Zaun Scholarship Winner: Logan Webber

Logan Webber’s Move to Southern California ‘Exceeding Everything I Could Have Ever Imagined’

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There are moments when Logan Webber feels it all coming down on him, the weight of not being good enough. Not good enough to qualify. To beat this team. To win that tournament. To be considered better than this blocker or that player.

“Every day, I feel like I want to get better,” Webber said. “In terms of day to day, it’s like ‘I should be better than this, I should be better than this.’”

And then he looks back, and he can laugh. Better than this? It was only a few years ago that he and Nathan Vander Meer entered a U-21 tournament, and when he saw the competition from Canada, from Australia, from the big names in Southern California, his reaction was ‘Holy cow, we’re going to get smoked!’

Now he’s practicing with Ryan Doherty, Chaim Schalk, Miles Evans, Sean Rosenthal. He remembers the first time he was pulled into a big-name group like that. It was January, just three months after he made the move from Michigan to Redondo Beach. Packed up his little Camry and just went, when he got a call from Evee Matthews.

Did he want to practice with Schalk, a 2016 Olympian for Canada, against Doherty and John Hyden, two regular AVP winners?

“I’m gonna do what now?” Webber said.

Do what? Practice with that crew? Logan Webber? The same kid who, when he began playing indoor in high school, didn’t know rotations?

Inexperience didn’t dissuade him. Not for a second. Webber was in high school when he knew he wanted to pursue beach, despite his only real experience at the time being tagging along with his sister to tournaments. It was still the reason he pursued the degree he did – business management with an emphasis in accounting and a minor in Biblical studies. It would allow him to work remote, and besides, “I figured if volleyball didn’t work out, the idea of having a remote job sounds absolutely amazing,” he said. “It just seems like I could get a lot more awesome experiences out of life that way rather than going to the same place for eight hours every day.”

He was in San Jose, competing in p1440’s inaugural event, when he found out he had landed a job at Smack Sportswear. The dream was coming to fruition, though there was on small problem: He didn’t have enough money for the security deposit on an apartment he had found via Facebook. A room had opened up in Mark Burik’s house, and Webber messaged Torin Jeffreys, who was also living there, that he’d love to move in, except, well, he didn’t have any money. They worked out a payment plan, and a few weeks later, Webber’s Camry was loaded up.

He was moving to California.

Sometimes dreams come slow. Sometimes they progress alarmingly fast. Almost immediately, Webber, a 6-foot-7(ish) blocker who could hand set, was thrown into some of the best training groups in the area. He made main draw in the first AVP of the season, in Huntington Beach, knocking out Chase Frishman and Piotr Marciniak, on stadium court, to move onto Saturday. Then he missed the next three, in Austin, New York, and Seattle. Those thoughts of needing to be better, be better, be better, came flooding in.   

And then he pauses for a moment, allowing room for perspective to interrupt the negative flow.

“Looking back, even this past spring, I could have never imagined once moving out here, the people I’d be training with, the coaches I’d be training with, and the people I’ve been just talking to,” he said. “Just meeting people out here, it’s definitely exceeded everything I’ve ever imagined.”

It is for a number of reasons that Webber was selected as a recipient of the Eric Zaun Memorial Scholarship: The willingness to move from Michigan to California, the financial need, the success on the volleyball court, the constant hunger for more. There is also a line in his application essay that stood out as quite remarkable, one the selection committee read aloud a few times.

“I’ve heard so many people talk about following their dreams in a tone that is passive, waiting for the right time, the right job, or the right place,” he wrote. “In the meantime they spend their days working a job they don’t want to work in order to fund lives the don’t really enjoy living. I’ve never been one to be content in a situation when I believe there is opportunity for growth and change.”

So he’ll continue seeking those opportunities. He’ll continue growing, and changing. He’ll know there’s always room to be better.

And he’ll continue to fill that room.

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