Wisconsin Juniors Competes at GJNC for the First Time in Six Years
DALLAS (July 4, 2013) – Teams competing at USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC) typically come from well-renowned clubs which accomplish their highest goal competing at the event year after year. Wisconsin Juniors 15-1, one of the premier clubs from the Badger Region, has a much different story where it competed at the 2013 GJNC for the first time in six years.
Until recently, Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball opted to not attend National Qualifiers, where they competed with the intent to gain exposure and experience in the Open Divisions said Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 Head Coach Jim Neave, who led the same team to the 2012 AAU Volleyball 14 Open National Championship title in Orlando.
“Probably six years ago we didn’t go [to qualifiers], but after that we started going,” Neave said. “Our intent was not to qualify, so we were putting teams in the Open Division that were probably not going to qualify. We were using it as a tool to improve our teams and we did improve.”
However, Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 captured more than experience at the Mideast Qualifier in Indianapolis, Ind., where it earned a bid to compete in the Open Division at the 2013 GJNC.
“This is the first time we have been to USAV Nationals in six years,” Neave said.
Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 had high hopes to close out the end of the season and participated in several tournaments to prepare for GJNC. Playing up in a division in 16 Open, the team placed third at a pre-national tournament in Chicago and tied for fifth place in the AAU National championships in Orlando, one week prior to GJNC.
“The year before we won the AAU National Championship title, but a lot of other teams got a lot better,” Neave said. “There are some things we need to improve on our team to compete against them.”
Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 was not sure exactly what to expect for their first time at GJNC, but were pleasantly surprised.
“The girls have been in environments like this a lot, but there is a look and a feel to this one that shines a little bit better than a lot of the other tournaments we have been to,” Neave said. “You come in and there is a main court with bleachers and stands and the courts are well spaced out. They like it, a lot.”
Along with the GJNC environment, the Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 players noticed a difference in the level of competition.
“You see a lot more teams from the western side of the states and it’s a lot more difficult than in the Midwest I feel,” Wisconsin Juniors 15-1’s Quinn Spieker said. “A lot of their teams are a lot bigger and stronger.”
The team finished with an overall record of 4-5 at GJNC 15s Open Division, but he team is grateful for the competition has been optimistic about their first experience at GJNC.
“We wanted to do better, but I think we are doing well for our first tournament and seeing the competition,” Juliana Tirabassi said.
“The other teams are making us better and pushing us,” Kylie Wilks added.
Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 has also enjoyed playing games off court in the spare time – card games, that is. “We love playing Mafia,” Sarah Dodd said.
The players explained Mafia as a game about convincing others, about being able to lie believably, and about being able to figure out if other people are lying in order to save the “townspeople” from the “Mafia.”
“It’s so much fun!” said Dodd.
Along with the “Mafia,” Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 detected the Dallas Karaoke Cab during their time at GJNC.
“It’s a van that has music and you sing the whole time in the car ride,” said Hanna Stoebe with a chuckle. “It gets pretty crazy, I don’t know how the driver hasn’t crashed yet.”
Whether it is the desire to challenge the competition or the opportunity to compete in a USAV environment, Wisconsin Juniors 15-1 plans to make their second consecutive appearance at the 2014 GJNC in Minneapolis, either qualifying through the Badger Region or at another qualifier.
“We haven’t gone to a region qualifier in six years, so we’ll probably make that an option,” Neave said. “That will be in the discussion for a lot of our teams to qualify through the region as well. Next year Nationals is in Minneapolis, which makes it convenient.”
USA Volleyball senior manager of events, Kristy Cox was pleased to see Wisconsin Juniors at GJNC.
“It’s great to see Wisconsin Juniors back at USAV Nationals,” Cox said. “They are a great club to see at Nationals and they represent their region well. We hope to see more teams from that region next year.”
USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships Schedule and Final Results
11 Patriot: Gold - OVA 11 Asics (Orlando); Silver – Skyline 11 RoShamBo (Dallas); Bronze – Club West 11 National (La Verne, Calif.); Bronze – Dynasty 11 Black (Kansas City, Missouri).
12 National: Gold – Madfrog 12’s N Lew (North Texas); Silver – TAV 12 Black (North Texas); Bronze – Borinquen Coqui 12-1F and Skyline 12 RSB Royal (North Texas)
12 American: Gold – Mintonette Sports – m.21 (Ohio Valley); Silver – Wave 12Jade (Southern California); Bronze – Tejas 12 Nfinity (North Texas) and Xtreme 12 Kaepa (Lone Star)
13 National: Gold – Tribe 13 Rox (Florida); Silver – OVA 13 Asics (Florida); Bronze – Alamo 13Kaepa Premier (Lone Star) and Asics Mavs 13 Blue (Heart of America)
13 USA: Gold – TAV 13 Black (North Texas); Silver – Wave 13Tammy (Southern California); Bronze – Xtreme 13 Kaepa (Lone Star) and SA Sting 13 Black (Lone Star).
13 American: Gold – Seal Beach 13-Tony (Southern California); Silver – Club West 13-National (Southern California); Bronze – Michino Chicago 13 national (Great Lakes) and SG Elite Roshambo 13-1 (Southern California)
14 Open: June 30-July 3
14 National: June 30-July 3
14 USA: June 30-July 3
14 American: June 30-July 3
14 Patriot: June 30-July 3
15 Open: July 1-4
15 National: July 1-4
15 USA: July 1-4
15 American: July 1-4
15 Patriot: July 1-4
16 Open: July 2-5
16 National: July 2-5
16 USA: July 2-5
16 American: July 2-5
16 Patriot: July 2-5
17 Open: Gold – TAV 17 Black (North Texas); Silver – AVC Clev Rox 17 Phil (Ohio Valley); Bronze – SG Elite 17Roshambo (Southern California) and Coast 17-1 (Southern California)
17 National: Gold – Premier 17 Black (North Texas); Silver – Mintonette Sports – m.71 (Ohio Valley); Bronze – AZ Revolution 17 Premier (Arizona); CIS 17M (Iowa)
17 USA: Gold – AJV 17 Cedar Park (Lone Star); Silver – Sports Shack 17-Paul (Southern California); Bronze – Northern Lights 17-2 (North Country) and Ace 17 Smack Black (North Texas)
17 American: Gold – SVVC 17-Christy (Southern California); Silver – KJ Baden 17-1 (Puget Sound); Bronze – FB Fire 17 Mizuno (Lone Star) and Topeka Impact 17-1 (Heart of America)
17 Patriot: Gold – PSVBA 17-1 (Puget Sound); Silver – VB Academy 17 (Lone Star); Bronze – Seattle Juniors 17 (Puget Sound) and Aspire 17 Black (Arizona)
18 Open: Gold – TAV 18 Black (North Texas); Silver – Sunshine 18 Westside(Southern California); Bronze – Northern Lights 18-1 (North Country) and Tstreet 18-Dan (Southern California).
18 National: Gold – Tsunami 18-Val (Southern); Silver – NorCal Black 18-1 (Northern California); Bronze – Missouri Mavs 18-1 and Sunshine 18 South Bay (Southern California).
18 USA: Gold – Iowa Rockets 18R (Iowa); Silver – SVVC 18-Kelli (Southern California); Bronze – Tstreet 18-Randy (Southern California) and AP 18 Gazelle (Lone Star)
18 American: Gold – AJV 18 Mizuno (Lone Star); Silver – Gold Cal Juniors 18-1 (Northern California); Bronze – Coast 18-2 (Southern California) and Tribe 18 Rox (Florida)