Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Men’s Update: Five Questions for Dan McDonnell

Dan McDonnell

A new Olympic quadrennial brings fresh talent to the forefront of the U.S. Men’s National Team as they prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with middle blocker Dan McDonnell to discuss his journey in the world of volleyball.

The Journey So Far

Dan McDonnell, hailing from Glendale, Ariz., has had an impressive career thus far. As an alternate for the 2016 Olympic Team, McDonnell gained invaluable experience and even played in some FIVB World League matches last season. With an impressive track record, including winning the 2012 NCAA Men’s DI-II Championship with UC Irvine, McDonnell is currently making waves as a professional player for Chaumont in France.

Reflecting on the Olympics

When asked about his perspective on the 2016 Olympic tournament, McDonnell expressed his pride in watching his friends compete on the world stage. Having a personal connection to the athletes, he was inspired by their dedication and hard work throughout the entire tournament.

Rising to New Challenges

McDonnell acknowledges that there is a significant jump in the level of play when transitioning from university volleyball to the National Team. The game becomes faster, and the physicality of the players intensifies. Despite these challenges, McDonnell has seen steady improvement in all aspects of his game since graduating from UC Irvine. His determination to keep improving drives him forward every day.

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Embracing the International Stage

Playing for an international team like Chaumont comes with its own set of rewards and challenges. McDonnell highlights the positive team chemistry both on and off the court, despite the cultural and language differences among the players. The unity they have found has resulted in a great rhythm and impressive performance in the French League and Challenge Cup.

Life Beyond Volleyball

While the volleyball season leaves little room for free time, McDonnell and his girlfriend made the most of the offseason, exploring the beautiful countries of France and Belgium. During road trips, playing card games, reading, and watching movies help pass the time.

Looking Ahead to 2017

McDonnell is excited about the prospect of reuniting with his teammates in the USA gym for training and competition. After playing his first World League game last summer, he has been working hard during his professional season to continue his progress.


Q: What are the challenges of playing for an international team?

A: Playing on an international team comes with unique challenges, such as cultural and language differences, as well as players with varying volleyball backgrounds. However, once the team finds its rhythm, the diversity can be a strength.

Q: How has McDonnell improved as a middle blocker since leaving UC Irvine?

A: McDonnell has made strides in his game since his university days. The faster pace and increased physicality of the National Team have pushed him to improve in all aspects of his game.

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Dan McDonnell’s journey from a promising college player to an international star showcases the dedication and hard work required to succeed in the world of volleyball. As he continues to strive for improvement, McDonnell is a testament to the bright future of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

For more information on Dan McDonnell and his volleyball career, visit Alpinetgheep.