Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

NCAA Men’s Tourney Showcases Talent from USAV Connections

The NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship semifinals this week at George Mason University are brimming with talent. Players and staff from all four teams have strong connections to USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program (NTDP) and the U.S. National Team.

LBSU Staff and Athletes with Strong Ties

Long Beach State (LBSU) boasts a coaching staff with impressive credentials. Head Coach Alan Knipe, who served as the head coach for the U.S. Men from 2009-2012, continues to assist with NTDP teams. Associate Head Coach Nick Macrae, Assistant Coach Andy Reed, and Statistical Coordinator Jon Parry have all contributed to NTDP age group national teams.

LBSU libero Mason Briggs has gained valuable experience competing on the international stage, representing the U.S. in events such as the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), World Championship, Pan American Cup, and Pan American Cup Final Six. Spencer Olivier, another LBSU player, has also participated in the Pan Am Cup Final Six and NTDP age group teams.

Additional LBSU athletes who have made their mark on indoor age group national teams include Chris Connelly, Island Doty, Clarke Godbold, Dane Hillis, Shane Holdaway, and Aiden Knipe. Nathan Harland and Ryan Peluso have contributed their expertise to the NTDP beach program, while Sebastian Rodriguez has excelled in both indoor and beach volleyball.

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UCLA’s Strong Representation

UCLA Head Coach John Speraw is not only leading the Bruins but also assumes the role of head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Assistant coaches Nick Vogel and Brandon Taliaferro have played at the highest level, representing the Men’s National Team. Volunteer assistant Morteza Shiari has also been involved as a volunteer assistant for the U.S. Men.

Ethan Champlin, Merrick McHenry, J.R. Norris IV, and Grant Sloan have proudly sported the U.S. Men’s jersey in Pan Am Cups. Alex Knight, Cole Pender, Zach Rama, Andrew Rowan, and Micah Wong-Diallo have showcased their skills on NTDP age group national teams. David Decker and Matthew Edwards have trained with NTDP beach teams, with Edward recently securing a spot on the Beach Collegiate National Team.

Penn State’s Talented Roster

Brett Wildman has made a name for himself, competing with the U.S. Men’s team in Pan American Cups and the NORCECA Championship. He has also been a part of NTDP age group teams. Toby Ozeonu joined the U.S. Men at the 2022 Pan American Cup.

Cole Bogner, Cal Fisher, Blainey Jones, Ryan Merk, and Canyon Tuman have all represented the U.S. on indoor age group national teams. Michael Valenzi has showcased his prowess on the Beach Collegiate National Team. The experienced coaching staff at Penn State, including Associate Head Coach Colin McMillan and Assistant Coach Patrick Shawaryn, have both coached NTDP teams. McMillan has also played on the Men’s National Team.

Hawaii’s Notable Connections

Hawaii’s coaching staff includes Milan Zarkovic, who has coached NORCECA and Pan Am Cup teams, and Kupono Fey, who has played for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

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By highlighting these connections to USA Volleyball and the U.S. National Team, it’s evident that the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship is a thrilling platform for showcasing the talent nurtured through these programs. The competition promises to be fierce, with players and staff who have honed their skills at the highest level of the sport.

FAQs

Q: How are the teams in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship connected to USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program?

A: Players and staff from all four teams have connections to USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program (NTDP) and the U.S. National Team. These ties include coaching experience, playing for national teams, and training with NTDP programs.

Q: Which players from Long Beach State have strong connections to USA Volleyball?

A: Long Beach State has a strong contingent of players with connections to USA Volleyball. Notable athletes include Mason Briggs, who has represented the U.S. in various international competitions, and Spencer Olivier, who has also competed on NTDP age group teams. Several other LBSU athletes have played on indoor age group national teams or worked with the NTDP beach program.

Q: What connections do UCLA’s coaching staff and players have to USA Volleyball?

A: UCLA Head Coach John Speraw is also the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, while assistant coaches Nick Vogel and Brandon Taliaferro have donned the national team jersey. Multiple UCLA players have represented the U.S. Men in international competitions or played on NTDP age group national teams.

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Summary

The NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship semifinals at George Mason University bring together teams with strong connections to USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program (NTDP) and the U.S. National Team. Long Beach State, UCLA, Penn State, and Hawaii feature players, coaches, and staff who have significant ties to these prominent volleyball programs. With athletes who have competed internationally and coaches who have guided national teams, this championship promises to showcase top-tier talent. Don’t miss the finals on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT, where UCLA and Hawaii will battle for the championship title.