Volleyball is not just a team sport of six players on either side separated by a six foot tall net. The history of the sport dates back to 1895 in Holyoke, Massachusetts (yes, an American invented Volleyball). William Morgan, a Physical Education teacher wanted to create an all-inclusive sport that is not rough but at the same time requires athletic involvement. That was the beginning of Volleyball, and over the years it has evolved to become the Volleyball we know today.
If you think volleyball is unpopular, take a look at the players, the passion, determination and athleticism involved during a game. In comes the ‘’Libero’’ player or the infinite substitute (Libero means free in Italian). The Libero player is like the team’s hero and is usually the best player in the team. They have to wear a different kit color and can join or leave live play at will. Let’s take a look at who has been raking in the highest paid players in the world of Volleyball in 2019.
Table of Page Contents
- 10. Courtney Thompson – Annual Salary – $400,000
- 9. Carolina Costagrande – Annual Salary – $500,000
- 8. Morgan Beck – Annual Salary – $600,000
- 7. Kim Yeon Koung – Annual Salary – $800,000
- 6. Tatiana Kosheleva – Annual Salary – $1 Million
- 5. Jordan Larson – Annual Salary – $1 Million
- 4. Logan Maile Lei Tom – Annual Salary – $1 Million
- 3. Sheilla Castro – Annual Salary – $1.16 million
- 2. katerina Gamova Annual Salary – $1.4 million
- 1. Gabrielle Reece – Annual Salary – $1.8 Million
10. Courtney Thompson – Annual Salary – $400,000
32 year old American professional volleyball player and to time Olympian Courtney started playing volleyball in highs school, and her star started shining at that stage. She was named Washington State Best Player back in 2002 after three state championships. She was instrumental for her college team at the University of Washington, breaking assist records every year between 2003 and 2006. Her international debut came in 2007, where she assisted the USA National team win bronze at the Pan American Games the same year. She is also very smart; she was the Kentlake High School Valedictorian when she graduated in 2002. She currently plays for Brazilian club Rexona Ades Rio.
9. Carolina Costagrande – Annual Salary – $500,000
36 year old Argentinian-Italian professional volleyball player Carolina del Pilar Costagrande first played for the Argentinian national team before changing citizenship to Italian. She played for the Argentina national team for three years between 1999 and 2002, and earned a call up to the Italian national side later in 2009. She has spent most of her career playing club volleyball in Italy, Russia, Turkey and Argentina. Her most notable achievements include the silver medal at the 2013-14 CEV Champions League and finishing fourth with the Italian national team at the world championships in 2014. She currently plays for volleyball club Vakıfbank Spor Kulübü in Turkey.
8. Morgan Beck – Annual Salary – $600,000
Professional Beach Volleyball player
Morgan Beck Miller (30) is a model and a successful Beach Volleyball player at a professional level. She has played for the USA Volleyball national team and the Association of Volleyball Players (both young guns and pro). After attending San Clemente High School in the state ofCalifornia she finished her Bachelors at University of California in Berkeley. She attended Her modelling career has seen her work for Nike, and during the 2012 olympics, Complex Magazine named her on of the hottest athletes in the national team. She is married to Bode Miller, an Olympic skiing champion.
7. Kim Yeon Koung – Annual Salary – $800,000
One of the few South-Korean athletes to grace the world stage is 29 year old Kim Yeon Kung. Kim is currently attached to Turkish side Fenerbahçe, signing a three year contract with the team. At the 2012 Olympics she was the MVP of the competition. She formerly played for South Korean side Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders and later JT Marvelous in Japan, before going to Europe. She won the 2012 CEV Champions League with the Turkish side, and was best scorer. She is known for her set-winning spikes, and overall superb gameplay.
6. Tatiana Kosheleva – Annual Salary – $1 Million
Russian professional volleyball player Tatiana Kisheleva (28) has played most of her club career in Russia, playing for Dinamo Moscow, Dinamo Kazan, Dinamo Krasnodar and most recently joined Turkish side Eczacıbaşı VitrA. Russia being a power house in world volleyball, she has won the 2010 World Championship gold, the 2013 European Championship gold and the 2015 European Championship gold with the national team squad.she was MVP at the 2013 event. She has thirteen individual awards to her name, most of them being either ‘’MVP’’ or ‘’best scorer’’ or ‘’best outside spiker’’. She joined the Turkish side Eczacıbaşı VitrA in 2016 and has been there since.
5. Jordan Larson – Annual Salary – $1 Million
Ameican indoor Volleyball player Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach plays her club volleyball at Turkish club Eczacıbaşı VitrA, and is also a member of the USA national volleyball team. Her most notable achievements include the 2016 Olympics (bronze), 2015 World Cup (bronze), 2012 Olympics (Silver) and 2014 World Championships (gold). She earned her spot in the national team back in 2009, winning varuois individual awards, from best blocker to MVP, to best receiver and best scorer. She has also won three championships with Russian club Dinamo Kazan and three more with current club Eczacıbaşı VitrA.
4. Logan Maile Lei Tom – Annual Salary – $1 Million
35 year old indoor and outdoor volleyball superstar Logan Maile Lei is the youngest ever female American volleyball Olympian, debuting at the Sydney Olympic Games back in 2000. She is a prolific first team player, often rising to help the team win matches, and is one of the most renowned personalities in American volleyball. Born in Napa, California, Logan was daughter to former NFL player Melvyn Tom of the Chicago Bears.
Throughout high school, she was widely involved in sport, playing basketball and Javelin. She finished with an average 4.00 GPA score, and managed to turn a few heads, including that of the volleyball national team squad. At age 19 she made the Olympic squad. She is also a model having posed for FHM Magazine in 2004, and was named 91st sexiest woman in the world in 2005. She is a Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, having graduated there in 2014.
3. Sheilla Castro – Annual Salary – $1.16 million
Celebrated Brailian Volleyball player Sheilla Tavares de Castro (33), is one of the most recognized faces in volleyball, having won gold multiple times with the national squad. Amongst her most notable fetes include the Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012. She also plays for Turkish club Vakıfbank Istanbul as an Opposite. She has also won gold with Brazil at the FIVB World Grand Prix both in 2006 and 2009. She added the 2011 Pan American Games gold medal to her collection and collectively has five seven high profile medals for both club and country., including five gold, one silver and one bronze. Individually she has a total of 17 awards including MVP, best opposite and best outside spiker.
2. katerina Gamova Annual Salary – $1.4 million
Russian katerina Gamova is one tall volleyball player. Towering 6’8’’, she has been instrumental in keeping Russia in the world map, helping the country collect gold in numerous occasions. She won gold at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship both in 2006 and 2010. She also won the Olympic silver in Athens (2004) and Sydney (2000). She is currently attached to Russian club Dinamo Kazan. She was named MVP at the 2010 World Championships winning gold. She was also best opposite spiker at the 2014 FIVB Club World Championships also winning gold for club Dinamo Kazan. The gifted giant has played for five Russian clubs and the Turkish side Fenerbahçe Acıbadem, between 1996 and 2016.
1. Gabrielle Reece – Annual Salary – $1.8 Million
Probably the most famous and popular woman to ever play volleyball, Gabrielle Reece has one decorated sporting and modelling career. She started playing sport in high school at Keswick Christian School in Florida, and later got a sporting scholarship from Florida State University, where she studied communications. She would later move to New York to officially start modelling and taking her volleyball career pro. Her school solo record for most blocks (747) still stands. She was one of the best players in the 90’s winning Beach Volleyball Championships, the WBVL and the 2000 Olympic Challenge. Her modelling career has seen her grace the cover of Outside, Shape, Sports $Fitness and of course Playboy. She is also published author having co-authored the book ‘Big Girl in the Middle’.
Volleyball as an indoor sport has been at the center-stage of world indoor games for over a century. The women are by far more prolific, with the game more popular with the ladies. Turkey is the Mecca of club volleyball, with The USA and Russia leading the world stage. The sport is slowly gaining traction in Africa and the Middle East with teams from the two continents coming close to qualifying for the World Cup and the Olympic games. Both beach volleyball and indoor volleyball are fun to watch, and these women make it even more worthwhile.