Motor MVB: John Speraw

Motor MVB: John Speraw

Motor MVB is creating opportunities for males to play volleyball competitively in the Unitied States and North America. The group is lead by John Speraw, Lloy Ball, Paul Tashima, Kelly Goodsel, Wade Garard, and Marin Gjaja. We were lucky to speak to US Men’s National Team Head coach and UCLA Head Coach John Speraw to learn more about this great project.

The United States has had a lot of success internationally including their recent Bronze Medal at the Rio Olympics and the well document success of their 1984, 1988 and 2008 Gold Medal Teams. What makes their success even more impressive is they rely mostly on the small NCAA school system for athlete development. Currently there are less than 45 schools competing in men’s volleyball at the Division 1 and Division 2 levels.

We asked John what Motor MVB’s plan was to increase the number of male athletes playing the sport.

“If you had everything at your disposal in terms of what you need to do to grow a sport, you’d have 2 focuses.  Growing it at the top end, division 1 and 2, how you are increasing the number of scholarships to incentivize the number of athletes playing.

Then you have to have a grassroots effort to spread the exposure of the game to a lot of boys when they are making a decision at 12, 13, 14 for what they are going to do for a sport.  

We call it the top down, bottom up. We are learning what the best strategies are. We’ve realized we need to increase the number of talented boys playing and we need scholarships available at the top.”

Fans of the NCAA have seen the growth and popularity of volleyball into new areas of the United States affect the sport. Traditionally teams from California have dominated the NCAA Title picture but recently Ohio State and Loyala have combined to win the last four championships. 

“Top to bottom the MPSF is still the toughest. The depth of talent has definitely changed.  You see more players are coming out of the Chicago area. Over the last ten years key players have come out of Flordia.  The success of Loyala and Ohio State demonstrates that there is talent good enough to win all over the country.

We’d like to continue to expand in the North East. There lots of boys that play in New York and Pennsivania and not enough opportunities at the D1 and D2 levels to play.

I think there is real opportunity in the Mid West. Because of the talent and success of the teams that are already there. We’d like to grow in the Big 10 and Pac 12, that is the ultimate goal.“

Boys volleyball is on the rise in Canada and the US. If male athletes can see how exciting and powerful the sport is we will continue to grow our sport. Speraw shared Motor MVB’s plan for the next 10 years with us. 

“It’s exciting. If you look at trends in growth of sports. It is one of the fastest growing youth sports in the US over the last few years. 12% more boys are playing. And it gets great ratings at the Olympic games. There are some signs there that there are opportunities.

We ultimately need to do 2 things. We need to raise money and meet people who are interested in growing the men’s game that have the leadership and financial resources to grow the game. It’s about how we can help athletic departments fund and manage their volleyball programs.”

Then we have to figure out a way to encourage clubs and high schools to get boys to play the game. We need more boys to play and more places for them to go get scholarships.

The third pillar of this would be a pro league. If there was a pro league where good Canadians and Americans could stay close to home or at home that would really be great for everyone and grow the sport for everyone in NORCECA. That’s ultimately the short version of what we need to do.“

When you look at the popularity of volleyball it’s fair for some fans to ask why their isn’t already a professional league on the men’s or women’s side in North America. Coach Speraw shared his thoughts on what it takes to run a successful league in North America.

“I think people look at the sports market in North America and see all of the money that is there and think it’s easy to start a league. I think it is really hard to break in because of the media focus on the major sports.  It’s really hard to break into the conversation. Even if you look at the universities that are so impactful on the sport culture in the United States it’s about one thing, football.

When you start looking at the financials and it looks real big and there is all this money in sports and volleyball would only cost “X” number of dollars why isn’t this possible? It’s really hard to get on TV and generate enough television revenue and get it on ESPN, so it becomes a topic of conversation every night.

When you look at MLS they started it when the world cup was in LA in 94. They launched the MLS and it didn’t make any money for 10 years and that is soccer with a focus around the World Cup. Now they are doing fine and they have learned a lot. We can learn a lot from the MLS that we are looking at. You have to find the right people, right markets, and get it on TV.”

“I think for the first time we have a real organized, disciplined, purposeful system for trying to grow the game in North America. I think it’s going to be exciting to see what we can do. It’s going to take time. This is a 10-year project for us. We have to understand that this is a challenge for all of us that love the game. It’s worth the time and investment to see how far we can take our game.“

If you’re interested donating to Motor MVB or learning more about their plans to grow the men’s game please visit their website http://www.motormvb.com/

LIVE: Beach Volleyball Day 5

LIVE: Beach Volleyball Day 5

Morning

WomenNetherlandsVan Iersel/Meppelinkvs.AustraliaBawden/Clancy9:00 a.m. EST/ 6:00 a.m. PST
MenUSAGibb/Pattersonvs.SpainHerrera/Gavira10:00 a.m. EST/ 7:00 a.m. PST
MenAustriaHuber/Seidlvs.QatarJefferson/Cherif11:00 a.m. EST/ 8:00 a.m. PST
WomenChinaWang/Yuevs.AustraliaArtacho Del Solar/Laird12:00 p.m. EST/ 9:00 a.m. PST

Afternoon

MenBrazilAlison/Brunovs.ItalyRanghieri/Carambula2:30 p.m. EST/ 11:30 a.m. PST
MenNetherlandsBrouwer/Meeuwsenvs.PolandKantor/Losiak3:30 p.m. EST/ 12:30 p.m. PST
WomenBrazilBarbara/Agathavs.SpainElsa/Liliana4:30 p.m. EST/ 1:30 p.m. PST
WomenCosta RicaCharles/Alfarovs.VenezuelaPazo/Agudo5:30 p.m. EST/ 2:30 p.m. PST

Night

WomenUSAWalsh/Rossvs.SwitzerlandForrer/Vergé-Depré8:00 p.m. EST/ 5:00 p.m. PST
WomenArgentinaGallay/Klugvs.Czech RepublicHermannova/Slukova9:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. PST
MenRussiaLiamin/Barsukvs.GermanyBockermann/Fluggen10:00 p.m. EST/ 7:00 p.m. PST
MenCanadaBinstock/Schachtervs.AustriaDoppler/Horst11:00 p.m. EST/ 8:00 p.m. PST

Indoor Volleyball: Canada Stands Tall in Loss to Brazil

Indoor Volleyball: Canada Stands Tall in Loss to Brazil

Canada's men's indoor national has suffered their first loss of Rio 2016 to world No. 1 Brazil 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17) at the Maracanazinho last night. 

Despite the loss, it was a gritty performance that Canada can take multiple positives from. They went toe-to-toe with the world's top team, and proved once again they're to be taken seriously at their first Olympics in 24 years. 

Brazil's offence was firing on all cylinders tonight - with Bruno working his magic that had four of his hitters in double digits, led by the monster outside duo of Lucarelli and Mauricio who scored 16 and 15 respectively. For anyone who was wondering if Brazil would suffer from the absence of Murilo: the answer is no. 

Gord Perrin led Canada with 15 points, while Nick Hoag chipped in 14 of his own - four of those coming in the form of stuff blocks. Libero Blair Bann was also impressive tonight - clocking in six digs while leading the leading in serve receive with over a 50% success rate.

One thing Canadian fans will want to follow will be the health status of opposite hitter Gavin Schmitt. The Saskatoon native seemed to have tweaked his shoulder on a play late in the first set, and was subbed off in the third after scoring 12 points in obvious discomfort. 

With near 12,000 fans behind them, Brazil came out firing on all cylinders, forcing the Maple Volleys to play catch up early. Down 21-17, they battled back by tightening up their serve and block game and forcing Brazil to make a few errors. Down 24-23, Rudy Verhoeff came in just time for a few tough floatters - finishing the comeback with a 26-24 win. 

 Gord Perrin leads the Canadian players in the questioning of a call  Photo: FIVB

Gord Perrin leads the Canadian players in the questioning of a call  Photo: FIVB

Going down 1-0 is now familiar territory for Brazil, and they showed throughout the rest of the match why they're favoured to win gold. Not succumbing to panic, they picked up where they had left off and continued the relentless onslaught. Bruno's ability to run a dominating offence through the middle and the fast pace of delivery to the outside creates endless seams for his attackers. 

While Canada stuck around and pressured the hosts throughout - they were never able to regain the upper hand they briefly held at the end first. Their best chance was late in the third as they were in the midst of a run - only to be stopped by a questionable reach-over call on Gord Perrin. 

With the loss, the Maple Volleys sit evenly at 1-1 in Pool A, in a tie with France for third. Ahead of them sit Brazil and Italy, who handed the USA another loss today to remain undefeated, at 2-0, while Mexico joins their neighbours to the north at 0-2 

Next up for the Maple Volleys is a date with France at 4:00 p.m. EST/ 1:00 p.m. PST on Thursday. Currently ranked No. 10 in the world, the French team is one of the hottest in the FIVB. They won the 2015 FIVB World League by going undefeated, a first in World League history, and followed with the 2015 CEV European Champions - a first for Les Bleus. 

 

 

 

 

LIVE: Indoor Volleyball Day 4

LIVE: Indoor Volleyball Day 4

Day 4 of the Olympic indoor volleyball competition is here, and the Maple Volleys are ready to do battle once again after a huge 3-0 over the United States to open the games. 

It gets no easier today, playing in the primetime slot against the No. 1 team in the world and hosts, Brazil. Canada will have to back up their stellar performance on Sunday in front of 11,000 Brazilians who won't be so friendly this time around. 

Brazil opened the tournament a little rocky by dropping the first set to Mexico, but bounced back to secure the win. A team that has medalled in every major event since the early 2000's, the home squad are definite favourites. 

While their last encounter was a 3-0 win in favour of Brazil at the 2014 World Championships, Canadian fans won't soon forget an epic five-setter back in 2012, just before the London Olympics, where Canada knocked down the Brazilian legends. And given what we've seen so far from this team - nothing is out of the question.

🇺🇸 USA vs. 🇮🇹 Italy

If you're looking for something to do to pass this afternoon, the Italy vs. USA match would be a good place to direct your attention. Two of the most dynamic offences in the world should provide for some serious entertainment.

The U.S. is looking to bounce back from their lackluster game against Canada, while Italy is coming off an impressive 3-0 spanking France - not an easy feat these days. To add fuel to the fire the Italians are the ones who abruptly ended the U.S.'s 2012 Olympic run in the quarters - something the Americans aren't like to soon forget. 

 

Morning

MenRussiaRussiavs.ArgentinaArgentina8:30 a.m. EST/ 5:30 a.m. PST
MenFranceFrancevs.MexicoMexico10:30 a.m. EST/ 7:30 a.m. PST

Afternoon

MenItalyItalyvs.USAUSA2:00 p.m. EST/ 11:00 a.m. PST
MenPolandPolandvs.IranIran4:00 p.m. EST/ 1:00 p.m. PST

Night

MenCubaCubavs.EgyptEgypt7:30 p.m. EST/ 4:30 p.m. PST
MenCanadaCanadavs.BrazilBrazil9:30 p.m. EST/ 6:30 p.m. PST

LIVE: Beach Volleyball Day 4

LIVE: Beach Volleyball Day 4

It's another big day on Copacabana Beach! Day 4 brings tons of action, as the second half of the tournament will play their second match. Here what you need to know to get you started.

🇨🇦 Saxton/Schalk vs. 🇧🇷 Evandro/Pedro - 9:00 a.m. EST / 6:00 a.m. PST (TSN 2)

Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk will kick-off day four, taking on the hometown favourites Evandro/Pedro. Both teams dropped their opening match in three sets and will be hungry to even out their record in the Pool of Death.

🇱🇻 Samoilovs/Smedins vs. 🇨🇺 Diaz/Gonzalez - 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. PST

The other half of the Pool of Death - this match is guaranteed fireworks with two offensively powered teams. The Latvians are currently one of the hottest teams in the world and ranked #1, while the Cubans are dangerously unknown and upset Evandro/Pedro on their own court to open competition.

🇨🇦 Broder/Valjas vs. 🇩🇪 Ludwig/Walkenhorst - 5:30 p.m. EST / 2:30 p.m. PST

Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas opened the Olympics with a big with over Italy, but they raise the stakes considerably today against Germany's Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. The Germans are leading the FIVB this season with five gold medals, and have only been off the podium twice all season. 

🇨🇦 Pavan/Bansley vs. 🇨🇭 Heidirch/Zumkehr - 11:00 p.m. EST / 8:00 p.m. PST

The first 'Midnight Madness' match for Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley, the pair will have to be at their best to maintain top spot in Pool E. Fresh off of silver medal finish at the Klagenfurt Major, Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich are not a team you can sleep on.

 

Morning

MenCanadaSaxton/Schalkvs.BrazilEvandro/Pedro9:00 a.m. EST/ 6:00 a.m. PST
MenUSALucena/Dalhauseurvs.MexicoOntiveros/Virgen10:00 a.m. EST/ 7:00 a.m. PST
WomenItalyMenegatti/Giombinivs.EgyptElghobashy/Mewad11:00 a.m. EST/ 8:00 a.m. PST
WomenPolandKolosinka/Brozstekvs.RussiaBirlova/Ukolova12:00 p.m. EST/ 9:00 a.m. PST

Afternoon

MenLatviaSamoilovs/Smedinsvs.CubaDiaz/Gonzalez2:30 p.m. EST/ 11:30 a.m. PST
WomenBrazilLarissa/Talitavs.USAFendrick/Sweat3:30 p.m. EST/ 12:30 p.m. PST
MenNetherlandsNummerdor/Varenhorstvs.PolandFijalek/Prudel4:30 p.m. EST/ 1:30 p.m. PST
WomenCanadaBroder/Valjasvs.GermanyLudwig/Walkenhorst5:30 p.m. EST/ 2:30 p.m. PST

Night

WomenGermanyBorger/Buthevs.NetherlandsVan Gestel/Van der Vlist8:00 p.m. EST/ 5:00 p.m. PST
MenItalyNicolai/Lupovs.TunisiaNaceur/Belhaj9:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. PST
MenRussiaKrasilnikov/Semenovvs.ChileGrimalt/Grimalt10:00 p.m. EST/ 7:00 p.m. PST
WomenCanadaPavan/Bansleyvs.SwitzerlandHeidrich/Zumkehr11:00 p.m. EST/ 8:00 p.m. PST

LIVE: Indoor Volleyball Day 3

LIVE: Indoor Volleyball Day 3

After Canada's stunning 3-0 win over the United-States yesterday afternoon, they have a day to rest up before taking on hosts Brazil on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. EST/6:30 p.m. PST. With the men getting the day off, the women take the floor of the Maracanazinho for their second day of competition. 

The USA women are looking to build on their opening win over Puerto Rico against the Netherlands in Pool B action. The Dutch kicked off their tournament with a thrilling five-set win over China on Saturday. 

Below you can find live streams for all of today's indoor volleyball matches. 

  •  All live streams will be available shortly before the start of the match. 

Morning

WomenChinaChinadef.ItalyItaly3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-16)
WomenJapanJapandef.CameroonCameroon3-0 (25-20, 25-25, 25-17)

Afternoon

WomenUSAUSAdef.NetherlandsNetherlands3-2 (18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10)
WomenSerbiaSerbiadef.Puerto RicoPuerto Rico3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-20)

Evening

WomenRussiaRussiavs.KoreaKorea7:30 p.m. EST/ 4:30 p.m. PST
WomenArgentinaArgentinavs.Brazil9:30 p.m. EST/ 6:30 p.m. PST

LIVE: Rio 2016 Beach Volleyball Day 3

LIVE: Rio 2016 Beach Volleyball Day 3

It's day 3 of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament and there's plenty of action on the schedule! Canada's Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter are looking to bounce back from their opening loss to Brazil against Italy's Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambulaat 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST

Here's you full schedule for Day 3 for Beach Volleyball at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Morning

WomenSwitzerlandForrer/Vergé-Déprédef.AusraliaArtacho Del Solar/Laird19-21, 21-16, 21-19
WomenBrazilBarbara/Agathadef.ArgentinaGallay/Klug21-11, 21-17
MenRussiaLiamin/Barsoukdef.PolandKantor/Losiak21-14, 21-17
MenQatarCherif/Jeffersondef.SpainHerrera/Gavira13-21, 21-18, 15-12

*Live streams available at game time


Afternoon

MenAustriaDoppler/Horstdef.BrazilAlison/Bruno23-21, 16-21, 15-13
MenAustriaHuber/Seidldef.USAGibb/Patterson21-18, 21-18
WomenNetherlandsVan Iersel/Meppelinkdef.Costa_RicaAlfaro/Charles21-16, 21-16
MenNetherlandsBrouwer/Meeuwsenvs.GermanyBockermann/Fluggen5:30 p.m. EST/ 2:30 p.m. PST

Night

MenCanadaBinstock/Schachtervs.ItalyRanghieri/Carambula8:00 p.m. EST/ 5:00 p.m. PST
MenSapinLiliana/Elsavs.CzechSlukova/Hermannova9:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. PST
WomenAustraliaBawden/Clancyvs.VenezuelaPazo/Agudo10:00 p.m. EST/ 7:00 p.m. PST
WomenUSAWalsh/Rossvs.ChinaWang/Yue11:00 p.m. EST/ 8:00 p.m. PST

Indoor Volleyball: Canada Shuts Down USA to Open Olympics

Indoor Volleyball: Canada Shuts Down USA to Open Olympics

What a way to end a 24 year drought. 

The Canadian men's national team has opened the 2016 Rio Olympics with a huge 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) upset over the U.S.A. in Pool A competition at the Maracañazinho. 

Nick Hoag was crafty all night long, leading Canada with 14 points while Gavin Schmitt was dominant, adding 13 points as Canada frustrated a struggling American side led by Matt Anderson who punched in 15 of his own.  The Americans are currently ranked 5th in the world while Canada sits at 12th. 

 Gavin Schmitt was once again in beast mode - scoring 13 points and hitting a .428.  Photo: FIVB

Gavin Schmitt was once again in beast mode - scoring 13 points and hitting a .428.  Photo: FIVB

The Maple Volleys kept things simple all match long and stayed calm despite trailing much of the second and third sets. Their serving wasn't electric, with Hoag the only one to rattle off a couple aces, but keeping the errors low and forcing the American serve receive to make tough decisions resulted in nine blocks for the Canadians - many coming at key moments. 
 
Making a total of 28 errors was not the way the 2015 World Cup Champions had imagined starting the Games. The Americans serve receive was frustratingly inconsistent while their serving was even worse -  18 errors as a team and Anderson leading the way with five and no aces, and rare stat line for one of the world's elite. With three starters under the age of 25, you can't help but wonder if the pressure of the games was a little too much for this young, talented squad.
For me the motivation to be performing is this right here (pointing to the Canadian flag on his jersey). We’re here to represent Canada and we all want to represent our country well, and we want to prove that we can compete with anybody and we can beat anybody.
— Gavin Schmitt

Canada's road will still be tough in the Pool of Death. Italy, France and hosts Brazil still remain as well as a Mexican team who's got nothing to lose - they're far from being out of the woods yet. But it's a huge step in towards the knock-out stage and the 3-0 win will go a long way for the inevitable tie-break at the end of preliminaries.

Most importantly, it's once again a message to the world the Maple Volleys aren't in Rio to be tourists - and it doesn't matter who's in front of them. 

Canada's next game is on Tuesday August 9th at 9:30 p.m. when they'll take on the No. 1 team in the world and hosts, Brazil. 

 

Olympics: Orsi Toth Tests Positive

Olympics: Orsi Toth Tests Positive
 Viktoria Orsi Toth (left) and her partner Marta Menegatti (right)   Photo: FIVB

Viktoria Orsi Toth (left) and her partner Marta Menegatti (right)   Photo: FIVB

Just a few days out from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the Italian Volleyball Federation has announced that beach volleyball player Viktoria Orsi Toth has tested positive for Clostebola, a substance currently banned by the World Anti-Dopping Agency. She will be suspended from all competition until further notice.

Orsi Toth and her partner Marta Menegatti, who are currently ranked #10 and finished Olympic qualifying at #8, was scheduled to kick-off her Olympic competition on August 7th against Canada's Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas

With this news, Menegatti will be allowed to continue her competition and reports suggest she'll chose American-turned-Italian Rebecca Perry who was once apart of the American indoor program and became a naturalized Italian citizen eight months ago. 

Make sure you subscribe to all the Volleyball Source channels for your full Olympic coverage!

You Are Meant To Be Here

You Are Meant To Be Here

 

Martin Reader - Beach Volleyball Olympian


It is 2012 and Josh and I are minutes from our first game in the London Olympics. We are in the stadium tunnel poised to burst onto centre court like a cannon ball. The stadium is blowing up with every fan stomping their feet, clapping and screaming; the air in my lungs is vibrating. We are playing Great Britain at home in the best venue at the games. The world is watching and the vibe is like nothing I have ever felt.

You can’t fully prepare for something like this. Yes, it comes down to training, hard work and peaking at the right time, but no amount of visualization and sweat can prepare you for centre court at the Olympics. The stadium seats 12,000 people. There are 13 HD cameras covering the court for the world to see, 24 dancers to entertain the crowd, and constant music and hype from the mic. They have set up the best serving of beach volleyball the sport could possibly offer. If there ever was a time to perform this would be it.

Back to the tunnel. The refs are introduced and begin their walk out. The curtain is pulled and for the first time I see what awaits us. I can only liken it to how a gladiator must have felt entering the coliseum. The air thick and charged in anticipation of the impending battle. Hot, sweaty, loud, crazy; the gladiator’s fate clearly laid out before him with no looking back. I turn to Josh and want to say something but I draw a blank; the power of the moment has left me speechless. In that instance it is as if I am about to be in an accident and my beach journey flashes before my eyes. I see myself as a 10-year-old boy on the court with Randy Stoklos introducing me to the game. I see my first tournament, my first Provincial medal, my first National medal. I see myself playing at the U21 Worlds, playing on the World Tour, winning two Continental Championships and ultimately the Olympic berth.

 Photo: FIVB

Photo: FIVB

BOOM. My confidence swells and I realize I am supposed to be here. I have earned my way to this moment and this is my calling. In a moment I am able to own everything about my situation. From scared to confident. From nervous to poised. From uncertainty to total ownership. It was Josh and I who had given everything we had to earn the right to wear CAN on our jerseys and the hopes of our nation. I turn to Josh and simply say “We are supposed to be here Brother.” He nods. They call my name and I burst into the centre court spectacle, excited and totally prepared to own my destiny - I was meant to be here.


Fast forward to present and Canada is being represented by 4 world class teams in the 2016 Olympic Games, all of whom have competed tooth and nail to be there. Volleyball in Canada has never been better; we will be seriously challenging the podium in Rio. They are talented, confident and prepared after a breakout quadrennial leading up to the tournament on Copacabana next week. It is now up to our athletes to find their peak performances in the madness that is the Olympics.

They have earned the right to wear CAN on their jerseys - they are meant to be there.