Total Blocks

With an expansive arsenal of offensive weapons coupled with defensive prowess, Logan Tom has earned hall of fame honors during her 17 years playing professionally in numerous countries around the world as a volleyball team player. Her skill set makes her one of the most well-rounded hitters to ever play the game, with impressive kills from both outside and middle hitter positions. She continues to be an inspiration to aspiring female athletes everywhere.

With all these accolades behind her, Logan Tom, known for her kills and as a middle blocker in the team, looks forward to what life brings next as she transitions into post-volleyball pursuits. Moving onto Gabrielle Reece, who was also a skilled setter on the team…

Gabrielle Reece

Gabrielle Reece was one of the best outside hitters in volleyball history, known for her kills and her ability to work well with her team. She also occasionally played as a middle and could set when needed.

She had an impressive career as a volleyball player for her national volleyball team spanning from 1989-2000, where she played as a middle and set, and won three gold medals at the Olympics.

Her accolades are even more impressive, as she dominated as the best female volleyball player in the world three times, leading her team to victory with her exceptional sets and powerful hits from the left side. She was also a three-time recipient of the Sportswoman of the Year award.

Her legacy as a team outside hitter is inspiring, as she has set records that earned her induction into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, and the California Sports Hall of Fame.

There’s no denying Reece’s impact as a volleyball player on her team, and she’s sure to be remembered for years to come for her impressive set.

Gabrielle Reece’s Career

Gabrielle Reece is an icon in the volleyball world. Her career really took off when she and her team won the Beach Volleyball World Championships with a perfect set alongside partner Holly McPeak in 1995.

From there, Gabrielle went on to become one of the best outside hitters ever seen in competitive play. She was an excellent all-around player, and her ability to set up the ball for a spike from any angle made her a force to be reckoned with on the court. She was also renowned for her great blocking technique which made it difficult for opponents to score points against her team.

Gabrielle’s accomplishments throughout her career as a team player have been nothing short of remarkable; she has cemented herself as one of the greatest players of all time! With such amazing talent in setting, it’s no wonder that Gabrielle Reece will always remain an inspiration and role model for future generations of volleyball stars.

Gabrielle Reece’s Accolades

Gabrielle Reece is a true volleyball legend, known for her exceptional skills as an outside hitter and her success in winning the Beach Volleyball World Championships. Her ability to work well with her team and set up plays has contributed greatly to her accomplishments.

It’s no surprise that she is held in such high regard by her volleyball team, peers, and fans alike! From awards to accolades, Gabrielle has been recognized time and again for her outstanding performance on the court.

She was named MVP of the winning team at the 1996 Olympic Games, inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame for her outstanding set performance in 2008, and recently became an ambassador for volleyball team with the FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball).

With all these incredible achievements behind her, Gabrielle’s skills in team building and setting will continue inspiring future generations of volleyball stars for years to come.

Gabrielle Reece’s Legacy

Gabrielle Reece’s legacy is one of greatness in both individual and team sports. Her unparalleled athletic accomplishments as a volleyball player have secured her place among the best setters in history, and she continues to be a beacon for aspiring athletes everywhere.

Not only has she been named MVP of the winning team at the 1996 Olympic Games, but she also led her team to victory with an impressive set. She was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2008 and recently became an ambassador for volleyball with the FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball).

She truly embodies what it means to reach the pinnacle of success in team sport – something that will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations of volleyball stars long after Gabrielle’s own set career wraps up.

No matter how many greats come along in future years, Gabrielle Reece will always stand out as a true pioneer who pushed the limits of what’s possible on the court. Her exceptional ball skills and ability to work within a team set her apart from the rest.

Flo Hyman

Flo Hyman was not only an exceptional outside hitter, but also a valuable team player. She had an extraordinary combination of power and finesse in her game, allowing her to dominate opponents with a wide range of shots and contribute to the success of her team. Her horizontal jump reach and arm swing were both so powerful that she could drop a ball down from almost anywhere on the court, making it difficult for defenders to anticipate where the set would land or how hard it was going to be hit. Flo’s impressive athleticism enabled her to make spectacular plays as well, benefiting her team greatly.

Hyman was not only proficient at spiking balls, but also excelled when blocking and serving as a team player. During her career, she earned three Olympic medals; two silver and one bronze – all in beach volleyball team tournaments. Her success at these events showed just how talented she truly was as a team member. Additionally, she won several national championships as part of a team throughout her professional career, cementing herself as one of the greatest team players in history.

The impact Flo Hyman had on women’s volleyball teams is immeasurable; setting new standards for team performance through her impressive skill set and inspiring generations of young team athletes to follow suit. As we look forward into the future of volleyball teams, we can see traces of Flo’s influence across the sport – even today nearly 30 years after her untimely death due to Marfan Syndrome in 1986.

Moving ahead, let us now take a closer look at Logan Tom’s contributions to the world of volleyball, particularly as a valuable member of her team.

Sinjin Smith

Logan Tom, a four-time Olympian, has been widely considered one of the best outside hitters in volleyball for many years. Her consistency and power at the net have made her an essential part of any team she plays on. She is known for her accuracy when setting up a play and executing it with precision.

Sinjin Smith also ranks among the top team outside hitters in volleyball history. He has won numerous team awards throughout his career, including being named MVP of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as a member of the US team.

His mastery over ball placement shots makes him dangerous from all angles on the court. Smith’s skill set includes:

  • Offensively:
  • An accurate jump serve that can keep opponents off balance with a well-hit ball.
  • A powerful spike that often catches defenders by surprise
  • Defensively:
  • Anticipates where opposing players will hit the ball next
  • Reads how to position himself optimally for each ball shot taken against him.

Smith’s exceptional ability to read and react quickly to the ball allows him to be successful in any game situation. This attribute, combined with his offensive prowess as an outside hitter, makes Sinjin Smith one of the greatest ball players of all time.

With Wilma Rudolph now entering this conversation, let us explore why she deserves recognition as well, even though her achievements were not related to ball sports.

Wilma Rudolph

Who was the greatest outside hitter of all time?

Many may argue that it was Wilma Rudolph, who achieved great success during her career as a volleyball player. She made her debut in 1962 for the Tennessee State Tigerbelles and went on to win multiple championships with them while setting numerous records during her tenure there.

Her skills with the ball were extraordinary – she could spike and serve with power, but also had an exceptional sense of court awareness which allowed her to make well-timed attacks. She was widely known for having mastered the art of ‘reading’ plays, which enabled her to anticipate movements from opponents and teammates alike.

Wilma’s successes on the ball court didn’t come without hard work though – she worked tirelessly throughout college, often training twice a day to hone her ball handling skills even further. This dedication paid off when she led Tennessee State to three consecutive AAU ball titles between 1964-1966, a feat never before accomplished by any other team at the school.

Additionally, Wilma showed exceptional skills in handling the ball, earning individual honors such as winning Most Valuable Player awards both seasons she played in 1966 and 1967 due largely because of her impressive stats in kills, blocks, digs and service points scored.

It is no surprise that Wilma was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1994 for her stellar achievements as an outside hitter; indeed few can match what she did during those years.

With unparalleled anticipation combined with strength and control, Wilma carved out a legendary legacy unlike any other within volleyball circles.

Moving forward then we will take look at another legend of the game: Kerry Walsh, who has mastered the art of hitting the ball with precision and power.

Kerry Walsh

Wilma Rudolph was an inspiring athlete with the ability to make an impact on and off the court. Her hard work and dedication were evident in her impressive numbers, making her one of the best outside hitters in volleyball history.

Kerry Walsh is another name that stands out when discussing legendary volleyball players. She has had a long career as an outside hitter, winning multiple Olympic medals and awards for her outstanding skills.

Here are some key points about Kerry Walsh’s career:

  • 4x Gold Medalist
  • 6x National Champions
  • 3x NCAA Player of the Year

Not only did she have incredible offensive power, but also contributed tremendously to defense through blocking and digging. In addition, she developed her own unique technique for spiking which allowed her to become even more successful at keeping opponents guessing.

Kerry displayed remarkable athleticism throughout her time playing volleyball, pushing herself beyond what anyone thought possible.

Now retired from professional play, she continues to be celebrated as one of the greatest outside hitters ever seen on the court . With such a rich legacy behind her, it’s no wonder why Logan Tom looked up to Kerrry Walsh while growing up aspiring to be like her someday.


The success of an outside hitter relies heavily on their hard work and dedication, both on the court and off.

For any aspiring volleyball player looking to become a top-tier outside hitter, they must be willing to commit themselves to rigorous training programs, proper nutrition and injury prevention techniques.

With these tips in mind, it’s time for you to take your game to another level – just like flipping a switch!

Becoming one of the best outside hitters is possible with the right mindset and tools at your disposal.

So don’t wait; rise up today and show us what you can do!

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.