Battleline: Volleyball Growing at Club Level - The Missourian: Sports

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Battleline: Volleyball Growing at Club Level

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Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:00 am

It might be the biggest event you’ve probably never heard about.

The Asics Show Me National Qualifier is at its midway point. The volleyball event in Kansas City will conclude this weekend with girls 12-15 age groups competing for USA Volleyball national tournament berths.

Over the last 20 years, the game of volleyball has changed tremendously. We’ve seen the institution of rally scoring, the libero and let serves (tapers as some call them) added in. And the culture of the sport has changed tremendously as well.

Club volleyball has grown at a phenomenal rate. It’s to the point to where the season, which can run from tryouts in the middle of November to the nationals in July, greatly outweighs the high school sport.

Compare club volleyball to soccer around the world. Everyone knows about the World Cup and Olympics where one plays for national pride. It’s the same with high school volleyball where the players compete for school pride. But, like in volleyball, in soccer most of the time is spent on the club level.

The casual American sports fans probably are unfamiliar with most professional soccer clubs or major European leagues, but that’s huge business overseas.

And, unless you have a family member or friend involved in the world of club volleyball, you’re probably not familiar with that intense culture.

You’ve probably never heard of some of the bigger, more established organizations in St. Louis, such as CYC, Rockwood Thunder, Team Elite St. Louis (TESL) or High Performance and others.

You’ve probably never heard of some of newer, or smaller, organizations as well, such as Show Me Volleyball Academy, Powerhitters, Southwestern Illinois, H2 and many others.

The club folks around hear might have heard of are 4Rivers, Club Washington or Mid State Force.

As opposed to the school season, the club teams have players from many different schools. Players can, and frequently do, move around from club to club from season to season.

Many of those teams either have been in Kansas City this past weekend or are headed west later this week. The Kansas City event is one of 10 qualifiers for the USAV national tournament which will be held in July in Columbus.

It only takes one stroll around a major qualifier to see the scope of club volleyball. The sport is massive, it’s huge and it’s big business.

In fact, the club volleyball scene is where most players get seen by college coaches and draw scholarship offers.

By seeing the scope of a huge tournament, such as a national qualifier, it’s not tough to see why the coaches go to the big club tournaments. There are many more players to be scouted and it’s not during the women’s college season. So, big events like the national qualifiers tend to turn into a mini AVCA convention as well.

In Kansas City, teams are vying for spots in the Open, National or American divisions in the national tournament. There will be a lot of drama and emotion.

For a select few, the event will end with a bid to the national tournament. For others, there will be the realization that the chances quickly are running out. The Far Western National Qualifier in Reno (ends April 27-29 with older groups) is the last of the qualifiers. There are regional tournaments coming up with the last chance for those teams still seeking national berths to qualify.

The nice thing about club volleyball is that there’s room for everyone. There are teams out there which have played in three or more national qualifiers. The USAV rankings system has five events marked for some teams.

There are folks who are traveling around the country just about every week.

And then there are those teams who won’t ever play at a national qualifier, choosing to stay much closer to home. These teams, including our local squads, play in a lot of tournaments in the St. Louis area, regionals and call it a season. Others don’t even get started until after basketball season is over.

The great thing is that it gives players the chance to get touches on the ball and compete a lot, or not so much.

There actually will be a tournament at East Central College Saturday, April 28. The ECC-SGA U17 Classic will give folks a chance to see some club ball without having to go to a big national qualifier or even to a St. Louis gym.

And even though you rarely hear about the teams or events, if you follow the sport, you’re going to have to follow club volleyball in the future.

/

Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Volleyball

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Potosi def. Union, 18-25, 25-18, 25-15

Francis Howell C def. Washington, 25-19, 25-22

Farmington def. Pacific, 25-23, 22-25, 25-8

New Haven at Cuba    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Bourbon    5:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    5:30 p.m.

Borgia def. Cardinal Ritter, 25-3, 25-3

Wednesday, Aug. 27

ECC def. Central Methodist JV, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15

Thursday, Aug. 28

Potosi at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Borgia def. Notre Dame, 25-15, 25-8

*Washington def. Ft. Zumwalt South

Union def. Battle, 25-17, 25-11

Pacific def. Seckman, 25-17, 20-25, 30-28

Hermann at Jefferson City    5:30 p.m.

Belle at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

Linn at Owensville    6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Softball

Saturday, Aug. 23

Union Tournament

Union Sports Complex

G1 Washington 21, St. Clair 0

G2 Pacific 15, Liberty 3

G3 Farmington 15, Union 0

G4 Park Hills Central 4, Borgia 2

G5 Liberty 6, St. Clair 5

G6 Union 9, Borgia 2

G7 Washington 5, Pacific 4

G8 Farmington 5, Park Hills Central 2

Consolation — Union vs. Liberty Postponed due to heat

Seventh Place — Borgia 16, St. Clair 0

Championship — Farmington 5, Washington 0

Third Place — Park Hills Central 7, Pacific 6

Monday, Aug. 25

*Borgia 5, Notre Dame 4 (8 innings)

Union 14, Rolla 7

New Haven at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Salem    4:30 p.m.

Belle at Owensville    5 p.m.

Sullivan at Westminster Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Ft. Zumwalt S 5, Washington 2

Warrenton 4, Union 3

Duchesne 10, Pacific 5

Steelville at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

Vienna at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Wright City 6, St. Clair 2

New Bloomfield at New Haven    5 p.m.

Hermann at Montgomery Co    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Pacific, PPD to Sept. 5

Thursday, Aug. 28

St. Clair 3, Borgia 2

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washingto, PPD

Bourbon at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Linn    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 29

Pacific at Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

New Haven at Wellsville    4:30 p.m.

Belle at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Battle Tny    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Aug. 26

*Union 1, St. James 0

Fredericktown 4, St. Clair 1

Pacific 2, Hillsboro 0

Sullivan at SLUH    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Borgia at Union, PPD

Thursday, Aug. 28

Union at De Soto    5 p.m.

Pacific at North County    5 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5 p.m.

*St. Mary’s 4, Borgia 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Mississippi Valley at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

ECC at McKendree JV    7 p.m.

#Washington at Francis Howell North, 4:15 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Pky W/Northwest Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Friday, Aug. 22

Sullivan at Fleet Feet Inv    4 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia at Parkway Central Inv    TBA

Friday, Aug. 29

St. Clair at First Capitol Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Washington at Lafayette Inv    9 a.m.

Girls Golf

Monday, Aug. 25

Borgia 215, Washington 241

Thursday, Aug. 28

Borgia 280, Lutheran St. Charles 284, Washington 292

Boys Swimming

Friday, Aug. 29

Borgia, Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E Inv    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

@Fort Scott Tournament

#Parkway West/Northwest Tournament

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