Daily Dots (May 7, 2021): Club or high school volleyball factoids, notions and ideas to impress your friends (or not)
• Happy Friday, unless you’re a parent trying to get into the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier in Denver, in which case you’re probably very unhappy. The system that identifies and admits parents to the venue reportedly crashed, leaving no movement in a blocks-long line for at least 40 minutes less than one hour before first serve. Yikes!
• For the age groups we cover, Crossroads is the only national qualifier on the docket this weekend. It is one of five national qualifiers that remain on the 2021 schedule. The others, for the ages we cover, are Windy City (17s only), Northern Lights (16s only), Pacific Northwest (15s-17s) and Red Rock Rave (15s-17s).
• “Open” is the highest classification in each age division. The Open fields at the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships, beginning in late June in Las Vegas, will have 36 teams in the 15s-17s age groups. Teams can get to Junior Nationals in the Open divisions in one of two ways:
1. By qualifying at one of 12 national qualifiers. To do this, a team must finish in qualifying position at a qualifier, which might be first only, if an Open field is really small; or as low as eighth in a full field with five previously-qualified teams among the top eight.
2. By receiving an at-large bid as a result of a qualifier being unable to dole out its full complement of bids. This happens when a registered field is too small (fewer than 24 teams) to award three bids or when too many already-qualified teams occupy the top eight spots, as bids cannot trickle beyond the top eight.
• Here are the 23 teams that currently have secured 17 Open bids, listed by VolleyballMag.com Top 30 national ranking, if they have one; and alphabetically if they do not:
1. Sunshine 17 Los Angeles (California)
2. Houston Skyline 17 Royal (Texas)
3. Drive Nation 17 Red (Texas)
5. Premier Nebraska 17 Gold (Nebraska)
6. Adversity 17 Adidas (Illinois)
7. Madfrog 17 National Green (Texas)
8. OTVA 17 T Jason (Florida)
9. WAVE 17 Rachel (California)
10. Metro 17 Travel (Washington D.C.)
11. A5 17-Jing (Georgia)
12. Circle City 17 Purple (Indiana)
13. Texas Advantage 17 Black (Texas)
17. Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1 (Minnesota)
18. Nebraska Elite 17-Alpha (Nebraska)
20. Absolute 17 Black (California)
27. Academy Volleyball Cleveland 17 National (Ohio)
30. Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite (Missouri)
Dynasty Academy 17 Adidas(Kansas)
Excel 17 National Red (Texas)
Front Range 17 Black (Colorado)
Houston Skyline 17 Black (Texas)
NKYVC 17-1 Tsunami (Kentucky)
Triangle 17 Black (North Carolina)
The highest-ranked teams still chasing bids include No. 4 Arizona Storm Elite 17 Thunder (Arizona), No. 14 Dallas Skyline 17 Royal (Texas), No. 16 NORCO 17 Black (Colorado), No. 19 Coast 17-1 Rodrigo (California), No. 21 Tstreet 17-Naseri (California), No. 22 Spike and Serve 17 Red (Hawaii), No. 23 Club Ignit Select 17 Blue (Iowa), No. 25 North Carolina Academy 17 Diamond (North Carolina), No. 26 Mizuno Long Beach 17 Rockstar (California), No. 28 OTVA 17 O Roberto (Florida) and No. 29 1st Alliance 17 Silver (Illinois).
• Here are the 24 teams that currently have secured 16 Open bids, listed by VolleyballMag.com Top 30 national ranking, if they have one; and alphabetically if they do not:
1. KC Power 16-1 (Kansas)
2. Drive Nation 16 Red (Texas)
3. Legacy Adidas 16-1 (Michigan)
4. Texas Advantage 16 Black (Texas)
5. 1st Alliance 16 Silver (Illinois)
6. Tstreet 16-Curtis (California)
7. WAVE 16 Alfee (California)
8. A5 16-Gabe (Georgia)
10. Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (Texas)
11. Premier Nebraska 16 Gold (Nebraska)
13. Coast 16-1 (California)
14. Aspire 16 UA-Premier (Arizona)
15. Woodlands Revolution 16 Premier (Texas)
16. Mizuno Northern Lights 16-1 (Minnesota)
17. Hive 16 Gold (Utah)
21. Sunshine 16 Los Angeles (California)
22. Houston Juniors 16 Elite (Texas)
24. Top Select 16 Elite Blue (Florida)
25. NKYVC 16-1 Tsunami (Kentucky)
Madfrog 16 National Green (Texas)
MAVS KC 16-1 (Kansas)
Mizuno Long Beach 16 Rockstar (California)
MN Select 16-1 (Minnesota)
Nebraska Elite 16-Top Gun (Nebraska)
The highest-ranked teams still chasing bids include No. 9 Alamo 16 Premier (Texas), No. 12 Revolution 16 Premier (Arizona), No. 19 Elevation 16 Butcher (Ohio), No. 23 Surfside 16 MB Legends (California), No. 26 Academy Volleyball Cleveland 16 Red (Ohio), No. 27 High Tide 16 Elite (Florida), No. 28 OTVA 16J Will (Florida), No. 29 Club V 16 Red Andrew (Utah) and 30. Infinity 16 Adidas (Mississippi).
• Here are the 24 teams that currently have secured 15 Open bids, listed by VolleyballMag.com Top 30 national ranking, if they have one; and alphabetically if they do not:
1. KC Power 15-1 (Kansas)
2. Dynasty 15 Black (Kansas)
3. Madfrog 15 National Green (Texas)
4. WAVE 15 Juliana (California)
5. Texas Advantage 15 Black (Texas)
6. A5 15-Bob (Georgia)
7. Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite (Missouri)
9. Tstreet 15-Chris (California)
10. NKYVC 15 Tsunami (Kentucky)
11. Lions 15-1 (Illinois)
13. Triangle 15 Black (North Carolina)
14. Premier Nebraska 15 Gold (Nebraska)
15. Mizuno Long Beach 15 Rockstar C (California)
16. OT 15 T Randy (Florida)
18. Dallas Skyline 15 Royal (Texas)
20. Milwaukee Sting 15 Gold (Wisconsin)
21. Six Pack 16 (Iowa)
22. Metro 15 Travel (Washington D.C.)
25. Excel 15 National Red (Texas)
28. Austin Juniors 15 Mizuno (Texas)
30. Circle City 15 Purple (Indiana)
City Volleyball 15 Stef (California)
Flyers 15-APX Bill (Texas)
Paramount VBC 15
The highest-ranked teams still chasing bids include No. 8 Coast 15-1 (California), No. 17 Colorado Juniors 15Sherri (Colorado), No. 19 OT 15 O Isaac (Florida), No. 23 Spike and Serve 15 Red (Hawaii), No. 26. Elevation 15 Chicas (Ohio) and No. 27. Team Pineapple 15 Black (Indiana).
• At Crossroads, which began this morning, several ranked teams, including some that are playing in their very first qualifier of the season, are pursuing their Open bids.
AZ Storm, NORCO, Ignit and Academy Diamond, all among the top 25 nationally, are in the 17 Open field. They are seeded 7, 8, 9 and 10, respectively, behind five teams that have already qualified and MN Select 17-1.
Alamo, Revolution, Elevation and Club V Andrew, all among the top 30 nationally, are in the 16 Open field. Elevation is seeded sixth, Alamo seventh and Club V eighth. They are seeded behind three already-qualified teams, Vision 16 Gold and Gainesville Juniors 16-1, which has dominated USA division competition.
Revolution is seeded 22nd. We’ll get back to that in the next Dot …
Colorado Juniors, No. 17 nationally, is in the 15 Open field. It is seeded fourth, behind two previously-qualified teams and Az Epic 15 Elite Mike.
• Revolution, coach by former Air Force head coach Marc Swindle, goes to Crossroads having lost just once all season in its age group. That loss, in three sets, came to Aspire 16 UA Premier, which is No. 14 nationally, qualified at Far Western and is the top seed in 16 Open at Crossroads. Revolution also has a sweep of that same Aspire team on its resume.
So how is Revolution, which won the Arizona Region Open Championship last weekend, seeded 21 spots behind Aspire and is even seven spots below Club One AZ 16 Platinum?
It’s literally a mystery.
The tournament says it no longer seeds the Open divisions; that the task falls on the USA Volleyball seeding committee.
A member of the seeding committee — the identities of committee members are supposed to be top secret but I used to be on it so … — told me that the tournament does it.
A friend loosely affiliated with the tournament thought that the tournament produced an initial seed through a computer program that then gets vetted by USA Volleyball.
In other words, no one wants responsibility for placing Revolution third in 16 Open Pool 2, behind previously-qualified Hive 16 Gold and PVA 16 Elite, a Kansas team just outside our top 30. Only two of the three teams can advance beyond Day 1. A good team is going to be very angry at the end of today …
• Let’s pick the winners of the three Crossroads Open divisions as well as those who qualify.
In 15 Open, which isn’t particularly strong, Tstreet 15-Chris, which won Far Western two weeks ago, goes back-to-back here. The division delivers three bids, to Alamo 15 Premier, which ties for third; as well as Colorado Juniors 15Sherri and Club V 15 Ren Matt.
In 16 Open, I’ll take Premier Nebraska 16 Gold to win it all over Alamo 16 Premier. Elevation 16 Butcher and, yes, Revolution 16 Premier, will capture bids in Denver.
In 17 Open, even though there are six teams with bids in the field, three new teams will qualify here, starting with champion AZ Storm Elite 17 Thunder, which should have been seeded no lower than second. Club Ignit Select 17 Blue also qualifies and finishes second. NORCO 17 Black takes the final bid.
• Finally, an update from Denver in 16 Open … Revolution played, and lost, to Hive, the tournament’s No. 2 overall seed. The set scores were 26-24, 23-25, 15-12. Revolution now must be perfect the rest of the way to advance.
Incidentally, all 10 teams seeded first in their 16 Open pools won opening matches Friday, except for fourth-seeded Vision 16 Gold. It lost to Livewire 16 Adidas, the same team Revolution defeated to win the Arizona Region Championships last weekend.