That is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly take a look at 10 issues in membership volleyball, previous or current, that curiosity me and hopefully will curiosity you. Search for Dots each Tuesday by Junior Nationals this summer time.
• Columbus, Ohio, was the setting for the Ohio Valley 18s qualifier, the sixth of 16 nationwide qualifiers below the USA Volleyball umbrella. What are groups making an attempt to qualify for? The 18s Junior Nationwide Championships, April 26-28, in Baltimore. Nice information! The Orioles are on the town on these dates!!!
Twenty-one (21) groups – 19 nonetheless looking bids – participated within the 18 Open division. Three punched their tickets: Coast 18-1, from the West Coast; Metro 18 Journey within the east and Academy 18E Rage from Center America. Women volleyball actually is a nationwide sport!
• Coast, from San Diego, made its second journey out of state repay, with a 9-0 weekend and the title at Ohio Valley. Ozhan Bahrambeygui’s workforce dropped simply three units, however prevailed each workforce. A number of weeks earlier than, at Lone Star in Austin, Coast was solely 1-3 in matches that went the gap (4-0 in sweeps), a primary issue within the workforce’s falling wanting its first try and bid.
“It was good to see the workforce get wholesome after a foul flu tore by your complete workforce throughout the Lone Star Qualifier two weeks earlier,” Ozh stated. “What stood out in regards to the Ohio expertise was that almost all of our gamers hit tough patches in components of their sport and nonetheless discovered a strategy to contribute in alternative ways.”
Coast had an important weekend because of huge manufacturing from our middles Hayley Ogden and Mackenzie Parson. OH Tiana Owens teamed with the excellent libero platoon of Ximena Cordero and Paulina Bailee to impose suffocating defensive stress on all opponents. OH Madison Triplett entertained the spectators watching the ultimate match versus previously-qualified Mintonette m. 81 along with her finest play of the weekend, each on offense and behind the service line. Lastly, Jaidyn Jager, a junior, bolstered that she’s probably the greatest nationally in her class with distinctive play on the internet blocking and attacking and as a defender within the again row.
“A private because of Ron [Mahlerwein] and the good youngsters at Mintonette .81,” Ozhan stated. “Our workforce had performed back-to-back three avid gamers main proper as much as the finals. M. 81, taking part in with out two starters, nonetheless held the No. 1 seed, dispatching each of their Day 3 Gold Pool opponents in 2. That they had earned an abundance of relaxation and had the choice to pressure us to play immediately, however their workforce graciously allowed us relaxation time, an opportunity to eat and, in my thoughts, might have prevented a fatigue-related harm. Their group was not solely essentially the most environment friendly workforce within the event; they had been elegant.”
• Academy 18E Rage, from Indianapolis, certified by inserting third. Steve Hawthorne’s workforce misplaced on Day 1 to North Pacific Juniors 18 Forefront, however avenged the loss when it mattered most, profitable a nail biter over the Oregon squad, 15-13, in Gold Pool play. The win, coupled with Mintonette’s prevailing within the different Gold Pool, clinched the Open bid.
“Whereas the three pins, Lauren Harden (Florida), Alaleh Tolliver (Butler), and Taylor Lewis (Villanova), offered excellent play at many huge moments all through the weekend, the constant and distinctive play by libero Sophie Ledbetter (Ball State) and setter Leah Richmond (Western Michigan) offered nice stability in each offense and protection all through the weekend,” Hawthorne stated. “These gamers, and extra, had huge performances of their win over NPJ 18 Forefront to clinch their bid, a workforce they misplaced to within the opening day of play.”
• Metro went 6-2 in Columbus, dropping shut matches solely to the event champion and runner up. The Washington, D.C. squad clinched its Open bid by defeating Ohio’s Rock Metropolis 18-1 within the opening match of Sunday’s Gold Pool 1.
“Received it accomplished! Phew!” exclaimed Metro coach and director Silvia Johnson.
The explanation for Johnson’s reduction is that Metro had this season been in Gold twice beforehand solely to fall brief.
Metro began quick in Columbus and dominated for a lot of the primary two days, shedding solely to Coast, which performed clear in that match.
“Day 3 we got here in with the willpower to get the bid and had been capable of pull it out towards Rock Metropolis,” Johnson stated.
Standouts included OH Mimi Mambu, who averaged 5.4 kills per set whereas hitting .305; OH Alexis Ewing, who hit near .400; and libero Malihn Godschall, who dug up 107 balls over 16 event units.
• The 20-team 18 USA division noticed Dallas Skyline 18 Black qualify first with out dropping a set. Revolution PGH 18 White, from Western Pennsylvania, was virtually as dominant. It certified by profitable each match till the finals.
“Dallas Skyline 18Black got here into the event hungry and wished to point out everybody why they need to be at 18s Nationwide,” famous coach David Huynh. “We went 8-0 with out breaking a set and weathered some onslaught from robust opponents. Each time their opponent would put up a run there was one teammate that might do one thing further with both an important dig, move, set, or kill that might change the momentum again to our aspect. This was an all-out workforce effort from all 10 gamers that we’ve got on this workforce. Everybody contributed at key factors of the sport.”
Revolution’s first qualifying try included a 6-0 begin over the primary two days, as legendary highschool coach Heidi Miller’s workforce used a balanced assault that got here from nice passing from the defensive duo of Kara Pasquale and Avery Koontz and superior set distribution, together with huge swings and aggressive soar serving from proper aspect attacker Emmy Schrom.
The match for the bid pitted Rev PGH towards Rev 18-1 Avengers from Indy.
“That contest boiled down to a couple gritty and thrilling factors earned by exterior hitters Elysia Smith and Chloe Record,” Miller famous, as her workforce received, 17-15, within the third.
“Shout out to the Dallas Skyline workforce that beat us within the finals,” Miller added. “Very clean efficiency by that workforce.”
• Two extra bids emanated from the play within the 22-team 18 Liberty division. KeAloha 18-1 Nazare and OT 18O Semei every misplaced simply as soon as in securing passage to Junior Nationals.
KeAloha head coach Craig Cromwell attributed not qualifying over MLK Weekend at Windy Metropolis to a “psychological lapse.”
“After two nice weeks of follow, the ladies got here into OVR actually locked in and decided,” he shared. “All phases of play acquired higher every match because the competitors elevated every day. Our back and front pin manufacturing from Gwen Clifford, Ava Holtz and Emalee Maesch was excellent all weekend. Marissa Roe and Kate Buckley patrolled the center of the web with quite a few solo blocks. The strong serve obtain and backrow defensive play of Riley Treece, Izzy Freese, Kylie Campbell and Lindley Martin was the steadying pressure that guided our success over the weekend. Bella Maier saved our offense in tempo with nice location and resolution making from the setter spot.
“The weekend was additionally devoted to certainly one of our very long time volleyball pals that just lately handed away from a two 12 months bout with most cancers. We all know he was watching over us.”
“I’m happy with my workforce combating by adversity to qualify this weekend,” stated OT head coach Semei Tello Ponce. “A lot of them have been combating sickness and one participant was unable to journey because of being sick.”
The workforce noticed Melany Salazar, a 5-4 setter, step up and play all the way in which round in a 5:1 offense. MB Austin Knight was one other huge key to workforce success.
“Each of our outsides, Avery Schwieger (UNC Asheville commit) and Emily Schellenberg (Washington and Lee Commit), battled on completely different days not feeling effectively however pushed by for his or her workforce to make it to the finals on the ultimate day,” Tello Ponce stated. “We additionally had strong play from libero Gwenivere Schoenthaler. We had the smaller roster ( in numbers — 8 gamers) and in addition the shortest general roster (in top in our division). The workforce confirmed coronary heart, combating by all adversity that was thrown at them, and dealt with it like champions!”
TAV Houston 18 Molten took residence the lone bid within the 20-team 18 American division. The workforce didn’t drop a set.
We reached out to TAV Houston for remark, however didn’t hear again by press time.
• The Central Zone Invitational, held in Indianapolis, is yearly one of the aggressive occasions nationally earlier than President’s Day Weekend.
This 12 months’s occasion was no exception, with KiVA 17 Crimson, NKYVC 16 Tsunami and Legacy 15-1 Adidas claiming titles in 17 Open, 16 Open and 15 Open, respectively.
KiVA, the No. 3 seed to begin, overcame a Energy Pool loss to Legacy 17-1 Adidas, 16-14 within the third, to avenge the loss within the 17 Open championship match the subsequent day, 25-23, 25-23. Anne Kordes’ workforce additionally scored huge wins over Circle Metropolis 17 Purple and Michigan Elite 17 Mizuno in Gold Bracket matches.
NKYVC’s run to the title included going three in three Gold Bracket wins, together with over Elevation 16 Goller within the 16 Open last.
“Led by standout performers like Emma Fritch, Grace Portwood and Audrey Dyas, NKYVC 16 Tsunami showcased distinctive teamwork, perseverance, and resiliency towards elite golf equipment on the Central Zone Invitational,” stated head coach Tyler Collins.
Legacy rallied from an influence pool misplaced to Tri-State Elite 15 Blue to comb 4 Gold Bracket opponents, together with Elevation 15 Tony within the 15 Open championship match.
“I assumed our serving was actually strong this weekend,” famous Legacy coach Tyler Strom. “Retaining groups off the web permits us to attain in transition at a a lot larger clip than quite a lot of our competitors. We acquired beat handily Saturday night time by a very nice Tri-State workforce. I feel that was really a internet constructive because it took the stress off the ladies. It allowed them to refocus and course of that we: 1. Weren’t going undefeated this 12 months. 2. Are nonetheless very able to shedding towards workforce if we lose our id.”
On Sunday, Legacy, which end ninth in 14 Open at Junior Nationals final summer time, was ready beat two groups – KiVA 15 Crimson and Munciana 15 Blue, that this group had by no means crushed earlier than.
Kate Kalczynski had a fully unimaginable weekend and led the workforce in kills, passer ranking, hitting share and solo blocks. Outdoors Callie Leferve was injured within the KiVA match and Olivia Berishaj got here off the bench to hit .304 with some well timed kills alongside the stretch within the semis and finals.
• A number of extra takeaways from the Central Zone Invitational:
Legacy 16-1 Adidas has among the finest personnel nationally on this age group. The workforce tied in 15 Open for fifth at Junior Nationals final 12 months and was the highest workforce in 16 Open heading into bracket play at Central Zones. Toledo Volleyball Membership 16 Black, which tied for fifth final 12 months within the 15 Nationwide division at Junior Nationals, knocked Legacy from rivalry in a match that would not have been nearer, 23-25, 26-24, 15-13. TVC then defeated SPVB 16 Elite earlier than falling within the semis to the eventual champions, NKYVC.
Mintonette M. 61, which has completed first and third the previous couple of years in Open at Junior Nationals (14 Open in 2022; 15 Open final 12 months), misplaced to Legacy in an influence pool, however received twice to achieve the semifinals to eventual runner up Elevation, a fellow Ohio membership that was twenty second in 15 Open at Junior Nationals final summer time.
Carolina Rogue 17 Black completed ninth and within the 17 Open Gold Bracket at Central Zones, enhancing seven spots from its unique seed.
Shutdown blocking from 6-2 Blakely Johnson on the precise aspect and a well-oiled offense run by Sydney Fischer, had been keys to Rogue’ success, as was Drew Web page scoring early and sometimes on the surface.
“We acquired bumped by #1 seed Michigan Elite earlier than battling NKYVC,” famous coach Adam Speight. “We received that in two units, thanks once more to terminal hitting from Johnson, Web page and Jordan Hunt, whereas Fischer saved the opposing blockers in test by spreading out the offense with tempo. A number of key blocks from Hunt contributed to an important win, ending 4-2, to set the tone for lofty expectations transferring ahead.”
• Metro 17 Journey received the 17 Open division at JVA Appeal Metropolis Problem in Baltimore. The workforce went 6-0 with out dropping a set, going through good competitors from throughout the Atlantic Coast.
“After falling brief at MAPL Hampton final weekend, the workforce rebounded in excessive style with contributions from all positions,” stated coach Jenna McGann. “Libero Sadie Gladhill (Buffalo commit) averaged 3.25 digs per set and libero Evie Huang (class of ’26) averaged 4 digs per set. 6-3 setter Isabelle Bardin (uncommitted) averaged over 9 assists per set and led the workforce in blocks.”
Triangle received each the 15 Open and 16 Open divisions at Appeal Metropolis. The 15 Black and 16 Black groups went a mixed 12-0 with solely 4 dropped units.
East Coast Energy KOP 18-R received the 18 Open division.
• Spike & Serve had an important weekend on the Aloha Area’s Feb 3-4 “President’s and Women Bid” Match. The 14s by 18s workforce all received bids to Junior Nationals.
These identical 5 groups will competing subsequent week on the Triple Crown NIT, the primary time SASVBC groups can be represented in all 5 age teams.
Final week, the coach of Premier Nebraska 15 Black noticed that two pins on the Oklahoma Cost 15 UA workforce they performed at Northern Lights had been nearly unstoppable. I requested the Cost head coach, former Oklahoma Sooner boss man Santiago Restrepo, to inform me about them.
He stated that Stella Wishon is a 6-2 exterior with a really heavy arm and an important assault from the again row. Olivia Carter is a dynamic 6-0 participant on the precise who could be very bodily and an important blocker.
Restrepo additionally lauded the play of 5-10 S/RS Amelia Mullen, who delivers the rock from the again row and rockets the rock on the precise aspect.
Final weekend in Minneapolis, Jacksonville Skyline 17 Royal certified first within the 17 USA division.
“It was an general nice workforce efficiency,” stated coach Emma Roberson. “Now we have added a number of new items to this workforce coming into this season and each single child performed their function to make us profitable. We had nice offensive performances by Mari King and Brooke Forkum, clearly, however each single participant purchased it and we couldn’t have received with out each bit. Erica Duffy was a wonderful quarterback, whereas all three DS/ Libs made large performs for us to maintain us alive on the finish of the PVA match and the Iowa PowerPlex sport. We did have three gamers with injured fingers (Vivian Scuteri, Amaria King, and Ariel Ross) and one with a chilly, however they rallied every set. On day two we misplaced to a really scrappy Texas Storm workforce which may have derailed us; however, as an alternative, our ladies got here again even stronger towards Dallas Premier. permitting us to take first within the pool. From the Dallas Premier sport on, our workforce took every ‘break’ in play as only a outing. We weren’t accomplished till we got here residence with that gold ball, and that mindset allowed them to see it come to fruition.”
Final week in Minneapolis, a workforce from Fort Price, Peak 15 Black Bryar, received its first six matches in 15 Open at Northern Lights and threatened to qualify out of the gate. We wished to know extra about this workforce and the way it appeared to be thriving regardless of taking part in in the identical space as a number of golf equipment that appear to have had a stranglehold on the expertise within the Dallas Metroplex over the previous a number of years.
“Peak Volleyball Academy confronted a difficult begin of its profession throughout the Covid pandemic, however 4 years later, our progress has been nothing wanting exceptional,” membership director and coach of 15 Black Bryar Nevills stated. .
“Our latest efficiency on the Northern Lights Qualifier didn’t come as a shock to me,” he added. “In all honesty, I had excessive expectations for our workforce—to emerge victorious within the qualifier. Regardless of going through setbacks with 4 athletes down because of illness and harm, we refused to make excuses. As an alternative, we discovered methods to reply and persevere. I’m lucky to steer a workforce of extremely aggressive athletes who hate shedding.”
Nevills stated that making an attempt to achieve success within the extremely aggressive panorama that’s the North Texas Area has not been simple.
“Now we have strived to create a tradition of relentless effort and a never-outworked mentality,” he stated. “Emphasizing hands-on coaching for each the bodily and psychological features of the sport, we purpose to be extra than simply one other membership—we aspire to be a year-round household. Attending athletes’ highschool video games, partaking in team-building actions all year long, and sustaining a dedication to honesty are essential features of our method. Regardless of emotions, we consider in being open and clear in regards to the athletes’ present standing and the areas the place enchancment is required.”
Nevills stated that the roster of 13 is star-studded, with your complete roster greater than able to starring at any time.
This season has been one of the rewarding teaching experiences as a result of each participant on this workforce is a standout participant. Peak’s offense runs by the center, the place tall, springy Keegan Flowres patrols together with excessive I.Q. Ameila Morrison. On the precise aspect, each Rylin Otto and Toree Rayford are robust, bodily and athletic. Brooklyn Peoples is a strong attacker on the left, complemented by the ball management of Savannah Sterna. Peak expects to get injured Libby Tedder again within the coming weeks. She is going to add to the workforce’s efficiency along with her competitiveness, explosiveness and flexibility. On the setter place, Peak’s trio all get the job accomplished in several methods. Reese Seaton is a quick and athletic lefty. Mallory Hockaday and her clean arms will quickly make a return to the courtroom after a protracted harm absence. Reagan Pennington is a tough employee who turns difficult passes into profitable performs. Lastly, Peak’s again row of Kyler Shirley, Gabby Garcia, and Kalee Wilcox are dedicated, fearless defenders. Shirley is quicker than quick and instinctive because the workforce’s libero, whereas Garcia and Wilcox are reckless of their unyielding pursuit.