DALLAS, Texas (June 30, 2013) – As young players, there are many things that can encourage athletes to play volleyball, but one thing that drives a player’s desire to pursue their dreams is the inspiration from a role model.
As the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball A2 Program (WNTA2) kicked off its tournament on Saturday at the Dallas Convention Center, several dozen teams which gathered around were star struck and inspired.
“They’re huge!” said Brandi Carr, who was inspired before playing in her first match of the tournament with Red River 17.
Cheers, applause and “wows” were displayed throughout the audience from the warm up through the match point. It was evident that the player-spectators were crafting dreams and selecting their role models.
“It’s shocking how hard they hit and how fast they react to the ball,” Julia Ewers of Marion County Juniors 14 National Collins said. “I like number 28, Drews - she’s amazing.”
While Ewers picked her favorite WNTA2 player, her teammate, Micayla Yates, shared how she was motivated by watching the team.
“It’s amazing to see and this gives me something to look forward to,” Yates said. “This is something I am going to work for.”
In the first row of the bleachers, smack in the center of the court, sat Abby Baker, a libero for Tsunami 18-Val. Rather than picking a favorite player or watching a 6-4 hitter nail a ball on the 3-meter-line, her reason for watching WNTA2 was to pick up fundamental skills from the liberos.
“I’m watching how they get their feet to the ball but don’t pass on their midline,” Baker said. “That is what my college coach is trying to get me to do so it’s helpful to watch.”
Baker was not alone in scouting the team for tips. Several players from Alamo 13 Kaepa Premier, who made it to the 13 National gold bracket, also noted specific skills from the WNTA2.
“Most of the time I watch the setters and how they read, where they should set and who they should set to,” Mia Perales from GJNC team, Alamo 13 Kaepa Premier said. “I love to watch college players because it’s fun and you learn a lot from them.”
Chase Huggins, also from Alamo 13 Kaepa Premier, was impressed with the teamwork she saw in the group. The WNTA2 Program is comprised of 47 college players from schools all across the country.
“They have great teamwork for all being from different schools and not playing all the time with each other,” Huggins said.
As the WNTA2 Gold Team middle blocker Zoe Nightingale (Sacramento, Calif.) stuffed her opponent, Huggins sat straight up in her chair and with a smile said, “I feel inspired.”
The WNTA2 program undeniably motivates other players to make their dreams a reality. Who knows, perhaps their inspiration may push a GJNC team to achieve a 2013 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships title.
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: June 29-July 2
12 American: June 29-July 2
13 National: June 28-July 1
13 USA: June 28-July 1
13 American: June 28-July 1
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: June 29-July 2
17 National: June 29-July 2
17 USA: June 29-July 2
17 American: June 29-July 2
17 Patriot: June 29-July 2
18 Open: June 28-July 1
18 National: June 28-July 1
18 USA: June 28-July 1
18 American: June 28-July 1