Monday, 27 March 2023

International Volleyball

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: Triple Crown, Touring Texas and AI gets it wrong

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: Triple Crown, Touring Texas and AI gets it wrong

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:

• President’s Day Weekend is upon us! In the past that meant Vegas, SPVB in Chicago, Asics in Omaha, Dayton, Columbus, Orlando…These days it means St. Louis a little, Capitol Hill a little and Triple Crown NIT A LOT.

Yes, from February 18-20, downtown Kansas City will be host to the Triple Crown NIT, which has become arguably the most loaded tournament in the country, bigger than AUU Nationals and perhaps even bigger than USAV’s Junior Nationals.

Triple Crown has figured out how to bring virtually all of the lite teams to its tournament to determine the ersatz early-season national champion in the 12s-18s age groups. Amazing!

• Triple Crown has released its power pools for the tournament. In the age groups we cover (15s-18s), the teams in Power Pool A represent a Who’s Who of the top teams in their age divisions nationally:

15s: Boiler Juniors, Dallas Skyline, Elevation, Legacy (MI), Madfrog, Mintonette, Tstreet, WAVE
16s: 1st Alliance, AZ Storm, Coast, Drive Nation, HJV, Houston Skyline, Milwaukee Sting, Surfside
17s: A5, Dynasty, Drive Nation, HJV, OT Tampa, Premier Nebraska, TAV, WAVE
18s: A5, Club V, Coast, Drive Nation, MAVS KC, Munciana, Premier Nebraska, Sunshine

Here are some teams I really like that just fell short of Pool A:

15s: Alamo, NKYVC
16s: WAVE
17s: Colorado Juniors, NKYVC
18s: 1st Alliance, WAVE

NKYVC 15 Tsunami’s only age group losses have come to Mintonette, the defending age group USAV National champions.

Colorado Juniors 17 Kevin is a formidable group that tied for fifth in 16 Open at Junior Nationals last year. This group includes three of the best juniors in the country – libero Ella Vogel, OH Paityn Chapman and S/OH Izzy Starck and a top, tall senior striker, Avah Armour, playing down.

NKYVC 17 Tsunami finished second at 16s here a year ago despite playing shorthanded.

1st Alliance 18 Gold won 17 Open at Junior Nationals and has practically its entire team back.

WAVE 18-Juliana has a roster loaded with blue chip recruits, including OH Julia Blyashov, the Stanford OH signee who led Cathedral Catholic to the high school national championship.

• Which teams are my picks to win?

In 18s, I’m taking WAVE to prevail over Premier Nebraska 18 Gold. I really like…

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