Club volleyball is a growing sport among young school players, as it is a great way to gain more experience, get seen by college coaches, meet new people, and enhance the level of experience in school volleyball.
USA Volleyball gives girls the opportunity to compete against the best volleyball players across the state. When playing for high school sports, the schools are divided by size, but USAV is centered around age.
During tournaments there are from 8 to 12 teams playing in each age bracket. Each team is played against by record, so that when competing, they are always playing against the strongest competition. In club volleyball, there are only nine to ten girls allowed on each team.
Dan Heinz started the Lakewood Area Volleyball Association last year.
“Two years ago my daughter played for the HAVC team out of Irwin. Traveling up there two nights a week was tough, even car pooling. Last year I decided that we could have a team from this area. Alan Jackson and I went through the USA Volleyball coaching certification program and put a team together with 6 girls from Lakewood High School and 3 from Clinton High,” Heinz explained.
This year they will have 3 teams, 17U, 16U, and 15U with girls from Lakewood High, Clinton High, Roseboro Salemburg Middle, Midway High, and Mintz Christian Academy.
What is it about the USAVB that Dan Heinz likes being apart of?
“USAV is strict. They enforce their rules of conduct. When you go to a tournament, there isn’t going to be people screaming at the officials or displays of poor sportsmanship by players or coaches. It’s not tolerated at these games, and the girls are expected to play at a high level,” he insisted.
At the tournament sites, teams set up camp or tailgate, with tents, and food in a family friendly environment. Everyone there has the girls’ best interest at heart,” continued Heinz.
Each member of the team is certain to get a lot of playing time, and an opportunity to play against the best in the state. College coaches pay particular attention to Club tournaments. They can go to one tournament and see several hundred girls. Teams can compete and earn a bid to regional and national tournaments, according to Heinz.
Last year the Lakewood Area Volleyball Association (LAVA) won the Carolina East Region 16U Bronze Division.