Excel NW 14s Rox at 2012 Nationals
The Excel NW 14's team placed 5th in CEVA Regionals, and by default of 2 higher ranked teams received and accepted the American bid. One of our starting setters was unable to attend the tournament with the team, so we quickly had to alter our line-up significantly. We brought up a Libero from our Excel 14's Silver team to help balance the roster and had to integrate an existing player into the setting role.
Because of the inexperience of the tam, the thrill to be at the tournament was overwhelming for all. The team achieved their first win the very first game of the tournament! We finished 4th of 6 in opening pool play, with a heartbreaking loss of 14-16 in the third game which would have put us 2nd and top half of the American Division. The team went on to win a match all 4 days of the tournament, which resulted in our 38th of 48 place finish. This is a tremendous accomplishment for a relatively inexperienced (and recognized) team!
This was a lifetime experience for each of us. All members, including our parents, were extremely supportive of the event and the opportunity for their children. The exposure to talented clubs from across the US, and College coaches was unbeatable. Being able to participate is something these kids can add to their personal resume which is notable. Attending also introduced our players to the talent level across the US, and gave them a firsthand view of what their competition is in order to attempt to play college level volleyball. They now have a better understanding of the intensity and work they will need to put into training to make this a reality.
We believe it is extremely important for kids from our region to take advantage of this opportunity at the youngest age possible in order to build notoriety for players coming from this area. It was very apparent that several clubs/regions have a long tradition of participating in this event as we saw many teams with several of their age groups participating. We need to continue to build the talent and exposure of all our teams here.
We are very proud of our Excel NW Club, as we had 3 teams offered bids to attend Nationals this year (another first for the club) – 18's, 15's & 14's, and 2 that attended! We would like to thank CEVA for your support throughout the season and your recognition of Excel NW!