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The Los Angeles Volleyball Academy is an affiliation of junior volleyball clubs in Southern California and beyond, but there is only one affiliate for competitive male middle and high school athletes within the organization — SMBC Boys Volleyball Club. SMBC Boys operates out of three distinct locations in the greater Los Angeles area working in tandem with one another: SMBC South, based in Studio City; SMBC North, based in Santa Clarita; and SMBC West, based in Thousand Oaks. SMBC Boys is one of the premier boys volleyball clubs in the country, not to mention one of the oldest and most successful, and for more than thirty years it has developed young male players into college-ready athletes.

Mike Normand

The story of SMBC Boys begins with renowned coach Mike Normand, who founded the original Santa Monica Beach Club for Boys in 1982. Practicing out of Santa Monica High School, SMBC teams found instant success and by the time Normand retired ten years later, the club had brought home as many as six gold medals in Junior Olympic competition, as well as a host of silver and bronze. Over the next decade, a handful of men were significant in moving SMBC Boys forward, building upon the exemplary work done by Normand: Jim Young, Jimmy Blackman, and Turhan Douglas, among others. All three left their own recognizable stamp on the organization, prior to the stepping of Nabil Mardini onto the SMBC Boys scene.

Nabil has grown the SMBC Boys brand into a true juggernaut: the program has brought home eighteen medals in Junior National Championship competition since 2006, boasts one of the most respected and comprehensive training schedules in the region, has a coaching staff known as one of the best in the business, and is part of the extensive LAVA network. Over 120+ athletes have gone on to play college volleyball in the past ten years, to schools such as USC, Pepperdine, Irvine, UC San Diego, Pacific, Harvard, CSUN, Santa Barbara, UC Davis, BYU, Ohio State, Hawaii, UC Santa Cruz, Pierce College, and Cal Berkeley, among others.

SMBC Boys features some of the best and brightest volleyball minds and personalities in the region, with operations run out of three locations the San Fernando Valley—Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Oakwood School in North Hollywood, and Pierce College in Woodland Hills. The program anticipates fielding ten teams annually across the five distinct age divisions of the SCVA, with teams traveling to the competitive national year-end tournament known as the Junior National Championships. The Co-Directors of SMBC Boys are Charles Gage and Nabil Mardini.


The Los Angeles Volleyball Academy (LAVA) is an affiliation of junior club volleyball organizations based in Southern California. LAVA has quickly developed into one of the premier junior athletic organizations in the country, featuring some of the best and brightest volleyball coaching and administrative minds — and most talented players — in the region.

LAVA has grown to include: six girls volleyball full travel affiliates in LAVA North (Santa Clarita), LAVA South (Studio City), LAVA East (Pomona), and LAVA West (Thousand Oaks), which form the original affiliate family known as LAVA Girls, plus LAVA Shack (West Los Angeles), launched in 2015, and LAVA Islands (Ventura), launched in 2014; the Locals Volleyball Club (aka LAVA Locals), LAVA’s low-cost, limited-travel program with four locations — Locals North (Santa Clarita), Locals South (San Fernando Valley), Locals East (Redlands), and Locals West (Thousand Oaks); an extensive Non-Travel Program with multiple locations in and around Southern California, featuring LAVA Lite (the immensely popular youth program for 3rd-5th graders), the Lite Plus (for more experienced 5th-6th graders), and the Walk-Ons Program (for 7th-9th graders); Crescent Sand Volleyball Club, our sand volleyball training affiliate; the Mardico Company, our affiliate for coaching education and training; the LAVA Foundation, the non-profit arm of LAVA; and SMBC Boys, our official boys club volleyball affiliate, SMBC Boys VBC, with three locations (SMBC South in Studio City, SMBC North in Santa Clarita, and SMBC West in Thousand Oaks).

The Academy combines for more than 70 teams and 800 athletes, not to mention a coaching staff more than 100 strong with millennia of playing and coaching experience between them, and awards earned at every level, including internationally and at the Olympics. We pride ourselves on our top-tier staff, featuring some of the finest coaches in the region, but still we are not satisfied — we actively work to educate and train our coaches on a continuous basis, to build on top of the education they received before reaching us and improve and increase their knowledge during their time with us. The result is one of the most experienced, educated, caring, committed, compassionate, and technically sound coaching staffs in the SCVA region — and beyond.

The committed members of LAVA — players, parents, coaches, and administrators — bring unique backgrounds, strong characters, vibrant personalities, valuable experience, and steadfast dedication and spirit to their various roles within and beyond the bounds of the organization, but foremost an enduring passion for the sport of volleyball and a driving desire to do good and right, whether directly or indirectly, by everyone in our athletic community. Welcome once again to the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy!