I’m just going to throw out that I’m not great with introductions and I’m not close to being an amazing writer, so bear with me. I thought about starting a blog for a long time now, specifically when I started playing volleyball overseas last year. Oh yeah, I play volley, and most overseas players I know have blogs and I completely understand why. Being away from family is tough (I got lucky because my parents traveled with me back to their homeland), having different time zones is difficult for maintaining communication, and when you’re in a different country you just feel like there’s so much to say and everyone asks the same questions, so why not just put it all out there for everyone to read?
Okay, enough of the awkward intro paragraph, time for the boring flashback paragraphs for those who don’t know me. My name is Iris Tolenada, I just turned 25 on August 25th (yes I’m awesome), and I live the volley life. I grew up in a place called Antioch, which we Antiochans like to call “Yoc-Town” or “The Yoc.” Yes. I played high school volley at Deer Valley High School and played two years of club at Diablo Valley Volleyball Club and two years at Golden Bear Volleyball Club. I played all four years at San Francisco State University (GO GATORS!), graduated after five, and played for the Northern California Volleyball Association’s former team Dream Team. Yes, let’s cringe together. In February 2015, I played for Philips Gold in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference where my team and I won a third place finish and where I obtained the Best Setter Award. I was also given the opportunity to travel with other PSL members to compete at the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship 2015 in Tianjin, China. Soooo that was a pretty cool experience to have the flag on my back!
Oh yeah, I coach too. When I played high school vb I attended the Stanford University camps and enjoyed every camp I had there because of the coaches. That was what I always remembered. When I got to college I actually wanted to give back to the program and people I’ve made great connections with, bless your hearts Stanford staff. Every year I coached at Stanford I fell more in love with coaching, then I coached club. I started at Slainte VBC in San Francisco, CA, then eventually I was given a huge opportunity to coach at Vision Volleyball Club. This past club season was my third season with Vision. Speaking of huge opportunities, I was the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Santa Clara University in California (GO BRONCOS!) for the 2015-2016 season. That in itself was an experience I will truly be thankful for, for the rest of my life.
Fast forward to today- I am not coaching at a university at the moment because I’m back in my second home-land, the Philippines to play another season! I say second because I have dual-citizenship (which I highly recommend) lol. This year I’m playing with most of my teammates from last year, and we are playing for Pocari Sweat in the Shakey’s V-League.
I think this concludes this introductory blog. I’m still adjusting to this “online diary” type of thing, hopefully it becomes something enjoyable for you all. I promise to add pictures, vlogs (I loooove editing videos and finally have good internet!!!), things not only volley-related, and any other suggestions you guys have.