SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The U.S. Men's Volleyball Team was recently in San Diego for a "friendly" with Iran. One of the U.S. players hails from East County.
Nick Vogel currently spends his time with the U.S. national team.
"Volleyball has been great to me because I've seen improvement throughout my career," Vogel said.
The last two years of his career, he played professionally in Europe.
"Playing in Europe in general, volleyball is more popular," he said.
Vogel says volleyball is the number one spectator sport in Poland, even ahead of soccer. He has been playing for a team in Germany.
"It's a great spectator sport. Lots of scoring, people hitting things really hard, it's a fun game to watch. It just hasn't been gaining popularity in the United States," he said.
After graduating from Vallhalla High School in 2008, Vogel spent four years at UCLA, and then two years overseas. He now hopes to become a more permanent member of the U.S. national team.
"This is my opportunity to show what I can do and see if I can make changes and continue to improve, so I can put myself on the same level I need to be on," he said.
Vogel checks in at 6 feet 9 inches tall.
"I think I am a little more naturally built for this game than some of the games I played," Vogel said.
Those would include soccer, tennis and basketball. He says he will continue his pursuit of volleyball as long as he keeps getting better.
"I always told myself if I ever stop seeing improvement in any aspect, no matter how hard I work, it's a time you can lose interest. So that has kept me interested in volleyball enormously over the years," he said.
He hopes that interest will land him a regular spot on the national team.
While here in San Diego, Vogel was on the pre-roster for the world championships. He has now made the travel roster, which means he's going with the team to Worlds.