International Volleyball

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots:  Show Me, Salt Lake City qualifiers

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots:  Show Me, Salt Lake City qualifiers

This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag’s weekly look at 10 things in club volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Look for Dots each week through Junior Nationals this summer.

• It’s hard to believe, but we’re two-thirds of the way through qualifier season! Show Me in Kansas City and the start of Salt Lake City Showdown in, well…Salt Lake City…were last week’s headliners.

More Salt Lake and some Far Westerns in Reno are on the agenda this weekend.

Houston Skyline wins again. Are they the favorites to win Junior Nationals in the 17 Open division?

• Show Me took place on Saturday through Monday, which meant eclipse watching for some teams on the final day. Houston Skyline 17 Royal was one such team. They had the appropriate glasses for outdoors, but needed goggles for the figurative champagne bottles uncorked after their third qualifier win of the season in the 17 Open division.

“The team was excited to compete as a full squad as we have been battling some lagging injuries,” noted coach Alex Edwards, whose team went 10-0.

With Houston Skyline now a familiar foe to many, the team had to expand its range to defeat scouting reports and did just that.

“I was impressed in our ability to continue to use our range in our shot selection, perform in the red zone and our middles’ abilities to produce points against solid blocks,” she said.

The team saw libero Morgan Madison and setter Kassie O’Brien take care of the first two touches, as usual, with strong offensive controbutions coming in the middle from Mackenzie Collins and Bayleigh Minor and on the pins from Taylor Porter and Bailey Warren.

• Michigan Elite, Game Point and Northern Lights took home the Open bids in 17 Open.

Northern Lights rallied from a 15-13 Game 3 loss to Houston Skyline in its final match of Gold Pool play to sweep Rockwood Thunder in the bid match for fifth place overall.

Qualifying was special for Dave Manka’s squad, because the team won on Monday with only seven able to play, including MB Carly Slusser, who had just returned from six weeks off because of a back injury. Lights played in the bid match without star hitter Mesaiya Bettis (calf pull on Day 3 versus Dynasty) and RS Elli Tufto (Achilles strain versus Rockwood).

The win over Rockwood came in two sets and was catalyzed by the move of Kate Holthaus to outside from her normal position on the right. She collected 12 kills and eight digs….

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