Arizona Region of USA Volleyball


Adult Region Championships 2008

RAPI Swarms 2-Ball for Men’s Adult Gold

Team RAPI’s win over the 2-Ball Express for the Adult Men’s Regional Championships on May 4th in Phoenix was in itself a great accomplishment, but RAPI’s player/manager Brian Wagner credits something else that made this group so special.

Procreation.

“ At the culmination of our 2007 region championship season,” Wagner says, “we had 4 kids between the 8 guys on the team. On the day of our 2008 championship, we had 7 kids. At the start of the 2009 season, there will be at least 9.”

Seems like the Team Rapi future is pretty secure.

The team is made up of 6 coaches from around the region and this was a team built on one concept. “We are a team of coaches,” Wagner states, “so nobody is necessarily in charge. More than anything else, we just believe in our mantra—Safety First. You can’t win if you don’t have enough guys healthy at the end of the day.”

Yet despite that mantra and the building of a RAPI dynasty from the ground up, the entire team was only together for just one tournament. “I guess that’s just how it’s going to be with all those rug rats running or crawling around. Fortunately several of our guys are proficient at multiple positions, in particular Cody Sunderhaus who is a blocking machine no matter where you put him.”

Wagner remembers the turnaround for RAPI during the season. “The April 13th tournament in Tucson was somewhat of a highlight for those of us who played that day.” Wagner recollects. “With only 6 guys available and our starting setter, Kurstan Olaso, missing to coach a junior’s tournament, we rode a 6-2 to a first place finish. Four of our 5 matches were played to 3 games, yet somehow we pulled it out. We were a tired bunch for the drive home that night.”

Wagner, doing the math, is excited where the team in headed for next season. “We are surely hoping to keep this team in tact for the 2009 season. We look forward to the return of Chuck Hunter from back injury; in particular because he has 4 kids, bringing the 2009 total to 13, and makes the rest of us feel young. Between now and January, we will all make a concerted effort to live Safety First so we can make a run to repeat again.”

Absolute Tops Serves You Right
for Women’s AA Gold

Sometimes, you need a wake up call.

For the Women’s AA Champion, Absolute, it came in both a literal and metaphorical vision.
Absolute topped Serves You Right for the Women’s AA Gold medal, but it wasn’t where the teams’ thoughts were at the end of the day.

Absolute’s Player/Manager Beth Nuneviller explained the day that was Regionals for Absolute.
“ Wow, what can I say about regional day. We only had 6 that had played in 2 or more tournaments so we all had to be there.” She says. “I was up until 3:40am with my 8 year old with a bad stomach virus. Five of us are there at 8:30a.m. and I had left a message with our missing player, Sandy on Friday about the tournament, but hadn't heard back”

After a rapid fire cell phone barrage, Nuneviller got a hold of her missing player, but as the player raced to the tournament, she called Beth back to apologize.
“ She called me in tears to let me know she was on her way but informed me of a tragedy that had just occurred. Her very close cousin had just died in Iraq and she found out the day before.”

Stunned, the team met before hand and agreed to pack it in and head home if she didn’t want to play. “She arrived 5 minutes after warm-ups but she hopped on the court and played a quiet match against Club Soda.” Nuneviller recalled. “We again discussed with her our decision and told her it was completely O.K. if she didn't want to play, we’d understand. She said ‘I'm here, I might as well play.’ So play she did.”

Serve’s You Right’s Player/Manager Nikki Wessell was just happy to have everyone at a tournament. She says it was the defining moment for her team at Regionals. “We have so much fun playing together.” Wessel says. “While we are all competitive, we realize we are playing volleyball for fun and that makes a big difference.”

Nunviller and Absolute enjoyed their season, but they’re quick to appreciate each other in the light of their Regional wins and loss. “I’d like to thank all five of these players for making this a great season for this old player,” Nunviller says tongue firmly in cheek, and adds respectfully, “And I hope everyone joins me in thanking Glen Martinez, Sandy Martin's cousin for giving the ultimate sacrifice so we can continue to enjoy all the freedoms we take for granted here in the U.S.”

Killer Beez Sting Rest of Field in Atlanta for Women’s B Gold
By Coral Koch

The Killer Beez stung a lot of teams along their way to the gold medal in the Women’s B division at the USA Open Championships in Atlanta, Ga.

The team consisted of Suzan Koch, Darlene Danehy, Christina Thompson, Rhea Frondozo, Ori Cleary, Anni Siebenmorgan, Brande Kitzburger, Koren Sherrick, Stacy Schulte and Coral Koch, The Team played together during the Arizona Region power tournaments taking the gold medal at the Region Championships.

Brande, Koren and Stacy couldn’t make Nationals due to scheduling conflicts while Coral played with her age division during the same half of the tournament. The team picked up Alecia Hanzal who turned out to be a huge asset, winning one of the All-Tournament picks along with Darlene Danehy and Anni Siebenmorgan.

Anni was also awarded the Most Valuable Player for the Women’s B division. Anni certainly showed her skills and played extremely well.

The team played well and had a great record going undefeated in matches all the way through the tournament. They were only taken to three games three times during the 20 matches they played to win it all.
It is not knows if the flight of the Killer Beez will take them to Minneapolis to defend their title, but I’d watch out for them because you never know when they might sting again.


May 2008

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