Born: July 29, 1958 in San Diego, California (United States)
Category: Male Indoor Player
In the mid-1980’s during its rapid rise to international prominence, the United States Men’s Volleyball Team was in good hands, those of setter Dusty Dvorak, unquestionably on the greatest setters to have played the game.
Dusty grew up in Laguna Beach, California, and as a junior in high school had the great fortune to have Volleyball Hall of Famer Rolf Engen as a coach. Engen guided Dvorak away from football and basketball to concentrate on volleyball, and Dvorak learned the game well. Dvorak did not venture far from home after high school, bringing his volleyball talents to the University of Southern California (USC) and, with Dvorak setting and controlling the play, USC won the NCAA Championships in 1977 and 1980. While at USC, Dvorak was named a collegiate All-American for each of his four years, and as a senior earned NCAA tournament Most Valuable Player honors after directing a near perfect Trojan offense in the title game against rival UCLA.
During summer vacations Dvorak did not rest, instead using the time both indoors and on the beach to continue building his skills. In 1979 and 1981, he played on the United States Volleyball Association National champion Nautilus team, and was named MVP of the open division in 1979. While on the sand, he teamed with the legendary Sinjin Smith, and finished with a top ten player rating. After receiving his degree in business from USC, Dvorak joined Uncle Sam’s team, and became the field general that helped the United States become a world power in volleyball. The U.S. Team began the journey by winning the NORCECA Championships, placing second in the Savin Cup in Moscow, and winning the Canada Cup before peaking at the 1984 Olympics, winning Gold medal in Los Angeles.
But the wave was far from fading and, with Dvorak as the starting setter, the United States Men’s Team ruled the world courts, winning the coveted “Triple Crown” of Volleyball: the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championships and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal.
Along with the titles, Dvorak was starting to pile up individual recognition. He was named one of the three Outstanding Players at the 1983 Savin Cup in the USSR, and was also named Outstanding Setter at the 1985 World Cup by the Japan Volleyball Association. After leaving the US Team, Dvorak made his second home in Italy, competing in the Italian League until 1993. As a member of the Maxicano team, Dvorak won three European Cup Championships, as well as the 1990 World Cup Championships before returning to the states and the sandy shores of California,
After gaining international recognition not only for his precision setting, but also for his consistent blocking, Dvorak, the ultimate team player, joined the Bud Light 4-man tour. Success again followed, as he was a perennial All-League selection and won the league title in 1993