16. 10. 2019

INTERVIEW: Micah Ma’a for WoV – “To play for the senior NT has always been a dream of mine”

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Micah Ma’a is going to experience his first season abroad.

 

The U.S. player is set to make a debut for Poitiers after being on the international duty with the United States at the World Volleyball Cup.

This summer you made your debut for the U.S. Senior National Team and congratulations on that! Please, describe to us what feelings and emotions you had at that exact moment. Also, tell us when did you find out that you will be summoned by the head coach Speraw?

First off thank you very much it has definitely been an amazing summer. I actually found out I’d be traveling to Poland the day before the team flew out to play the first week of VNL. To play for the senior national team has always been a dream of mine and to be playing with and against players I’ve idolized has definitely been the most amazing part of this experience by far.”

Besides becoming a part of the country’s national team, the last couple of months were marked with one more important moment for your career. You signed your first professional contract. Why has your choice fell on the Franch league and, more specifically, on Poitiers?

As a young American I did not have a lot of knowledge on the professional leagues of Europe and so I relied heavily on the veterans and their advice was to make sure you gain on-court experience in a good league. This led me to Poitiers who offered me a starting position in a league full of talented and skilled players.”

Not many players in the USA, but also worldwide, are capable of playing and are exploited in two positions like you. Which one, the setter or outside hitter position, do you prefer and would like to play in the continuation of your career?

First of all, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to get the opportunity to play both positions this summer. I know that it’s every setters’ dream to hit and every hitters’ dream to set and so I feel extremely lucky to be able to have done both. To answer which position I like better is definitely tough because it changes all the time just depending on circumstances and how I am playing.

You set many new school records at the UCLA during your collegiate career, either single-game or single-season. Which ones carved up in your memory?

To be honest I actually only know of one record that I broke during my time at UCLA which was the career ace record. It definitely came as a surprise to me because of the rich history of amazing players that have come through UCLA I never expected to have a record of my own.”

What moments related to your team, but also that mattered the most when it comes to your improvement as a player, would you like to highlight from your NCAA career?

I would have to say the addition of Eric Vallely to our coaching staff helped my development as a setter tremendously. My junior year was my first season ever as a full-time setter and he had a huge impact on my growth as a setter.”

It seems that you were predestined to become a volleyball player given that your mom and dad were professional beach volley and indoor volleyball players. How much influence did they have and how much they still have on your career?

Both of my parents, as well as my siblings and extended family, have all had a huge impact on my volleyball career. My mom was actually my first volleyball coach ever and my dad coached me from when I was around 9 until I was 18 and went to play for Coach Speraw at UCLA. However, since I turned 18 my parents have decided to take a backseat and have not interfered with my volleyball career at all.”

Do you think that you will manage to secure a place in the U.S. roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

As of right now I am just trying to get better every day. Tokyo 2020 is definitely the goal but I also know that there is a lot of time in between now and then and that a lot can change in a year. The USA gym is loaded with talent and there are a lot of areas of my game I need to improve in and so that’s currently where my focus has been.”

 

Check out more interviews.


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