Wesley Chapel, FL – If you have never attended a volleyball tournament you are doing yourself a disservice. Even more so, if you have never attended an event with elite teams and athletes. The state of Florida, blessed with high-quality teams, excellent coaching…we are the hub for volleyball success. Explosiveness, quickness, anticipation, hustle, effort, agility…all on display when you bring some of the best teams in the state under one roof.
Welcome to the inaugural Nike Tournament of Champions: Southeast, hosted at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Complex, in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The host of 24 High School Volleyball teams last weekend. We were not able to see all 24. But, we saw the bulk of them.
Teams Observed: St. Thomas Aquinas, Buchholz, Cornerstone Christian, Bishop McLaughlin, Venice, Holy Names, Steinbrenner, Winter Springs, Lyman, Plant, Sebring, Santa Fe, East Lake, Berkeley Prep, Cardinal Mooney, Bishop Verot
8 Players That Caught The Eye
- Camryn McClendon (2021 MB) and Camille McClendon (2023 OPP), Academy of Holy Names – First observation, they get off the ground, vertically extremely fast. Catlike reflexes. Offensive firepower when attacking. Each approach looks the same making it hard to defend their attacks.
- Ava Swain, Berkeley Prep 2022 OH – She’s long and rangy with plenty of power in her shots. She’s was always under control and never played outside of her frame. Defended well in the back zone.
- Audrey Koenig, Bishop Mclaughlin 2021 OH – Pace and Tempo. So being able to change speed, accelerate, and decelerate are skills that can be learned. But super obvious when an athlete has those skills naturally. Case and point with Audrey. She can change pace on the court as well as any around.
- Jordyn Byrd, Cardinal Mooney 2023 OH – 6 foot 4-inch sophomore, and she plays her size. She is a beast at the net and obviously in the attack zone. She brings the heat, has pop with her contact. The ability to hit low to high and create a variety of trajectories.
- Skye Ekes, Cardinal Mooney 2021 MB – Good court vision. Offensively and defensively. Ball placement while in the attack zone and defensively blocking opposing attacks. Good passer.
- Nayeli Gonzalez, Cornerstone Christian (TX) 2023 OH – An intense competitor who showed each set, each match. Explosive jumper with great defensive anticipation.
- Erin Morrissey, Plant 2021 OH – When she walks on the court, her body language screams “I’m the best player on the court.” Outside of the technicalities and skill set, she plays with confidence and a fierce intensity level. She’s is fun to watch.
- Liv Mogridge, Steinbrenner 2022 MB/OH – Physically imposing player standing 6 foot 4 inches. When she approaches for an attack, the defense is going to feel the speed and power of her shot. At her size, she is extremely nimble and agile. She also possesses great volleyball skills for attacking from the backcourt which gives her another tool in her toolbox to impact the scoreboard.
- Sophia Kotsovolos, Plant 2022 DS
- Lilou Stegeman, Steinbrenner 2021 MH/OH
- Ireland Ferguson, Venice 2021 DS
- Jalyn Stout, Santa Fe 2023 OPP
- Valeria Rosado, Lyman 2021 OH