Top Stories To Know Heading Into Wisconsin Dells Mizuno Showcase
The Midwest is always known for its great volleyball. Between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis there is handful among handful of college players heading to Division 1 and Division 2 schools across the nation, as well as some of the top Division 3 and NAIA schools in the country. This weekend the Wisconsin Dells will be hosting the Mizuno Showcase put on by VC United and is partnering with NetLynx. Get ready. With games being played at three different sites, and one division per age, this tournament will feature the best clubs out of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Storylines to Watch:
VC United, A New Club On The Rise
VC United is out of Rockford, Illinois and is in the process of building a potential powerhouse. Being located in a hotbed of volleyball talent, this club is gaining a lot of momentum. It didn’t take long for VC to get their first Division 1 commit with Class of 2019 prospect, Payton Sewell from Belvidere North High School in Illinois heading to Western Illinois. She will be the first of many to be developing through this program. Tayler Alden of Oconomowoc, WI is the #1 ranked 2020 prospect out of Wisconsin and is playing on the 18-1 Elite team along with high school teammate, Elle Schult from the Class of 2019. This 18s team will bring a majority of players back next year with many on the roster being from the Class of 2019 or 2020.
Fusion and Sports Performance – Bringing The Noise
Fusion and Sports Performance are two programs out of Illinois that are absolute powerhouses out of the Chicago area that along with elite talent, they have banners of national championships, olympians, and a long list of athletes who have gone onto become collegiate All Americans. The Sports Performance program is always there on the sidelines to support other teams in their club when they are not playing, which can be a little intimidating from the opposing side of the net. These are two clubs rivals, but always seems to bring out the best in each other whether it is at a national tournament or at the Great Lakes Power League. It will be fun to see these clubs go against the likes of Kokoro (MN) and MN Select which have been having solid seasons at all levels.
The Six Degrees of Separation of Northern Iowa Volleyball
–Kat Barr of Balance Volleyball Club, who will be playing for Balance 18s out of Cary, Illinois has signed to Northern Iowa.
-Emma Schmidt of Champlin Park High School and MN Select 18-1 will be playing next year at Northern Iowa
–Maizy Jackson is a Class of 2019 outside hitter from MN Select 17-1 has given her verbal commitment to Northern Iowa
-Six Pack 18s, which features three Division 1 players practices on the Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls, Iowa
-CIA (Club Iowa Juniors) is under the direction of Kalani and Chris Mahi, where Kalani is an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. They also have a daughter, Tayah Mahi, who will be a setter at Northern Iowa this Fall and Halia Mahi who plays for CIA 16 Black.
Defending National Champions
There are names and teams that are great, but rarely will teams have a chance to call themselves a “National Champion”. The Sports Performance 15 Elite team won the 2017 AAU Open Championship as 14s. Last year also featured Illini Elite 18 Cardinal winning a national championship in the 17 Open Division in Orlando. The team has five division one players, with Hannah Clayton heading to the University of Iowa as a Middle Blocker. The Kokoro 16’s won the National Division at the USA Volleyball Championships last year as 15s in Minneapolis. Crossfire out of the Twin Cities won a Patriot Championship as 17s in Minneapolis last year, this year the 18s will be competing at the Showcase.
Young, But Future Gophers Playing
Taylor Landfair is a 2020 recruit that will be playing this weekend for Sports Performance 18 Elite. Landfair is a 6’4 outside hitter from Plainfield Central that can touch 10’7, yes….10’7. A smooth athlete that is still continuing to develop her all around game has verbally committed to Minnesota. That is not the only future Gopher who will be playing in the Dells this weekend. Anna Wolf, of River Falls High School from the Class of 2021 and Kokoro 15-1 has also given her verbal to play for the Gophers. If only Mckenna Wucherer of Milwaukee Sting 15 Gold was playing this weekend we would see the quite the future frontline of the Big Ten. Kokoro also has Maddie Whittington that has given her verbal to play at Illinois