The Dallas Convention Center hosted more than 100 volleyball teams from across the country to compete in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
Several local girls played on teams that participated in the tournament. All four of the teams with local players played well and one of them won a national title.
Waxahachie was represented by Courtney Miller, Maddie Wilkerson, Carl Hess, Mary Kate Clark, Ellen Platt and Emma Hinds.
Miller and Wilkerson plays on Texas Advantage Volleyball 17 Black. Hess plays for Texas Image Volleyball 17 Mizuno Ray. Clark plays for ACE 17 Smack Black. Platt and Hinds play for Texas Image Volleyball 16 Lindsay. Red Oak’s Chloe Davis also plays with Clark on ACE 17 Smack Black.
TAV 17 Black was ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to www.prepvolleyball.com, coming into the tournament with a record of 74-4 and 70 of those wins have been sweeps. They didn’t disappoint in last week’s event as they won 10 of the 11 games they played, five of them sweeps, and went on to win the national championship in the 17 Open division.
Miller’s team is coached by Ping Cao, who is known as the greatest Chinese hitter of all time. He returns home every two years and they throw a parade for him.
All 11 players on the team have committed or have already signed NCAA Division 1 scholarships to schools like Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Oregon State.
While Miller, heading into her senior season for Waxahachie, already holds several offensive school records, she plays defensive specialist for this team. Wilkerson plays libero.
17 Smack Black won six of its eight matches, four via sweeps, and finished in third place in the tournament.
They qualified in the USA division at the Big South Qualifier in Atlanta.
TIV 17 Mizuno Ray won a pair of matches in the tournament, both in three sets, and finished in 26th place. Hess, who just graduated from WHS and is heading to Dallas Baptist University, has always been young for her class and plays on the 17 team, instead of the 18 team.
Mizuno Ray received one of the two at-large bids given nationally for the Open division and was the 27th seed in the 32-team Open field.
TIV 16 Mizuno Lindsay won four of its nine games in the tournament, three of them via sweeps.
All of the local players excelled and propelled their teams to the successes they had. The players will return to their high school uniforms Aug. 5 for the first day of practices.
Waxahachie’s season begins with a dual match against Wylie and McKinney in Wylie Aug. 13. The Lady Indians’ first home game won’t be until Aug. 27 against Waco Midway.