SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
The Las Vegas Ramblers have announced their core roster for their inaugural 2020 season in the National Volleyball Association, which will begin competition in April. After holding tryouts in the valley in December 2019, and recruiting around the nation, the Ramblers have signed 14 players of their maximum 20-man roster allotted by the NVA for 2020. A lot of thought has gone into these decisions by Ramblers management, and they seem excited at what they have thus far. Team owner Vinny Rodriguez said in a statement, “We wanted to start with the best that Vegas has to offer in terms of volleyball talent. With that core established, we wanted to build another part of the team to train in Southern California, to reinforce that core with the talent that this region offers.” he said. Rodriguez, who has roots in Las Vegas, but played in Southern California, knows the importance of drawing from different areas to compile a legitimate contender. The team is as follows:
Setters: Tanner Maxwell (Grand Canyon), Michael Keegan (IPFW)
Outside Hitters: Sam Holt (CSUN), Gino Gamboa (UC Santa Cruz), Max Osmundson (Hope Int’l), Antonio Boucher (LBCC), Nick England (UCI Club)
Opposites: Quinn Peterson (Juniata), Vinny Rodriguez (Concordia University-Irvine)
Middles: Antwain Aguillard (Long Beach State), Josh Duarte (Concordia University-Irvine), Mark Lane (Golden West College)
Liberos: Ryan Manoogian (Long Beach State), Trevor Robinson (Holy Names)
The team features players with varying levels of experience. There are some guys with high-level college volleyball experience, overseas experience, and even minor stints with the national team. There are also some members of that team lacking that high-level experience. It will be interesting to see how this core group comes together and fares against some tough NVA competition, especially considering they don’t all train in the same city.
“We love that we have a diverse mix of guys. We have youth, experience, high-level, guys hungry for high-level action, and everything in-between” said Rodriguez, “I think this is what the Ramblers were always supposed to be about, and the fact that we team/training is split between Southern California and Las Vegas only adds to that idea. We will all be fired up to compete this season!”
The Ramblers management has expressed heavy interest in signing more players to that core roster before the league deadline. A majority of that interest aimed at college seniors as they finish up their collegiate careers this Spring. It will be interesting to see who is added to this core roster in the next couple of months. Be sure to follow along on Ramblers social media as well as the NVA app.
One of the biggest strengths of the NVA is the ability to allow great players, who compete professionally overseas but don’t necessarily get the opportunity to play with the national team, a chance to showcase their skills domestically. They are able to continue to grow as a player developing and fine tuning their skills year-round. One of those elite players is Ryan Manoogian, who is returning to Finland this Fall to compete for Loison Raimu and hopefully win the Finnish league.
Ryan Manoogian has a deep and impressive volleyball history, playing at Orange Coast College in 2014 where he won a state championship, and then transferring to Long Beach State where he finished his collegiate career in 2017. Since then, he has continued playing overseas in Austria, Norway, and Finland. Ryan mentioned his excitement at going back to Finland, “I am very happy that Roison Loimu picked me up this summer, as they’re a very good team and have a deep history of being one of the best teams in Finland.” He continued, “Our head coach is the Swedish national team head coach which is very exciting. We also have two Argentinian National Team players and one Finnish National Team player, so the roster is going to be super explosive.”
Although Ryan spends most of the year competing overseas, the summer is also filled with training and competing for the Las Vegas Ramblers, which is led by General Manager, Vinny Rodriguez. When asked about his experience with the Ramblers, Ryan said “I am really high-spirited playing with the Ramblers because every teammate is a team player, hungry, and always looking to evolve and take their game to the next level.” He continues to equate playing for the Ramblers to playing for a hometown, by explaining that, “Every Rambler tries their best in practice and in games because Las Vegas people are so proud of where they’re from, and although I am not from Vegas myself, I am proud to be part of such a great team.”
Finally, Ryan shared his excitement big picture, stating, “I believe the NVA looks like a really fun league to play in and I keep seeing big names joining the league” He continued, “The NVA owners seem so passionate about bringing big time volleyball here to the United States where it would thrive as a professional sport.”
Like most, Ryan misses home often but that doesn’t deter him from chasing his dream to become the best volleyball player he can become. “I want to play until I'm 40 years old! I want to continue to constantly grow and develop and push my body to the limit” He concluded with “The one thing I want in life is to not have any regrets, and volleyball will never be a regret, this is what I believe I was put on Earth to do.”
The Ramblers look forward to keeping an eye on Manoogian’s continued progression, and bring him back in as a top libero once he’s back stateside.
When creating the Las Vegas Ramblers, team owner and GM Vinny Rodriguez knew that he was going to have a unique situation - running a roster with players in both Las Vegas and Southern California. In order for the Ramblers to be successful, he would have to build a roster full of experienced and versatile players who would be able to come together and seamlessly gel as a unit.
“I wanted to build a roster that was full of players who are not only well rounded on the court, but have a strong mental-game off the court. We need to be dynamic in order to be successful as we have a unique situation with a split roster, so finding players that can bridge that gap seamlessly will be a critical part of our team's success,” Rodriguez stated.
The team found a key piece of their roster in Southern California native, Gino Gamboa. As a four-year veteran from UC Santa Cruz and touting 2 years of international experience playing in the UK and Denmark, Gamboa looks to be an integral part of the Ramblers squad moving forward. With ample experience as both an outside hitter and as a right side, Gino is a student of the game whose positive attitude and well-rounded playstyle makes him a threat for the young Ramblers roster. He recalls “My Junior year my coach comes up to me and is like ‘hey we want to try you on the right side but have you be a passing oppo’.” It would not be a starting spot, but Gamboa knew the doors that it could open, “We didn’t have a backup right side; or a solid one like say if he got hurt” so when his coach asked if he was interested, it was of course a resounding “Yes!”.
“Those kind of skills are a necessity for this team” Rodriguez noted, “that’s the exact mentality I need from my players”
When watching Gino, the most impressive part about his game is not just the explosive back row presence, but his mental aptitude and energy on the court. He is a highly motivated and energetic player that is driven by his passion to continue learning the game and pursue being one of the best.
A large ankle Injury at the end of his NCAA career may have left a bit of a sour taste in his mouth, but the NVA and the Las Vegas Ramblers are making sure to provide a perfect stage for Gino to return to the spotlight and make his mark.
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LAST MATCH Nov 08, 2020
25-19 | 25-23 | 25-22 | |