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The Deep Corner
Volleyball League of America
A volleyball podcast hosted by Rob St. Claire with frequent guest appearances by VLA players, figures, and other members of the volleyball world. New episodes on Tuesdays!
Apr 13, 2021
Reigning Champion Captain Tim Falknor on the Icemen's Season Debut - The Deep Corner Ep. 44
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
Apr 7, 2021
Boston Bounce Captain Jeff Vautrin - The Deep Corner Ep. 43
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.
Mar 30, 2021
Team LVC Captain Chris Hosley on the VLA Buffalo Event - The Deep Corner Ep. 42
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
Mar 9, 2021
Two-Time Olympian setter Don Suxho - The Deep Corner Ep. 41
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!
Feb 9, 2021
Rob & Vince go LIVE from Arizona! The Deep Corner Ep. 40
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!
Feb 8, 2021
Special Announcement - The Deep Corner LIVE! Monday night, Feb 8
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
Feb 2, 2021
George Mulry of the Int'l Volleyball Hall of Fame - The Deep Corner Ep. 39
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!
Jan 12, 2021
Lloy Ball on the 2021 VLA season kicking off! - The Deep Corner Ep. 38
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!
Dec 15, 2020
Everett from Volleyball Source! - The Deep Corner Ep. 37
Another guest from north of the border joins the show - Everett Delorme from Volleyball Source! Another absolute must follow for any volleyball fan, Everett has built the Volleyball Source website and brand to almost 14k instagram followers! We spend almost an hour talking volleyball, including fighting for superiority between the NCAA and Canadian USports men's volleyball teams, the growth of the Canadian national team over the last decade, and Everett's take on the best current starting 7 players he could come up with for a superteam. We tackled the big question of how to push volleyball and professional volleyball forward in North America, and we finish up with an absolute must listen story of Everett and Polish superstar Bartosz Kurek. Give @volleyballsource a follow if you haven't already!
Dec 8, 2020
Dan from FiveOne VB and the CEV - The Deep Corner Ep. 36
The Deep Corner is BACK this week with a big guest - Dan Meneley, the CEV digital content coordinator and the man behind the FiveOne Volleyball podcast, instagram, and YouTube channels! Dan gives us some headlines from the big European professional leagues playing right now, which you can hear a lot more about on his podcast. We get into how he got his job at the CEV and how he tackles creating and promoting digital volleyball content all over Europe. He gives his personal "all star team" of the 7 best players in the world right now, then we dive into how a league like the VLA can break through a packed sports market in North America to get the game in front of more people. Dan's an awesome volleyball person, give him a follow @fiveonevb if you haven't already!
Sep 15, 2020
Bri Schunzel from the JVA - The Deep Corner Ep. 35
The JVA Director of Marketing, Education, and Player Development, Bri Schunzel, joins the show this week on behalf of the Junior Volleyball Association, one of the VLA's event partners and friends! Bri was an all star setter in her playing days collegiately and professionally, and now she's approaching her tenth year full time at the JVA. We get into how this unique year has affected our two organizations, what the JVA has done to support its members during the pandemic, how awesome the event partnership will be between the JVA and VLA, and how generally there needs to be more eyes on the high level men's game. Bri was an awesome guest and we love the JVA and their support!
Aug 14, 2020
Icemen All-Tournament Middle Brandon Poindexter - The Deep Corner Ep. 34
VLA Kickoff Classic All-Tournament middle blocker Brandon Poindexter (@brandonp428) joins the show after his Chicago squad's win at the Kickoff Classic a month ago, getting into his volleyball origin story on the east coast, his figurative and literal growth as a player, and how he stays in such spectacular shape. He also has a fascinating and unique perspective on the whole Kickoff Classic weekend, from what it took to get back up to game speed, to how technically he broke down his blocking reads, to how he uses his emotion and energy to fuel his team. Despite some weird audio issues towards the end, still a great chat with a player who has been ALL OVER the highlight tapes on the VLA YouTube channel lately!
Aug 4, 2020
Ascension Libero CJ Suarez - The Deep Corner Ep. 33
Phoenix Ascension libero CJ Suarez (@cjsuarez_) joins the show a few weeks after a stellar performance at the VLA Kickoff Classic to talk us through his volleyball journey. He tells some great stories about being an MVP caliber outside hitter in high school at only 5'10", grinding incredibly hard to make his college team at Cal State Northridge, becoming the starting libero by the end of his college career, and his connection to the Phoenix Ascension. After the standard rapid fire questions, he takes us through each Phoenix match of the Kickoff Classic and wraps up a really positive weekend for his squad. Great interview with an energetic libero with a ton of confidence who's just so much fun to watch.
Jul 21, 2020
LVC All-Tournament Middle Mike Marshman - The Deep Corner Ep. 32
New York Legion middle blocker Mike Marshman (@mikemarshman) returns to the show, with a weekend of VLA volleyball and an all-tournament award behind him, to talk about his team's weekend at the Kickoff Classic. We get into LVC's habit of going to 5 sets, what it takes to shake off rust and build team chemistry quickly during a tournament, what big takeaways New York had from the weekend, and how bright the future of the VLA is. Marsh also announces his return to Cambrai Volley in France, now having moved up to the French A league, and realizes a long time goal of his to play in a league of that caliber. We also touch on the shocking news of Stanford cutting their men's volleyball program and talk about what all you listeners can do to help: click the link in Marsh's instagram bio to sign the petition!
Jul 14, 2020
Icemen MVP Outside Hitter Dave Wieczorek - The Deep Corner Ep. 31
The Deep Corner is back! Chicago Icemen outside hitter and recently crowned MVP of the VLA Kickoff Classic Dave Wieczorek (@davewieczorek) joins the first show since last weekend's event to talk about everything in his volleyball life. He gets into each match the Icemen played throughout the tournament, plus his college career, time spent in the USA gym, and how no matter what, there's #AlwaysMoreAngle. It's been great to get to know a guy who's so talented, hard working, and is now a huge ambassador for our league. Don't miss it!
Jun 30, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 30 - Kickoff Classic preview with Vince Zanzucchi
Live volleyball is happening this weekend! Yes, seriously! VLA Director of Digital Operations Vince Zanzucchi (@vzanzucchi10) rejoins the show to give a preview of what everyone can expect starting Thursday evening, July 2 all the way through Sunday July 5. Make absolutely sure you're subscribed to the VLA YouTube channel, where the Thursday pre-stream and all ten matches throughout the weekend will be streamed live and available on demand, and follow @vlavolleyball on instagram so you don't miss a moment of the action!
Jun 26, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 29 - Cody Kessel
A new addition to the New York Legion roster for next weekend's VLA Kickoff Classic, outside hitter Cody Kessel (@codykessel) joins the show in anticipation of returning to volleyball in a week. He talks about growing up in Colorado where there's barely any boys' volleyball, having USAV legend John Kessel as a father, taking a gap year between high school and starting at Princeton, switching from opposite to outside hitter as a pro, and playing abroad with a record setting number of Americans on a team. We also get into his long standing connections with Team LVC and what a great opportunity being able to play next weekend is. Great chat with a big name in the USA Volleyball world.
Jun 19, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 28 - Zach Melcher
Phoenix Ascension setter Zach Melcher (@zach_em_smack_em) joins the show to talk about his quarterback-like approach to the setter position, his transferring from Cal Baptist to Grand Canyon JUST before Cal Baptist's program was cut, his first professional season overseas in the Czech Republic, and much more. An impressive rapid fire question performance is followed by some Ascension talk - what it's like to have Joe Kauliakamoa as a teammate, what it's like to keep playing with/for Vince Zanzucchi, and how quickly the Ascension are going to be able to shake off the rust before flying east to play in a couple weeks. Great show with a stud setter with a ton of personality.
Jun 12, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 27 - EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT with Tim Falknor
VOLLEYBALL IS BACK! That's right, real, live, professional sports are back on the schedule! VLA Director of Player Relations Tim Falknor rejoins the show to talk a few quick details about the event now on the calendar: July 3-5 at the Ball Sports Academy in Angola, IN. Stay tuned to the VLA social media platforms for many more details!
Jun 9, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 26 - Match Analysis - USA v. Brazil, 2019 FIVB World Cup
Rob (@rstclaire1) goes solo again this episode to break down the play and commentary of a match from last year's FIVB World Cup between the US and Brazil. You'll definitely want to watch the video for this one on the VLA YouTube channel!
Jun 2, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 25 - Mark Jones
Chicago Icemen outside hitter Mark Jones (@mjoneo11) joins the show to break down his volleyball career in detail, from hilariously humble beginnings to a stellar college career at George Mason where he shared EIVA co-player of the year honors with some guy named Aaron Russell. He breaks down the differences between outside hitter and opposite in detail, plus the mindset shifts from beach to indoor at a very high level. We also get into several aspects of how awesome the volleyball community is, from Chicago to nationwide and how all the VLA players are coming together to grow the game. Be sure to check out the episode on the VLA YouTube channel to catch a cameo appearance by Mark's dog, Oakley!
May 26, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 24 - Tomás Goldsmith
Team Pineapple outside hitter Tomás Goldsmith (@tomas.goldsmith) joins the show to talk about his unique volleyball career. He gets into the transition from playing division 1 libero to absolute all star college club outside hitter, how he's continued to level up his game since college, how his jump serve is so crazy good, and how his indoor game translates onto the grass. After the extremely intense quick fire questions Tomás compares playing volleyball to being a professional musician (which he went to school for) and goes through his history with Team Pineapple. Great episode with a star of the league.
May 19, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 23 - Volleyball Broadcasting Analysis
Your familiar host and VLA play by play guy Rob St. Claire (@rstclaire1) goes solo for this show to talk about volleyball broadcasting. Just about everyone in the volleyball community knows what it's like to be frustrated by bad uneducated commentators while watching a match...Rob gets into why it's such a common problem, what it takes to be a better volleyball broadcaster, who are the best in the world, and more. He also breaks down an old USA men's national team match highlight video, looking at the play and Paul Sunderland's commentary. Highly recommend checking out the video version on the VLA YouTube channel, at least for the match analysis portion. Hope you enjoy the slightly different format! Normal episode with a guest coming Friday.
May 15, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 22 - Ryan Windisch
SoCal Rising Tide head coach and occasional libero Ryan Windisch (@tropicalwindy) joins the show to talk about playing, coaching, and everything in between. He has a unique perspective on collegiate volleyball having played at the junior college level, the NCAA division 1 level, and now as the head coach for the Irvine Valley College men's program. We get into how playing libero influences coaching ability, how the Rising Tide roster is shaping up for this season, and what it takes to build team chemistry quickly at the highest level. Check out Ryan's coaching blog at https://acoachspursuit.com/ for more high level volleyball thoughts.
May 12, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 21 - Andrey Diachkov
Ukrainian volleyball rock star Andrey Diachkov (@volleyball.advice) joins the show to talk in depth about his stellar international volleyball career that spans 15 years and several countries. He tells a few incredible stories about 5 set wins, crazy home-and-home CEV matches, playing so well against teams that they have no choice but to sign him to contracts, and what it was like to be the veteran after all his years. After surviving the gauntlet of quick fire questions unscathed, Andrey talks about his move to Houston and transition to coaching and playing in the VLA, including how he first got connected with his squad, the Chicago Icemen. If you don't already know the name Andrey Diachkov, look him up and follow him on instagram! Also quick programming note that the show's release days are changing to Tuesday and Friday, not Monday and Friday anymore!
May 8, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 20 - Eric Martin
The legendary Eric Martin (@mremartin5) of Team LVC joins the show to somehow attempt to condense his 30-ish years of volleyball down to one single podcast. We cover all the changes in how the game is played that E has played through, the journey to the VLA level for a 5'6" utility guy, and the similarities between being a musician and a volleyball player. E also designed the VLA logo and several of our new uniforms, so we get into what makes a great sports logo and try to pick some of our favorite branded sports teams of all time. Don't miss this one.
May 4, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 19 - Mike Marshman
New York Legion middle blocker Mike Marshman (@mikemarshman) joins the show to talk about his crazy last second recruitment to Saint Francis, the amazing progression of his team from his freshman to senior year in college, the differences between playing in France and Finland, and a nice crash course in how to read block in the middle. Mike also gets thrown into the fire with a new quick hitting interview segment, you'll want to see how he hangs in there! Also don't miss his insane story about the volleyball camp where he first got connected with LVC. Great episode.
Apr 27, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 18 - Bruno Amorim
Team Pineapple outside hitter/opposite Bruno Amorim (@brunera16) joins the show after finally getting home to Indiana after an insane stretch of travel disappointments when his Saudi Arabian professional season was cut short. We also cover his amazing volleyball exposure story, try to list every country he's played professionally in, dive into the differences between positions, sand vs. indoor, and playing vs. coaching, and describe what hitting off of Lloy Ball is like. Bruno is an absolute rock star in the volleyball world, really excited for you all to hear this interview.
Apr 24, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 17 - Daniel Davidson
SoCal Rising Tide (@risingtidevb) founder/general manager and VLA Director of Marketing Daniel Davidson joins the show, and we go all over the place talking volleyball. We cover the dangers of the NCAA reducing sports, how Dan consulted the FIVB on how American sports work, the Rising Tide origin story, and breaking into the American professional sports landscape, plus more. Kinda scattered but really interesting interview, looking forward to having Dan on the show again.
Apr 20, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 16 - Dave Hancock
Chicago Icemen middle blocker Dave Hancock (@dave_hancock_) joins the show to talk about his late blooming volleyball career, all the way from his college club days at Purdue to professional volleyball in Germany and in the VLA. He has some great stories and lessons from his volleyball career and continues to be a monster in the middle at every level he plays at. Don't miss this one.
Apr 17, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 15 - Will Foley
VLA Director of Business Development Will Foley (email@example.com) joins the show to bring a unique and detailed perspective on what it takes to build a professional volleyball league in today's American sports culture and landscape. We talk about how to put "butts in seats" at matches, how to get the sport in front of the most people, and how to tap into the existing incredible volleyball community. Also don't miss Will's story on what got him into volleyball in the first place. Awesome interview.
Apr 10, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 13 - Todd Jay
Official VLA Event Photographer Todd Jay (@theetoddjay) joins the show to talk about how ridiculously many photos he's taken in his life, what makes a great volleyball photo, and some of his favorite memories from capturing the sport. The VLA is so lucky to have such a talented guy on board to help capture some incredible moments! Give Todd a follow on social media and check out his website, ToddJayPhotography.com.
Apr 6, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 12 - Blake Leeson
New York Legion middle blocker Blake Leeson (@blake_leeson) joins the show to talk about his humble volleyball beginnings, his quick growth into a starting role on back-to-back NCAA championship teams at Ohio State, and the transition into professional volleyball, plus his connection story to Team LVC and an incredible coincidence about flamingoes. Don't miss this one.
Apr 3, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 11 - Chris Hosley
New York Legion (@teamlvc_vla) captain/team rep and VLA director of league development Chris Hosley (@c_hosley) joins the show to talk about three-peating collegiate national championships back in the day, Team LVC's origins, the birth of their iconic flamingo symbolism, and a lot more about the history and culture of the volleyball scene. Great chat with an awesome league figure.
Mar 30, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 10 - Bryan Lewis
Phoenix Ascension opposite Bryan Lewis (@bryan_lewisvb3) joins the show to talk hitting, serving, and high level volleyball mindset, plus his career and experiences from the college club level all the way to the VLA. Awesome interview.
Mar 27, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 9 - Coley Pawlikowski
VLA Director of Business and Event Operations Coley Pawlikowski (@coleypaw) joins the show to give crucial updates on the VLA schedule amidst the worldwide postponements/cancellations due to the coronavirus. We also chat about her Danish coaching experience, the VLA board's goals for this season and beyond, and why having a volleyball league run by volleyball people is such a great thing. Great episode at a critical time, don't miss it.
Mar 23, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 8 - Dan Starkey
Chicago Icemen outside hitter Dan Starkey (@starkeyvolleyball) joins the show to talk about his unique journey to the professional volleyball level, including his path through college, time spent in the UK playing volleyball and getting a graduate degree, and his last second call to fly to Denmark to join a professional team this season. A really cool look into a rising star for the league.
Mar 20, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 7 - Joe Kauliakamoa
Phoenix Ascension outside hitter/setter Joe Kauliakamoa (@joekauliakamoa) joins the show to talk about his unique and fascinating volleyball career. He's played with and against some big names, has a crazy setting resume, and decided to be a top caliber outside hitter in the VLA just for fun. Make sure to check out this look into one of the more interesting players in the league. Also, go check out our instagram @vlavolleyball to see how you can get involved in the #VLAQuarantineChallenge!
Mar 16, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 6 - Matt August
SoCal Rising Tide middle blocker Matt August (@mattaugust_) joins the show amidst the worldwide coronavirus cancellations to talk about his volleyball career, his first professional season in the Czech Republic, his time with the US National Team, his nasty float serve, and more. Don't miss this great chat with a rising VLA star.
Mar 13, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 5 - Tim Falknor
Chicago Icemen (@chicago_icemen_vla) captain/team rep and VLA Director of Player Relations Tim Falknor joins the show to chat about his unique volleyball background, what it takes to play at a high level, the Chicago volleyball scene, his Icemen squad and its origins, and much more. Don't miss this one.
Mar 9, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 4 - Pasquale Fiduccia
Team Pineapple setter Pasquale Fiduccia (@squalefiduccia) joins the show to talk about joining a brand new collegiate program, his growth as a setter, learning under Lloy Ball, and much more. Great interview with a guy with a ton of personality.
Mar 6, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 3 - Vince Zanzucchi
Phoenix Ascension captain/team rep and VLA director of digital operations Vince Zanzucchi (@vzanzucchi10) joins the show from his Hawaiian vacation to talk about his team, our new Mikasa volleyball, preseason scrimmages, live streaming, and the league's digital strategy. Awesome interview.
Mar 2, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 2 - Griffin Shields
Chicago Icemen opposite Griffin Shields (@griffin_shields) joins the show to talk about his college career, switching positions, recovering from injury, and wearing a very interesting set of jerseys while playing in Germany!
Feb 25, 2020
THE DEEP CORNER Episode 01 - Lloy Ball
The inaugural episode of a new VLA show - The Deep Corner, hosted by Rob St. Claire! The legendary Lloy Ball joins the show for the first episode to talk about his overseas pro volleyball career, his VLA squad Team Pineapple, and what he looks forward to this first VLA season.