Day 2 in Italy: Preparing for Iran

Aug. 26, 2009, 3:03 p.m. (ET)

Aug. 26, 2009

Well, it's Wednesday and it was a pretty  boring day compared to our venture into Venice yesterday. This blogging stuff can be pretty confusing to someone as computer challenged as I am.  But I will do my best and hopefully we can all enjoy a little about our trip.

If the team slept as much as I did last night, we are lucky we aren't competing until Friday.  I feel like sleeping at about 1PM and don't feel like sleeping at 1AM.  I feel like I have had about two hours of sleep/night.  But boys can sleep anywhere and at any time so they are good with it.

We had a good training session this morning from 9-10:30 and then had some film sessions with our setters (Connor Olbright and Micah Christenson) and then our passers (Evan Mottram (L), Taylor Crabb, Taylor Sander, Nick Gibson and Jeremy Dejno).  Films on Iran (sounds like the 6 o'clock news) continued this evening with the entire team – the above were joined by opposites Maurice Torres and Josh Taylor and middles Spencer Rowe, Tanner Clayton and Dylan Davis. Our stat guy on this trip is Chris Birch and he will help with a lot of our film work.  Seems like an interesting matchup, but as Andy said in the press today, this is sport and should not be viewed with a political slant.

Connor’s father Dave along with wife Patti came to town today. Something like nine or 10 sets of parents are heading our way over the next few days. As we were trying to find the meeting place for what is called the preliminary inquiry (rosters checked, birth dates and passports checked, etc.) Dave reminded me about our trip together with the U.S. Men's National Team to the World Championship in 1978. The team was coached by Doug Beal and Kerry Klostermann (respectively the CEO and the Secretary General of present day USA Volleyball). Dave says he still has nightmares about a sinking city – Doug probably has nightmares about the results. We did not do very well.

U.S. men's  volleyball was in its embryonic stages of a year-round training center hosted by Dayton, Ohio. The Chamber of Commerce and some corporations got behind the team and offered full-time paying jobs for half time work - the team would train at night and be gone about half the year competing.  The project failed eventually. But the city of Dayton and the program led the way for the gold rush of 1984 with future homes in Colorado Springs and currently Anaheim. 

Anyway, so much for History of U.S. Men's Volleyball 101 and back to this team. We have tried to get a scrimmage with another team but to no avail. This team has been training for two weeks but has not played anyone other than ourselves. It may be that our first experience will be against the defending champions on Friday afternoon at 12:30PM. Very different when you are at the World Championship and there is someone unfamiliar across the net. I can hardly wait.

Until tomorrow, yours truly,


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