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Board Bios: Meredith Coupland  |  Commissioner

We asked our Commissioner to share a little bit of her story, as it pertains to volleyball, with us and our members. Here's the gem we received:

"I heart VB.

I’ve been around the game of volleyball for nearly 40 years now, first as a player and more than half as a coach.  I learned to play under the midnight sun, which may seem like an odd place to develop a passion for both indoor and outdoor volleyball.  While many of my friends were skiers, both alpine and nordic, I found my passion with the bump, set, and spike.  Having an older sister that had an interest in volleyball probably did introduce me to the game, but once I started learning about the play (of the game) I was hooked like those slippery salmon my fellow Alaskans loved to pursue.

What made volleyball so special for me?  A connection to my sister, an indoor sport in a cold weather clime, and outdoor sport that even those “way-north” can play, the uniqueness of a game where the only time a ball can come to rest is when you hold the ball for your serve, the puzzle of figuring out how I can get this ball to rebound off me to the perfect spot for the next person (no catch-and-release like many other sports), the opportunity of assisting my teammates to a fantastic “crush” of the ball, and now in my waning playing years the chance I have to pass on that spark to someone else.  These are probably just the tip of that melting iceberg!

Over the past 4 decades...

Volleyball has changed a lot. I still love visiting a friend of mine at his fabulous home sand court, and playing his house rule “regular” scoring (you only score a point if you are serving - no sideout points) all with the solid white volleyball. That takes me back to those good old days, but I also love the fact that this game that I learned SO long ago has continued to challenge me with new styles of play, like sideout scoring with a let serve, sitting volleyball, and Smashball using a First Touch volleyball with our littlest of players. 

Volleyball has given me tons of enjoyment, and sometimes the painful reality of an injury. I now get to watch the NCAA’s Collegiate Sand Championships and then go and play the sand game with a 5yr old at Browns Park. I get to cheer on Karch Kiraly as a coach, knowing that I also cheered him on when he played on our USA Indoor Men’s Team, winning the gold in ‘84 and ’88 and again while he mastered the sand game in a hot pink hat. I get to watch our US Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team win the Gold in Rio after I learned to play sitting volleyball FROM Heather Erickson, the Rio Olympics MVP, right here in our Region.  I might also want to mention that I even met my husband while playing volleyball!

I have had such great opportunities to learn, to play, to love, to cry and now to share volleyball with you, from the Evergreen Region, and many other volley-crazy people from across the country. That’s certainly a lot of to’s and it’s definitely a lot of “us”.  Now, as USA Volleyball enters into an era of new leadership, something I hold on to daily and would love to share with you is that there are certainly a lot of “us” that are united in the sport we play. Throughout the different states of our Region and throughout America, I truly hope that we will continue to stay united in PLAY!

Volley On!! "