DSC_0204The 15U team had a great time in San Jose and San Francisco over the past long weekend!  Landing early in the day on Thursday Feb. 13, the team was able to take advantage of gorgeous weather prior to the start of the NCVA President’s day tournament.  Thursday saw the team utilize park space within the campus of Stanford for a quick training session ranging in drills from ball control all the way to red rover-red rover. Following the fun in the sun, the team was welcomed to the Stanford training facility by the Cardinals head coach, John Dunning.

In this once in a lifetime opportunity the athletes and coaches were treated to a tour of the entire Stanford experience.  This included a tour of the training courts, locker room, interview of freshman #7 Ivana Vanjak, observation of skill specific court training session with future Olympian #12 Inky Ajanaku, observation of sand volleyball training session, and finally capped off with John Dunning personally leading us through the campus to check out a few of the major attractions.  There was no better way to start off the California trip than this truly unique experience.  A big THANK YOU to John Dunning and the Stanford Program for allowing us such a privilege.

Check out Stanford Volleyball here.

As the recruiting skills combine wasn’t held until Friday evening, the team had an opportunity to visit and tour some of the attractions of San Francisco.  This was highlighted by a Segway tour of Fisherman’s Wharf, trolley tours to and from Union Square, and sightseeing around Pier 39.

All athletes then prepared themselves for the recruiting index combine that evening.  They were able to put their best foot forward and learn a lot about the recruiting process and what is involved, as well as starting to think about University selection and competition.

Tournament: The 15U group was fortunate enough to have morning draws in all three days of the competition.  This meant that there were three consecutive days with very early mornings. (All in good preparation for our upcoming AVA). The team came across varying levels of competition throughout their first two days of competition, highlighted by a spectacular two sets victory over a highly seeded group from Las Vegas.  Their stellar collective performance earned them top seed in their pool through day two and had the team seeded 20th out of 80 teams in competition. This meant competing in the second tier of the playoff brackets on their final day of competition.

Through incredible team play and clutch performances, the 15U group fought their way to the final of the tier two bracket. They unfortunately lost their final match of the weekend in two straight sets.  However this is not to take away from their achievement: they captured 14th place overall in the tournament of 80.

The coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of the collective play of the team and how they were able to perform this weekend in San Jose. It was really nice to see the continued formation of a closely knit team where bonds are evident. We look forward to the further progress and development of the team as the season carries forward.

A huge thank you to our supportive group of parents who made this tournament possible, highly efficient and very enjoyable for all.