Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Team Florida Secures Victory in Girls Future Select HPC Championship

Team Florida emerged triumphant in the inaugural Girls Future Select division title at the 2017 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships held in Fort Lauderdale. This division was introduced in 2017 exclusively for region teams and for players born in 2004 and later. The intense final match saw Team Florida prevail over Arizona with a score of 26-16, 25-21, 29-27.

Brianna Anderson, age 13 and outside hitter for Team Florida, reflected on their impressive performance, stating, “Throughout the entire tournament, we maintained a flawless record and did not drop a single set. However, the final match was exceptionally close. We easily secured the first set, but in the second set, we had to battle back from being down 13-9. In the third set, we had a significant lead of five to six points, but our opponents staged a comeback. It was one of the most thrilling games I’ve ever played.”

The pivotal moments in the match heavily relied on Brianna’s contributions, as she revealed, “I truly enjoyed the feeling of having that responsibility. It empowered me and uplifted the entire team. Although it could be intimidating at times, I knew I had to give it my all and deliver powerful shots.”

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Both Team Florida and Arizona boasted an undefeated record of 6-0 leading up to the championship match. Arizona’s road to the final was particularly challenging, as they faced a nail-biting semifinal against Ohio Valley, eventually emerging victorious in five sets (25-12, 21-25, 25-27, 26-24, 16-14). Ohio Valley secured the bronze medal by defeating Old Dominion in four sets (26-24, 26-7, 20-25, 25-14).

Football Connections

In an exciting twist, football star Robert Griffin III witnessed the match between his fiancée Grete Sadeiko’s cousin, Kevin Lamp of USA Youth A1 Red team, and the U.S. Youth National Red, also known as the U.S. Youth National Training Team. The match between A1 Red and U.S. Youth National Red was a thrilling five-set battle, showcasing some of America’s top young talents. A1 Red emerged victorious with a final score of 20-25, 25-12, 13-25, 25-23, 15-9. This defeat eliminated U.S. Youth National Red from medal contention.

The SCVA Youth International Team also demonstrated their prowess by defeating the USA Youth A1 White squad in a four-set match. The SCVA team then advanced to face USA Youth A1 Red the following morning. Notably, the SCVA team decided to rest their standout player, Ian Parish, a 6-9 middle blocker from Loyola High School in Los Angeles. Parish’s remarkable height and athletic build, reminiscent of a football player, are hardly surprising given his background. He had previously played football as a defensive end and tight end at Loyola, and he happens to be the grandson of NFL legend and Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.

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Ian Parish, who has committed to playing volleyball at UCLA under the guidance of U.S. Men’s National Team head coach John Speraw, shared his journey into the sport. He explained, “My mom actually suggested I try volleyball when I was playing rugby and football in middle school. She said, ‘You can’t play two contact sports at once, so let’s find something else for the spring.’ I couldn’t give up football because it runs in the family, so that’s when I started playing volleyball.”

Expressing his delight about joining UCLA, Parish said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of UCLA. It feels like a perfect fit, and the guys on the team are amazing. I can’t wait to compete at a higher level in the future.”

Regarding his grandfather’s perspective on volleyball, Parish shared, “He genuinely loves the sport. He finds it fast-paced and exciting. He attends almost all of my games, and he genuinely enjoys being there.”

FAQs

  1. What is the Girls Future Select division?

    • The Girls Future Select (GFS) division is exclusively for region teams and consists of players born in 2004 and later.
  2. How did Team Florida secure their victory in the championship?

    • Team Florida won the championship by defeating Arizona with a score of 26-16, 25-21, 29-27.
  3. Who were the other medalists in the tournament?

    • Ohio Valley Future Select won the bronze medal by defeating Old Dominion in four sets, while Arizona Girls FS secured the silver medal.

Conclusion

Team Florida’s remarkable performance in the Girls Future Select HPC Championship showcased their skill, determination, and teamwork. Congratulations to the team for their successful campaign. Their journey to victory serves as an inspiration for young volleyball players, reminding them of the power of dedication and perseverance.

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