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April 2006

AZ Sky 12-Twisterz

Team Members: Samantha Allen, Alexandra Anderson, Savannah Bridges, Morgan Drew, Abby Hornacek, Elizabeth Keig, Jessica Michael, Brittany Rhodes, Sarah Sponcil, Allie Teilborg. Head Coach Sean Parchmann, Assistant Coach: Denise Nasser

AZ Sky Earns Three-Peat in Region’s 12’s

Twisterz stop “That Team” in Anticipated Finale.

The AZ Sky 12-Twisterz, coached by Sean Parchmann and Denise Nasser, won their third Region title in a row with a 25-14, 26-24 win over the Arrowhead 12-That Team coached by Leaven Eubank on Saturday, April 8th at Glendale Community College.

With the win, Parchmann and Nasser completed their own triple crown with three straight Cactus Classic titles, three straight Region titles and three straight JOVC bids. With regard to the amazing consistency of success, Parchmann said, “I finally feel that it wasn’t a fluke!”

The Twisterz undefeated region-match streak from last year to this year came to an end at the hands of this same “That Team" earlier in the season. It vaulted “That Team” to the number one ranking, the first time in three years Parchmann’s bunch hadn’t been at the top. “This is a caring bunch of young ladies” Sean says. “I remember when we suffered our only region loss and the girls were more upset that they broke the coaches winning streak.”
“ The personalities on this team are all over the board. They range from shy and quiet to wildly dramatic but they all get along and they support each other when it counts.” Parchmann lauds, but adds proudly, “They are not afraid to work hard, most of the time they welcome a good challenge. It all probably seems a little much for 10 through 12 year olds but I think we strike a good balance of hard work and fun. All of the girls seem to like coming to practice and that is how I measure success.”

The Twisterz foray into the NQ territory took them to the Colorado Crossroads tournament in March. “We have a fairly small team,” Sean says, “and the look on the parent's faces when they saw the size of the other 12's teams was priceless. If you haven't been to a National Qualifier, it’s hard to imagine the concentration of giant young ladies all in one convention center. I heard a lot of ‘she can’t be twelve’ and ‘can we check birth certificates?’ There was a little uncertainty in the girl's eyes too. It only took a couple of games for them to realize that they were the ones that the other teams had to beat. We went in ranked 5th in the Nation and left ranked 4th. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for them.”

Parchmann and Nasser, now veterans of the Regional finals, worked to keep his girls aggressive no matter the competitive level. “All season the team's serving percentage was around 90% and this day was no different.” Parchmann said of his teams goals. “We had to face Arrowhead in the championship match. They were the team who we lost our match to in mid-season. The second game was too close for comfort. Both teams battled and made great plays. I held my breath as one of my girls went up to hit a beautiful set on match point. The spike hit the floor on the other side of the net and the team exploded with excitement. Arrowhead has a great team. They pushed us and made us play our best all season. Good competition creates better teams and they made us better.”

For Leaven Eubank, the victory wasn’t in the scoreboard, but the progress his girls made through a tumultuous season. “Two tournaments ago we had a player go down with an ankle injury.” He recalls. “We all know how adversity can sometimes play havoc on a team, especially a young one. I called a time out right after the injury and explained to the team they would be ok, they just needed believe in each other. We changed our offense and defense during that time out and the girls ran like we had practiced it for months. That is one of many things that have impressed me about this team all year.”

Arrowhead 12-That Team

Team Members: Janine Abraham, Seah Bowser, Vanessa Eubank, Kristen Hostetler, Cherynne Lara, Natasha Lucero, Ashley Palmer, Noel Pauga, Haley Pierce, Angelie Tarango

Head Coach Leaven Eubank, Assistant Coach Lea Lara

Eubanks’s team consisted of only four players returning from a year ago and the rest of the team had never played club before. “I try to get the athletes and the parents to understand the last tournament is really the one that matters.” He says. “We were number one in the region for a couple weeks and after the injury we weren't able to keep the momentum, dropped two matches in one day and dropped out the top division for the first time all year. The young ladies were focused to get back to where they knew they belonged in the first division.”
After losing 2 matches several weeks ago this team came out and won their next 8 straight matches (only losing 1 game during that run). At the Regional tournament, the 7th seeds upset a few teams that had beaten them earlier. “We did not accomplish our ultimate goal of winning the region but these girls, parents and other teams in the region know they are very good team that you will see more of them over the next few years.” Eubanks says proudly.

Eubank’s girls chose the name "That Team" because they felt they had the potential of being the best or one of the best and they showed that time and time again with respect for everyone they played. “I have had the opportunity to coach some pretty special athletes/volleyball players over the last 23 years, Eubanks says, “But this team impressed us everyday with the skills they developed and how they are understood the game.”
“I just want the athletes to understand this is for them and their growth as a player and a person. There is nothing that makes me happier than to see a young athlete accomplish a skill they have struggled with. You can just see it in their eyes, the sense of accomplishment. Our philosophy is simply we do it for the young ladies, it is all about them and how we can help them grow and develop as athletes and people. It is a privilege to get to coach young people and we need to ensure we are not stumping their growth, but in fact helping speed it up.”

Well put Coach.

April 13, 2006

USA Volleyball and AVCA Hosts NCAA Men’s Championship Coaching Clinic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Volleyball and the American Volleyball Coaches Association will conduct its NCAA Men’s Championship Coaching Clinic on Saturday, May 6, at Penn State University’s Rec Hall in the South Gym prior to the finals of the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship.

The clinic features USA Volleyball Men’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon, Penn State University Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Russ Rose, AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer, Rutgers-Newark Head Men’s Volleyball Coach Sean Byron and University of Maryland Head Men’s Volleyball Club Coach Shang Hsiung.

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April 2006

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