Originally Posted by TomT
In my very limited experience ABSOLUTELY NO 3.5 players play serve and volley, or even effective chip and charge. All tennis up to and including low level 4.0 is essentially pushing tennis. Yes, we all have our moments of dazzling serve and volley and chip and charge points, but the games of players at and below the 4.0 level are simply not sound enough to do this consistently and effectively, point after point.
This is just my current opinion based on only 52 matches against 3.0 to 4.0 level players this year. Corrections are welcome.
I agree with this, at this level it's serve and RETREAT. The server comes in on the usually short angled return by the receiver and then beats a hasty retreat back to the baseline. In dubs, as his partner, I'm at the service line waiting for him to get next to me to cut off the angles--but he's dinking his return and going back. Why? Because at this level they can't volley. They haven't been taught to volley. They can knock off a high setter if positioned on top of the net, but any gorilla can do that. Hitting a proper approach or volley is not in their stroke repertoire. In their defense, a volley is not that easy a stroke to hit. You have to learn it and then practice it.
If you're playing the modern club-dub game--one up/one back--you don't need to learn how to hit a proper volley. One guy hovers over the net waiting for a high setter to play whack-a-mole while his partner plays singles on a wider court, (the two alleys making the court eight feet wider). This will work ok if both teams are on the same page, using the same strategy--but if someone out there knows how to volley it will screw-up the program.