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One team, one family: Grand View men's volleyball team embraces diverse roster

In volleyball, communication is everything. But, when almost half of your team speaks different languages, that can make communicating even more difficult.

When you think of what makes a good team, you probably think of talent, experience, hard work and good communication.

the Grand View men's volleyball team has all of that. What makes it even more impressive is that 10 of the players on their 23-man roster are from different countries.

Overcoming that language barrier sometimes presents a challenge for international players as well as their American teammates.

"It was definitely a big culture shock for me," said defensive specialist Dalton Dencklau who's from Lehigh, Iowa. "But it's been really great for my maturity process and it takes a lot of trust to do this and I think that just builds the bond even stronger."

"Most of the time, we can step up and do what we need to do," said outside hitter Daniel Galili. He's from Shomrat, Israel and is actually used to playing with people from different countires.

"Volleyball is a game for everyone," Galili said. "It doesn't matter where you come from."

In volleyball, non-verbal communication is just as important. It's helped setter Francisco Arredondo, who's from the Dominican Republic overcome that barrier.

"Sometimes, we talk and the body language says something else so we learn also how to communicate with the body language," Arredondo.

Having several players from all around the world also has its advantages.

"We have players coming over from all over the world with different experience, different training backgrounds and different knowledge," said middle blocker Danny Wong. "Bringing that all together I think really puts us above the rest of the competition."

Despite being so different, they've embraced that and have become virtually unstoppable as a team because of it.

"I think that's what makes us really strong in the sense of a being a family. because although we're very different from each other, we get to connect and get together to do the things that we like" said middle blocker Oscar Mañana.

"We have great results," added outside hitter Leonardo Annichini, who's from Verona, Italy. "We lost only two games. We are playing together. We are a team."

It all comes back to their team motto -- "One team, one family".

The Vikings are the top seed in the NAIA national tournament that will take place at the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Monies, IA Apr. 12-16. They'll face Aquinas in the first game on Tuesday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m.

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