Tag Archive for 'Volleyball'


Time seems to be moving along quite quickly as of late. I have settled into a routine of riding my bike to work, working out, riding home, working on my house, and sleeping. A few months ago I bought, installed, and configured my weatherstation. Also, I started playing tennis again, or I suppose I should say I plan to resume playing competitive tennis again.

Last weekend I finally had time to do some long awaited Ahuiz Gallery maintenance. I dusted off some old volleyball photos from 1872 and posted them. Hopefully I will find someone with more photos of 2010 NIRSA Nationals. Apparently I was just too busy to take any. Anyhow the additions are as follows:

Volleyball->NIRSA Nationals 2010
Volleyball->NIRSA Nationals 2005
Volleyball->NIRSA Nationals 2003
Volleyball->Camp Phoenix Volleyball
Volleyball->Dale, Texas
Volleyball->All-Navy Volleyball

Holidays->Christmas 2009

Family->Mom and Dad
Family->Tanyas Bunch
Family->Mathews Bunch
Family->Mathews Bunch->Wang Woody Johnson

Miscellaneous->Weather->Weather Station
Miscellaneous->Weather->Hurricane Alex

Mountain Biking->Bluff Creek Ranch pt 1+2

Travel->Texas->Los Maples State Park pt 1+2
Travel->Texas->New Diana (Tanya’s House)
Travel->Texas->South Padre
Travel->Texas->South Padre->South Padre 2010
Travel->Texas->South Padre->South Padre 2010

Motorcycles->My CB500

Shanoh Dorso

Blog Bundling on Volleyball

Men’s All-Navy Volleyball Team

Volleyball has come and gone. It didn’t seem like it was too long ago when I was stressing out each night in my barracks room about being cut from the team due to my poor camp performance. With about 10 days left in the camp I found myself on the starting team, and was getting increasingly comfortable with our setter. My progress however was painfully slow. It seemed that every time I would dust off an old cobweb, I would uncover another. By the time we arrived in North Carolina for the Armed Forces Tournament I was feeling a tad more confident.

Our first match was against the Marines. I was quickly reminded how fickle sports could be. Physically we were prepared, but mentally we were all somewhere else. I don’t really know how to describe it. It was if hold music was playing in our heads. Some of us, myself included, had deer in headlights looks the entire match. We lined up on the court with our 6 starters, me playing OH, and in a blink of an eye we lost the first game 25-17. The next two games followed suit. This was one of those matches that went by so fast that we didn’t even have time to adjust. Instead of seeing the entire game from a bird’s eye view, each of us seemed focused at a micro level on a few individual things. We weren’t really outclassed; we just mentally took a crap. Not having a coach there hurt us a lot. Worse still we faced the problem that would haunt us for the rest of the tournament, finding an emotional floor leader.

Our veteran player John arranged to have the girls coach act as our head coach while we were playing. The next match against the Air force went a little better, but again, we lost in 3 games. Each subsequent match got a little closer and a little better until we finally beat the Army in our 5th match. By then it was too little too late. I was reminded 138139 times by our coach and various female Navy players that I needed to get excited and pumped up after each point despite the outcome of the point. I suppose I used to be an excitable guy however long ago. When it comes to volleyball, I just like to play. I think the only time I can “ManRa” as they call it, is when the other team is talking trash, or when they are a bunch of @$$holes. Each branch was pretty cool to us, so I just did my thing, smiled and prepared for the next point, to the dismay of many of our girls. Since I am a huge San Antonio Spurs fan (25 years strong) I might attempt to blame my new-found stoicism on Tim Duncan. Yeah … I think that’s what I will do.

Apparently several other members of our team had also been counseled. Some of the Navy girl’s parents who were watching asked them if we (the guy’s team) even liked playing. It was a very weird situation. We all knew how to play, but no one could really bring the ManRa. It wasn’t that we were playing bad, but that we weren’t a bunch of cheerleaders. The two games that we did get emotionally involved in we kicked ass. All 6 starters interacted at on even keel, taking turns attempting non-chalantly to motivate the team. I spent many nights analyzing the matches in an attempt to figure out what I could do (sigh *mentally*) to help.

Physically, my play was on and off. I had a bad first match against the Marines, a descent second match against the Air Force where I logged 15-19 on kills, and a bad third match against the Army, when I decided passing was not very important to win. My last 3 matches where we played each branch again were a bit more consistent. I typically got about 15 kills, and passed at or around a 2.1, whereas in the first three games, I would either pass perfect, or horrendous. After about the 3rd match I spoke to our setter Aaron about running 32s on the outside when I was in transition. We did it by chance and quickly noticed that the other branches had a very hard time dealing with the quick inside sets when our middle was also going for a well-passed quick. I believe we even had two matches were I was perfect from 32s hitting 10+. It was funny watching each team we faced adjust to it by stacking their setter or opposite way inside. Due to my shoulder being all jacked up, I still had tons of angle hitting room. Eventually they stacked so far inside on the last match that I had about half the court to turn to when swinging line. That, and sporadic good digging, were my only real successes. Despite everything, two other Navy guys (our Opposite Carlon, and setter Aaron) and I were selected to represent the Navy in the CISM world games (*read below for how that went comically wrong*).

It took me a while to warm up to all the Navy guys, but I already miss them. We had a very cool team. Everyone was easy to get along with. I am slated to be out of the service soon, and have been researching reserve jobs. Personally, I would prefer to join the Air Force Reserves. Knowing that if I did, I would never play with any of the guys again, I have since swayed toward joining the Coast Guard. If I am lucky enough, I will line up again with many of the same guys as a Coast Guard reservist and offer a little payback to the other branches.

The Navy Strikes Again
As I write this, I have an 8 week old travel claim that has not been paid, an 8 week old Tuition Assistance Request that has not been approved, and my ship is forcing me to take an early out by threatening to blow off navadmin 273/06 and deploy me despite the fact that I have not been back from Afghanistan for 6 months. I also received a sub-par eval while I was in Afghanistan (a 3.1) despite earning a Meritorious Service Medal, which by the way is about the highest medal any of our 300 crew members CO included, have received themselves. I should also mention that it is taking an act of God to get any progress on resolving my ankle issue. Apparently the GOOD medical care is reserved for the military members dependents, as they are the only ones that get to see real doctors. We get the expertise of quacks that may have an associates, score in the middle range of the ASVAB, and who like to use silver nitrate incorrectly to cauterize a toenail (future story). All that being said, my dealing with the organization or lack thereof of the sports office took the cake.

I first need to mention that everyone I spoke to was very nice, and that they all attempted to be helpful. In fact, I am not quite sure why it is all broken. We weren’t even told that camp was postponed. We each had to call and find out. We also did not receive valuable information, including what we need to bring and have done prior to arriving to camp, until about a day before we left. Needless to say that most of our team arrived to Jacksonville unprepared. Ironically the three guys that would end up being selected for the CISM team after the tournament (Carlon, Aaron, and I) all took it upon ourselves in camp to fight tooth and nail to ensure that we got our passports in time, (one of the things that was not passed down to us). We each filled out all the form, got everything signed, and went out of our way to rectify that situation.

It was a month or so later, at the All-Armed Services Tournament, where we (three of us) anxiously sat awaiting our names to be called to the CISM team that we learned of our Shakespearian fate. We were each told under the table to make preparations to travel to Rio De Janero for a month. So when the last name was called, and all three of us were still sitting, it was quite a punch in the stomach. Afterward, the Navy Sports Representative informed me that I had been selected, but that our passports had not come in yet, and that they would not take any of us. I cannot tell you the last time the Navy did not send anyone to represent men’s volleyball. All I know is that we each moped back to our barracks and sat around feeling kind of shell-shocked. The morning rolled around soon enough, and as we were boarding the plane, we were each presented with one last little kick in the groin when we simultaneously received text messages indicating that our passports had arrived. ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! The US team placed ninth and even won a match against Venezuela. I frequently checked up on them, and felt sick with envy daily. None-the-less I should be thankful I played at all. I could have spent the time on the ship.


Lots of things going on. I feel like I am standing, feet buried, ankle deep in wet sand, with a 500 ft Tidal wave coming at me at the speed of sound.

I received my award for serving in Afghanistan shortly before I left to go play volleyball. It is my first official award and it is substantial. My medal and ribbon rack is nice and stacked now so I can walk around in my uniforms now with a little pride.

I left a couple of weeks ago to play volleyball for the Navy. Officially this is the first time I had to “try-out” for a position. For whatever reason I left a big shit on the court the first few days. Honestly it was very embarrassing. I cannot recall ever playing so bad. I am still playing sub-par but I have improved significantly. Volleyball has always been something I was never nervous about since I was typically one of the top two players on the court at any competition. Here, I am nervous. It may be because of what is at stake, this being my last opportunity to play for the Navy team before getting out, or perhaps because it may be my last opportunity to play competitively with ankle surgery possibly on the horizon. Presently I am aiming to make the team, and contribute at the All-Armed Services Tournament. I am am able to do so I may be selected to represent the US Armed Services Team in Rio De Janero. Obviously that would be unreal. Presently I am Jacksonville, FL for camp. There is a very interesting group dynamic in that we seem to have all extraverts sans me, so it is a bit hard to keep up with everyone’s group-happy itineraries. Today we have an absurd amount of rain and wind. It was almost like being in the middle of a tropical storm. I even forced myself to walk out against the wind to get some videos of the waves crashing in and the sand flying around. I cannot recall the last time I saw rain. It had been months at least.

I really have to start getting super aggressive with job searching. I have made a goal of applying for 25 positions weekly. I am targeting Colorado Springs, Portland, Brunswick, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and (other) parts of Tennessee, Washington, New Mexico and Alaska. The idea of changing everything in my life in the next few months is a bit nerve racking. A new job, hours, location, etc. Who knows what lies ahead?

The stock market has been very friendly recently. I was able to put away a descent amount of money while I was over in Afghanistan, and in returned have netted an average of 30% on all tickers I have owned for more than a month. The others are also on their way up. I still wish I had more to invest but what’s a guy to do. A day isn’t a day without me checking up on my money. I can see how so many people tend to micromanage their investments.

Live from Afghanistan it’s Saturday night

kankleIt has been a long time my friends. For that I apologize. I have been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. Actually, presently, I am a one legged man looking for an ass kicking contest. 10 Days ago I rolled my ankle again. It didn’t feel too bad this time compared to the situation I had in 2000. Somehow though I just found out that I may be out of sports and everything else I enjoy (Dancing With the Stars) until about Christmas. Honestly, I am a bit bummed by it but what’s a one legged guy gonna do?

Back to more important items. We had a sandstorm shortly after I wrote my last entry. That was kind of fun. I saw the dark gray clouds coming and thought that it was a typical rainstorm. As it got nearer I noticed that it was awfully dark and ominous looking for a simple rain shower. It began sprinkling and a couple of minutes later the sand came, and came, and came. I felt like one of those worms in Tremors. We got some good pictures of the event. Check my Afghanistan gallery in a couple of days for them. I am also going to upload a video that shows the clouds of sand flying over the mountains nearby. Pretty crazy stuff.

A couple of friends from Riley and I have randomly become popular here. I suppose we most of our friends through playing volleyball. It seems that we hang out or chew the fat with at least 5 people nightly. Last night we spent time with 17 different people in a couple of hours. It is kind of getting weird, but we feel like we know everyone on base. We are to this base what Tom is to MySpace. Where do we pick up our awesomeness medals?

One of the reasons why people may know us is because we have already begun brainstorming and even following through on crazy ideas, and stunts. For instance, Doty grabbed his wooden sword that was left to him (you have to see this thing in the Afghanistan gallery) and a wooden trash can lid, donned my volleyball helmet, and perched himself up on our roof to protect our hut from dragons one night. This went on for a while before somebody called the base police suggesting that some drunken dude in a medieval outfit was going to jump off the roof. The irony of that situation was that the cop that was dispatched was our friend who found the whole thing really funny. Doty then proceeded to burst into the cafeteria and eat some ice cream like that. The puzzled looks were priceless.

One of my closest friends just so happens to be a Special Friend. See my previous post for what that means. We have been spending a lot of time together, even though he is smitten by our local Lucy Lu physical therapist. It all started when he took Jared and I to their compound to show off all of their weapons and to show us the bullet riddled Humvees that were involved in the battle that claimed the lives of 10 French Soldiers. Again, for the two blog fans I have out there, the pictures will soon be posted in the Afghanistan Gallery. Unfortunately we are in a wonder years situation as many of our closer friends will be leaving to get out of here soon.

I finally had a suit made here. I cannot recall a better deal than a custom fitted quality pin striped suit modeled to look like an Armani, a custom fitted undershirt, and a tie for 65 dollars. Needless to say I am a very happy customer. Pictures will be posted soon. I plan on getting a couple more.
So it seems as though my military career is coming to an end soon. Only one year left. I have already begun thinking about jobs in central Texas. I am still kind of torn on that situation. No matter how much I love central Texas I still feel that I belong in a cold piney environment. That seems to be when I am most happy. I suppose I will just go with the flow and see where we all end up.

I just finished the last class of my Grad school. I cannot believe it actually happened. I have to admit it came and went so fast. I can honestly see myself pursuing another graduate degree and perhaps, eventually, a post grad degree. I am happy to have my own time now to explore and pursue the random things that I find myself exploring or pursuing.

Oh yes, one other side note, is actually a bit of a disappointment for me; we had an earthquake here a little over a week ago. It registered as a 5.9. I do not know how I did not feel it. I was walking to my office when it happened. I remember everyone in the shop looking around confused as I entered through the doorway. I heard “what the hell was that?” from a few people and by the time I realized what they were talking about the whole thing had come and gone. I might chalk that up to the helicopters that fly overhead and shake everything on base. Who knows? Somehow, someway I missed my first real earthquake.

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