George Mulry, Volleyball Hall of Fame Executive Director (E-Mail: email@example.com, Phone: 413-536-0926)
HOLYOKE, Mass. (Oct. 20, 2012) – The Volleyball Hall of Fame enshrined six legendary individuals as part of its 27th induction class on Saturday evening in the birthplace of the sport, Holyoke, Mass. The Volleyball Hall of Fame now has a total of 112 inductees representing 21 different countries.
The Class of 2012 hails from four countries representing the elite players and leaders within the sport. The newest induction class consists of men’s indoor players Peter Blangé of The Netherlands, Mauricio Lima of Brazil, Georgy Mondzolevskiy of Russia and Jeff Stork of the United Sates; men’s beach player Mike Dodd of the United States; and women’s indoor player Lyudmila Buldakova of Russia, who passed away in 2006.
Blangé, recognized as the first remarkable big setter in the modern era at nearly 206 centimeters, helped The Netherlands to the 1996 Olympic Games gold medal. Buldakova, a force as both an attacker and setter, helped the Soviet Union win consecutive Olympic Games gold medals in 1968 and 1972 as its captain after earning the silver medal in the inaugural Olympics in 1964. Dodd earned the silver medal with Mike Whitmarsh at the inaugural Olympic Games for beach volleyball in 1996 as he compiled a career with 75 titles and 231 podium finishes on the U.S. domestic and FIVB beach tours.
Lima, a magician in making hittable balls out of bad passes, is one of two male volleyball athletes to compete in five Olympic Games including reaching the gold-medal podium twice with Brazil in 1992 and 2004. Mondzolevskiy, who was a member of the powerful Soviet Union teams of the 1950s and 1960s, earned gold medals in the first two Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968, as well as gold medals in the 1960 and 1962 FIVB Volleyball World Championships. Stork, recognized as one of the game's greatest setters, played in three Olympic Games that included the 1988 gold medal as part of winning the Triple Crown with titles at the 1985 FIVB Volleyball World Cup and 1986 FIVB Volleyball World Championship.
“The six legends enshrined tonight represent a sampling of some of the best players to have ever stepped foot on a volleyball court,” Volleyball Hall of Fame Executive Director George Mulry said. “The six inductees and three award winners have made a unique lasting mark on the sport and we are honored to have them memorialized here in Holyoke as part of the Volleyball Hall of Fame.”
The induction class is elected via a vote of current Volleyball Hall of Fame inductees. A short biographical sketch on each inductee can be found below with an excerpt from their acceptance speech. For the third year in a row, the Volleyball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was shown live to a worldwide audience through video stream.
In addition to the inductees, the Volleyball Hall of Fame recognized the Cuba Women’s National Volleyball Team from 1991 to 2000 as its Court of Honor recipient, the California Beach Volleyball Association as its William G. Morgan Award recipient and Patricia Demers with the Mintonette Medallion of Merit award.
The Induction Gala Dinner and Ceremony, presented by PeoplesBank, is part of a two-day calendar of events recognizing the six individuals. On Friday evening, the six inductees attended an invite-only Mayor’s Reception, presented by the Dowd Agencies, at the historic Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. Earlier on Saturday the inductees took part in the Ring and Plaque Ceremony presented by Holyoke Medical Center at the Volleyball Hall of Fame Exhibit Hall. Prior to the Induction Gala Dinner and Ceremony, Mizuno presented a cocktail hour Induction Meet and Greet for the public to interact with the inductees. The induction weekend, presented by Spalding, was capped by an Induction After-Party at the Volleyball Hall of Fame with live entertainment and socializing with the honorees.
2012 Volleyball Hall of Fame Inductee Acceptance Speech Quotes
“This is a very special moment for me and I am very pleased with this selection,” Peter Blangé said. “Volleyball is a team sport. That is a lesson I learned early. Without the cooperation of my teammates, you end up nowhere in volleyball. I see my selection as really a recognition of the complete national team and the volleyball that we have in Holland and all the stakeholders, and mainly also the guy who orchestrated our team, Joop Alberda. I consider myself extremely fortunate with all the opportunities I have been given.”
“I want to thank everyone involved with the Volleyball Hall of Fame,” Mike Dodd said. “Everyone here in Holyoke. It is such an honor to be here. It is so great to see why we love volleyball so much and to see so much love for our game in this little city in Massachusetts.”
“It is a huge pleasure and great privilege to be here today receiving this award,” Mauricio Lima said. “It makes me proud to be the first athlete of the Brazilian Olympic golden generation to be included in the Volleyball Hall of Fame. This is a result of many years of dedication and love to this sport, and to be recognized after a 23 year career is very rewarding. I was inspired by the Brazilian silver volleyball generation. I was 14 years old when I started my career. Since then I dreamed of becoming a major volleyball player. I want to thank all of my coaches, the technical staffs and the other players who played by my side. Finally, I want to especially thank all my family present in all moments. You were the pillars which always supported my career and my life. My mother, my brothers – and a great deal of this nomination is yours. I want to thank my wife Alberta and my children, and tell you what I do in my life is for you. Another great deal of this nomination is yours.”
“I would like to express my gratitude to all the people presented here with me to be presented into the Volleyball Hall of Fame and the opportunity to be here,” Georgy Mondzolevskiy said. “The news that I was nominated into the Volleyball Hall of Fame filled me with energy and I hope that with this energy that I will be able to enjoy our favorite sport for many years. I dedicated to volleyball for more than 30 years and it allowed me to travel all over the world. During these trips I met a lot a great people, and many became good friends.”
“I would like to thank the Volleyball Hall of Fame for honoring me with this induction,” Jeff Stork said. “I have a great deal of respect for the game of volleyball and I know the people who here in. I recognize or have played with probably 60 to 70 percent of the people in the Hall of Fame. I truly know how good and great those players are and were. I would also like to thank the city of Holyoke and the Volleyball Hall of Fame for putting on such a wonderful event. This is truly a memorable event. I want to thank everybody in this room. We all love the sport of volleyball and if it is not for you, we are not growing the sport. Today is certainly a sense of accomplishment and pride in what I did as a volleyball player. But I certainly did not get in the sport to be in this position. I loved the sport. I loved to compete and I played for the love of the game. My induction tonight is based on achievements on the court, but for me I would like to remember and thank my family, friends, teammates and coaches who are responsible for the development of me as a player and person.”
2012 Volleyball Hall of Fame Inductee Biographical Sketches
Peter Blangé is considered among the greatest of the Dutch sport heroes of all time. Born in Voorburg, Netherlands, in 1964, Blangé’s professional volleyball career began on the Dutch National Team in 1984. Blangé quickly proved himself to be one of the best setters the sport has ever seen. He was acknowledged as best setter in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the European Championships in 1999, and again in the Italian professional league three times in 1993, 1998 and 1999.
Blangé represented The Netherlands in four consecutive Olympics, beginning in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. Blangé and his team earned the silver medal in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and then as team captain, he led his team to the much coveted gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta by defeating long-time rival Italy with a remarkable five-set victory in the final match. In 1996 he also won the led The Netherlands to the FIVB World League title in Rotterdam.
Blangé also went on to win the 1997 European Championships with his team and participated ultimately in his fourth and final Olympic adventure in at the 2000 Sydney Games where he played his 500th international match for the National team. He had an impressive career of 16 years in which he participated at four Olympic Games, eight FIVB World League events and six European Championships. With his 500 international matches he still holds the record for participation for The Netherlands.
Over the course of his successful career, Blangé played professionally for clubs in Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. During his eight seasons playing in Italy he led his teams to the Italian League Championship title four times.
After his career as a player, Blangé became the head coach of ORTEC Rotterdam Nesselande winning the national title and the national cup tournament three times and was named head coach of the Dutch Men’s National team from 2006 to 2011.
In 2007, he was awarded the esteemed Fanny Blankers-Koen Career award.
Born in Leningrad in 1938, Lyudmila Buldakova was a force to contend with during her time on the Soviet Women’s National Team and as an Olympian. During a career that spanned two decades, Buldakova made a name for herself as both a spiker and a setter.
Buldakova was listed as one of the strongest Soviet players from 1959 to 1962 and again from 1964 to 1972. She was honored with the prestigious USSR Honorable Master of Sport in 1960.
During Buldakova’s reign as a women’s volleyball powerhouse, Japan held the title of world’s best volleyball team. At the sport’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, the Soviet Union placed second behind Japan, but then, with Buldakova as team captain, went on to win consecutive Olympic Games gold in 1968 at Mexico City and 1972 at Munich.
Buldakova led her team to gold at the FIVB Volleyball World Championships in 1956, 1960 and 1970, and the silver medal in 1962. The team also earned gold at the European Championships in 1958, 1967 and again in 1971. In addition Buldakova’s teams won seven USSR Championships (1960, 1962, 1967, and 1970-1973) and eight European Champions Cups (1961, 1965, 1968-1972, and 1974).
After her retirement in 1975, Buldakova was involved in volleyball as a youth volleyball coach and made contributions in the publishing world in 1979 by writing the book “Six in Defense –Six in Attack.”
For her influence on the sport, Buldakova was awarded with two of the prestigious Orders of the Red Banner of Labor awards, The Order “Sign of Honor” and the Medal “For Labor Merit.”
Although she passed away in 2006, Lyudmila Buldakova remains an icon of Russian volleyball. In 2007, the Volleyball Federation of Russia established an award in Buldakova’s name for the Best Female Volleyball Player of the Russian Championship.
Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mike Dodd was a two-sport standout at San Diego State University in the late 1970s, starring in both basketball and volleyball. Although Dodd was selected in the 10th round of the NBA draft by the San Diego Clippers in 1979, he turned to his first love, beach volleyball, where he would find his greatest success.
Dodd first played beach volleyball at the age of 10 and later played competitively with his brother, Ted, becoming the youngest player at the time to earn the “AAA” rating at age 16. Dodd partnered with Tim Hovland to win the 1981 State Beach Men’s Open. This was the first “Open” title for the team of Dodd and Hovland, a partnership that would span nearly 10 years. It was also Dodd’s first career Open win.
Dodd enjoyed an 18-year beach volleyball career that included winning the silver medal with partner Mike Whitmarsh at the inaugural Olympic Games for beach volleyball in 1996 at Atlanta. Dodd and Whitmarsh played in a total of 106 events together, winning 17 of them.
Dodd captured 75 titles during his career, including five Manhattan Beach Open titles with Hovland, and three of the 14 FIVB events in which he competed.
One of the greatest ever to play the sport, Dodd had 231 podium placements and 297 “final four” finishes. He won one U.S. title and ranks in the top 10 in beach volleyball history in tournaments played (351), event titles (75) and career earnings ($1,772,970).
Dodd was selected as the AVP Sportsman of the Year in 1994 and 1996, as well as the AVP Most Inspirational Player three years in a row from 1995 to 1997. His court defense was recognized by his earning the AVP Best Defensive Player four consecutive years from 1994 to 1997.
The 1997 season marked the end of Dodd’s competitive career, although he is still remained very much involved on the beach volleyball circuit as a broadcaster, analyst, coach and even commissioner of the AVP. In 2000, Dodd was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Association Hall of Fame. After his retirement, Dodd and his wife Patty started the very popular steak and seafood establishment Fonz’s in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
In 2009 Dodd became the first person to coach the men’s and women’s champions of the same Manhattan Beach Open (Sean Gibb and Jake Rosenthal and Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs). He coached Gibb and Rosenthal to consecutive fifth-place finishes at both the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games, which culminated this year with mentoring the pair to become 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball Tour Champions.
Mauricio Lima was known for his unique and remarkable setting ability and outstanding defensive play throughout his extensive career. Born in Campinas, Brazil in 1968, Lima is an icon in the history of Brazilian volleyball with a career spanning nearly two decades, 575 caps, and over 100 event titles.
Lima bridges Brazil’s early success in the 1990’s to its run of dominance at the start of the 2000’s. He is one of only two male athletes to compete in five Olympic Games, matching a record held by Italy’s Andrea Giani, who was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2008.
After a fourth place finish at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, Lima helped Brazil to Olympic Games gold with a triumph over the Netherlands at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games with a win over Italy.
Lima was named Best Defensive Player at the 1990 World Championships in Brazil and Best Setter of the 1992 Olympic Games, the 2002 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, and the 1993 FIVB World League.
Overall, Brazil won four World League titles with Lima on the roster (1993, 2001, 2003, 2004) had two silver-medal finishes (1995 and 2002) and four bronze finishes (1990, 1994, 1999, 2000). In addition Brazil won four World Cup events during Lima’s career (1989, 1991, 1995, 2003).
Lima played professionally in Brazil and Italy, winning two Brazilian League Champion Cups (1990, 1991), seven Brazilian League Championships (1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001) and five South American Championships (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996) with BANESPA, Olimpikus, and Minas Tennis Club. While in Italy, Lima helped his Daytona Modena team to the Italian Club Championship in 1993 and the CEV Championship with Macerata in 2005.
After retiring in 2005, Lima soon turned to administration and became the Director of Volleyball and Public Relations for team Medley / Campinas, a professional club in the famed Brazil Superliga.
Georgy Mondzolevskiy was a member of the powerful USSR volleyball squads that dominated men’s international volleyball in the 1950s and 1960s. Mondzolevskiy participated in the Central Army Sports Club (CSKA), the Soviet army team. He played volleyball from 1951 to 1968 on the CSKA team and concurrently on the USSR National Men's Team.
He contributed to the Soviet Union’s titles at the 1960 and 1962 FIVB Volleyball World Championships after finishing with the bronze medal at the first FIVB World Championship in 1956 in Paris. Mondzolveskiy and the USSR were two-time bronze medalists of the European Championships in 1958 and 1963 before finally winning the Championship in 1967. Mondzolevskiy helped his CSKA Moskva club team to two European Champions League titles in 1960 and 1962. During his career, Mondzolevskiy won eight USSR championships (1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966) with two different clubs, as well as a bronze medal in 1955.
As its setter, Mondzolevskiy paced the Soviet Union to the first two titles in Olympic Games volleyball history at the 1964 Tokyo Games and the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Not just an outstanding setter, Mondzolevskiy was also an exceptional all-around player. He received the USSR Honorable Master of Sport award in 1960, was included in the list of the strongest players of the USSR 1959-1969, and was awarded two Orders of Honor.
Mondzolevskiy retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Soviet military and authored the book “Generosity of the Player” in 1984. After graduating from the Odessa Pedagogical Institute in 1956, he returned to academia as an assistant professor of the Military Engineering Academy and a senior lecturer at the Moscow Mining Institute.
Mondzolevskiy is being inducted as a player for his contributions on the playing court, but his other contributions in the world of volleyball are also recognized as outstanding. We honor him today for his career and the joy of competition he brought to the international sport of volleyball.
A native of Topanga, Calif., Jeff Stork began his collegiate studies at Pierce College in 1981, although he did not play volleyball until he transferred to Pepperdine University where he spent the next three years under coach Marv Dunphy.
During his time at Pepperdine, Stork earned All-American honors all three seasons. Pepperdine advanced to the NCAA title match in 1983 and 1984, finishing second both times to UCLA. Stork garnered All-NCAA Tournament Team honors in both seasons.
Stork embarked on a 10-year tour of duty (1985-92 and 1995-96) as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team. He would ultimately become a member of three U.S. Olympic Teams (1988, 1992 and 1996) and was the starting setter on the 1988 team coached by Dunphy that won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He is regarded as one of the game's all-time best setters and gained an international reputation for his calm demeanor under pressure.
Stork is a highly decorated volleyball player and picked up many accolades and medals throughout his career, including being named the co-winner (with Doug Partie) of the 1987 USA Volleyball Players Award. He played a key role in helping the U.S. win the Triple Crown of volleyball with gold at the 1985 FIVB Volleyball World Cup, the 1986 FIVB Volleyball World Championship and the 1988 Olympic Games. In addition Stork also struck gold at the 1985 NORCECA Championships, the 1987 Savvin Cup in the USSR and the 1987 Pan American Games. He has also won three silver medals (1985 Savvin Cup, 1987 NORCECA Championship and the 1991 NORCECA Championship) in his career and two bronze medals (1992 Olympic Games and in the 1992 FIVB World League). Stork was named to the USA Volleyball Men's (1978-2002) 75th Anniversary All-Era Team.
In addition to his substantial experience with the U.S. National Team, Stork played professionally for a number of years in Italy. He was named the Italian League MVP in 1993 while setting for Mediolanum Gonzaga. His Maxicono team captured the 1990 Italian League title.
Stork also competed successfully on the beach during the early 1990s, playing in the Bud Light 4-Man Beach Volley¬ball League's inaugural season (1991) while leading his Club Sportswear team to a league championship. He was a two-time MVP of the Bud Light 4-Man League (1991 and 1994).