Meg Donnelly | Massage • Mindful Mobility
NoVA Weekend Warriors on HCTV | Building Community through Volleyball with NVVL
Prior to the pandemic in January 2020, Meg met with Shirali Shah Trietley, founder of the Northern Virginia Volleyball League along with some of the coaches and players of the league.
Since taping, Shirali has since moved on to other exciting adventures and the league has morphed and taking on a new name, a new location and new leadership (which will will hear all about in Season 3)! But in the meantime, this "lost episode" has great information for those interested in getting started with volleyball, looking to return to the sport, or just looking to find community! So excited to share this awesome conversation with the awesome women of the (former) Northern Virginia Volleyball League.
And if listening inspires you to connect with the new league, don't wait until Season 3! Reach out to Meg at novaweekendwarriors.com and she'll get you in touch with Holly, who's heading up the new league and who is featured on this episode as well!
Look for additional lost episodes weekly as we catch up! Then, we’ll move to monthly with our new episodes dropping in June.
Auto transcription by https://otter.ai
Recorded January 2020 • 27:17
Shirali Shah Trietley, Founder and Coach, Northern Virginia Volleyball League, Coach Holly Dobrynski and Team Players Yoko Linam, Jane Ramey, Yoko Linam, Anna Stock and Siu Parker.
Meg Donnelly 00:32
Hello Northern Virginia. This is Nova weekend warriors for those runners, cyclists, athletes, outdoor enthusiast and fans of fitness in the Northern Virginia area. I'm your host, Meg Donnelly, a licensed massage therapist in Herndon, Virginia, who focuses on those weekend warriors. Today is really exciting for me, because I'm in what I'm going to call a hidden gem with a hidden gem. And we are here today at Hoops Plus, which is in sterling. And while I am here with Sheree Raleigh, and Serravalle is the founder of the Northern Virginia volleyball League. Welcome.
Shirali Shah Trietley 01:11
Meg Donnelly 01:13
So the reason why I say this is a hidden gem is because personally, I grew up on the Jersey Shore. And so what I know about volleyball is like beach volleyball, right? And so watching it and all of that. But as an adult, it didn't dawn on me that we have a wonderful wealth of fitness options here in Northern Virginia. And one of them is volleyball. And you've recently started a volleyball league.
Shirali Shah Trietley 01:40
Yeah, I did just in June, actually,
Meg Donnelly 01:42
In June . So this is brand new right now. So Shirali, why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself. And then maybe you can tell me a little bit about how you got started with your own league.
Shirali Shah Trietley 01:57
So I I've grown up in this area. I've been here since I was I was born in Alexandria. So I've lived all my life. I coached in high school, I also when I was in High School, played there. And now I also coach, I actually coach at this facilty, which is how I found this facility because I loved it so much coaching here. And then I used to play on several different leagues, after I came back from college. And last winter, so about a year ago, I realized that there was no place to play during the winter break, because everything was closed, schools were closed, all the leagues were closed. And I was like, hey, like, I'm gonna find friends and play. So actually, a lot of the women that are here with me today, I was like, "Hey, you guys want to play for two hours?". And we took a pickup game. We rented courts out in Herndon, and just play for a couple hours. And I made a Facebook page called Drop That Ace, and just invited people, they invited their friends. And eventually, we had I think, like 60 people on there. And then I, in the summer decided to make like a pickup league like an open gym pickup night league. So every Sunday, people would just come and then we would play 66 and switch up a team. So it stayed competitive and fun. So it was like, you're not you're not on the actual team, but you just go ahead and play and see if you can make it great if you can't great. But it's a lot cheaper doing it as a league rather than just one paying for one night.
Meg Donnelly 03:11
That's awesome. So I think it's like great, like, because you saw a hole that was missing, because there were times when none of the leagues were playing and you thought, "wow, this is wonderful". Let me get a group together and start playing. And that was kind of the formation.
Shirali Shah Trietley 03:26
Meg Donnelly 03:27
That's awesome. And so we're here today with part of the league.
Shirali Shah Trietley 03:31
Yep. And I was wondering if real quickly, if everyone could introduce themselves, I would love to hear from each of you. So maybe we can start down on the end.
Siu Parker 03:40
Hi, I'm Sue.
Anna Stock 03:41
And I'm Anna.
Jane Ramey 03:43
Yoko Linam 03:44
Holly Dobrynski 03:44
And I'm Holly.
Meg Donnelly 03:46
Awesome. And Holly is our coach. Is that correct?
Holly Dobrynski 03:49
I help Shirali coach.
Meg Donnelly 03:50
Alright, so the two of you help to coach.
Holly Dobrynski 03:52
Yeah. I always get it wrong eventually. Oh, that's good. Yeah, well, as long as we can start it out that way. that greatest way to go. Alright, perfect. So the two of you, coach now. So we talked a little bit about how you got started. And and so how does it work now? Like how, you know, do people join the Facebook group? Do people need to come in and be interviewed? How do you how do you kind of find out if the league is a good fit for you?
Shirali Shah Trietley 04:20
So the first few seasons, I just had Facebook group people just joined said hey, I want to play I'm like, "Cool. Here's the form, fill it out. And you can play". This current season I did have like tryouts at the end of what was the last practice or last game of last season. So the women come out and I have three levels now. I have a BB which is kind of like a JV level and V which is like a freshman level and then like a beginner rec league. And so that's the one that we coach, we have adults who either haven't played before or haven't played in a year and just wanna get back into it. So for all of those, you just, well, I used to start up on like a Google form. But I just made my website about a month ago. So now we'll try to do registrations through the website and payment to the website. Get everything online. For future seasons, I would like... we're not going to do one try out, people can come into any of the current gyms and try out while we play. So it's more fun rather than just trying out in a court with everybody else. Just come play with us. And one thing I love about our league is that everyone. all the women in the league just have so much fun. The first season, we all were new to each other. And there was just like the second or third week, there was just so much laughter and fun on the court. I was like, this is the kind of woman that I want to play with. So we've been really lucky with having a lot of good attitude. On the team. No one's overly competitive. We're all competitive, to an extent, but it's not like I kind of went in if I don't like you suck. So it's been fun. We have a really, really great group of women playing with us.
Meg Donnelly 05:42
Well, and that's really great, too, because I think one of the things that we found out is that, like that negativity, in terms of coaching and that negativity in terms of competitiveness, actually, people don't excel as much as they do in a positive environment. So I'm sure you guys are probably familiar with it. But I recently took, oh, now I can't remember the name of it. But it's a, it's a training for ethics and for about the power differential. And that's one of the things they talk about is how those negative reinforcers of the past, right, the coach that yelling and screaming, and we now know that people do so much better in environments that don't have that, you know?
Shirali Shah Trietley 06:24
Meg Donnelly 06:24
And hey, I mean, I'm just gonna say, We're female. And so we can empower each other and we can kind of create that close bond.
Shirali Shah Trietley 06:31
Its so much better.
Meg Donnelly 06:31
Then we are unstoppable. Yeah, there's so much more that we can do. So one of the exciting things that kind of popped up in my head that you mentioned is you've got the levels that are kind of equivalent to someone that doesn't someone that doesn't know b and a and all that. You've got equivalents to like varsity and JV, yeah. But you have opportunities for people that either haven't played, or that kind of fell away from it and want to come back to it. So someone that's a novice like me could actually come and try out.
Shirali Shah Trietley 07:02
Yeah, and that was new this season too. This is the first time I'm doing it.
Meg Donnelly 07:04
Okay, great. So now, how did that go? Because, you know, you might end up with people like me that really don't know what they're doing.
Shirali Shah Trietley 07:11
I honestly wanted my mom to play, like, Mom, I'll have a league so you can play in it. So that's the only reason why I started it. But actually, it's my most popular league right now. I had to turn people away. Because technically, I only had 15. But I'm like 17.
Meg Donnelly 07:25
Shirali Shah Trietley 07:25
But it's okay. So it was going it's a little bit different. I coach youth so it's very different coaching adults. Sure. And it's been fun. It's just it is a little bit different. It's why I love having Holly with me. Because she there's a lot of people there. So it's nice, having help to be able to talk to everybody and come with drill ideas and that kind of stuff.
Meg Donnelly 07:44
Yeah, absolutely. And so Okay, so you've got the, you know, I can go and I can try out this. You can decide if I'm good good fit for the team or you're like "listen her personality ain't gonna fit in here".
Shirali Shah Trietley 07:56
Meg Donnelly 07:56
Holly Dobrynski 07:58
Literally, we haven't had that issue.
Shirali Shah Trietley 08:00
We haven't had that issue, no, no.
Meg Donnelly 08:02
So you will kind of bring somebody in, and then they can go through the program, and there is a fee for that. That covers your costs and everything else.
Shirali Shah Trietley 08:10
Meg Donnelly 08:11
So do you guys consider yourself like a for profit organization? Are you a nonprofit? Are you working towards that? Kind of like, how does that work in kind of the setup.
Shirali Shah Trietley 08:21
So actually just going to our corporation yesterday, to be a nonprofit.
Meg Donnelly 08:25
Shirali Shah Trietley 08:26
I don't really know all the business terms. My dad's doing that. But we are gonna be nonprofit, I hope by January to have like a bank account set up. So everything will be like, not through me anymore. It'll be through the company and my parents are going to handle the business side. So I don't mess anything up. So yeah, we will be a nonprofit.
Meg Donnelly 08:44
Oh, that's exciting. That's like another, within the span of what, six months, a little bit over 6 months now, you know, you've had all of these steps that are already kind of taking you to the next level.
Shirali Shah Trietley 08:58
Meg Donnelly 08:59
All right. So, do each of the teams have 15 to 17 people?
Shirali Shah Trietley 09:05
I like to have at least 13 to 14, so my higher level leagues will have 14 And then the recreational beginner League has 17
Meg Donnelly 09:14
Shirali Shah Trietley 09:14
My goal usually would be to have about 15 Because every week we have people not coming so it's nice to have backups in case Yeah.
Meg Donnelly 09:20
And when when do you play?
Shirali Shah Trietley 09:23
on Sunday nights so we actually played tonight? The beginner is from seven to eight, the B level seven to eight and BBs eight to nine.
Meg Donnelly 09:30
Okay. And do you play each other? How, how does that work? Because again, as a newbie, kind of break, you gotta break it down to me really, really, really simple.
Shirali Shah Trietley 09:41
It's basically like a pickup night so everyone just comes out and we'll make up random teams will play a game and then we'll just switch it up so we can have to be competition. And then sometimes the second game that we play, it's like, really close in point. So we're like, okay, keep the team's gonna be competitive and play again. But usually it's just going out and making it fun because sometimes we have leagues, there's like one tail player that dominates. Everyone's like, I don't want to play that, like they always win or there's one thing that's like a lot lower level. So it's not fun either. So it's nice having it where we can just switch it up all the time so it stays competitive and stays fun. There's no one dominating all the time.
Meg Donnelly 10:13
Yeah, well, and I'm sure it improves everyone from like, the lowest level to the highest level when you're working with other people.
Shirali Shah Trietley 10:21
No, actually the levels stay between themselves.
Meg Donnelly 10:23
Shirali Shah Trietley 10:24
So, only BB plays with BB Okay. His would be and then the wreck places the wreck,
Meg Donnelly 10:27
But within BB by like, do you find that by mixing it up mixing the players up that there's an advantage to that?
Shirali Shah Trietley 10:33
Oh, yeah, I think it's a lot more fun and definitely stays competitive. You work with new people you find people that you'd like to play with? It just, I think it's keeps it more competitive, but also just like more low key rather than we have to.
Meg Donnelly 10:44
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, so we're here in sterling right now. And you're the Northern Virginia Volleyball League. So does that mean that you have to live in Sterling to be a member? Do you have to be in this local area? What does that criteria look like?
Shirali Shah Trietley 11:02
You can live wherever you want. I think most of us are within 20, 15 - 20 miles, I believe. I'm actually doing a forest tournament in January, which is just for me for volleyball. And I have women from Springfield who have registered to come play. So totally anyone in the area. I do understand it's hard to come on Springfield on a Sunday night. But for the tournaments, we do have people from a little farther away coming into play those
Meg Donnelly 11:24
Sure. And what do you what do you need to get started volleyball? Like we've been coming to the League for the first time. You know, like, are there things that I you know, for running? I need a good pair of running shoes. For cycling. I need a bike, if I'm triathlon, I need a million dollars. So yeah, so what do I need to get started in volleyball?
Shirali Shah Trietley 11:47
If you're coming in the rec level? Nothing you just need sneakers and right yeah, you can for high level I would say probably one of our court shoes it's a little safer for you. Okay, I would like people to bring volleyballs because we don't have that many so it's always helpful. But you don't really need anything to come play.
Meg Donnelly 12:03
Okay, so if you have a volleyball bring it along, but don't you got it available? court shoes? Are there specific shoes for volleyball or are we asking like basketball shoes?
Shirali Shah Trietley 12:14
No, there are volleyball shoes, okay. Every company makes them. I don't have a favorite I get free ones from coaching so I just wear those.
Meg Donnelly 12:21
Shirali Shah Trietley 12:22
But I there's no there's no like specific it they're just called volleyball shoes. Sure. Yeah, but even tennis shoes are good for beginners are completely Yeah, and I would
Meg Donnelly 12:31
almost think it's probably like running so like now they've done some studies and most of them are showing that like you shouldn't wear the same running shoes all the time. That by kind of running in different shoes some that are a little bit you know have a little bit more support, some that have a little less support, you're actually kind of cultivating those muscles in your feet in different in unique ways. So do you find with volleyball it's the same? Or do like I don't know. I also think from the competitive one I'd be like I want to knees I want to wear these all the time.
Shirali Shah Trietley 12:59
I haven't actually put like I've only had three pairs of shoes..
Meg Donnelly 13:01
Shirali Shah Trietley 13:02
Like either growing or because mine had holes in them. So I needed new ones Yep. So I honestly I'm not sure I didn't know that that I had never heard of that before that's
Meg Donnelly 13:10
pretty cool. Yeah, so you're playing in the same shoes all the time and yeah, you're killing it right so.
Shirali Shah Trietley 13:14
(Laughter) (Break for Video Footage of Team Play)
Meg Donnelly 14:35
All right, so let's take a moment and kind of talk to some of the other members of the volleyball league. So Holly you are doing some coaching as well. Is that correct?
Holly Dobrynski 14:46
Meg Donnelly 14:46
Okay. So tell me a little bit about how you got started and and how coaching became a part of it.
Holly Dobrynski 14:53
So I was just trying to figure out how I met. Sure Ali. We have it's such a tight knit group of People so you see people on the court and things like that, at tournaments and throughout, you know, throughout the area. So I had seen her around, then got invited to her group on Facebook. And it just kind of branched out from there. And she was asking me for some ideas for names for the league. And then she's like, "Hey, you want to help me out? And we can play?". And so that's how it kind of got going with the coaching and things like that.
Meg Donnelly 15:23
Holly Dobrynski 15:24
And did you were you coaching before this or so I started volleyball in middle school. And then I played through college. I coached a couple of years of middle school when I was in college, and then having coached since.
Meg Donnelly 15:36
So, it like getting back into it for the first time. Yeah, yeah. A little bit about Okay, fabulous. And it's been a great experience so far.
Holly Dobrynski 15:43
Yes. Oh, yeah. I love it. Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks. So maybe I can send it down or Yeah.
Yoko Linam 15:50
I think I've known Shirali....
Meg Donnelly 15:54
And give me your name again.
Yoko Linam 15:56
Meg Donnelly 15:57
Yoko Linam 15:59
She was my captain in the other league. And when she said she's starting another league, I said "Okay, so sign me up!"
Meg Donnelly 16:10
Awesome! So, I mean, I think like, we all talked to ahead of time about how we got connected. And we all got connected, because you had a group that was running the 5k. Santa's 5k in Reston Town Center. And I accidentally, you know, accidentally clicked on that instead of on, you know, the, the overall race. And that's how we got connected. But I mean, like, just, I feel like a lot of times, probably people say this to you, you me meeting you. It's like you've been friends for a really long time. You've kind of got that infectious nature, they want to be a part of it.
Shirali Shah Trietley 16:44
Meg Donnelly 16:44
Yoko Linam 16:44
And she plans a lot of social events to like happy hours and things like that, where people can talk to each other. Not necessarily play volleyball together, but outside of it. We have a lot of opportunities to meet people.
Meg Donnelly 17:00
I love this. So we're mixing volleyball with happy hour.
Oh, always, always. All about happy hour!
Meg Donnelly 17:06
This makes me really happy. So let's send it down and just introduce yourself again as well.
Jane Ramey 17:15
Hi, my name is Jane.
Meg Donnelly 17:17
Jane Ramey 17:18
And I met Shirali through Holly. Holly and I played in another league with a former client with a classmate of mine. And we just caught sort of connected and then when this leak came up, Holly told me about it. Because you know, I usually play during the week, but nothing on weekends. So it was nice to have something during the weekend. And it'd be great to have something during the winter because I go through some serious withdrawal when I don't have volleyball.
Meg Donnelly 17:42
Anna Stock 17:45
And I'm Anna, I've actually known Shirali since high school, we played volleyball together in high school. And so when I was coming out of college, I was looking for an inner mural team for adults. And when I found out that Shirali was putting one together, I was really excited about that. And we've just kind of taken off then.
Siu Parker 18:05
I'm Siu. And like Yoko said Shirali, and, and you'll go and I've been on teams together before. And when Shirali decided to start this team, we decided to, of course, join up with her. It's been great. And we love playing with each other. And it's just fun.
Meg Donnelly 18:24
That's great. Okay, so we only have six of you today plus seven right with you as it were my counting, right? No, six, including you. Math is not my thing. But um, there there is obviously, like we talked about. So you've got your in total now, three groups of anywhere from 13 to 17. So it's much larger than just here. So when you go to happy hour with you, it's a larger group as well.
Shirali Shah Trietley 18:51
Eh, we are getting there. We just started doing social so we've done I think three or four at this point, okay, like every month or so. So the first week, we had like five usually come in that like we had one on Thursday for like a holiday happy hour. We had like eight come so I was like yeah, like going up in numbers. And then we're doing one in January we're just going to do like a Girls Night In like my place and then just do games and hot chocolate and fun stuff like that. I already had like four people that didn't want to go, and ah, its already like a month away. And then in April there's a Margarita Madness 5k So we're like alcohol and then running. Let's do it.
Jane Ramey 19:23
I actually run sign up for
Shirali Shah Trietley 19:27
I was run part of it.
Meg Donnelly 19:30
It's intervals you run walk, intervals, run, walk and Margarita. There we go. Those are my kind of interval. All right, so, now there's got to be with with you all kind of bringing your own expertise. There has to be some things that each of you kind of have picked up through the years of playing volleyball, little tips and tricks, things that kind of work for you. So without giving away any trade secrets, can you kind of share Are some of those or maybe share some of what your favorite moves are or, or share your favorite positions? I don't know, everybody because everyone, typically someone will always be kind of that favorite piece of play, is that typical?
Shirali Shah Trietley 20:12
Yeah, there's my positions. I love being at the front. I have no vertical, but I can reach over the net. So all I'm good at is blocking and going swish on cord. That's all I can do. That's it.
Meg Donnelly 20:26
So you're tall enough that you don't need to jump
Shirali Shah Trietley 20:28
I think that I'm jumping. I truly believe that I'm jumping. Everyone's like, No, nothing happened. Yeah, that for me. I just looked at the front of the app. And that's my favorite thing to do. Okay, for sure. Great. Do you have a favorite?
Holly Dobrynski 20:40
So I am an outside hitter, which means the left side of the front court, I'm okay in the back. I just prefer not to be in the back. But yeah, so hitter front row.
Meg Donnelly 20:50
Hitter, front row, okay.
Yoko Linam 20:52
I'm usually the setter. I'm working on my skills.