With a hectic January, this upcoming weekend will be a little lighter on the club volleyball scene with teams using this time to prepare for Presidents Day tournaments the following weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the 15/16s Great Lakes Power League at Sports Performance in Aurora, Illinois. After Capital Adidas 16, Motion 16 Blu, and Wisconsin Juniors 16-1 all had undefeated opening weekends, they will all be placed in the top bracket (Bracket A) of GLPL Super Open. Another team to note will be River City out of Watertown which went 6-0 opening weekend of the PM shift and will be one of the top seeds Saturday night.
Capital 16 Adidas
Capital will be starting their day off with the 16s from the Iowa Rockets out of Iowa City. The fun story behind this is even though these teams are not close necessarily in proximity, this is the former club of Milla Malik, the outside from Capital. Capital prides themselves on solid ball control which allows them to runs the middle, but they are never out of a point with Malik and KJ McNabb on the pin. With an injury to Ella Foti who is one of the top setters out of the Class of 2021, Jordan Armstrong out of Verona has really stepped up her game running a balanced offense for this group and is definitely a prospect on the rise. Armstrong, along with high school teammate Madelyn Kelley have been a great combination running the middle.
Motion 16 Blu
After a 6-0 weekend to start out GLPL, Motion 16 Blu will open Bracket A play against Epic United 16 Elite Rox, a team that lost to Capital Adidas 16 the last match of GLPL Weekend 1. These two teams are extremely athletic, but the firepower that Motion plays with I believe will give them an edge in the quarterfinals. Julia Treichel is an eraser who is always a threat to score and has the body language full of intensity that is contagious to her teammates. Tahya Pozorski is always solid in the backrow allowing Motion to run their option. There is no one on this team that necessarily stands out physically height wise, which just goes to show that ball control, solid defense, and playing with enthusiasm and intensity will win games for you.
Wisconsin Juniors 16-1
Juniors will have a tough opening round match up with Lions 15-1, which is coming off a championship at the extremely tough Central Zone Invite in Indianapolis this past weekend. Juniors is an extremely versatile team that is able to score from a variety of positions. Everything runs through Karlee Leber, a 5’7 left handed setter who is extremely athletic and physical. Don’t let her size fool you, she is a force to be reckon with. Their outsides are dynamic and point scorers and low error hitters, meaning they will keep the ball and play and give the team a chance to score on the return. There is no break with their middles in 6’3 Korina Leber and 6’1 Emily Allan. Both are extremely dynamic and can score off one foot. Everything starts though from libero Amber Bischel of Germantown who gets it all going.
Teams Looking To Make a Push
Midwest Penguins 15 Black
This team just has an edge about them, a refuse to lose attitude that is incredibly tough. I’ve seen them play multiple matches between the Winter Classic and GLPL and the consistent story behind them is they find a way to compete. They may not always win, but they will compete. With the swings of Jordan Berglin, Alexis Boling, and Kayla Lewinski they provide a balanced attack and will make a push to move up from Bracket C to Bracket B.
FC Elite 16 Navy and WVA 16 Black
These two clubs out of the Fox Valley are all too familiar with each other with most of them playing on the same high school team or have played club together before. They even played each other to end Weekend 1 with WVA winning in three sets with the final set going in favor of WVA 16-14. If both teams win their first round match up, they will once again play each other in the semifinals of Bracket D. Both teams have a great chance of advancing to Bracket C.
Capital Adidas 15
This team made drastic improvements since the first time I saw them play in early January at the Winter Classic. Payton Addink and Josie Halbleib are two players who are rising quickly on the list of those to watch out of the Class of 2021. I look for this team to get out of Pool E on Saturday to advance into Bracket D on Sunday. With the training at Capital, these teams are always getting better as the season progresses.
Adversity 16-1, River City 16, and RVA 16 Navy
These three clubs will all be represented in Bracket A of the PM session. This will be very competitive and a final four in Bracket A with three Badger Region teams will be extremely important when it comes to seeding for the Badger Region Championships come March. The 16s Division from the Badger Region has a lot of great players and teams, but will be interesting to see who separates themselves from the rest of the pack in February.