I vår nästa intervju med ”BIP Stars” har vi vår första utländska spelare i Dalen Instenes. Dalen kommer från USA och spelar i Floby VK under denna säsongen.
Who is Dalen Instenes?
– My name is Dalen Instenes and I am an Outside Hitter from the United States. I was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin to a family of four. My father: Doug mother: Kim and older sister: Lauren and of course our dog: Copper.
What is your volleyball background?
-I started playing volleyball when I was 14 years old. I was first introduced to the game through my mom and sister. My sister played volleyball in middle school (grades 6-8 in the US). I played some volleyball in middle school gym class and thought it was fun, but the sport I loved was still (American) Football. It wasn’t until I went to one of my sisters tournaments where I saw men’s volleyball and how fast passed it was and that is where I drew more interest in the sport.
I played in high school and was able to get a Division 1 college scholarship to play volleyball at Lewis University. There we were one of the top teams 10 in the United States all 5 years I was there. In 2019 winning our conference championship and making it to the Final 4.
After I graduated college this was the year that COVID really took a hit. There wasn’t much opportunity to play volleyball so I began coaching. I helped coach a Division 3 college name Carthage college for 1 season. That season we went undefeated with a record of 22-0 and won the National Championship. In the offseason I also play for Team Pineapple in the new professional league in the United States called the Volleyball League of America
Why did you choose to play for Floby and the Swedish Elitserien?
– I chose to play for Floby VK because of the reputation of the Swedish Elitserien. In the USA Sweden has a good reputation for taking care of their foreign players and also providing a high level of play. I have had many friends come play in Sweden and loved it. I was able to talk to Floby about the opportunity to come play here and it seemed like a great fit. Many of the players currently on the team also reached out to me about how they were excited to have me and if I had any questions to let them know. That was also a reason I chose Floby
What is your impression of Sweden after a fall here?
– I enjoy Sweden it is a lot like where I grew up in Wisconsin. The weather is pretty similar so that wasn’t hard to get used to. Everyone I have come across in Sweden has been very respectful and friendly which is very nice to have being a foreigner and not speaking the language
What do you think about the Swedish Elitserie?
– I think the Elitserie is a great place to play. There are a lot of talented players here and able to compete at a high level. This year I have found there is a lot more teams battling for spots which is good to see. That means the league is growing and getting better. I also think there is opportunity for this league to expand which is great for the sport worldwide
How do you evaluate the halfway of the season with Floby VK?
– I think everyone is finding out that Floby VK is a team you cannot look past. We have proved that we are one of the top teams in this league and we will continue to prove that in the weeks to come. I think you can see the strides that Floby VK has taken just in one year and we have started to figure out what works best for us and how to play as a team and most importantly win
How is life in Floby?
– Life in Floby is good. It is a small town so you have to make your fun and explore. The guys on the team are great and are always there to help out or have a good time. I try to get out and explore other cities as much as I can as well which is great. In the US it is not easy or cheap to get around unless you have a car. But here I can easily hop on a bus or train and go anywhere
Are there any specific things or food that you are missing from USA?
– This is a GREAT question. The guys will make fun of me for saying this but the biggest thing I missed right away was ranch! We put ranch on everything in the US but here it isn’t the same. Good thing I have a great family and they sent me some haha. But the food I miss most is probably Chipotle. It is one of my favorite restaurants. I just haven’t found anything that can match it here!
Who will win the NC men’s volleyball championship 2022 in USA?
– This is a tough one. Of course I have to say my boys back at Lewis will get it done. But, if not I think this year is going to be an interesting year in the NCAA. A lot of teams lost their 5th and 6th (COVID) year guys. So there will be many new faces out on the court for many teams. I could see Hawaii making another run at the Championship they have always been a really tough team to beat and bring in some great players from overseas
What are your goals with your volleyball?
– I am currently living out my goal for volleyball. My goal has always been to improve and make that next step. Whether it was in high school getting better to make the varsity team, in college to make the starting roster, and now to become a professional player overseas. And now it is to help my teammates and Floby VK make a run at a Swedish Eliteserie Gold Medal
What are your plans for the Summer of 2022?
– My biggest and most exciting plan this summer is getting married to my fiancé Haley. We are so excited to be able to finally start our lives together and we cannot be more happy. Besides that I will to play volleyball for Team Pineapple in the Volleyball League of America for the summer!
Thank you Dalen and good luck in the Spring Season with Floby