Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, July 9, 2020 – Good communication is one of the most indispensable tools for a setter to be successful in the game of volleyball, and Dominican Republic star Niverka Marte has taken that fact very seriously ... literally.
The 29-year old setter of the Dominican Republic women’s team easily qualifies as a polyglot since in addition to her native Spanish, she is fluent in English and Portuguese and has reached an intermediate level in French and Italian.
“I can communicate with people in different languages but in the court there is a different kind of communication, and only one language. I mean understanding peoples' minds and making sure we are all on the same page,” Marte said. “Eye to eye goes along with body language also.”
Marte’s volleyball career has been running in parallel with her other career as a senior student of International Relations at UBIS University of Business and International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
“I love diplomacy and also the academy for a career,” she said. “But I also would like to manage my own business and that’s something I’ve been thinking also.”
Setters regularly have long careers, and Marte plans to play two more years with her national team and then look for other opportunities outside the sport.
A converted setter who started her volleyball career as an outside hitter, Marte was selected as best setter at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup in Japan. She has played in Peru, France and Turkey.
The 1.78 meters tall Marte was asked about the setter and attacker she admired the most.
“The truth is that I don’t have a favourite setter or attacker as I intend to learn from everyone. I really like the style of the Asian setters but I also like some of the qualities of the setters from other countries. I can’t point to one in particular who I can say is my favourite.”
Among the attackers, “Nive” says the ones who have caught her attention are those who not only are very good attacking but also dominate other elements of the game like receiving and blocking.
“Zhu Ting of China and Kim Yeong-Koung of Korea are among that group, mainly because they always keep very good attitude during the game with the rest of their teammates,” she said.
What is she doing during this time of forced isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impossibility to train with her team?
“Well the exercises I’m doing are those in the morning we receive via team meetings and then in the afternoon I do some now and then, like cardio and stuff like that. I always try to stay physically in shape,” she responded.