USA VOLLEYBALL: Reid Priddy Finds Success Along With US Men's Team
USA Volleyball's B.J. Evans looks at Lion Reid Priddy (1996-2000) and his run with the US Men's National Team.
Sept. 9, 2007
The following story ran by B.J. Evans was posted on USAVolleyball.org September 7, 2007.
Photographers love Reid Priddy.
The outside hitter is 6-foot-5 but can touch 11-and-a-half feet when he's hitting. It can make for some spectacular photos.
Those talents will be on display on Sept. 16-21 at the NORCECA Men's Volleyball Continental Championship in Anaheim, Calif.
Priddy's talents have also made for some spectacular statistics this season.
After playing in two major events this season - FIVB World League and the America's Cup - Priddy leads the U.S. Men in scoring, kills, aces and receptions.
Priddy finished World League pool play - May 26-July 1 - as the third-leading scorer, the third-leading spiker, the third-leading receiver and the fifth-leading server among all World League players.
But more important to Priddy was the fact that his team went 10-2, won its pool and advanced to the World League final round in Poland.
"I really think the matches in Poland were so good for us," he said. "Those sorts of matches, when you have the best teams in the world competing for the highest prizes under those conditions; those four matches were more of a learning experience than the entire summer in previous years."
Priddy was the second leading scorer in the final round and just missed receiving a $40,000 bonus.
Priddy finished the 2006 as the United States' leading scorer, but it would have meant more to him if the team had met with more success. Tenth-place finishes in World League and at the World Championship put a damper on any accolades Priddy might have received.
"I think everyone has gotten better from last year," Priddy said. "I think last year, we had moments of greatness. I remember in Spokane, that first set against Serbia & Montenegro was one of the best sets we've had as a team (the United States won the set 25-13). And then we go and lose (the match)."
What's the difference this year? Priddy says the team has matured with experience.
"(This year) there is a calmness and determination that is growing. Everyone's getting older and more experienced. When we're 14-all in the fifth set, there isn't a lot of anxiety."
For Priddy, part of that calmness and maturity came when he married Lindsay Pierce in February after an on-and-off courtship that spanned several years. The marriage gave him a teammate off the court. Lindsay's job as an interior designer allows her to travel with Priddy on many of his trips.
"I think when you become a provider for more than yourself, the stakes get a little higher," Priddy said. "I think it's a life stage where things become a little more serious. Not that I wasn't taking it seriously before.
"I see changes in guys when they get married and when they have kids. We don't play volleyball in a vacuum. The whole person is represented at some point when you're playing in a volleyball match. Relationships that take place off the court play a huge role in that, definitely."
Priddy, the youngest of four children, was born in Richmond, Va., but his family soon moved to Florida, where he played volleyball for the first time in junior high school. A few years later, the family moved to Arizona, where Priddy started high school. It happened to coincide with the first year that boys' high school volleyball became an official sport in the state.
"I just happened to go to the school with the best coach (Mountain Point High School)," Priddy said. "I believe it was divine intervention."
Priddy played college volleyball at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. He graduated in 2000 and was an AVCA All-American his senior season. Four years later, the school disbanded its men's volleyball program.
Priddy joined the U.S. Men's National Team in 2000 and was an alternate for the 2000 Olympic Team. He would go on to make the team for the 2004 Summer Games, where the team finished fourth.
These days, Priddy and Lindsay are living in Irvine, Calif., while looking for a home in Southern California that they can remodel and make their own. Priddy also enjoys working on videos and web sites.
But the thing that really takes Priddy away from the stresses of the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team is surfing.
"There's no phone. You're just out there. It's beautiful and relaxing," he said. "Typically, when the surf is good, we're preparing for an event. I'm hoping we can get some good days in before NORCECA. That's when I feel the most away from the gym."
But before long, Priddy will be back on the court giving photographers and fans those shots that they love.
To view the article on USAVolleyball.org, click here.