Short Stature, Big Talent: Top Female Volleyball Players

Photo of author
Written By Margaret Satchell

I love helping people get in shape by playing sports instead of just boring gym routines. Live life to the fullest.





In the sport of volleyball, the common belief is that height is a crucial factor for success. However, there are many female players who have proven this notion wrong. Despite their smaller stature, these players have shown incredible technical skills and talent that have made them some of the top players in the world.

In this article, we will explore the careers of some of the greatest short female volleyball players of all time, including those who have played professionally, retired legends, and standout college athletes.

While some may view height as a disadvantage in volleyball, these players have used their smaller size to their advantage. They have learned to be faster, more agile, and more precise in their movements, allowing them to excel in a sport where every split second counts.

From liberos to setters, indoor to beach volleyball, these women have proven that big things can come in small packages. Join us as we celebrate the exceptional talent and skill of these remarkable athletes who have defied expectations and achieved great success in the world of volleyball.

Professional Indoor Players

In light of the pre-existing knowledge about the shortest female volleyball players, it is noteworthy that the current subtopic of professional indoor players includes four players who have excelled in the sport despite their diminutive statures, showcasing exceptional technical abilities and proving that height is not always a limiting factor in certain positions. Height limitations have long been a factor in sports, especially in positions that require jumping and blocking. However, liberos and setters, the positions played by the four professional indoor players, do not require as much height and instead rely on speed, agility, and precise ball control.

These players have overcome challenges that come with their stature and have made significant contributions to their teams. Jorella (Ella) Marie de Jesus, Jamenea Ferrer (Jem), Yoshie Takeshita, and Deborah Green-Vargas (Debbie) are all examples of how technical ability and hard work can make up for a lack of height in volleyball. Their success highlights the importance of recognizing individual strengths and building a team that complements each other’s abilities.

These players have inspired future generations of female volleyball players, showing that with dedication and perseverance, anyone can excel in the sport regardless of their physical attributes.

College Athletes

Four of the div 1 NCAA athletes mentioned in the article are 5’2 and specialize in defense. These athletes are proof that height is not always a limiting factor in volleyball. However, being shorter can present challenges in terms of blocking and hitting.

To compensate for this, shorter players must focus on developing their technical skills, such as passing and serving, to excel in their position. To succeed as shorter college volleyball players, athletes can utilize various training techniques. One tip is to focus on footwork and agility drills to improve their speed and quickness on the court.

Additionally, developing strength and conditioning through weight training and plyometric exercises can help shorter players jump higher and move more efficiently. Finally, practicing proper technique and form in all aspects of the game, from serving to hitting, is crucial for success.

By focusing on these tips and tricks, shorter college volleyball players can overcome their height disadvantage and excel in their position.

Beach Volleyball Players

Height plays a crucial role in beach volleyball, where players must be able to jump high and reach the ball above the net. However, there are some exceptional shorter players who have succeeded in the sport through their exceptional skills and technical ability. The three shortest female beach volleyball players listed in the previous subtopic are all 5’5 and play in either the NORCECA, FIVB, or AVP federations.

To overcome the physical challenges of being shorter in beach volleyball, these players have utilized specific training techniques. These techniques focus on improving jump height, speed, agility, and strength. Training programs typically include plyometric exercises, resistance training, and agility drills. Additionally, these players have honed their technical skills to make up for their lack of height. They have mastered techniques such as quick defense, precise ball control, and strategic placement of the ball. Through their hard work and dedication, they have proven that height is not the only determinant of success in beach volleyball.

Player Height (cm) Federation Achievements
Karla Borger 165 FIVB 2013 European Champion, 2019 World Championships bronze medalist
Heather Bansley 170 NORCECA 2019 World Championships silver medalist, 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist
Sarah Pavan 196 FIVB 2019 World Championships gold medalist, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist
Joy Stubbe 165 FIVB 2019 European Championships bronze medalist, 2016 U22 European Champion

Table: Shortest and Tallest Female Beach Volleyball Players in the FIVB and NORCECA Federations and their Achievements.

About Author