Rob goes solo for a special episode, previewing all 11 VLA Cup teams' rosters, backgrounds, and history leading up to next weekend's MASSIVE tournament! We also announce our new live YouTube show, Around the VLA, premiering on Monday, May 10 at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST! Hosted by Rob and Vince Zanzucchi, with several guests and unique segments, Around the VLA will be a cool way to break down videos, statistics, and interact with the viewers in a live setting. Monday's show will get into the format of the VLA Cup tournament and the individual pool matchups that we can expect next Friday. If you're not already subscribed to the VLA YouTube channel, get with the program!
Long show today, but packed with incredible stuff! Olympic gold medalist Ryan Millar joins the show to get interviewed for a change, as for the last year or so he's hosted the CrossNet Volleyball Podcast with several awesome guests. He talks about his role in turning the BYU men's program into what it is today, his journey on the national team towards an eventual gold medal, and gives a hot take on which international volleyball tournament is the hardest to win...
Incredible episode. Check out Ryan on the CrossNet Volleyball Podcast if you're not already following it! https://crossnetpodcast.podbean.com/
VLA Board member and Chicago Icemen captain Tim Falknor joins the show as the last team representative on the podcast leading up to the VLA regular season event in Buffalo, NY THIS WEEKEND! He responds to the trash talk from the other two teams and explains the expectations of the reigning champs for this event and the whole season, plus lots of great perspective from his seat on the VLA board. Lots of great storylines going into Buffalo over the past few episodes, tune in all weekend long for some great professional volleyball LIVE! https://volleyballleagueofamerica.com
The fearless leader of the new VLA Tier 2 squad Boston Bounce, Jeff Vautrin, joins the show this week before his team's VLA debut next weekend in Buffalo! Jeff took over as the head coach of the men's program at Lasell University a few short years after finishing his playing career there, and has added "head women's coach" and "VLA team captain" to his resume as well! Jeff gets into his Hawaiian volleyball influence, transitioning from a player to a coach, and a preview of what to expect from Boston Bounce next weekend. Awesome interview.
New York Team LVC Captain and VLA Board member Chris Hosley returns to the show to give a long overdue recap of his team's performance against Team Pineapple in January, and to preview the next VLA 2021 regular season stop: Buffalo, NY April 17-18! Chris and the Legion have quite the squad ready to take on the defending champion Chicago Icemen and new Tier 2 squad Boston Bounce. We also get into an early preview of the VLA Cup in May, the most stacked adult tournament of the year! Lots more event details on the website, https://volleyballleagueofamerica.com
A very special guest this week - 2x AVCA All-American, AVCA National Player of the Year, and 2x USA Olympic setter Don Suxho! A phenomenal player with an even more incredible story, growing up in communist Albania (just north of Greece) and finding his way eventually to USC for a stellar college career before gaining American citizenship and joining the US Men's National Team. He tells incredible stories of backing up Lloy Ball, coming off the bench to key the biggest comeback in Olympic history, suffering a brutal injury in Italy that prevented him from being on the 2008 gold medal team, and his role as the starter in London in 2012. Don is now heavily involved with two of the VLA's corporate partners, Smack Sportswear and CrossNet, and we're so excited to have him on the show and supporting the VLA!
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!