Premier Impresses in First Trip to Triple Crown NIT
Everyone enjoys getting invited to a party. That was the case with four Premier volleyball teams that spent President’s Day weekend in Salt Lake City taking part in the Triple Crown Sports Invitational. Premier’s 14, 15, 16 and 17 Gold…
Everyone enjoys getting invited to a party. That was the case with four Premier volleyball teams that spent President’s Day weekend in Salt Lake City taking part in the Triple Crown Sports Invitational.
Premier’s 14, 15, 16 and 17 Gold teams all competed in the invite-only tournament that traditionally draws a large number of the top teams from around the country. It was the first time Premier has taken part in the tournament.
Premier 17 Gold led the way, going 9-1 overall in the tournament and beating five teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation. After pool play to start the tournament, teams then advanced to a 32-team bracket.
Premier 17 Gold’s only loss in Salt Lake City came in the first round of that tournament to #7-ranked Arizona Storm, which went on to win the tournament championship. Premier rebounded to go undefeated the rest of the way and finished 17th overall in the tournament and feeling really good about how it played.
“After running into an athletic and well-balanced team from Arizona Storm, that loss and refocus propelled us to put together an incredible showcase of athleticism and determination as the team finished the Invite knocking off five ranked teams in the nation in a row to finish 9-1 on the weekend,” Premier 17 Gold coach Joe Wessel, also the coach at Millard West, said. “As coaches, though the attention during the match is 100% focused on the court and team, it was such a great sight to see almost every AVCA Top 25 Head Coach as well as other respected programs from throughout the nation walking around watching matches. Weather if it was for a match, set, point, or couple minutes of warm-ups. Our athletes and Premier as a club received amazing exposure from some of the best coaches in the nation.”
Premier 16 Gold also turned in an outstanding showing, placing 11th overall, including wins over #9-ranked Long Beach 16 Rockstar as well as national powers Houston Juniors and Sunshine Westside. Premier 16 Gold also lost to eventual champion OTVA – the #4 team in the nation – but that didn’t impact how coach Becky Verespej felt about how her team did over the weekend.
“Every season is about making progress, continuous individual/team growth and peaking at the right time. Competing in the Triple Crown NIT and facing such incredible competition on a national level this early in the season allows our athletes to accelerate this process heading into the National Qualifier season,” she said. “Additionally, the recruiting exposure for our athletes at Triple Crown was tremendous. The benefits of being seen early, before Qualifier season and by a remarkable number of college recruiters should bode well for our athletes.”
Premier 15 Gold finished 19th overall. After falling to Sky High 15 Black in the first round of the championship bracket, 15 Gold bounced back with wins over Mizuno M1 151, K2 and Rage 15 before falling in three sets to Milwaukee Sting 15 Gold to finish 19th.
Premier 14 Gold finished 13th overall in its division, going 3-0 on the first day, including an impressive sweep of Munciana. After falling to national powers Coast, Arizona Storm and OT 14s on the second day, 14 Gold rebounded to sweep both TStreet and Houston Juniors to take 13th place.