This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly look at 10 things in club volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Look for Dots every Tuesday through Junior Nationals this summer, with one exception: today’s Dots come to you on Wednesday!
• The club volleyball season started in earnest last weekend. Twenty-five years ago, when I first started covering club, President’s Day Weekend was considered the unofficial start to the year. After USA Volleyball decided to fast track the 18s club season, however, the unofficial start to club accelerated to MLK Weekend. Everything before that is a prequel. It’s go time now!
• The first two of 16 national 18s qualifiers took place last weekend in Chicago and Kansas City. There will be 18s qualifiers every weekend going forward through April 1.
• In Kansas City, the Asics Kansas City MLK Tournament saw three teams punch their tickets in the 18 Open division to 18s Nationals, which will be held April 26-28 in Baltimore. 18 Open is the most competitive of the USAV divisions. The others are National, USA, Liberty, American, Freedom and Patriot.
The three teams claiming 18 Open bids were KC Power 18 Black, Rockwood Thunder 18 Elite and Premier Nebraska 18 Gold.
Power ran through the tournament with a 9-0 record. Dave Johnson’s team dropped just three sets, but , in each match, won the deciding set at deuce.
“We passed and served at a really high level the whole weekend,” Johnson said. “We focused a lot on our energy and our communication especially when things got dicey.”
Libero Mya Bolton and setter Janelle Green were key to Power’s weekend. Being in system and distributing to the right people at the right times allowed pins Rachel Van Gorp, Alea Goolsby and Jillian Huckabee were in a great rhythm all weekend.
“We stayed in system a lot and when you’re in system life is good,” Johnson remarked.
Van Gorp had 13 aces on Day 3 to help the cause, while middles Julia Headley, Cy Rae Campbell and Zoe McDonald did a great job of working to close the block.
“It is wonderful to have our bid and to win MLK,” Johnson added. “I’m proud of my warriors for the time and work put into the start of this season.”
Rockwood reached the championship match with help from MN Select 18-1 in Gold Pool A. After Gretchen Moser’s team opened the pool with a sweep of Select, Premier defeated Rockwood in three. Premier was now in the driver’s…