March 3, 2024
Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots are back, so Let’s Get the Party Started!

This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly glance at 10 matters in club volleyball, earlier or present, that curiosity me and with any luck , will desire you. Glance for Dots through Junior Nationals this summertime.

• Presents have been opened, toasts to the new calendar year built and vacation lights stowed. It is time to get to operate on a new and generally-exciting period of club volleyball.

For the 24th year, I will be covering the activity in some potential. I invite you along as I give you the information, my standpoint, share some previous heritage and provide a followers-eye glimpse into the activity that has us on the edge of our seats 7 days in and week out.

• Let us commence our glance forward with a transient seem again at the “teams of summer time,” people squads that claimed countrywide championships in 2022.

Legacy 15-1 Adidas does the pose right after Rocking and Rumbling to a title previous weekend

At AAU Nationals, champions at the greatest ranges included Munciana Samurai in 18 Open up, Legacy 17-1 Adidas in 17 Open, A5 16 Gabe in 16 Open up, Legacy 15-1 Adidas in 15 Open up and Boiler Juniors 14 Gold in 14 Open.

• Munciana Samurai, coached by the legendary Mike Lingenfelter, ordinarily has a smattering of prominent underclassmen on it, helping to easy the changeover from one 12 months to the subsequent. Very last year’s crew, which also gained the Triple Crown NIT over the USAV 18 Open up champions, Sunshine 18 LA, was a lot more of a veteran team, nonetheless. Samurai returns only two gamers, senior MB Ava Vickers and senior defender Ramsey Gary. Search for sophomore OH Charlotte Vinson to think the role of terminator 1, which Eva Hudson championed very last yr just before likely on to be Big Ten Freshman of the 12 months for Purdue this past slide.

One particular interesting be aware about this year’s Samurai squad: when Lingenfelter ordinarily has a player or two from out of state, this year’s roster shows one particular, 6-2 senior OH Cate Shanahan, from Massachusetts and an additional, 5-10 junior OH London Wijay, from California.

Shanahan is an Ontario indigenous. Wijay will engage in club most of the time for Supernova in the Golden Point out but will enjoy with Samurai at the big situations on its schedule.

• Legacy 18-1 Adidas will glance a minimal distinct than the Legacy squad that gained AAUs at 17 Open up last summer. A few gamers, OH Harper Murray, 6-4 MB Nina Horning and libero Sarah Velluci, are off early to college. All will be missed, specifically Murray, who arguably is the ideal participant in the Class of 2023 and the most proficient player in the record of the club.

The workforce, coached by Bryan Lindstrom, even now has quite a few standouts, including Abbey Reck, who will move to OH MB Laurece Abraham and setter Erin Kline. Amid newcomers, OH Kennedy Louisell and RS Ella Schomer figure to be most impactful. This could not be previous year’s Legacy team, but it really should nevertheless be incredibly formidable.

• A5 17-Jing, on paper, appears to be certainly ridiculous this 12 months. A Who’s Who of the top rated juniors in the point out, it has the opportunity not only to repeat at AAUs but to include the USAV title as nicely. Initially off, the crew has spectacular peak, such as 6-7 middle Mia Hood, committed to Michigan State 6-3 middle Logan Wiley, fully commited to Ga Tech and 6-6 ½ middle MK Patten, a Ga recruit. The team has powerful outsides led by 6-2 Hannah Benjamin (Kentucky), a 6-2 setter Grace Agolli (Cal) and a standout senior libero in Gaby Cornier (Florida).

• Legacy 16-1 Adidas returns nearly intact and would seem like a certain bet to repeat its major 10 finishes at both equally year-end national championship gatherings. Elite setter Campbell Flynn and terminal middles Olivia Grenadier and Addison Williams are important returnees, as is OH Marie Laurio. Look for 5-11 Keely Culler to be an impression newcomer. No a person hits the ball more durable.

• At USAV Junior Nationals, champions at the highest degrees included Sunshine 18 LA in 18 Open up, 1st Alliance 17 Gold  in 17 Open up, Madfrog 16’s National Environmentally friendly in 16 Open up, Alamo 15 Leading in 15 Open up and Mintonette m.41 in 14 Open up.

That Sunshine team graduated all but just one to the collegiate ranks, led by Stanford OH Elia Rubin, who was Pac-12 Freshman of the 7 days 4 moments this drop. Still, this year’s Sunshine 18 LA crew will be formidable, with pins Torrey Stafford, Olivia BabcockGrace Thrower and Ava-Marie Lange leading the way.

• 1st Alliance and the Frogs also really should be fantastic as they look for to protect their age team championships. “1Al,” as I connect with them, returns all of its vital players  for their 18s yr. Setter Jordan Heatherly, outsides Kennedy Wagner and Kam Chaney, middles Kamryn Lee-Caracci and Annie Eschenbach and libero Gigi Navarette all are essential returnees for head coach Meghan Keck.

Madfrog will seem a little distinctive, as many gamers from very last year’s team have remaining, with a handful of joining Ping Cao at Drive Nation. (Ping gets who he needs).

• Don’t forget, previous year Alamo 15 Premier on Junior Nationals as an At-Large workforce! 10 are back for 2023 and understanding what it is like to be the hunted. The group has began 5- as new coach Phil Jackson stresses the need to qualify outright this period. Megan Fitch, last year’s MVP, is the important returnee. She will rating in droves on the pin. OH Aniyah Hall, libero Brooklyn Vigil and two newcomers, RS Macey Hughes and MB Ada Awagu – the two 6-2 – are other individuals to view.

 Mintonette m.51 returns typically intact from last year’s 14 Open championship group. Coached this 12 months by Max Miller, the squad extra a defender and two swing gamers to a main team that contains 6-rotation outsides Sara Snowbarger and Layla Hoying, middle Alia Schoonover and libero Emma Cugino.

• Mintonette generally commences its period at the JVA Rock ‘n Rumble in Cleveland but did not go this calendar year, as the match split into two weekends. The younger teams played final 7 days, with Legacy 15 Adidas outlasting AVC 15 Crimson in an epic 15 Open up championship match.

“We were being thrilled to perform AVC in the finals as we know they are a properly-coached, disciplined crew which competes at the Open up level,” famous Legacy director Jen Cottrill. “We passed really perfectly in the to start with set, so were being able to operate our middles really very well. In the 2nd set, our passing broke down so we relied closely on our pins, which AVC was able to protect. We received out to a warm commence in the third established and we had been up 13-4. AVC rallied to tie it up at 13-13. Yikes! Right after a timeout, our gamers have been equipped to re-team mentally and made some fantastic defensive performs to gain 17-15.”

Gabby DiVita, a 6-2 freshman OH who performed up a yr back, acquired the ultimate two kills in the acquire off sets from Eva Lengthy, who is environment a 5-1 offense for the very first time this year. The team bought genuinely solid offensive participate in out of the center from 6-2 Kayla Nwabueze and 6-3 Ella Andrews. Libero Meredith Martin also was breathtaking for the Michigan squad.

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To all these who contributed on brief discover that I did not get to this time, thank you and I won’t ignore to include things like you in my following column.

Till up coming time …