South Shore talent to play in Volleyball Festival
Dozens of volleyball players from the South Shore of Lake Tahoe will be among thousands of athletes from around the world participating in the Volleyball Festival today through Saturday in Reno.
More than 8,000 volleyball players, representing 700 teams from 15 states and three countries will be playing in excess of5,000 matches during the next week. Foreign teams include four each from Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
The tournament draws many of the best teams from around the western hemisphere, giving our local athletes a taste of the best competition possible.
“It’s fun to play teams from places like Canada and Hawaii, and all over,” said STHS sophomore, Kasey Roberts, a member of the Capital City Volleyball Club 15 black team. “It’s very competitive, but also just a ton of girls there to have fun.”
“It’s cool to see how we compare against the best competition in the country,” said Whittell High School’s Lauren Andrew, a teammate of Roberts on the Capital City team. “We get to play against all different types of teams from around the world.”
One of the largest sporting events in the world for girls, the festival includes teams that range from ages 12-18. Teams are seeded in each division, giving the girls an average of three games per day. Depending on their success in the early rounds, teams matriculate to brackets consisting of teams that have similar win-loss records.
“I think we’ll do really well,” Roberts said. “We’ve really bonded as a team. We’re going to play with a lot of intensity since this is the last tournament.”
Playing volleyball for a week straight is fun, but exhausting for these girls.
“After it is over, I don’t want to see a volleyball for about two weeks, then I get anxious to play again,” Roberts added. “It will be hard to say goodbye to my teammates at the end.”
Capital City VBC, based in Carson City, has 15 teams with approximately 170 girls participating this week. The local club is the third largest number of teams playing of all the clubs involved.
“We are now fielding teams in the fifth through 12th grades, with players divided up into highly competitive to beginning level,” said club director Dan McLaughlin, who also serves at Whittell’s coach. “We provide a positive experience for players who are among the best in Northern Nevada, and those who are just beginning their volleyball careers.”
Games are housed in different venues throughout the Reno area, including the convention center, which has a capacity of more than 90 courts. When looking over the horizon of this phenomenon, one gets the feeling of being in a giant popcorn machine with hundreds of volleyballs bouncing up and down.
The excitement of thousands of girls playing volleyball and having fun also provides a decibel level that isn’t experienced at any other sporting event. Veteran volleyball parents have learned the value of ear plugs at the tournament.
The festival also attracts hundreds of college coaches, who have the opportunity to see potential college prospects play in one setting. Several local players have received interest from colleges due to the exposure they received at this national event.
Admission is free at all venues throughout the week. There is a charge of $15 per ticket for the championship games at Lawlor Event Center on Saturday. For further information on the festival, visit http://www.volleyballfestival.com