Capital Region native makes Team USA volleyball debut

A Capital Region native recently made his debut on the USA Men’s National Volleyball team. Raised in Glenmont, Michael Marshman’s volleyball journey started as a happy accident, but it’s taken him around the world, competing with some of the sport’s top players.

Marshman played middle blocker with Team USA, currently ranked second-best in the world, at the Pan American Cup in Mexico. The team finished in fifth place.

“Just like overwhelming pride, really. Just like pride in the country, pride in what we were playing for and also just, finally being proud of myself,” Marshman said, explaining the emotions that came with his achievement.

Marshman’s journey to professional volleyball success started in a gym at Bethlehem Central High School, when a coach suggested the sport.

“He said, ‘Hey, I think you might like the sport, you might enjoy it, and also at the very least, it’s going to keep you in shape for basketball.’ I just got addicted to it and just wanted to keep playing,” he said.

Success led the 2012 graduate to a division one scholarship at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. From there—playing professionally in Finland and now in France. It wasn’t without difficulty adjusting, he said, and sacrifices made as he pursued a dream far from home.

“Now I’m just a polished professional I feel like. I have a job to do,” he said.

He’s gone on to win the Finnish cup and win the French cup three times.

“If only they knew me. If only they knew who I was, coming out of Glenmont, New York, zero national team experience until now, it’s very funny,” Marshman said.

While some youth sports are on the decline, volleyball is more popular than ever.

Last year, Shenendehowa boys and girls clinched the program’s first state volleyball titles.

Marshman works with young club players at Team LVC in East Greenbush. He is passionate about growing the sport and helping the next generation of talented players.  

Speaking to NewsChannel 13, he was humble about his own future, and whether the journey will take him to the Olympic stage.

“For sure, it’s a dream, for sure it’s an ultimate goal, to work for. Is it likely? It’s hard to really say, because it’s such a difficult task to accomplish. But I’d be willing to give it my best and give it my all to try,” he said.

Marshman practiced with the Olympic roster last week. He will compete again for Team USA at a tournament in Canada in September.