Special episode this week - recorded LIVE on Monday night, February 8, host Rob St. Claire and frequent guest Vince Zanzucchi of the VLA Board and Phoenix Ascension preview this weekend's BIG VLA regular season event! They get into the two awesome venues in the Phoenix area, the two brand new teams that will be playing, what VLA Tier 2 is all about, and what the league has to look forward to for the rest of the season. Lots of big questions answered and details shared, this is a must listen!
Quick announcement - The Deep Corner is going LIVE! Tonight (Monday Feb 8, 2021) at 11:00 PM EST/8:00 PM PST Rob will be going live from Ascension Volleyball practice in Phoenix, AZ leading up to this weekend's big VLA regular season event. Ascension captain and frequent podcast guest Vince Zanzucchi will hop on to talk about this weekend's event, introduce VLA Tier 2 squads Rukkus and Irvine Xtreme, and take your questions in the YouTube Live chat. We'll post the audio from the live conversation as a full podcast tomorrow. Come hang out with us! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyfo_6gkwXKdRWO5_eD4Q6w
A special guest, the Executive Director of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame, George Mulry joins the show this week! As the one and only full time employee of the Hall, George gives us tons of detail on eligibility and voting for induction into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, including our very own Lloy Ball's enshrinement in 2015. He also gives a much needed volleyball history lesson, including the surprisingly similar origin stories of the sports of volleyball and basketball, the spreading of volleyball around the world, and the changes to the game along the way. George and Rob are very similar in that they're big volleyball nerds and superfans, so there's plenty of excitement about how awesome the game is along the way. George and the IVHF have expanded from a small building in Holyoke, Massachusetts to reach volleyball legends all over the world, and the VLA is excited to have their support and friendship as we try to follow their lead!
VLA co-founder, Olympic gold medalist, and general volleyball LEGEND Lloy Ball rejoins the show after being the first ever guest on The Deep Corner -- and boy, has the world changed since then! Lloy and the VLA board have dealt with a global pandemic, pulled off a great event last summer, and are now ready to play in 2021 starting THIS WEEKEND with Lloy's Team Pineapple taking on Team LVC in a three-match series in Fort Wayne. Lloy goes through the rapid fire question gauntlet which didn't exist last time he was on the show, and goes into detail about what to expect this weekend and beyond this season. Check out the VLA YouTube channel for live volleyball all weekend!
Another guest from north of the border joins the show - Everett Delorme from Volleyball Source! Another absolute must follow for any volleyball fan, Everett has built the Volleyball Source website and brand to almost 14k instagram followers! We spend almost an hour talking volleyball, including fighting for superiority between the NCAA and Canadian USports men's volleyball teams, the growth of the Canadian national team over the last decade, and Everett's take on the best current starting 7 players he could come up with for a superteam. We tackled the big question of how to push volleyball and professional volleyball forward in North America, and we finish up with an absolute must listen story of Everett and Polish superstar Bartosz Kurek. Give @volleyballsource a follow if you haven't already!
The Deep Corner is BACK this week with a big guest - Dan Meneley, the CEV digital content coordinator and the man behind the FiveOne Volleyball podcast, instagram, and YouTube channels! Dan gives us some headlines from the big European professional leagues playing right now, which you can hear a lot more about on his podcast. We get into how he got his job at the CEV and how he tackles creating and promoting digital volleyball content all over Europe. He gives his personal "all star team" of the 7 best players in the world right now, then we dive into how a league like the VLA can break through a packed sports market in North America to get the game in front of more people. Dan's an awesome volleyball person, give him a follow @fiveonevb if you haven't already!
The JVA Director of Marketing, Education, and Player Development, Bri Schunzel, joins the show this week on behalf of the Junior Volleyball Association, one of the VLA's event partners and friends! Bri was an all star setter in her playing days collegiately and professionally, and now she's approaching her tenth year full time at the JVA. We get into how this unique year has affected our two organizations, what the JVA has done to support its members during the pandemic, how awesome the event partnership will be between the JVA and VLA, and how generally there needs to be more eyes on the high level men's game. Bri was an awesome guest and we love the JVA and their support!
VLA Kickoff Classic All-Tournament middle blocker Brandon Poindexter (@brandonp428) joins the show after his Chicago squad's win at the Kickoff Classic a month ago, getting into his volleyball origin story on the east coast, his figurative and literal growth as a player, and how he stays in such spectacular shape. He also has a fascinating and unique perspective on the whole Kickoff Classic weekend, from what it took to get back up to game speed, to how technically he broke down his blocking reads, to how he uses his emotion and energy to fuel his team. Despite some weird audio issues towards the end, still a great chat with a player who has been ALL OVER the highlight tapes on the VLA YouTube channel lately!
Phoenix Ascension libero CJ Suarez (@cjsuarez_) joins the show a few weeks after a stellar performance at the VLA Kickoff Classic to talk us through his volleyball journey. He tells some great stories about being an MVP caliber outside hitter in high school at only 5'10", grinding incredibly hard to make his college team at Cal State Northridge, becoming the starting libero by the end of his college career, and his connection to the Phoenix Ascension. After the standard rapid fire questions, he takes us through each Phoenix match of the Kickoff Classic and wraps up a really positive weekend for his squad. Great interview with an energetic libero with a ton of confidence who's just so much fun to watch.
New York Legion middle blocker Mike Marshman (@mikemarshman) returns to the show, with a weekend of VLA volleyball and an all-tournament award behind him, to talk about his team's weekend at the Kickoff Classic. We get into LVC's habit of going to 5 sets, what it takes to shake off rust and build team chemistry quickly during a tournament, what big takeaways New York had from the weekend, and how bright the future of the VLA is. Marsh also announces his return to Cambrai Volley in France, now having moved up to the French A league, and realizes a long time goal of his to play in a league of that caliber. We also touch on the shocking news of Stanford cutting their men's volleyball program and talk about what all you listeners can do to help: click the link in Marsh's instagram bio to sign the petition!