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.
• Columbus, Ohio, was the setting for the Ohio Valley 18s qualifier, the sixth of 16 national qualifiers under the USA Volleyball umbrella. What are teams trying to qualify for? The 18s Junior National Championships, April 26-28, in Baltimore. Great news! The Orioles are in town on those dates!!!
Twenty-one (21) teams – 19 still hunting bids – participated in the 18 Open division. Three punched their tickets: Coast 18-1, from the West Coast; Metro 18 Travel in the east and Academy 18E Rage from Middle America. Girls volleyball truly is a national sport!
• Coast, from San Diego, made its second trip out of state pay off, with a 9-0 weekend and the title at Ohio Valley. Ozhan Bahrambeygui’s team dropped just three sets, but prevailed every team. A few weeks before, at Lone Star in Austin, Coast was only 1-3 in matches that went the distance (4-0 in sweeps), a prime factor in the team’s falling short of its first attempt to bid.
“It was nice to see the team get healthy after a bad flu tore through the entire team during the Lone Star Qualifier two weeks earlier,” Ozh said. “What stood out about the Ohio experience was that most of our players hit rough patches in parts of their game and still found a way to contribute in different ways.”
Coast had a great weekend thanks to big production from our middles Hayley Ogden and Mackenzie Parson. OH Tiana Owens teamed with the outstanding libero platoon of Ximena Cordero and Paulina Bailee to impose suffocating defensive pressure on all opponents. OH Madison Triplett entertained the spectators watching the final match versus previously-qualified Mintonette m. 81 with her best play of the weekend, both on offense and behind the service line. Lastly, Jaidyn Jager, a junior, reinforced that she’s one of the best nationally in her class with exceptional play at the net blocking and attacking and as a defender in the back row.
“A personal thanks to Ron [Mahlerwein] and the great kids at Mintonette .81,” Ozhan said. “Our team had played back-to-back three gamers leading right up to the finals. M. 81, playing…