I need to shape text into a volleyball "word" graphic. I have my volleyball (which is actually just individual arcs) and I have my text. I have been using the envelope distort-make with top object, but this is not yeilding the results I had hoped---any ideas how to achieve this task?
It sounds like you're on the right track, though as Brendan mentioned, a sketch would be helpful.
That said, when using the envelope distort (or I'd personally start with a "warp") mind that you're not only modifying the grid points, but also the beziers points that are between them. Once you have those handles at about 1/3 to the next point, you should get quite an even result.