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Triumph Volleyball Academy will finally begin club play

Courtesy of TVA

Participants in the Triumph Volleyball Academy’s FCA Sand Volleyball Camp work on their skills. TVA will now sport two boys club volleyball teams with tryouts beginning Aug. 25.


After spending the last seven years building its brand through its sand court programs, Triumph Volleyball Academy will begin boys volleyball club play this year.

“It’s been in the works to start a club for a long time, since 2011,” TVA founder and director Steve Guglielmana said. “We’ve had interest in doing club from players, parents and coaches for quite a few years. We’ve never had enough numbers to sustain it. We could have done it two years ago, but we knew it would have been just for the one year. Nate (Perez) and I wanted to make sure that if we want to do it, we can sustain it. The way God worked and opened the doors, this is time to start it. We have enough players, coaches and parents. We have looked at it from different angles. The doors kept opening and we’re going through them, being faithful.”

TVA will host open gym from 3-6 p.m. on Aug. 18 in the Madera South East Gym and hold tryouts for its 18-under and 16-under teams Aug. 25 from 3-7 p.m. at Madera South.

Leading the 18-under team is Madera South assistant boys volleyball coach and assistant coach to last year’s Fresno City College state championship women’s volleyball team, Nate Perez.

“We want to be the anti-club and have different priorities,” he said. “We are a faith-centered club. It helps me to have an opportunity to improve myself and grow with the kids, as well. God allows that. You don’t have to be perfect. That’s the primary difference.”

Because Guglielmana and Perez wants to be the ‘different club,’ the cost for the club league season is $710.

“Our price-point is about half the cost of clubs in the Fresno area,” Perez said. “A lot of clubs want to have this premise of being a superclub. They are okay with sucking a region’s players out. We are getting the information out to get people to join. We are getting our contact extended with other people promoting us, as well. That’s good to see.”

“We have two different angles of the Triumph Volleyball Academy,” Guglielmana said. “We have kids who want to play on a club travel team and there’s cost in that. We set a price point to be very affordable among the other clubs around the valley. We’re at $700 for a travel team. We also have an opportunity to be on a practice squad to be a part of the academy, but not have the expense to travel. We’re trying to build a volleyball community, starting with the younger kids.”

Tournaments begin in September and will last through December.

“The tournaments are on Saturday and Sunday and the practices will be later in the evening so it should be late enough for the kids to do what they need to do,” Guglielmana said. “There are clubs out there where their only purpose is volleyball. If we’re going to do this, we want to make sure it’s low stress and provide a high level of competency for those kids that are interested and want to participate.”

Guglielmana hopes to be able to host at tournament at Madera South, but to keep costs down, he plans on doing one-day trips to tournaments.

“We’re looking to host a tournament at Madera South,” he said .”A majority of the players don’t want to travel so we may get one tournament. Hopefully, down the road, we can get neighboring schools to join us. Volleyball is on the verge of exploding.”

Triumph Volleyball Academy will, of course, draw in players from Madera, but Perez and Guglielmana has also gotten feelers from Merced, Modesto, Clovis, Visalia and Central Unified.

“We want to get local kids, but our second look would be from Merced and Modesto,” Guglielmana said. “We’ve gotten interest in kids from Clovis, Visalia and Central Unified. Families are seeing us as a different alternative to club.”

“Obviously, our price-point is low,” Perez said. “We’re a good fit for the NYL schools. We’re really excited some of the Clovis parents like us because we’re low on the political and cost end.”

TVA advertises itself as a faith-based club. Guglielmana and Perez are more interested in create better people rather than better volleyball players.

“It’s going to be more beneficial to us to build better people and have our kids go out into the communities and transcends more than volleyball,” Perez said. “We want to develop high character first. That’s going to lend itself to better players on the court, but are good influences in the community as well.”

“With the Triumph Volleyball Academy, we have had contact with kids around the valley that have wanted to play,” Guglielmana said. “We’re at that point with enough growth and in the area for a while to see the interests from the outside to go with this venture. The level of play is pretty high. The coaching staff is very knowledgeable. We have leaders will pour into these kids’ lives with God’s work and we’re happy about it.”

“We’ve been waiting and waiting (to start club volleyball),” Guglielmana said. “We couldn’t hold back any more because the dam was ready to break.”

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