Way back in the day, I was fortunate enough to play volleyball on Arizona State’s dime. Well, sort of. With just only 21 true Division I men’s teams across the country and a handful of Division II & III teams that compete against Division I teams, men’s club volleyball is THE WAY most men get to continue to play in college.
The National Collegiate Volleyball Foundation (NCVF) hosts over a hundred men’s club teams throughout the country and boasts a highly competitive National Championship. With much fund-raising at Arizona State, and a bit of begging of parents to open their wallets, we were fortunate to play National Championships in Buffalo, NY; Austin, TX; and hosted the tournament one year at Arizona State. There were multiple trips to California to get beat up by some PAC-10 teams and other great tournaments across the state too. We did hold our own against many of the teams and we were fortunate to have Jeff Nelson, current University of New Mexico Women’s Head Coach, pave the way for us.
Paying it forward is how this great game continues to grow. There are more true Division I, II, & III sponsored volleyball programs across the country, but until more schools add men’s volleyball, club volleyball is the way most guys get to play.
I pay it forward by coaching some great men’s teams. I did at Georgia Southern University and now at Miami University. Both teams have a great group of guys and need to fund-raise their way to tournaments and the NCVF National Championship in Reno, NV.
I’m not too bashful to ask if you would be willing to support these guys at: I Give for Love and Honor Their goal is to raise $5,000. Please help them out!
Penn State vs. George Mason 7 p.m. EST
Ohio State vs. Juniata 7 p.m. EST
NJIT vs. Harvard 7 p.m. EST
Lewis vs. Ball State 7 p.m. CST
BYU vs. Pacific 7 p.m. MST (BYUtv)
Cal State Northridge vs. Long Beach State 7 p.m. PST
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Penn State vs. Princeton 7 p.m. EST
Rutgers-Newark vs. Harvard 2 p.m. EST
Loyola Chicago vs. Ball State 7 p.m. CST
BYU vs. Stanford 7 p.m. MST (BYUtv)
Pepperdine vs. UCLA 5 p.m. PST
This was my live match rundown on facebook of the USA vs South Korea match:
S. Korea had a great gameplan. Hats off to them. High hands on swings and their passing kept them in the match. Their third set was likely their best ever as their other sets showed they can be error prone.
USA is just too physical. Our block, although showing some weaknesses at the pins, is so big it allows for some great defense (sound like Penn State perhaps?).
The double sub worked to perfection. 6’7″ Park was too big and Thompson got the jitters out and ran her middles well. Just a slight change in rhythm. Continue Reading
It’s funny, last night I was watching the USA Mens Team take on Italy in the World League (and congrats to the USA Men for earning a spot in the finals), and was listening to Kevin Barnett talk about Head Coach Alan Knipe not having his line-up set for the Olympics. New-comer Paul Lotman is battling it out with veteran and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Riley Salmon, on the outside. Why I find this amusing is while Kevin Barnett was disappointed the USA Mens Team roster wasn’t set and that “winning the World League was more important”, the USA Women’s Team played a “2nd string” line-up throughout half of the World Grand Prix.
You think Alan Knipe has an interesting dilemma on the Mens Team, how about Hugh McCutcheon on the Women’s Team? Megan Hodge was named World Grand Prix MVP and Best Scorer, but she probably will not start on the Olympic Team. Jordan Larson and Logan Tom will likely start ahead of her (oh yeah, and that leaper, Destinee Hooker, will play opposite). The main reason, the game comes down to serving and passing. Jordan and Logan will start over Megan because of passing. In addition, both players are smarter, more effective hitters than Megan. Continue Reading
I’m really enjoying watching the USA Women’s Team play this year. Great chemistry and smart, physical, consistent play. They are ranked #1 in the world. Following are some highlight clips and things to take note of:
Blocking – watch the discipline posture. Loaded and square to the net. Very efficient movement. Great hand position (including middles when they are late to get the pins). Great reading and closing to the outside blocker (hip-to-hip). Continue Reading
So awesome to be able to watch these great players continue their career AFTER COLLEGE! this weekend in Salt Lake City, UT. Many volleyball players don’t hit their physical prime until their late 20′s and it will be a joy to watch the players grow.
Yes, there is a professional indoor volleyball league in the United States. There is no glitz or glamor of the NBA, not even the WNBA, heck not even attention like the Cross Fit Games, but we have to start somewhere. The old business model of dump a ton of money into a league and the fans will come has been proven time and time again to be unsuccessful. The new business model is to build a professional league from the ground up using the current infrastructure of USA Volleyball Regions and support from some formidable clubs across the country.
Bravo to the USA Premier Volleyball League for hosting the first PVL Championship of 12 teams this coming weekend in Salt Lake City, UT being held in conjunction with the US Open Volleyball Championships. You can track the progress on Advanced Event Systems throughout the weekend.
Congratulations to all the players of that have stuck with their teams throughout the season and into this Championship. 100+ years ago, baseball players played the sport because they loved it and never would have imagined the lucrative opportunity to play a game. 100 years from now, that same opportunity will be available to volleyball players in the United States.
A monumental day for NCAA Volleyball and volleyball in the USA. The first ever NCAA Women’s Sand Championship was held today in Gulf Shores, AL, yes Alabama. ”The Hawaii people and the California people were like, `Are you kidding? We’re going to Alabama to play beach volleyball?”’ said Kathy DeBoer, the Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, which is running the event. “But this is an absolute hidden gem.’ I guess it took the USA Volleyball Teams, four Olympic Gold Medals, for the US to wake-up and recognize the great sport of volleyball. It’s only one of the most popular events of the Olympic Summer Games and across the world. As a great French player, Winthrop Volunteer Assistant Coach and friend of mine, Francois “Frenchy” Hertwig, posted on my Facebook status, “It’s about time.” Pepperdine won the first ever NCAA Team Championship Trophy as well as the Doubles Trophy. Continue Reading
Volleyball’s Wizard of Westwood will be calling it quits
Al Scates is in his 50th year of coaching UCLA, with 19 NCAA titles and more than two dozen Olympians as his legacy.
By Helene Elliott, LA Times
January 19, 2012, 5:00 p.m.
Photographs cover almost every inch of wall space in Al Scates’ office, a gallery of faces forever young. Books, plaques and keepsakes from his travels cover his desk and crowd the ledge beneath a window framing the view he has enjoyed for 50 years.
Bravo to USA Volleyball for taking a grassroots approach to building a semi-professional volleyball league in the United States. This is a magnificent business plan to achieve sustained successful, profitability, and a build a fan base through current players and ex-collegiate players. The Professional Volleyball League could certainly develop into a full blown profession league in the United States that so many of us have wanted. The concept uses USA Volleyball’s 40 current regions and creates divisions within these regions. Teams will compete for their chance to win their division and play at the National Championship. A prize pool of $20,000 is already being considered. Continue Reading
Along the way, you meet good people. The people behind the Coastal Classic Volleyball Tournament are some of those good people. I met Richard Knott and Aly Pompeani through one of volleyball’s unfortunate experiences, the sudden passing of Ranse Jones. I donated to help with Ranse’s fight and in return, got a great T-shirt. I was wearing that T-shirt when I registered my Carolina Juniors Club Team at AAUs in Orlando when a typical Florida mid-afternoon thunderstorm came flying in. Many of the coaches were huddled under the baseball stadium when Aly introduced herself. She recognized the t-shirt because she and her boyfriend Richard, both coaches at Grand Strand Juniors, designed the shirt and was helping to collect the funds for Ranse. Through that conversation in Orlando, Aly, Richard, and I have started one of those special friendships only volleyball can put together. People “on the outside” of our sport don’t understand why volleyball coaches and players do what we do for our sport. It’s because of bonds like these that makes our sport genuine and what we do so special. Continue Reading
One of the most dramatic skills in modern volleyball is the spike serve, or the jump serve, which provides an exciting and dynamic skill that is captivating for players and spectators alike. The player starts about five meters behind the end line of the court, uses a fast and explosive run up, a dynamic spike takeoff and an exciting spike action at the peak of their jump that sends the ball across the net at speeds of over 27 m.s-1 with heavy topspin and at a sharp downward angle. The spike serve has become a dangerous offensive weapon for the top volleyball teams of today, as a great spike server can produce a number of aces over the course of a match. The spike serve is somewhat similar to the spike at the net, except the velocities after impact are somewhat lower for the serve when compared to the spike (Tant, Greene et al. 1993). A study of the spike vs. the serve for collegiate volleyball players revealed similar speeds for the male athletes but slower speeds for the female serve when compared to the spike (male jump serve 19.7 m.s-1, male spike 22.4 m.s-1, female jump serve 13.2 m.s-1, female spike 17.8 m.s-1). A study of the front row spikes of elite international volleyball spikers reported mean impact ball speeds of 27 m.s-1 (Coleman 1993). Continue Reading
Soccer’s World Cup, which comes around once every four years, has a great following around the world. Even the US had a great audience for those games. Low and behold, Volleyball has a World Cup. How many of us know that the USA Women just took silver at the FIVB World Cup? Unfortunately, not enough of us know about this awesome competition. Continue Reading
Having played club volleyball at Arizona State and coached a great group of guys at Georgia Southern, I am very encouraged at the continuation of the Men’s Club Volleyball scene in the Southeast. Men’s Club Volleyball in college is very marginally (if at all) sponsored by each college. The guys have to raise their own travel, uniform, and equipment money. There is a women’s club volleyball scene for colleges that also falls under the same premise. The Collegiate Volleyball Club scene hosts a National Championship every year which can be found here: Nirsa.org. Continue Reading
For volleyball players and coaches across the country, in college or high school, preseason is here. It is a grueling process that reveals and builds true character, introduces and solidifies fundamentals, develops team systems, and bonds a team. The effort and commitment in preseason can often set the tone for the season. Preseason is where champions are born. Continue Reading
This week the top junior teams of all the land will be playing in Atlanta at the USAV Junior National Tournament. I look forward to spending the weekend in Atlanta to watch the top teams compete. But if you can’t make it to Atlanta this weekend, the gold medal matches will be streamed live online. Very cool. Here is the link to watch the matches: Continue Reading