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Class of 2018 & 2019 Watch List

Posted January 16, 2016

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Metro Players at AVCA Phenom Perfect!

Posted December 30, 2015

Four of our Memphis Metro sisters attended the AVCA Phenom event in Omaha Nebraska.  Metro 17 Elite Karlis teammates Destin Berry, Princess Stark and Kelsey Glasper were joined by Carsyn Starr of the 16 Elite Black team. The girls were able to attend both NCAA Semifinal Matches on Thursday night. Texas defeated Minnesota and Nebraska defeated Kansas to set up Saturday’s Championship match.
On Friday the girls attended orientation featuring guest speaker Stacy Sykora. Stacy Sykora was a two-time All-American at Texas A&M University.  She competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics with the US National Team winning a silver medal in 2008. She also won gold medals at both the 2001 and 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. Her career was tragically cut short after a bus accident in Brazil in 2011. The girls really enjoyed her incredible sense of humor as she encouraged them to “Choose Happy” (choose positive over negative thinking) and make “No Excuses” and have “No Regrets”.
After orientation the girls attended the Under Armour® All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Competition. This match featured 24 of the top high school seniors in the country. It was a great match in front of a great crowd. Team East won in three straight sets. Probably one of the biggest highlights for the girls that night was Princess appearing on the jumbotron showing off her best “Whip/NeNe” moves!
On Saturday morning it was time for the Metro girls to take part in the Volleyball Performance Index (VPI) testing.
The VPI is a composite score of electronically-validated tests measuring standing vertical jump, arm swing velocity, height of attack, two-handed block touch, pro-agility and acceleration. This testing has been in place for several years now and the results of testing can be compared with previous testing results to give both athletes and coaches a gauge as to a players overall athleticism compared to college players, Under Armour All Americans and even the US Olympic team tryout participants.
College coaches are looking for great athletes and due to the electronic validations the VPI provides them with consistent and meaningful information to help them identify great athletes.
There were approximately 300 participants in the AVCA Phenom program this year that took part in the VPI testing. We are so proud that all four of our Metro sisters’ scores finished ranked among the top 30 at the event!
Carsyn had a score of 627.02 - good for 2nd overall and highest among 2019 attendees. Destini finished 13th overall with a score of 585.3. Princess finished 21st and Kelsey finished 29th.
Three of the top ten fastest arm swings were Metro girls! Swing is measured as the speed of the arm on maximum attack swing in MPH –fast the arm travels to the ball during a maximum attack approach.
Destini’s swing was 45.59 (5th Overall), Kelsey was of 43.04 (7th) and Carsyn was 42.51 (10th).
Kelsey also finished in the top 10 in vertical with a score of 25”. Carsyn was 3rd overall in Block with a block measurement of 9’9.6” also finishing top 10 with a 25.6” vertical.
Princess proved she is perhaps the fastest setter in the country by ranking first overall in Acceleration testing (10 yards in .97 secs) and 2nd overall in the Agility! (15ft-30ft-15ft shuttle in 4.72 secs)
To read more on the how the components of the VPI are measured, you can visit the AVCA Phenom site here.
In addition to the VPI, the girls also completed an Athlete Behavioral Profile (ABP). This personality profile uses the DISC profiling assessment tool. It is used as a method for understanding behavior, temperament, and personality. A DISC Profile provides a comprehensive overview of the way that people think, act, and interact. It is the most widely used profiling toll of its kind, and is supported by decades of validation and reliability studies. Mora Kanim (former UCLA Volleyball player and Division 1 Coach) debriefed the girls on the different personality styles. She helped them understand why all the styles can be important to teams, how they can use this information to better understand themselves and their teammates and have better self awareness on and off the court.
Next Amanda Brungs (Director of Volleyball Operations at South Carolina) facilitated a discussion with a panel of current AVCA All Americans including Penn State’s Hayleigh Washington, Texas A&M’s Jazzmin Babers, Abby Cole of Michigan, as well as several others.
Following a brief seminar on Social Media for the College Bound Athlete, the girls were ready to attend the NCAA Championship Match between Nebraska and Texas.
The atmosphere in Omaha was electric as the girls were part of a record breaking crowd! The crowd of 17,561 set an all time attendance record for an NCAA match. Thursday’s Semi Final match held the record of 17,551 for two whole days! The Cornhuskers defeated Texas 3-0. The sets were very close, despite the sweep.
On Sunday morning the girls got their chance to play as they participated in the AVCA Talent Showcase. The event receives special exemption from the NCAA to allow Division 1 coaches to observe players during the December dead period. The event always concludes the annual AVCA Coaches Convention which 542 colleges attended this year. Because of the high number of colleges in attendance, the Showcase is a great opportunity for players to play in front of a variety of coaches from all over the country at many different levels (DI,DII, DIII, NAIA and JCs) in one place.
Overall the Memphis Metro girls had an amazing experience and represented Memphis Metro, the Midsouth and Delta Region very well with their athletic performance, leadership and vibrant personalities.
Way to represent – we are so proud of you!

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Want to play at the College level?

Posted November 3, 2015

Could Playing on a 2’s Team Be a Better Fit?

Making the Tough Call Between a 1’s Team and a 2’s Team

Reproduced from JVA newsletter. Find more articles at JVA web site...

As club programs are selecting their players and families are trying to decide which club/team to join, there is a common concern of which team to choose, a 1's team at one club or a 2's team at another club, and whether or not this decision affects a player's college volleyball recruiting process.

A few key points to consider when making your commitment:

Training vs Playing

Always consider the type of practices that you will engage in, not only the classification of team. You develop abilities in the practice environment just as much, if not more than the playing environment. There are many number of successful 1's teams that do not engage in good training sessions but simply rely upon the natural athleticism/talent of the players. Also, the role of the club coach is important, as this is most often whom the college coaches communicate with to find out more about the prospective student-athlete and to coordinate phone calls, visits, etc. Make sure your club coach is not only making you better on the court, but also engaged in your recruiting process.

What Is Your Role?

Before making your decision, find out exactly what your role will be for your team. Too often players choose the 1's team and end up playing only a fraction of each match or barely see playing time at all. This makes it difficult for a college coach to evaluate a player at a tournament. Coach Jenny McDowell, Head Women's Volleyball Coach at Emory University believes it is valuable to gain playing time. "For me, it does not matter if a player plays on the 1's or 2's team... it just depends on the level of the player. I would much rather have a player play for the 2's team than sit on the bench for the 1's team."

Greg Reitz, Head Women's and Men's Volleyball Coach at Lourdes University states "many times the kids on the 2's team get to play more consistently, for example a 6 rotation right side or outside hitter. That usually doesn't happen on a 1's team because you are chosen to play a position, in addition to your teammates the Defensive Specialists that fill the roster."

Open Division vs Club Division

Broad Statement Warning! College volleyball coaches don't care about the title of your team, simply because they recruit the individual player, not the team. Rarely do college coaches stay for an entire match or are they aware of your daily tournament win/loss record. They watch you, with a narrow vision, which blurs out those not in focus. Reitz adds "I have no opposition against kids on a 2's team. Even when I was at University of Toledo I was evaluating a particular skill or set of skills of a player and not the success of the team."

Joe Getzin, Head Women's Volleyball Coach at Winona State agrees. "I recruit all levels at the tournaments, as I feel very comfortable training a more unskilled player than some other coaches. I feel that it doesn't matter that a player is on the 1's team as long as they are on a competitive team. They can play club level, but they should be competitive at that level, meaning being one of the best."

Consider the Strength of Schedule

If your team is playing at the club level, make sure your schedule includes a few larger, more competitive events. This way coaches can evaluate your skill at a more competitive level rather than watching you score repeatedly against a low level team. Reitz, McDowell and Getzin all share that they recruit a mix of players who reach out to them, as well as players they discover at events. So whether playing in the open or club division, it's valuable to have a schedule that allows you to be in front of college coaches, and compete against relatively great competition.

Take the Reigns

Don't wait for college coaches to find you at tournaments. Be pro-active and reach out to as many coaches as you can. Once players have some match footage or a highlight video, along with approach jump (applicable to attackers and setters) and a season schedule, send an email and pick up the phone and call the college coaches. So what if your schedule consists of mostly smaller, regional tournaments, make the contacts and the coaches will come watch you! "It is not necessary for recruiting to attending 5 huge tournaments, because with today's recruiting protocols, families are expected to go on multiple Unofficial Visits - 1 huge tournament cost can fund multiple campus visits" shares Matt Sonnichsen, Director of Volleyball Relations for NCSA.

"The recruiting reality is that the number of club players with collegiate level potential have exceeded available roster/scholarship opportunities. This means that recruiting must be managed off the court as much as on the court. Just showing up at a bunch of club tournaments does not equate into recruiting success; the club tournaments are the venue for college coaches to evaluate those recruits, which have reached out to the them and said "come recruit me!"

"I try to watch most of the players who contact me. That may be in person or on video. When I'm out at a tournament I try to watch all the levels" shares Getzin. 

Hopefully we helped ease your troubles, even if just the slightest bit, during this tryout season, and junior volleyball provide players and parents with some helpful tips to make your decision a rewarding one. Good luck to everyone this club season and we'll see you on the courts!

Reproduced from JVA newsletter.

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AVCA announced the Phenom List for the 2015-16 season.

Posted August 2, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 31, 2015) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce the Under Armour High School All-America Watch List and the Phenom List for the 2015-16 season.
This year's Under Armour Watch List includes 559 players whose high school head coaches are AVCA members, representing 41 states and marks the beginning of the Under Armour All-America selection process. The AVCA Phenom List includes 1,001 players whose high school head coaches are AVCA members, representing 43 states and serves as the starting point for the Phenom College Preparatory Program.
AVCA Phenom List
In October, the AVCA will invite those athletes on the AVCA Phenom List to register for the Phenom College Preparatory Program to be held in conjunction with the AVCA Annual Convention in Omaha, Nebraska December 17-20, 2015. It  is an invitation-only event for unsigned Under Armour Watch List and AVCA Phenom List student-athletes. Participants and their parents will attend educational sessions, the Under Armour High School All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Competition, NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship matches, interact with AVCA Collegiate All-Americans, undergo Volleyball Performance Index testing, and participate in the AVCA Talent Showcase in which athletes will demonstrate their skills in front of the 100+ college coaches in attendance.
Having an athlete on the AVCA Phenom List does not automatically secure her spot in the Phenom College Preparatory Program. Invitations to the athletes on the AVCA Phenom List will be emailed in October.  At that time, athletes will need to register via the registration link provided in the invitation. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis only to those on the AVCA Phenom List and will close in November or when maximum capacity for the event has been reached. The requirements for having an athlete on the AVCA Phenom List are:
    •    The student-athlete must be an underclassmen who has been recognized in some form for her outstanding volleyball abilities
    •    The student-athlete's high school head coach must be a member in good standing of the AVCA.  Head coaches have until Monday, October 19 to become a member or renew their membership to ensure compliance

Check out the complete list here...

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Summer Camps at Metro

Posted April 25, 2015

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Posted March 18, 2015

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Posted February 25, 2015

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