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Thankful Thursday: Ryan Sullivan

Dec 17, 2020

Coach Ryan Sullivan has been a part of Bay to Bay for over four years, but he has been a major contributor to Northern California volleyball for well over a decade.

All About the Athletes

It is easy to see what motivates Coach Ryan when he walks in the door of the practice gym. He arrives early and moves from court to court saying hey to all of the coaches and players and then makes his way to his whiteboard to get his teams practice plan up.

As his players start to trickle in he strikes up a conversation with them individually, maybe even getting in a quick pepper session. Coach Ryan is all about his athletes. He has a tremendous passion for the game of volleyball, something I have seen in him ever since he was in high school at Branham, but his true passion lies in helping the young men in his care.

Comfortable in the Uncomfortable

Like all of our coaches, Coach Ryan knows the struggles of being a young athlete having gone through them himself. What makes Coach Ryan...

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Thankful Thursday: Matt Frankenstein

Dec 10, 2020

Matt Frankenstein (or coach Frank as his players call him) has been a part of Bay to Bay for over a decade, first as a player and then as a coach since 2009. Starting as an assistant for a number of teams while in college, Frank then progressed to the head coach of some of our top "2's" teams, before finally taking over as the 14-1's coach in 2013. 

The Youth Revolution

In that role as 14-1's head coach, Frank took the helm of not only his team, but the entire 14-under program (coach Frank likes to call them "the youth"). He watched all of the 14-under teams, provided advice to younger coaches, and set a standard for excellence for our youngest players that helped set them on the path towards success within the club.

The first few years were not easy. Frank's teams stayed in the Gold division, but were unable to crack the top-5. Mind you, when Frank took hold of the 14's age group we had only two teams in the division, that was it, 14's was the start of the pipeline...

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Thankful Thursday: Matt Alongi

Dec 03, 2020

This Summer, as local COVID restrictions began to loosen, the club knew that we wanted to return to play outside using our grass volleyball nets. We emailed and called every facility we could, no one was willing to rent us space. Defeated, we returned to the drawing board and hopped on Google maps in search of any grassy areas we could find.

Lo and behold we saw Excite Ballpark, home of the San Jose Giants. Lucky for us, coach Matt Alongi is also the VP of Marketing for the Giants. Quickly we put a text out to Matt asking if he thought it would be possible to host grass practices at the stadium. Within five minutes Matt responded with one word: “Yup”.

A week later Matt had gotten health department approval, arranged a rental agreement for us, coordinated dates and times, found us storage space in the stadium, got us signage and equipment to help with flow of traffic, and even served as the facility supervisor for every practice (5 days a week).

Without a doubt, coach...

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Thankful Thursday: Arielle Houlihan

Nov 26, 2020

Today is a special Thankful Thursday, not only because it falls on Thanksgiving, but because it is about my wife and co-Club Director Arielle Houlihan.

Where to begin?

When I first took over Bay to Bay the original plan was that Arielle was going to get a “normal” job in the Silicon Valley. Very quickly, I realized that there was much more to running a volleyball club than meets the eye. Arielle dropped all of her plans and went into Director mode with me.

That is a common theme in my life. I dive head first into the things that interest me, often times without a fully formed picture of the energy required to be successful. Arielle has always been there to support, organize, and prioritize my multiple motivations and turn them into meaningful endeavors.

With Bay to Bay, there isn’t much that Arielle hasn’t put her touch on:

Club rebranding in 2014

Uniform design

Mid-week skills practices

Social media strategy

Coach communication

Conflict management...

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Thankful Thursday: Allison Walewski

Nov 12, 2020

Where to begin with Coach Allie?

Allie has been contributing to the volleyball community for her entire adult life, and we have been lucky enough to have her as a part of Bay to Bay for the past 7 years. Allie brings a tremendous amount of love, energy, and humor to her teams and the club as a whole.

She is often seen as the Yin to coach Franks Yang. Allie is a dependable voice with a fantastic overall understanding of what it takes to be successful as a volleyball player as well as a human being. Throughout her tenure, coach Allie has helped lead our Bay to Bay teams to 4-top finishes at USA Volleyball Junior Nationals, including 1 Silver medal in the 13's division and a National Championship in the 14's division in 2019.

Most importantly, Allie cares deeply about her athletes, their parents, and Bay to Bay as a whole. Thank you for being such a fantastic representative of Bay to Bay, and for always keeping coach Frank (and Ryan Sullivan ) in line.

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Thankful Thursday: Chad Gordon

Nov 05, 2020

Thankful Thursday!

Today we highlight Chad Gordon who has been a part of Bay to Bay for nearly two decades as both a player and now a coach. Chad bounced between 1's and 2's teams at Bay to Bay while attending The Harker School (go Eagles) and became the starting setter on one of the most talented teams Bay to Bay has ever produced (including National Team member Taylor Averill and longtime pro Brian Cook).

No matter where Chad went, whether it be coaching at UCSB or Illinois, he always found time to return back to Bay to Bay when he was home. Ever since work brought him back to the Bay Area, Chad has been a continual force for improvement within our coaching staff. Here are some of the things Chad has helped push forward within our club:

VolleyMetrics video analysis for our eldest teams
The Bay to Bay coaches handbook
Coaching at weekly skills practices
Beach club as coach Alex Jones's right hand man (and baby court specialist)
Weekly Film...

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Halloween Costume Contest ๐ŸŽƒ

Nov 02, 2020

2020 has most definitely thrown some wrenches into our normal club volleyball traditions, but it could not get in the way of our annual Halloween Costume Contest! Each year, we award prizes for the following categories:

  • Best Team Costume
  • Best Individual Costume
  • Best Coaches Costume

Check out the video and let us know which team you thought had the best costume! Head to our Instagram (@baytobayvolleyball) or Facebook stories by November 2nd and choose your winner  

Bay to Bay is a top boys volleyball club located in San Jose in the Silicon Valley of California. We offer high level training, clinics, camps, and travel teams throughout the greater Bay Area.

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World's Greatest Coach: Failure

Oct 30, 2020

Ask yourself this question: who is the best coach or teacher you have ever had? (Pause for dramatic effect).


For many, this question will invoke strong reactions or emotions. Coaches/teachers can be some of the most influential forces in the lives of children and young adults.

Ask yourself this next question: what trait did that coach/teacher have that drew you to them? Maybe it was an enthusiasm for a subject that was contagious. Perhaps, a distinct knowledge in an area that helped spark your interest as well?

Throughout our playing and coaching careers, we would argue that the best coaches and teachers understand the following: Failure is the greatest coach in the world. Rather than provide a long-winded explanation ourselves, let us break to a blurb from one of Seth Godin’s blog posts:

“No one learns to ride a bike from a book, or even a video. You learn by doing it. Actually, by not doing it. You learn by doing it wrong, by falling off, by...

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Thankful Thursday: Joshua Nolan

Oct 29, 2020

Josh Nolan has been one of the unsung heroes of Bay to Bay for the past three years. From the outside looking in, players, parents, and coaches will recognize Josh as one of the staple head coaches in the club. He has assisted and head coached a number of different age group and experience levels, but that is only one small piece of the contributions that Josh has made to the club.

Over the course of his tenure, Josh has:

  • Coached at every mid-week skills practices (Pin Hitters, Setters, Middles/Liberos)
  • Brought equipment to and from the gym when there was no more room in my car (a common occurrence )
  • Coached at every beach practice 
  • Arrived early to the gym to help set up nets and be available to help out
  • Designed the logos for our Strength & Conditioning and Grass Club programs
  • Created t-shirt designs for our Bay to Bay online store
  • Filmed videos and taken photos during practices for our social media channels
  • Helped run check-in and temperature scans for incoming...
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Save Stanford Men's Volleyball

Oct 20, 2020

Wednesday July 8th was tough...

The Stanford decision to cut 11 sports including Stanford Men's Volleyball was shocking to say the least.

Going through this pandemic, we knew that college athletic departments around the country were feeling the hurt and that there was a chance that Olympic sports could see the axe.

Never in a million years did I think that Stanford would be a domino to fall, yet here we are. This decision will reverberate throughout the NCAA as schools grapple with the reality of this pandemic and its effects on the bottom line.

7 years ago University of the Pacific cut my men’s volleyball program and Stanford took me in as a volunteer coach. I have loved each and every moment working with the incredible student-athletes and coaches.

They have given me, my family, and the Northern California volleyball community so much. From coaching at Bay to Bay Volleyball to running one of the biggest youth camps in the area, this program is woven into the fabric of this...
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