After steamrolling through the regular season and efficiently handling the reigning champions, the Utah Stingers, in a 3-0 upset in the Semi-Finals, the Ramblers had their championship dreams cut short by the OC Stunners in the finals. Still, the team has been able to walk away with their heads held high as they take home the silver medal in only their second year of competition. Making huge strides from their first competition during the 2020 NVA November Showcase, where they took the bronze, it seems the sky is truly the limit for the Vegas Squad.
Their success has come even after losing outside hitters Kendall Ratter and Gianluca Grasso to the Texas Tyrants. The two were both pivotal in the team’s success in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, with the 2021 best outside hitter Brandon Rattray and best setter Michael Keegan and returning opposite Ryan Mather and middle Antwain Aguillard, the Ramblers made an even stronger showing in this year’s finals. Even with injuries and unavoidable absences for some of their other core players, the Rambling Men pulled out a stellar performance.
“I was super proud of how our guys competed, and I think it was a huge learning opportunity for so many of our younger guys. Most of our roster are 26 or younger and have not yet competed in gritty matches as we had for the final. Alternatively, the Stunners are built for those matches, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue getting our guy’s experience playing against teams like that in playoff situations.
We have no plans for stopping now; we took 3rd in 2020, 2nd in 2021, so we want that 1st in 2022. We have a great core squad but are always looking for any advantage we can create on the court or through other support for the team off of it.”
- Nick England, VP
The Ramblers organization has shown that they are filled with passion for the sport of volleyball and are dedicated to pursuing success both for their team and the NVA. Both Nick England and Owner Vinny Rodriguez have shown great promise for this team and are eager to push their players further next season.
“While he had a couple of bumps in the road, this team was able to finish the regular season with the best overall record in the NVA and came up one match short of a Gold Medal. We also made excellent progress off-the-court this season by securing sponsors, selling merchandise, and developing overall branding.
While we are stoked at the direction this team is going, we are still always looking to grow and improve. To make this dream a reality, we rely heavily on our players, staff, and fans. This team and organization is nothing without the remarkable group of players we have on our roster and our VP Nick England. These guys all work so hard and sacrifice immensely to keep this train moving. We are hoping 2022 can be another benchmark year for the Ramblers and the NVA as a whole!”
- Vinny Rodriguez, Owner/GM
To watch a replay of the NVA Finals where the Las Vegas Ramblers took on the OC Stunners for gold, follow the link for YouTube below. Also, stay updated on the Ramblers (@ramblersnvausa) this off-season by following them on Instagram and the NVA (@nvausa) to find highlights of the 2021 season!
2021 NVA Championship Final: Las Vegas Ramblers vs OC Stunners
- NVA Staff Writer