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.

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Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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