There was plenty of hardware to go around for a number of Dallas-area club volleyball teams last week at the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships.
More than 1,300 club teams competed at the Las Vegas Convention Center from June 26-July 1 to crown national champions in 27 divisions. The Dallas area had plenty of representation, including another championship showing from area powerhouse Texas Advantage Volleyball.
The Carrollton-based club program’s 16 Black team went unbeaten in the 16 Open division, winning 11 matches played over three days to hoist a national title. The club rosters a number of players who star for their local high schools, including Prosper’s Callie Kieffer, Frisco Liberty’s McKenna Gildon, and Frisco Wakeland’s Audrey Clark and Hannah Pfiffner. Denton Guyer standout Kyndal Stowers was named tournament MVP.
Coached by Jonathan Nasgowitz, TAV 16 Black swept all but one opponent over the course of the tournament and even scored a measure of Metroplex bragging rights in the championship match with a 2-0 win (25-22, 25-22) over Drive Nation 16 Red.
Based in Dallas, Drive Nation’s runner-up squad featured Liberty’s Lauryn Hill, Wakeland’s Savannah Ivie, Frisco Reedy’s Halle Schroder, Plano East’s Mamie Krubally and McKinney North’s Lily Nicholson. The team is led by former Lovejoy head coach Jason Nicholson.
The championship final was heavy on Frisco ISD representation, pitting teammates from Wakeland (Clark and Ivie) and Liberty (Gildon and Hill) against one another. Gildon and Hill helped lead the Lady Redhawks to a third-place finish in District 9-5A last season.
The championship game setback capped Drive Nation’s run at junior nationals with a 9-2 record, including six consecutive wins to begin the tournament.
Three other teams competing between the 15U-17U levels mustered top-three finishes as well. That included a third-place tie in the 15 Open division between TAV 15 Black and MADFROG 15’s N Green.
The Plano-based MADFROG squad went 6-4 for the event, closing strong after a 4-3 start with wins in two of its final three matches. The team includes local products Carson Eickenhoff (McKinney Boyd), Akunna Cos-Okpala (Marcus), Reagan Fitzsimmons (Plano) and Avery Baughman (Plano resident).
Despite the tie, no head-to-head match was played between MADFROG and TAV 15 Black. The younger TAV squad tallied a 7-3 mark at nationals — shaking off a 3-2 run in pool play with four consecutive victories prior to semifinal loss to eventual national champion DYNASTY 15 Black of Kansas City. The TAV club featured a trio of Prestonwood Christian student-athletes in Camille Edwards, Jadyn Livings and Mikaila Young, as well as Lovejoy’s Bethanie Wu, Flower Mound’s Brianna Watson and Sachse’s Favor Anyanwu.
In the 17 Open division, TAV enjoyed another third-place finish for its 17 Black team. The club tallied a 9-1 record for the event, winning its first nine matches of the tournament (seven via sweep) prior to a bracket semifinal loss to WAVE 17 Rachel of California. The only team with fewer losses in the division was another California-based club team in national champion Sunshine 17 LA.
The TAV 17 Black roster includes a trio of local standouts in Plano’s Naylani Feliciano, Lovejoy’s Rosemary Archer and Hebron’s Harmony Sample.