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Battleline: Fun Time in Kansas City

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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:00 am | Updated: 8:09 am, Wed Apr 17, 2013.

It’s extremely rare when I have a good time in Kansas City.

But last weekend was an exception.

Making the annual trek to the USA Volleyball Asics Show Me National Qualifier proved to be one of the most thrilling excursions ever to the jewel of western Missouri.

As always, a number of area players were in the event with a bunch of different teams. And those players enjoyed a variety of success.

One of the teams I was following at the event, Show Me Volleyball Academy 16 Rox, earned its USA Volleyball National Championships 16 Open Division bid by placing second in the tournament.

For a second-year program, SMVA 16 Rox finally reached a huge goal by earning a 16 Open Division berth. Shane Allen’s team had been in contention on the final day of the qualifiers in Indianapolis and Philadelphia. The team tied for fifth at the Mideast Qualifier in Indianapolis, ninth at the Northeast Qualifier in Philadelphia and 21st at the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier in Denver.

SMVA 16 Rox went 2-1 on the first day to remain in gold and followed by going 2-1 on the second day to stay in the gold division.

The second day started tough with a loss to Asics Mavs 16 Blue, ranked second in the most recent national rankings. The second game ended at 26-24, a sign of things to come.

After beating Ozark Juniors, the final match came down to SMVA 16 Rox and CYC 16 Green. SMVA 16 Rox hadn’t beaten CYC 16 Green until Sunday’s match, and that one went to three games.

Playing in one of the two final gold division pools, SMVA 16 Rox was at the edge. After falling at that level in Indianapolis and Philadelphia, the team started pool play by beating 17th-ranked KC Power in the first match.

Coming back Monday, SMVA 16 Rox needed three games to knock down 1st Alliance of Illinois, the fourth-ranked team in the PrepVolleyball national poll.

But SMVA 16 Rox had a fight to earn the bid and a chance to play for the regional title in High Performance 16 Gold.

High Performance had an inspirational tale as well. Down to seven healthy players, HP 16 Gold went through pool play Sunday, then had to win two playoff games before going to beat 1st Alliance to start the final gold pool action Sunday evening. HP 16 Gold lost Monday morning to KC Power, but still had a chance if it beat SMVA 16 Rox.

The first game went to SMVA, 25-19, but High Performance stepped it up in the second to win, 25-15.

The third game went back and forth before SMVA pulled out the victory, and the bid by sweeping the pool, 15-13.

While SMVA 16 Rox fell to Nebraska Elite 16 Fury in the title match in two games, it still was a rewarding three-day event for Show Me Volleyball Academy.

Brad Bruns is the club director with Shane Allen heading the 16 Rox team. Team members are Paige Perego (Parkway West), Amy Kindt (Marquette), Emily Rudolph (Marquette), Amanda Noel (Lafayette), Hannah Cherry (Villa Duchesne), Allison Turner (Lafayette), Ellie Watkins (Lutheran St. Charles), Riley Stephens (Troy) and Cassie Nodiff (Marquette).

It felt amazing to see such a group of neat kids reach a goal and be able to leave a national qualifier venue happy and with medals.

The other SMVA team, 16 Royal, had a tougher time in the 16 USA Division, tying for 19th in the Silver Division.

That team is coached by Christin Hunt and former ECC volleyball player Sam Walch. Players on that team are Katrina Aliano (Eureka), Claire Harman (Lafayette), Ashley Nickolaison (Francis Howell), Jordan Kriete (Borgia), Bailey Fischer (Timberland), Molly Fox (Marquette), Rachel Waller (Westminster), Maddie Toelke (Borgia) and Allie Marquart (Borgia).

For the Royal team, I wish they could have finished higher. There was some good play, but not enough to stay in gold bracket contention through the second day.

CYC 18 Green from St. Louis, won the 18 Open Division. That’s an amazing team, too. They won the St. Louis Power League title in the 16-18 Division and I saw them play the weekend before the Kansas City event during a tournament in Belleville, Ill., That’s an outstanding team and you just wish everyone from the Gateway Region the best when they travel.

One of the great things when there are a lot of local teams playing in a qualifier like Kansas City is that you’re going to see a ton of people you know and respect. It was good to see Rockwood Thunder 17 Mizuno Head Coach Ben O’Day, formerly of East Central College. Ben’s got an outstanding group of kids and they’ve already earned their USA Volleyball 17 Open Division bid. Injuries hurt them this past weekend, but they’ll bounce back.

I got to see some locals as well, including Alivia Brinker, Erin Hillerman and Alexis Ruether. I know there were others. Wish I could have seen everyone, but there’s only so much time and too many courts!

For me, it was nice to see Eureka senior Abby Biggs playing. Abby was the setter on the Rockwood Thunder 16 Mizuno team I helped to coach two seasons ago. She’s signed with Lewis University to continue her career. It’s amazing to see people you’ve had a small hand in helping achieving their goals and having fun while doing it.

We’re getting closer to the end of the club volleyball season. I know the USA Volleyball Gateway Regional championships are taking place this weekend in the 16s Division. Good luck to everyone who will be playing for a regional title and/or in the bid tournaments.

Not everyone can finish the season with a championship or a bid, but everyone will be a winner as long as they continue to learn how to play the game correctly and have some fun while doing it. Remember, it’s a game!


Area Scoreboard


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

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton at Washington    7 p.m.

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Sullivan at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    7 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    7 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    7 p.m.

*Montgomery Co at Wright City    7 p.m.


Monday, Sept. 1

Hermann at Warrenton    4 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Union at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

*Duchesne at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Windsor    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Rosati-Kain at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Lutheran S at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*Sullivan at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Owensville Tny    TBA

St. Clair at Potosi Tny    TBA

Sullivan at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Windsor    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Van-Far    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Borgia at Trinity    4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Borgia at St. Dominic    5:30 p.m.

Mehlville at Union    5:30 p.m.

Eureka at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Hermann at Father Tolton    5:30 p.m.

Waynesville at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Belle at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Rolla at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Chamois at New Haven    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Pacific at Washington    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washington    5 p.m.

Hermann at Fatima    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Salem    5:30 p.m.

Bourbon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    5:30 p.m.

Union at North County    6 p.m.

Montgomery Co at New Haven    6 p.m.

Incarnate Word at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 5

Sullivan at Whitfield    5 p.m.

#ECC vs. Labette    5 p.m.

Patriette Lights at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

#ECC vs. Pratt    7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Borgia Tournament    8:30 a.m.

Owensville at Fulton Tny    8:30 a.m.

#ECC vs. Independence    9 a.m.

#ECC vs. Southeast    1 p.m.

St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan at North County Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Fox at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Hillsboro at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Tolton at New Haven    6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Pacific at Rockwood Summit    4:15 p.m.

Crosspoint at Rivers of Life    5 p.m.

Washington at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Montgomery Co at Union    5:30 p.m.

Rock Bridge at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Belle    5:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Kingston    6 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Community Christian    6 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

*ECC at Mineral Area    6:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 2

*Jefferson at ECC    4 p.m.

St. James at Laquey    4:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Fatima    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Fulton SA at Barat    4:15 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 4

ECC at Maple Woods    4 p.m.

North County at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    4:30 p.m.

*Ft. Zumwalt N at Washington    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Friday, Sept. 5

Jefferson City Lightning at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Fulton SA at Tolton    5 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 6

St. Charles at Washington    11 a.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Sunday, Sept. 7

ECC at Blue River    noon

Monday, Sept. 8

Christian Academy at Fulton SA    4:30 p.m.

Pacific at Washington    5 p.m.

*Sullivan at St. James    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan at Valley Park    4 p.m.

*ECC at St. Charles    4 p.m.

Crosspoint at St. Louis United A    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    5 p.m.

St. Clair at Belle    5 p.m.

Mehlville at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at Duchesne    6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Warrenton    5 p.m.

Cross Country

Saturday, Sept. 6

New Haven Short Course    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at SLUH Inv    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan Invitational    4 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

Pacific, Sullivan at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13

Forest Park Inv    9 a.m.

New Haven, Hermann, Owensville at Linn Inv    9 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 15

St. James at Bourbon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 2

Borgia at Westminster    4 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Borgia at Washington    3 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

*Borgia at Lutheran St. Charles    3:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 5

Washington at Troy Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

Washington at Timberland    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Troy    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Friday, Sept. 5

Washington at Oakville/CBC    4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Kennedy    5:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

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