Southern California played an important part in developing collegiate and Olympic men's and women's volleyball and there's no shortage of pioneers and trend setters from the area.
It should come as no surprise that Southern California has its own Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame. The surprise is that it was started just last year, with a virtual who's who of the sport.
"Having an indoor hall of fame to honor the top volleyball players from the Southern California area is something that is long overdue," said Mike Gallups, President of American Sports Centers, when the it was announced in September of 2016. "American Sports Centers is proud to be the host site,"
There's also a hint of Northern California in the Hall, most notably former UCLA women's coach Andy Banachowski and two-time national college Player of the Year Bev Oden, who were among the first 25 (of 42 nominated) inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The second class will be just as loaded with prominent players, coaches and administrators, with Stanford grads Kim Oden and Scott Fortune among the 27 candidates up for induction. The Hall plans to include 15 of them during ceremonies in May of 2018.
Banachowski arrived at UCLA after graduating from Serra High in San Mateo. He was introduced to volleyball while working for the school's intramural program. He retired from coaching in 2009 as the winningest coach in women's volleyball history.
Bev Oden was to Stanford volleyball that Jennifer Azzi was to Stanford women's basketball or Jessica Mendoza was to Stanford softball. In other words, Oden is one of the main reasons the Cardinal is a perennial powerhouse in the sport.
She was a three-time All-American and led Stanford to the Final Four in each of her four years. She was named the AVCA Player of the Decade (1980s).
Bev Oden took over where Kim Oden left off, taking Stanford to its first ever national title in 1992 under coach Don Shaw. In the process she became the nation's first four-time first team All-American.
Fortune, a three-time Olympian, came to Stanford just after helping the United States earn gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The next year he helped the Cardinal, under Fred Sturm, reach its first NCAA championship match. He also played on the 1992 Olympic team in Barcelona that earned bronze and on the 1996 team in Atlanta.
Bev and Kim's sister Elaina Oden is also among the nominees. She helped guide Pacific to its only NCAA titles in 1985 and 1986, under John Dunning.