My Favorite 15 Volleyball Photos of 2015

This past year kind of followed a familiar pattern. I shot the first two tournaments held at Purdue followed by a couple of matches later in the season. I really enjoy shooting volleyball as it is a fast paced game with lots of emotion. How could you not like that? At Purdue the team is a very good one that produced a lot of good wins this past year. They provided many moments that have made this top 15. This is also the second year in a row that I shot for Notre Dame as they came to Purdue. They are always great to work with, and it is great to see my photos used throughout the year. I am pretty familiar with both of these squads making it easier to shoot them. They make up the majority of this 15 photo countdown.

15. We start the countdown with a shot from the #packmackey match in Mackey Arena between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It was a great crowd for the match, and I liked this view. You have both teams lined up for the anthem along with the flag on the jumbotron. This was a great event, and a few photos from it will appear on this countdown.

14. Here is another shot from the Pack Mackey match. I love these little moments just as the ball is released during a serve. It almost appears as if the ball is floating in the air. The dramatic lighting in Mackey makes this shot a little cooler I think.

13. This shot has stuck with me since I made it. I think it is the anticipation on the face of Lydia Dimke that makes it for me. A nice crowd in the background does not hurt either. Since I usually shoot the games that Purdue is not in for the early season tournament I have a lot of empty bleachers to deal with. It was nice to see a packed Mackey for some of my late season shoots.

12. This was my first good volleyball photo of the season. I was getting some practice in during the Austin Peay match against Purdue. I was shooting the game immediately after it for VCU. I managed to capture a nice moment of celebration here after a big point. 

11. When I am not shooting my team in the early season tournaments I will have some fun and experiment a little. With a light crowd in the stands I decided to try something here a little different. I liked how it turned out. It gives you a little sense of place, but also has some nice action in it.

10. I love these toss up moments at the net. They don’t happen often, but when they do they look great. You are left with some questions after seeing the photo. I love the way that this makes you think for a little longer than most photos.

9. I had some photos for the gallery already during the third set of the Pack Mackey game so I decided to make some photos that had a larger sense of place. I waited for the action to come to me so that I could make a photo like the one above. The anticipation on the face of the other players also helps this photo out.

8. When I walked into the gym down in Bloomington and saw the giant Hoosiers sign on the wall I knew that I wanted to make this photo. It was just a matter of waiting until the team got into their pregame huddle. It turned out much as I hoped it would when I made it.

7. I framed this shot in a similar way to the shot above. I wanted the Purdue logos in the shot along with some decent action. I got that as Ashley Evans set the ball. It is a nice wide shot that gives a sense of place.

6. While I was editing my photos on the first night of the season Purdue was playing in a very emotional match. I stuck around to make a few photos as Purdue was really getting into the match. I was happy to see that this photo was used on many of the post game stat graphics as the season went on.

5. That first day of the season was also my birthday. What better way could you spend such a day than doing what you love? When the team you are shooting for makes some graceful moves like the one above that makes things easier as well. I love this moment as well as the grace of the movement.

4. While shooting for South Dakota this season I had a unique opportunity to make an interesting photo. Sydney Dimke was playing against her sister Lydia. Here Sydney spikes one past her sister at the net. Going in to the day I was hoping for a photo like this, but the odds are against actually making it. I was glad that I was able to make the photo.

3. Annie Drews might be one of the best volleyball players that I have seen play at Purdue. She really was fun to photograph while she was here. I made this photo during the last match that I photographed this season of Annie serving the ball. I wanted something that included the arena as well as Annie. Her grace helped make the photo.

2. When I made this photo I thought that it was destined to be number one on this countdown. I love the scope of the photo as well as the emotion in it. You get your sense of place as well as see the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. This is not only one of my favorite volleyball photos of the year, but one of my favorite photos of the year.

  1. The photo above could only be topped by a great celebration photo against rival Indiana. I sat in a courtside seat to make this photo. I had a frame in mind, and I just hoped that the celebration would find its way into that frame. It did making my favorite volleyball photo of the past year. A big point in a big game makes for a great photo.
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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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