Day 2 of High Performance Championships


Day two at the High Performance Championships proved to be a difficult but Iowa was able to show the meaning of Iowa Strong.  The Boy’s Select Team had to play Puerto Rico and USA Continental Blue.  Against Puerto Rico the boy’s put up a good fight but Puerto Rico was able to overcome and win 12-25, 13-25, 16-25.  The next match for the Boy’s Select team was the Continental Blue team.  Again the Iowa Boy’s put up a good fight but were out done by the strong opponent in 3 sets (12-25, 13-25, 20-25).

The Boy’s Youth team also had a tough day as well facing off against the USA Contential White team and the Northern California White team.  Against Team USA the Iowa Boy’s pushed as hard as they could but were out done by the bigger, stronger USA team 19-25, 11-25, 19-25.  Then against the NorCal White team the Iowa team struggled to come together and ended the match 0-3 (12-25, 8-25, 20-25).

The Girl’s International Youth Team played twice as well first against the USA Select A1 White team and then against Iroquois Youth.  In the match against USA the Iowa International team struggled to put anything together both offensively and defensively.  They ended up losing the match in 4 (12-25, 21-25, 25-19, 22-25).  They then had to play Iroquois Youth and that allowed them to get back on track.  Winning in 3-0 fashion (25-16, 25-13, 25-9).

The Girl’s Youth National Team is on a winning streak right now taking down USA Select A1 Stripes and Oklahoma White in 3 sets.  Against USA the National team started off strong winning the first set 25-19 but barely sneaking out a win in the 2nd set 25-23.  They then regained control winning the third and final set 25-15.  Against Oklahoma the National team was in the drivers seat for the majority of the match win 3-0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-11).

Both of the Women’s Juniors matches were lived streamed yesterday and the Women preformed well going 1-1.  Their first match was against the USA Junior A1 Red team and it was a heated battle throughout the 4 set match.  USA was able to edge out the Women 16-25, 23-25, 25-23, & 17-25.

The Select Red team had a hard day facing off against Southern California.  With the point differences being about 6 points in 3 out of the 4 sets the match was closely played.  However, Southern Cal was able to edge out the victory (29-27, 23-25, 19-25, 12-25).

Last but not least was the Select Black team who played bright and early at 8:30 am against GEVA White.  While it too was a close match across all the sets Iowa was able to beat GEVA in 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-18).

Almost all the Iowa teams will play twice tomorrow with numerous teams being live streamed.  Check out the schedule on AES:

Day 1 of High Performance Championships



Iowa High Performance started the day off with 4 teams playing at 10:00 am.  The Boy’s Youth team, the Girl’s Select Black Team, the Girl’s Select Red team, and the Girl’s Youth National team.

The Boy’s Youth Team was matched up against a extremely difficult opponent in Puerto Rico.  The match was won by Puerto Rico 3-0 with the final scores of 25-9, 25-16, and 25-8.  The Boy’s Youth Team will play again at 10:15 am and their 5:45 pm match will be live streamed.

The Girl’s Youth National team started off strong against Lakeshore Youth, winning 3-0.  The final scores were 25-14, 25-16, and 26-24.  The Youth National team will play at 10:15 am and 4:00 pm.  The Girl’s Select Red team faced GEVA Red in their opening match.  Unfortunately, GEVA ran away with it, winning the match 0-3 (19-25, 18-25, & 20-25).  The Select Red will play again at 4:00 pm.

The Select Black team started off strong against Team Florida but soon fell behind in sets 2 and 3.  Iowa fought back and won sets 4 and 5, taking the match 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 25-16, &15-11).  The Select Black team will play again at 8:30 am.

The Boy’s Select Team faced off against a huge USA Continental team.  While our Iowa Boy’s were slightly out sized the boys fought hard but ended the match with a 0-3 loss (13-25, 17-25, & 10-25).  The Select Boy’s will play again at 2:00 pm and 5:45 pm.

The Girl’s International Youth team had a fairly easy first match against Arizona Youth.   Iowa was able to win 3-0 with scores 25-10, 25-15, & 25-15.  The Youth International Team will play again at 12:15 pm and 5:45 pm.

The Women’s Junior Team faced off against the highly ranked USA Youth A1 team.  Iowa took off to an early lead winning sets 1 & 2 but fell behind in set 3.  Fighting back in set 4 they were able to capture the victory (25-19, 25-21, 21-25, & 26-24).  The Women’s Juniors will play again at 12:15 pm (live streamed) and 4:00 pm.

Follow us on Twitter for the most up to date information.  Also follow us on Facebook and Shutterfly for pictures from the day.

Third Set is a Charm at Hawkeye Open


The day of July 11th started with rain showers and a lightning delay but that didn’t stop the nearly 100 teams from playing their hardest to earn a bid to Beach Nationals.  By 8:00 am 61 teams had made it through the rain to check in and were ready to compete.

The first final of the day was the Boy’s 14U Division.  It set the top seed in the pool, Max Roquet and Dalton Dencklau, against the second seed of Nick Slight and Spencer Thomas.  The underdog team of Slight/Thomas started off strong taking set one but then dropped set 2.  In a close set 3 Roquet/Dencklau could not put anything together giving Slight/Thomas the win.

The next final of the day was the Girl’s 12U Division.  This match found the Wisconsin girls of Mackenzie Leach and Samantha Naber facing off with the Nebraska team of Ellie Miller and Kylie Weeks.  Similar to the Boy’s 14U Division this match went to three sets but in the end the Wisconsin duo of Leach/Naber was able to edge out the Nebraska pair of Miller/Weeks.

Shortly after the 12U Division was completed the 14U Division final started.  Approximately half of the teams that played in the Hawkeye Open were in the 14U Division (46 teams).  Needless to say making it to the finals was no short feat.  In the final it was Eastern Iowa represented by Maddy Baxter and Raya George facing off against Central Iowa, represented by Mary McGinnis and Camryn Anonson.  It was McGinnis/Anonson starting strong taking set 1, but George/Baxter were not going to roll over and took set 2.  Just like the finals before it the 14U Division was going to be settled in set 3.  While it was a close match McGinnis/Anonson were able to edge out George/Baxter to take the title.

The second half of the day was dedicated to the 16U and 18U Divisions.  With 29 teams in 16U and 8 teams in the 18U it was not going to be easy to earn a bid.

In the 16U Division final it was another Non-Iowa showdown.  However, this time it was the Nebraska team of Dani Prusha and Taliyah Flores facing off against the Missouri team of Ashley Kekeisen and Sophia Cristiani.  In a well fought two set match Prusha/Flores won the championship.

While all the finals were amazing matches, perhaps the most intense was the 18U Division.  The finals were a rematch of the Iowa Beach Regional championship game.  It was Carlee Beck and Hillmer attempting to take down the reigning Champions of Erin Reysack and Sam Sixta.  In set 1 it was Reysack/Sixta taking the early lead.  However, Beck/Hillmer were not about to give up and took set 2.  In a common Hawkeye Open style it was onto set 3.  This set went back and forth with both teams remaining practically equal until the very end.  After a few silly errors, Beck passed the ball high to the net for Hillmer to end the match on a pokey to the deep corner to win the Championship.

For the complete list of finishes visit the JBT Tour Website.

Check out video of the finals on our Youtube Page.

Qualifiers at every level were:

Boy’s 14U

  1. Nick Slight & Spencer Thomas
  2. Max Roquet & Dalton Dencklau
  3. Austin Ledesma & Brian McCreary

Boy’s 18U

  1. Bryn Lipton & James Davenport

Girl’s 12U

  1. Mackenzie Leach & Samantha Naber
  2. Ellie Miller & Kylie Weeks
  3. Skylar McCune & Madi Woodin

Girl’s 14U

  1. Mary McGinnis & Camryn Anonson
  2. Raya George & Maddy Baxter
  3. Sydney Dennis & Sommer Daniel

Girl’s 16U

  1. Dani Prusha & Taliyah Flores
  2. Ashley Kekeisen & Sophia Cristiani
  3. Paige Franck & Jade Henderson

Girl’s 18U

  1. Sami Hillmer & Carlee Beck
  2. Erin Reysack & Sam Sixta
  3. Aubrey Sowers & Haley Weepie

Iowa Teams Perform Well at USA Nationals

boys team

Congratulations to our region teams that competed in Girls and Boys Junior National Tournaments this summer. We sent 36 teams from the Region and we are PROUD of each and every one!

Some Highlights are CIA 15 Black (3rd place National Division), Adrenaline 17 Rox (5th Place American Division), CIS 17M (5th Place American Division), Iowa Rockets 17R (6th Place USA Division), Iowa Rockets 17 Black (5th Place Patriot Division), Six Pack 18 (5th Place National Division), IPVA 18 Black (3rd Place American Division).

All-Tournament Award Winners:
Tayah Mahi, Abigail Weideman (CIA 15 Black – 15 National Division)
Tessa Mendoza (CIS 17M – 17 American Division)
Megan Sharkey (Iowa Rockets 17R – USA Division)
Rachel Koop (Six Pack 18 – 18 National Division)
IPVA 18 Black (18 American Division)

For a complete list of finishes please click here: 2015 Jr National Results.

For award photos from GJNC please click here:  2015 Girls Natls Award Photos

High Performance Training Camp

200 of the best volleyball players in the State of Iowa gathered at Simpson College to learn from a group of elite  coaches.  Between June 11th and June 14th this group of athletes worked hard not only to improve their skills but also competed for a limited number of spots on the travel team.

While at camp the athletes learned form some of the best coaches USA Volleyball has to offer.  The primary coaching staff was lead by Tom Hogan who was an Assistant Coach for the 2008 Olympic team that won a Silver Medal.  In 2004 he was the Assistant Coach for the USA Junior National Team that won a Gold Medal at the NORCECA’s.  He is currently the Assistant Coach at the University of Colorado.

Assisting Tom were two former Olympians, Stacy Sykora and Danielle Scott Arruda.  Stacy has played in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympic Games.  She is a two time 2nd Team All-American for Texas A&M.  She was named Best Libero in the World as well as Best Digger in the World.  After earning a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics she was sidelined with a traumatic injury when a team bus crashed.  Danielle Scott Arruda is an amazing athlete who participated in the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and the 2012 Olympic Games.  She was also part of the 2008 Olympic team that won a Silver Medal at the Olympics.  Danielle has earned numerous medals in international play in her outstanding career with USA Volleyball.

Last but certainly not least is the Rod Wilde.  Rod was the director of our boys camp.  He not only has successful playing experience but also successful coaching experience as well.  Rod was not only a NCAA Champion and All American he was also a member of the US Olympic Team that won a Gold Medal.  in 2013 Rod was the Head Coach of the USA Junior Women’s World Championship Team.

Along with the 4 primary coaches from USA Volleyball the 200 athletes were also coached by volleyball’s best coaches.  Not only did high school and club coaches assist but so did various NCAA Division I, II, and III as well as NAIA coaches.  The athletes that were selected to attend the Iowa High Performance Camp trained with these highly qualified coaches for 3 days and then competed in a camp tournament on the final day of camp.  Throughout camp the athletes learned new skills or sharpened their already precise skills.

When the athletes were not in the gym training they were learning some important playing as well as life lessons.  The coaches presented to the athletes and coaches not only their life story but also important lessons they had learned on the long journey to the USA National Team.  Perhaps the most important lesson taught by Stacy Sykora was “Never waste a single moment.”

On the last day of camp the athletes are divided into teams of 6 and assigned a team name.  The teams then play each other in a short match while their family and friends watch.  The USA head coaches then do a short closing ceremony for everyone and the final teams invited to the High Performance Championships are posted.

In July athletes selected to the High Performance Championship Travel Teams will go back to Simpson College for Pre-Tournament Training Camp.  Then after Pre-Tournament Training Camp these teams will go to the High Performance Championships in Des Moines, July 21-25th.  Check back then for up to date stories on how the Iowa Region High Performance Teams are doing in the tournament.