Daily Dots (April 6, 2021): Club or high school volleyball factoids, notions and ideas to impress your friends (or not)

• Yesterday, I shared what a busy week it would be at Dots, with 41 total stories to be told from the past weekend. I have reached out now to ALL of them and, so far, have heard from nine of them. As a result, I am going to wait until tomorrow to start with the recaps. Hopefully, more will come in before then…

• Look for national 17s rankings probably on Thursday. Like the 18s last week, I will expand the list to 30 teams. Don’t look for too much movement, though. Since the last rankings, there have been only four major events: Bluegrass and three qualifiers (Sunshine, MEQ and Big South). Many highly ranked teams out west have yet to venture outside of their regions even…

Madelyn Hornyak of Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1 has a cool nickname: “Mad Dog.” The 5-11 OH/DS, who has signed with North Dakota, says her personal motto is to always give 100 percent effort; otherwise, how can you know what you are truly capable of? 18-1 head coach Dave Manka said of Hornyak’s nickname: “That’s how she plays the game!”

• Here now is suggestion No. 7 from Hall of Fame coach Terry Pettit’s “Ten Suggestions for Coaches,” which can be found, in full, at https://terrypettit.com/:

7. We have to train decisions as well as fundamentals. If two teams are equal in talent and fundamentals, the winner is the team that makes the best decisions. Telling players what to do is not enough. They have to be put into situational training where they can make better decisions under game-like conditions.

  • Yesterday, I asked volleyball coaches on my email list to distribute a bunch of questions for players to answer in a “Three Contacts With…” series. I received my first submission early this morning. I present… “Three Contacts With Tyler Patterson.” Tyler is a Class of 2023 S/RS from JJVA 16 National-Nick. She has played for JJVA for seven years and carries a 4.2 GPA at Creekside HS in Florida. Tyler was given 20 questions to choose from and picked the following three to answer:Q: Would you rather be famous on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube? Why and what would you be famous for?
    TP: I would rather be famous on TikTok, because it’s easy and fun to post videos.  It’s also very light hearted and I love to make people laugh.

Q: What’s the single funniest thing you’ve ever seen in volleyball?
TP: By far the funniest thing ever is the Scott Sterling video of him constantly getting hit in the face with the ball to save the point. At the end of the video his team lifts him up to use his face to block for the winning point.  The man, the myth, the legend- it’s so funny!

Q: What’s the best thing about being you? What’s the hardest?
TP: The best thing about me is that I’m driven to succeed in everything I do, whether it’s school, volleyball or just a fun game of pickle ball.  This can also be the hardest thing because I’m so passionate about everything and I want to perform well; so when I make a mistake, I’m very hard on myself.

One of the 20 questions players can choose from in “Three Contacts With…” is this one: “You have to cook dinner for yourself and any three people in the world currently living. With whom do you dine and why and what are you serving?”

I’ll answer this one, picking only club volleyball coaches.

I am dining with Andy Guggisberg, HC, Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1, because just being in his presence makes me happy; Terri Spann, club director, AZ Storm Elite, because I like her smile and outlook on life; and Ron Kordes, club director, KiVA, because he’s a legend in the sport and a genuinely good man.

And I’d cook my mother’s Middle Easter cabbage rolls, because they are that good!

• Tuesday Teamwork Video: FC Elite 18 Elite’s sophomore libero, Saige Damrow, committed to Wisconsin as an eighth grader not only because of her innate ability, but also because of her intelligence. Watch her use her hands to deliver a perfect set to MB Brianna Geurts, whose putaway is just as impressive!

• At VolleyballMag.com, we are interested in success stories that extend beyond winning major tournaments or earning qualifier bids. So if you have such a story, send it in – jtawa@volleyballmag.com – just like Tstreet did to celebrate the recent effort of Tstreet IE 18-Taylor, which is based out of the club’s new Inland Empire in Claremont, California. Side note: I attended Pomona College in Claremont a long time ago on semester exchange with my alma mater, Colby College in Maine.

Tstreet IE 18-Taylor was seeded 16th in the SCVA 18s Regional Bid Event held Friday and Saturday. After holding seed the first day, the team matched up on Day 2 with the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament, SG Elite 18 Roshambo. Led by the efficient hitting of pin hitters JJ Quarrels and Eliana Baran, and the setting of Morgan Lin, Tstreet pulled off the upset in two sets (25-23, 31-29). Tied at 29-all in Game 2, Baran went back to the service line, having not served all season. She served an ace to put Tstreet up 30-29. A deep corner swing by Quarrels on the next point ended the match and eliminated SG Elite from bid contention.

Tstreet needed to win one more match to earn a bid, but dropped its match to WAVE 18 Dave in two, which placed Tstreet in the loser’s bracket, which required it to win two back-to-back matches in order to clinch the fifth bid.

Matched against Seal Beach 18-Black, a team Tstreet had lost to the previous weekend, Tstreet came out on top, in two close sets. The team then played Unity 18 Mike in the final bid match. It was tight. With Tstreet clinging to a 14-13 lead in Game 3, a back row kill from Quarrels clinched the match and a trip to Columbus at the end of the month.

  • “When individuals base their feelings, opinions, choices, or decisions only on what others believe to be true, normal, good, right or wrong, without giving any critical thought to their real value, then they themselves forfeit much of their own individuality and in turn join the ranks of mediocrity. Even though people may think of themselves as individuals making unique decisions when they simply adopt certain behavior demonstrated by their peers, in reality each becomes just another small fish in a big sea of insignificance…”This is just one of many pearls of wisdom that Kirk Mango, a former national champion gymnast and volleyball dad, preaches in his book, How to Become a True Champion: Achieving Athletic Excellence From the Inside Out. It’s a 265-page book intended to inspire and help athletes reach their full potential.You may purchase Mango’s book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Rowan & Littlefield.

    • Let’s wrap up today with my made up nicknames from a random club team. The randomizer chose, unbelievably, national No. 1 and undefeated KC Power 16-1. Here we go! Taylor Russell “of the leaves” Izzy “Opus” Day

    “Barber” Ella Swindle Caitlyn “Seed Oil” CobbKate “Salt” PetersonAlaina “Laina, don’t dream it’s over” Olson

    Ava Testrake “then pick up leaves”

    Sawyer “Mom at the store” Thomsen

    Reagan Fox “hunt”

    Rachel “Chandler” Bingham

    Alayna “Things aren’t always as they a” Pearson

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