Saturday, 25 March 2023

International Volleyball

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: New blood dominates headlines at Triple Crown

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: New blood dominates headlines at Triple Crown

This is “Dots,”’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:

• We begin this week’s Dots, unfortunately,  with awful news from St. Louis, site of the President’s Day Classic.

On Saturday evening, Janae Edmondson, a senior DS from Smyrna High School in Tennessee, was struck near the tournament facility by a vehicle whose driver ran through a yield sign at 20 mph above the posted limit. Janae was in St. Louis playing for MidTN Juniors after recently having committed to playing volleyball at University of Tennessee – Southern.

Janae was pinned beneath the car, which had flipped onto its roof, and she suffered critical injuries, which required both of her legs to be amputated below the waist.  According to club director Rhonda Ross, Janae will need to be hospitalized in St. Louis for several weeks before returning home.

The club has set up a GoFund Me page at this link — — to help pay for the massive medical bills she will incur.

Club volleyball has seen its share of tragedies in the 25 years I’ve been covering it, but this one hits hard. A young girl, so much life ahead of her, in the wrong place at the wrong time, now facing a new reality that will be with her for the rest of her life.

Janae, our hearts, our souls, our collective humanity go out to you. We pray for the healing of your physical wounds and for the healing of your spirit as well.

• NPJ, OTVA Jacksonville, Momentous, AZ Sky, Surfside, Nebraska ONE, SCVC, Austin Skyline, Pohaku …These are just some of the teams that surprised this past weekend at the Triple Crown NIT in Kansas City, the most loaded tournament — there is no dispute — in the country.

All of the nine clubs listed above had one or more teams in the quarterfinals in the 15s to 18s age groups at TC. WAVE didn’t have any. Neither did Mintonette, or KiVA, or Alamo, or Premier Nebraska.

In short, it is very hard, even if you are an exceptional club with exceptional teams, like WAVE and the others listed above, to run the gauntlet to the quarterfinals. To see so many new, emerging and re-emerging clubs reach that level is refreshing and a testament to doing things in practice that are translating well to our sport’s biggest stage.

• Of the surprising clubs listed…

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