2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Monday, February 25, 2008

HWN in Vegas

My first HWN in Vegas was pretty much what I expected from a playing standpoint. I think it was originally slated to be a championship of all the other HWN events but that ended up not being the case. This was just the last of the 19. Worked out well for me.

I was, to be nice, average at best. I think I dug one ball in four 15 point games. Not that I expected to be very good but it would have been nice to play a little bit better. Lambo was solid but Rosy and Casey were in mid-season form. They both looked really really good. Then again, they both have been playing a ton in the HWN so I guess it should be expected that they would be playing at a higher level.

The event was decent. I can't characterize it as great. We are in a 10,000 seat arena and their is probably around 2,000 people there. It looks empty but 2,000 really isn't that bad. The production was good. Music, lights, ect... were well done. Kudos to AEG. From what I heard, all the HWN events went off okay. For a first year thing I would say that is good. I expect this will become a solid aspect of beach volleyball in the future. Hopefully I can be more involved in future years.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Trained against Dax and Billy Strickland down at East Beach this past Thursday. Was a good training session but the weather was really weird. Started raining for about 5 minutes in the middle of our workout. By the end of our workout it was sunny! Pretty cold as well.

The training itself went well. We did some siding out against one another as a warmup plus since it was so cold. They are a very good sideout team. Dax has always been one of the best sideout players in the game but Billy was very good as well. We played about an hour long wash drill to 11. Phil and I won 11-5 but it was a sideout battle with neither team being able to string very many points and sideouts together. You have to sideout and score a real point back to back to get a point. If you sideout and the other team does as well then it is a wash.

We had time for 2 games to 21 after the wash. The first was back and forth and we pulled it out 21-19. The second game Phil and I had a big lead but Dax and Billy chipped away to get to about 3 down towards the end of it. Ended up winning 21-16 or 17.

I was impressed. Dax has a young big man at the net who he can teach. Billy is only going to get better. He has great ball control for a big man. I remember coaching against him in college. He was an outside hitter at Stanford and was the best passer at 6'9 or whatever he is. I particularly remember his blocking as being very good and I remember thinking to myself that this guy should play on the beach when he is done with indoors. He needed to get stronger and he is doing that now. I look for this team to do well this year and be in the mix. They may have some poor to average outings, particularly in the beginning of the year, but they should get better as time passes. It would not shock me to see them in the finals and maybe even winning one too.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Had another good training session against the Canadien team of Mark Heese and Ahren Cadieux on Thursday. We mostly did drills working on some specific things but finished with a match. Phil and I won in 3 games. 3rd game was a barnburner and it was good to get the competitive juices flowing. Mark and Ahren are around the 20th ranked team in the world and it was good to compete against another FIVB team since our first tourney of the year will be on the FIVB in Australia. That tourney is in late March.

Outside of the volleyball training I also had a great week of physical training. Had a couple of great lifts in the gym. Really went hard and heavy this week but it is good to see the strength still there. Also changed it up at the track a little bit. Difficult workout but made it through and felt fairly good. Then got crushed by Kaleo my massage therapist. That might be the most painful "workout" of them all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

First Practice

Vacation is over and it is time to get back to the grindstone. Phil and I had our first practice with another team. We practiced against Aaron Watchfogel and Mark Williams. This is a new team with a lot of fire power. Both of them can bring the noise and both are exceptionally good passers too. They have very potent jump serves and can diversify their offense with both of them being able to hit on two. Aaron is playing the left side and is right handed and Mark is back on the right side and is left handed. Reminds me a little of when Dax and I played.

It was a good first practice for Phil and I as it was good to get some of the rust off. We sided it out a bit with them and played 4 games to 21. Phil and I won all 4 but they were good games. Everyone was a little rusty and it showed in all the little things. All in all I was happy with how we played but recognized we need to improve on some things and continue to just get back in the swing of things.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Maui Vacation 2

Maui was great! Spent some great family and friend time in a beautiful setting. We left at the perfect time too. Started to rain on the day we left and continued to rain until we came back. In the SB area we got 10 to 15 inches of rain over that week. That is pretty much a season's worth for us. Meanwhile, we were hanging out in sunny Maui with temps close to 80 degrees.

The place we were staying was the bomb and absolutely perfect for families. The place is connected to the Grand Wailea Resort and is a Hilton property but instead of hotel rooms they are brand new townhomes that had just been built. I think we were the first ones to stay in our place. We stayed in probably the nicest one that has been built so far. Only 16 of the 120 places have been built but the pool oasis was fully operational. It was almost completely empty everytime we hung by the pool. Our kids all ran amuck and there was no one there to complain. Even when people did show up, they all had kids roughly the same age as ours. The townhome was a 3 bed 3 1/2 bath place with about 3,000 square feet in total. The master was simply dope as really were all the bedrooms. It was nice with a family because you can go to the grocery store and get groceries for meals ect... and have a place to store it all. It's nice to have a place for the kids to relax when they are tired and not be cramped in a hotel room.

We took several trips around the island. We hiked the Lava fields, snorkeled in a couple of different spots, took a hike up the Ioa valley, checked out the sugar plantation and our family drove around the entire West side of Maui. Very treachorous drive but there are amazing pools, a blowhole, and the coast is rugid but beautiful. We also went over to the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel Pool which is great for kids. They have a water elevator, water slides and an amazing pool. Kids loved it.

We saved the road to Hana and the Haleakala volcano for next year. :) We honeymooned there for 2 weeks and did all that stuff back then. Would have been a bit tougher with the kids. We figured we would let them get a year older and attempt that. It was fun and I feel amazingly refreshed physically. Ready for the season now.