By Mark M Johnson
A collaboration of elite volleyball players from Kingwood, Kingwood Park, and Crosby High Schools just competed with their club program Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite – Kingwood and won the 2017 USA Volleyball American Division silver medal.
Emma Joy Omenson, Kingwood Park
Katelyn Searcy, Kingwood Park
Julia Hadley, Kingwood Park
Andrea Unwin, Kingwood Park
Yates Barker, Kingwood Park
Morgan Lewis, Crosby
Emma Brinsden, Kingwood
Camryn Wisenbaker, Kingwood
Parker Roach, Kingwood
Mollie Holmes, Kingwood
Sydney Rambo, Kingwood
Led by the leadership of program director Chase Duplantis the girls traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they competed for four days.
There are quite a few national qualifiers around the nation including California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Only a certain number of teams can get bids into the tournament.
Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite – Kingwood competed in the Lone Star region. This area consists of the greater area teams in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.
“At the regional tournament you can earn bids to nationals, which is where we earned ours,” Duplantis said. “Every team that gets to nationals earns it for sure.”
The regional tournament was held the last weekend in April. It is not until the end of June when the girls can compete again at nationals. Duplantis admits that it can be a. tough transition for the girls.
A total of 64 teams competed overall at nationals. When the girls arrived in Minnesota they were placed into a pool of seven other teams. In the tournament they were seeded #17 but in their pool they were #3.
The top seeded team in the entire tournament, Rancho Valley, was in their pool. The girls came away with the victory against them and won their pool.
Three games were played each of the first two days they arrived. On the third day the girls finished up the pool play and moved on to challenge matches. Those consist of different seeds from different pools competing against one another to eliminate teams.
They are split up after the challenge matches into either Gold, Silver, or Bronze brackets. Thus, only 24 teams (eight to a bracket) remain.
Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite – Kingwood received a first round bye for winning their pool and reached the Gold bracket.
After a quarterfinals and semifinals victory they were once again face-to-face with top seeded Rancho Valley. Luck was not on their side as Rancho Valley got their revenge on Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite – Kingwood and claimed the gold medal.
It was a close match in pool play as the girls took care of Rancho Valley in three sets. However, they were unable to win a set in the finals taking two very tough losses 26-24 and 26-24. “We had a pretty good cushion in the second set too but let it slip away,” Duplantis mentioned.
Overall they went 10-1. Katelyn Searcy, Emma Brinsden, and Andrea Unwin picked up All-Tournament honors.
In just the first year for the Kingwood division of Woodlands Revolution Volleyball Club the girls reached impressive heights leaving the future looking very bright for Kingwood area volleyball.
With high school season right around the corner, we should see some amazing volleyball from these schools.