Tawa’s Daily Dots: Who’s qualified? Am I qualified (to make picks)? And is this photo amazing? That’s an unqualified “Yes!”

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Tawa's Daily Dots 3/26/2021-Bella Bonanno-Ozark Juniors
Bella Bonanno of Ozark Juniors 14 Elite

Daily Dots (March 26, 2021): Club or high school volleyball factoids, notions and ideas to impress your friends (or not)

• With qualifier season just a few weeks from being completed in the 18s age groups and just getting started in the younger age groups, let’s look at the teams that have so far qualified for Junior Nationals in the Open and USA divisions, those divisions where bids come almost exclusively from participation in national qualifiers.

We will report only on those age groups (15s-18s) that we actively cover, as we believe youngsters should play the sport for love and to get better rather than worrying about who’s watching or writing about them.

• Here now are all the teams that have qualified in the Open divisions, with the name of the qualifier where they punched their tickets:

18 OPEN
Florida National
A5 18 Scott
AZ EVJ 18N1-Tempe
Arizona Storm 18 Thunder

Ohio Valley
AVC CLE Rox 18 Red
Elevation 18 Goller
Metro 18 Travel

Northern Lights
MAVS KC 18-1
Premier Nebraska 18 Gold
FC Elite 18 Elite
Girls Winter Championships
Michigan Elite 18 Mizuno
Milwaukee Sting 18 Gold
Mintonette Sports m.81

AVC-Dallas
TAV 18 Black
Houston Skyline 18 Royal
SA Juniors 18 Adidas

Beast of the Southeast
OT 18O Felix
OT 18T Dexter
Circle City 18 Purple

Boston VB Festival
CUVC 18 Premier
Top Select 18 Elite Blue
A5 18 Boba
Colorado Crossroads
Colorado Juniors 18 Kevin
Tstreet 18-Kasia
Encore 18 Goldhahn

MEQ
Adversity G18 Adidas
HJV 18 Elite
Tri-State 18 Blue

17 OPEN
Northern Lights
Premier Nebraska 17 Gold
Adversity G17 Adidas
Drive Nation 17 Red

Sunshine
Houston Skyline 17 Royal
Metro 17 Travel
Madfrog 17N Green

MEQ
A5 17-Jing
TAV 17 Black
Nebraska Elite 17 Alpha

 
16 OPEN
Sunshine
Legacy 16 Adidas
A5 16-Gabe
HJV 16 Elite
MEQ
KC Power 16-1
1st Alliance 16 Silver
Drive Nation 16 Red

15 OPEN
Sunshine
Madfrog 15N Green
A5 15-Bob
OT 15O Roberto

MEQ
KC Power 15-1
Dynasty 15 Black
Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite

• Here now are all the teams that have qualified in the USA divisions, with the name of the qualifier where they punched their tickets:

18 USA
Florida National
Tsunami s181E Dun
JJVA 18N Daniel
Miami Elite 18N1 Julie
Ohio Valley
Southwest 18N TR
VA Juniors 18 Elite
Revolution PGH 18 White
Northern Lights
Mizuno Northern Lights 18-2
CNVBC Mizuno 18 lb
Dynasty 18 Black
Girls Winter Championships
417 Juniors 18-1
MichioChicago 18 National
HP Illinois 18 Elite
AVC-Dallas
TAV 18 Blue
Houston Skyline 18 Black
AVA TX 18 Adidas

Beast of the Southeast
1st Alliance 18 Black
Rio 18 Spider
Rage-Westside 18 Jen
Boston VB Festival
Miami Hype 18U JC
Oviedo 18 Black
Ocala Power 18 Adidas
Colorado Crossroads
Tx Image 18 Asics Black
Forza 1 North 18UA
NORCO 18 Black
MEQ
Upward Stars 18 Corey
PVA 18 Elite
Texas Pistols 18 Black

17 USA
Northern Lights
305 VBC 17 National
Premier Nebraska 17 Black
Mizuno Northern Lights 17-2
Sunshine
A5 Mizuno 17-Kelly
Texas Pistols 17 Black
Tallahassee Juniors 17 Nike Pro

MEQ
TX Tornados 17 Adidas
Ozark Juniors 17 Elite
TAV 17 Blue

 
16 USA
Sunshine
Gainesville Juniors 16 Elite
A5 16-Marc
SA Juniors 16 Adidas
MEQ
Tejas 16 Black
Mintonette m. 62
Milwaukee Sting 16 Black

15 USA
Sunshine
MPV 15’s Max
USA South 15 Premier Purple
SA Juniors 15 Adidas

• There are national qualifiers this weekend in all parts of the country. MEQ finishes up in St. Louis with all of the youngsters plus two divisions that interest us, 15 USA and 15 American. The other three qualifiers all prominently feature 18s teams:

Lone Star in Houston;
Northeast (NEQ) in Philly; and
Red Rock Rave in Las Vegas.

A fourth 18s qualifier scheduled for this weekend, the Pacific Northwest (PNQ) in Spokane, was canceled on March 5 after the state’s governor denied permission to allow a tournament while still in Phase 2 of COVID-19 recovery.

• The 18 Open division at Lone Star, which starts today, has 22 teams. Four have already qualified: VolleyballMag.com national No. 5 Houston Skyline, No. 7 Tstreet, No. 10 AZ Storm and No. 24 SA Juniors. The field features one other nationally-ranked team, Dallas Skyline 18 Royal.

I predict a trickle down to sixth place. Houston Skyline and AZ Storm will play for the title, with Storm coming away with it.

Dallas Skyline will qualify in a tie for third place with Tstreet, while the other two will be…gosh I really don’t know but will be excited to tell their stories next week…closing my eyes and pointing …OJVA and Club V? Maybe?

• The 18 Open division at NEQ, which starts Saturday, also has 22 teams, headlined by national No. 1 TAV, which qualified at AVC-Dallas. There are four other qualified teams playing in Philadelphia: national No. 3 A5 Scott, Metro, A5 Boba and OT Dexter.

TAV will win … this team probably won’t lose a match until Junior Nationals. A5 Scott is too good not to finish second. Metro will be third.

Which teams will earn bids?

Again, it feels like just a huge guess. I’ll go Academy Diamond, East Coast Power Royal and Pittsburgh Elite to emerge with those coveted nods to the Open division in Columbus.

• There are 30 teams in 18 Open at the Red Rock Rave, which begins on Saturday. Five are already qualified: national No. 8 MAV KC, No. 13 Adversity Adidas, No. 22 OT Felix, AZ EVJ and Encore.

I’ll take MAVS to win over Rancho Valley 18 Premier. Rancho has been one of the top 18s teams all year in the fledgling PVL and has a brilliant coach in Danny Scott.

The other two qualifiers will come via trickle down. I’m not at all confident but will say San Gabriel Elite 18 Roshambo takes one spot and Adversity 18 Purple the other.

Photo of the Week — The shot above is Bella Bonanno of Ozark Juniors 14 Elite snapped by her dad, A.J. Bonanno. The intensity is so palpable! It’s such a good shot that it HAD to lead today’s Dots. Thanks for the submission!

• I asked club coaches to share their “go to” catch phrases to motivate their teams. Here are three I feel are very good:

“Make the easy easy” —  Hugh Hernesman, Jacksonville Skyline Juniors

“Be deserving” — Adis Imamovic, JJVA

“Be good people” – Scott Jackson, MN Select

Jackson’s has a backstory I will let him share:

“As the coach at Wayzata HS (Minnesota), before we get off the bus for an away match, the last thing I say is “Be Good People.” This one has history (that is actually now a bit funny but when it happened was really concerning). At the time, I feared that our athletes may be planning to retaliate against a rival school and program, which had some team members that had made a poor choice in off-the-court behavior at our school when we played there a couple weeks earlier. Our kids and community didn’t retaliate. In any case, the phrase has stuck and past players have indicated to me that it is the Scott-ism that they most carry with them years later. I like that!”

Keep sharing those “go to” phrases coaches, as I will be including others in future Dots. (Not on our email list? Share your wisdom by emailing jtawa@volleyballmag.com)
 
• Here now is suggestion No. 3 from Hall of Fame coach Terry Pettit’s “Ten Suggestions for Coaches,” which can be found, in full, at https://terrypettit.com/:

3. Every time we ask a player to make an adjustment we are entering a contract with them that says: If you are willing to be uncomfortable and take this risk as a player, then I am going to limit my feedback to you on this one behavior. It’s not productive to ask a player to lengthen their first step on her approach and then observe that she attacked the ball to the wrong zone.

 
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