12 Tallest Female Volleyball Players: 2024 Update


Women’s volleyball is an extremely competitive sport. It’s filled with athletes, both young and adult, who give it their all, trying to make a name for themselves.

Over the years, we have seen many tall female volleyball players dominate the scene. Players in the middle blocker or opposite hitter position, in particular, tend to be taller than the rest.

Players like Yuan Xinyue or Nelly Alisheva, with their towering presence on the court, have inspired countless others to take up this sport.

Young girls who get awkward, insecure, or embarrassed about their height look at these superstars and feel relieved knowing their height is a gift. A gift that, when honed properly, will help them unlock their hidden potential.

tallest female volleyball players

In this article, we will explore and celebrate the achievements of these tall female volleyball players. We’ll also talk about how height can give you an edge in this sport and the potential drawbacks it might bring.

Let’s get started.

Top 12 Tallest Female Volleyball Players in the Scene

Top 12 Tallest Female Volleyball Players

Here’s a rundown of 12 of the tallest female volleyball players in professional volleyball who have made a solid name for themselves.

1. Nelly Alisheva

  • Height: 208 cm
  • Born: 20th December 1983
  • Nationality: Russia
  • Current Team: Retired (VK Proton)
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Nelly Alisheva

Nelly Alisheva is one of the tallest female volleyball players to play the game. Her towering presence on the court as a middle-blocker makes her a formidable player to go up against.

Her career started at MGFSO. She later moved to Dinamo-Yantar for, where she stayed for a big part of her career from 2003 to 2011.

She then transferred to Omitchka Omsk for the 2011 to 2013 season. Afterward, she moved to VK Proton until she retired.

Her notable achievements include securing the bronze for her national team in both the World Grand Prix and Montreux Volley Masters tournaments. She was also awarded the title of Best Spiker in the 2005 to 2006 season.

2. Alba Hernandez

  • Height: 207 cm
  • Birthdate: 3rd October, 1994
  • Nationality: Puerto Rico
  • Current Team: Criollas de Caguas
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Alba Hernandez

Alba Hernadez is another towering figure on the volleyball court with her 2.07 m stature. Similar to Nelly Alisheva, she plays as the middle blocker for Puerto Rico.

She started her club volleyball career with the team Gigantes de Carolina in 2014. In the following years, she transferred to different clubs where she stayed for one or two seasons.

Since 2021, she has been part of the Criollas de Caguas club, where she is currently playing as the middle blocker.

Alba Hernandez helped her national team, Puerto Rico, secure multiple national and silver medals across various tournaments. Her notable individual accomplishment as the Best Middle Blocker in the NORCECA Challenger Cup Qualification 2024 is another major highlight of her career.

3. Merete Lutz

  • Height: 206 cm
  • Birthdate: 7th November, 1994
  • Nationality: USA
  • Current Team: Retired (Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia)
  • Playing Position: Opposite Hitter
Merete Lutz

Hailing from the United States, Merte Lutz is an Opposite hitter who stands tall at 2.06 m. She has an impressive track record of being an offensive powerhouse both in club and college-level volleyball.

In fact, she was crowned the 18th player to score 1000 kills in College Volleyball when she was playing for Stanford in the 2016/2017 season. She later proceeded to win the gold in the tournament with her team.

Merete Lutz started her career at Stanford playing in their Women’s College Volleyball Team. From here, she joined the Italian club Cuore di Mamma Cutrofiano. The last team she played on before her retirement was Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia.       

4. Dana Rettke

  • Height: 204 cm
  • Birthdate: 21st January, 1999
  • Nationality: USA
  • Current Teams: Vero Volley Milano
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Dana Rettke

Next up, we have Dana Rettke, a middle blocker from the USA whose 2.04 m height is a huge asset for such a young player. She is a prime candidate for being the tallest college volleyball player in the world.

Born in 1999, Dana started her career playing for the Wisconsin University Women’s Volleyball team in 2017. Currently, she is part of the Vero Volley Milano team in Italy.

Her notable achievements in the sport include being crowned the MVP and the Best Middle Blocker in the 2021/2022 NCAA season. She also received the award for being the Best Spiker in the 2022/2023 Champions League.

5. Magdalena Stysiak

  • Height: 203 cm
  • Birthdate: 3rd December, 2000
  • Nationality: Poland
  • Current Team: Fenerbahçe Opet
  • Playing Position: Opposite Hitter
Magdalena Stysiak

Magdalena Stysiak is another young star in volleyball from Poland, but she specializes in her role as an Opposite hitter. With a height of 2.03 m, her offensive presence on the net is already a thing of legend.

She started her journey with the Polish club SMS PZPS Szczyrk in 2014 at a pretty early age. But throughout her career, she switched clubs quite often. For the 2023/2024 season, she is serving as the Opposite hitter for the Turkish team Fenerbahçe Opet.

Stysiak already has an impressive track record in the game, with multiple Best Scorer awards in the Olympics. She also received awards for being the Best Server and Best Middle Blocker on several occasions.

6. Yuan Xinyue

  • Height: 203 cm
  • Birthdate: 21st December, 1996
  • Nationality: China
  • Current Team: Tianjin Bohai Bank
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Yuan Xinyue

Yuan Xinyue is a true master of the game. She plays as the middle blocker for the Chinese Volleyball Women’s team, and her deadly combination of height and skill in the position makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Her career started playing for the Bayi Kemen Noodle Manufacturing club in 2009, where she stayed until the 2009/2010 season.

She transferred to Guangdong Evergrande for the 2013/2014 season but returned again to her former club the following year. Currently, she plays for Tianjin Bohai Bank.

She has a highly decorated career with multiple MVPs and Best Middle-Blocker awards to her name.

As for her national team achievements, she played a dominant role in China winning the Olympics in the sport in 2016. She also helped secure two FIVB World Cup gold medals for China in 2015 and 2019.

7. Anna Kajalina

  • Height: 203 cm
  • Birthdate: 8th March 8, 1991
  • Nationality: Estonia
  • Current Team: Municipal Olympique Mougins Volley-Ball
  • Playing Position: Opposite Hitter
Anna Kajalina

Anna Kajalina is an Estonian Opposite hitter whose 2.03 m height makes her an offensive powerhouse. She is known for her strong and powerful spike and positioning sense.

She has been a part of 10 different clubs so far throughout her career. Her debut club appearance was with Noortekoondis/Pirita in 2005.

Currently, she is playing for the French team Municipal Olympique Mougins Volleyball.

While she doesn’t have as many individual awards as the other players on this list, she has a pretty impressive record with her clubs.

Her notable tournament achievements include claiming gold in French League A, silver in the Italian Cup, and many more.

8. Valentina Diouf

  • Height: 203 cm
  • Birthdate: 10th January, 1993
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Current Team: ŁKS Commercecon Łódź
  • Playing Position: Opposite Hitter
Valentina Diouf

Valentina Diouf is an Italian volleyball superstar who plays for ŁKS Commercecon Łódź. She is 2.03 m tall and plays as an opposite hitter for the team.

She started her career with Club Italia in 2008 and quickly made a name for herself because of her strong offensive presence and powerful spikes. She transferred between different clubs, each lasting one or two seasons.

Her international achievements include winning the World Championship U20, the Mediterranean Games, and the Junior European Championships with her national team. As for her individual awards, she claimed the Best Spiker, Best Opposite, and Best Scorer in the TAURON Liga 2022/23.

9. Yulia Merkulova

  • Height: 202 cm
  • Birthdate: 17th February, 1984
  • Nationality: Russia
  • Current Team: Retired (Zarechie Odintsovo)
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Yulia Merkulova

Yulia Merkulova is an unforgettable name in women’s volleyball.

She is 2.02 m tall and played as the middle blocker for her national and club teams. Before her retirement, she used to play for Zarechie Odintsovo.

Unlike the players of today, Yulia played only in three clubs throughout her career. She had her debut with Zarechie Odintsovo in 2000 and stayed there till the end of the 2008/09 season. Later, she played for Dinamo Krasnodar and Dinamo Moscow until she moved back to her debut club in 2013.

She was titled the Best Spiker in the Russian Superleague 2008/09 season and Best Blocker in the Russian Cup 2006/07 season. For her national team, she helped secure two World Championship titles in 2010 and 2016.

10. Daria Malygina

  • Height: 202 cm
  • Birthdate: 4th April, 1994
  • Nationality: Russia
  • Current Teams: Leningradka Saint Petersburg
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Daria Malygina

Originating from Russia, Daria Malygina is another prominent middle blocker whose height is worth mentioning. She is 2.02 m tall and plays for the Leningradka Saint Petersburg club.

However, she has gone through a fair bit of change over the course of her career so far. She started out in the Dynamo Kazan U20 Academy and later became a part of the main roster. Her other notable clubs include Sakhalin, Tulitsa Tula, and Dinamo-Metar.

She was crowned the Best Blocker in the Russia Superleague for the 2022/23 season. Her other achievements include winning multiple gold titles for her club in various tournaments and claiming silver for her national team in the Montreux Volley Masters in 2018.

11. Floriana Bertone

  • Height: 202 cm
  • Birthdate: 19th November, 1992
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Current Team: Cuore di Mamma Cutrofiano
  • Playing Position: Middle Blocker
Floriana Bertone

Here’s another name that you can’t overlook when talking about the tallest female volleyball player – Floriana Bertone. She is 2.02 m tall and plays in the middle blocker position.

Her debut club was Club Italia in 2007, where she stayed until 2011. She had Valentina Douf as her teammate for two years in the club, where they dominated the scene together.

However, her personal achievement isn’t as decorated as Douf. She still managed to lead her national team to some notable victories including claiming the gold in World Championship U20, Mediterranean games, and Junior European Championship in different years.

12. Brayelin Martinez

  • Height: 201 cm
  • Birthdate: 11th September, 1996
  • Nationality: Dominican Republic
  • Current Teams: Dinamo-Ak Bars
  • Playing Position: Outside Hitter
Brayelin Martinez

Brayelin Martinez is the shortest player on this list, but she’s still quite a formidable outside hitter with her 2.01 m stature. Only 27 years of age, she currently plays for the Leningradka Saint Petersburg club.

Despite being a young player, she already has a notable career behind her with more potential for greatness in front. She’s been a part of 10 different clubs, with her debut being on the National Dominican Republic Women’s Volleyball team.

With around 37 different personal awards under her belt, she is ranked 47th as the best women’s volleyball player in the world. She was also awarded the title of Best Outside Hitter in 3 different tournaments in the same year, 2023.

The Advantage of Height in Volleyball

Advantage of Height in Volleyball

The height of the players can affect team dynamics and volleyball strategies significantly.

Here are a couple of key benefits that taller players have in volleyball.

Spiking Power:

Tall volleyball players are excellent at making offensive plays. They can get a steeper angle to attack when spiking the ball.

This makes it more difficult for the opponent to defend since the ball is coming from a higher point with a higher power.

Blocking Capacity:

Taller players have an easier time defending against tips and setter dumps. Since they can cover more area at the net, they can react quickly to short plays.

They can also reach over the net to block incoming spikes from the opponent because of their height.

Serving and Receiving:

Height can also play a role in the serving and receiving strategies of a team. Tall players can pull off powerful jump serves since they can get a better angle on the volleyball.

On the receiving end, taller players can handle aggressive jump serves or high float serves more easily than shorter players.

The Challenges Faced by Tall Players

challenges faced by tall players

The height of a volleyball player can be a huge asset. But it’s also a double-edged sword.

Here are some of the disadvantages that tall players have to deal with:

Lower Mobility:

Because of their larger frame, taller volleyball players often lack the mobility of average-height players. While their longer limbs may offer a better reach, it’s harder for them to make quick, reflexive movements.

Injury Prone:

Taller players are also more susceptible to knee or ankle injury. Because of their height, tall players face increased stress on their joints. However, proper conditioning and strength training can certainly reduce injury risks.

Endurance Issues:

Another challenge for tall volleyball players is managing their endurance. Taller players need to expend more energy to perform, which leads to quicker fatigue. That’s why it’s important for tall volleyball players to have proper cardiovascular conditioning during their training sessions.

Impact on Team Dynamics and Volleyball Strategies

Tall female volleyball players can be an intimidating force at the net, forcing the opponent to reevaluate their strategies. Having tall players on the team also opens up multiple tactical opportunities for the team.

Better Offensive and Defensive Options:

Middle blockers and opposite hitters in volleyball are usually the tallest players on the team, and there’s a reason for that. When the players in these two positions have a decent height, they can offer better offensive and defensive options.

For example, tall opposite hitters can hit electrifying spikes that demolish the opponent’s defenses. A tall middle blocker, on the other hand, can block incoming spikes and make short plays to catch the defense off guard.

Inspires Confidence:

Having tall teammates in volleyball also boosts team morale. Their dominating presence on the court inspires their teammates to give it their all.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Women, especially teenage girls, can often feel insecure about their height. Tall female volleyball players have emerged as role models for these young girls.

These players show how being tall isn’t a disadvantage or something to be embarrassed about. Instead, it can be a significant asset on the court.

The tall female volleyball stars in the game inspire the future generation of athletes to pick up this sport.

Looking at players like Nelly Alisheva ruling the volleyball court helps young girls everywhere feel more secure about their height and want to push their skills to the next level.

Beyond the Height – Skills and Techniques That Count

A player’s height certainly helps when playing in key positions on the court, such as middle blocker or opposite hitter. However, if the player is not skilled at the finer points of the game, it doesn’t matter too much.

What that means is height alone will not get you far in this game. It’s an asset, sure, but you also need to hone your offensive and defensive techniques.

If you’re a middle blocker, then your focus should be on your reaction speed and timing. You’re the first line of defense, and you’re also responsible for scoring quick points whenever you see an opportunity.

Here are four amazing drills to hash out your skills as a middle blocker.

Yuan Xinyue, the Chinese-born middle blocker, is a good example of what happens when skill meets height.

Her impressive all-round performance at the 2018 Asian Games led her nation to win eight victories without dropping a single set. The China National Women’s team claimed the championship title with complete domination over the competition under her leadership.

The opposite hitter is an equally versatile role in volleyball. And like middle blockers, coaches usually favor taller players for this position.

If you want to be an elite opposite hitter, you need to excel in digging for quick attacks and provide support to your setter when needed.

It’s a very important position, and you should learn everything you can about opposite hitters to build your game knowledge and skill.

Of course, the same can be said about all the other positions in volleyball. Ultimately, your physical traits can be a gift, but you also need to work on your skills if you want to be the best at this sport.

Average Height Statistics in Women’s Volleyball by Position

average height statistics in women’s volleyball by position

Now let’s look at some data showcasing the average height of female volleyball players depending on their playing position.

Playing PositionHeight (in cm)Height (in feet/inches)
Outside Hitter187 cm6’ 2”
Middle192 cm6’ 3”
Opposite192 cm6’ 3”
Libero168 cm5’ 6”
Setter183 cm6’

The Bottom Line

Height might seem like an inconvenience to young women, but in volleyball, it might be a blessing in disguise.

In women’s volleyball, tall players are perfect for critical roles like middle blocker and opposite hitter. But while height isn’t the be-all and end-all here (you also need to practice), it helps you stand out from the rest.

We hope the profiles of the 12 tall female volleyball players can help you understand how your height can help you become one of the greats in this sport. Good luck!

 Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the tallest female volleyball Player?

The tallest female volleyball player in the world is Nelly Alisheva with a towering height of 208 cm.

What is the average height for a female volleyball player?

It depends on the playing position and skill level. In college volleyball, the average height of a female player is around 5’10” or 180 cm.

Is 5’7’’ short for a female volleyball player?

For youth or high-school volleyball 5’7” is a pretty respectable height for middle blockers or opposite hitters. However, in college or professional level, the height might be a bit too short.

How tall is the female libero?

The average height for a female libero in Olympic volleyball is around 5’5”. You can learn more about it in this article.

Who has the highest spike in female volleyball?

Paola Egonu of Italy holds the record for the highest and fastest spike in the world. Her spike against Brazil in 2022 reached 344 cm, and the ball traveled at a speed of 112.7 km/h.

ABOUT Harvey Meale

As a former international level volleyball player, I now spend my days working out and writing for Volleyball Vault. I look for ways to bring my wealth of experience and knowledge to create unique and insightful perspectives in my content.