Tawa’s Excessive College Volleyball Dots: Prestonwood will get revenge; Thunder clap again


That is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly have a look at 10 issues in highschool volleyball, previous or current, that curiosity me and hopefully will curiosity you. Search for Dots each Tuesday till the final highschool state championship in November.

• Final Friday, 4 nationwide powers performed in a showcase occasion aired by ESPN. Cathedral Catholic of California, the defending nationwide champions, confronted off towards host college Prestonwood Christian Academy of Plano, Texas, on ESPNU in a single match. The opposite pitted St. James Academy of Lenexa, Kansas, a multi-time nationwide champion; towards Cornerstone Christian of San Antonio, the Nike Event of Champions – Southeast victor. The latter match aired on ESPN+.

I’ve blended ideas about this.

On the one hand, getting highschool volleyball on cable tv is HUGE for the game.

On the opposite, it looks like a step backwards. Final 12 months, the occasion had a significant sponsor in GEICO and was a match of kinds, with semifinals and a remaining. This 12 months it was simply two matches, solely considered one of which was accessible with out streaming.

• Prestonwood (28-4) received the principle occasion, toppling Cathedral Catholic in three straight units. The win avenged a quarterfinal loss to the Dons, 2-0, on the Durango Fall Basic three weeks in the past.

Cari Spears, who final week dedicated to Texas, was the statistical chief for the Lions with 17 kills and two blocks, however the large distinction between the primary matchup and this one, coach Ryan Mitchell mentioned, was the play within the center. Kennedy Washington hit .638 with seven kills and 5 blocks and freshman Nyla Livings hit .417 with six kills and 5 blocks. Libero Gillian Pitts additionally was a distinction maker, passing a 2.67 and contributing 10 digs.

• St. James defeated Cornerstone in 4 units within the different showcase match. The win got here simply 4 days after longtime St. James coach Nancy Dorsey misplaced her mom, Ellen, who was affectionately referred to as “Gaga.”

Dorsey made the tough choice to “play on” in tribute to her mother and received a match most anticipated St. James to lose. That is what she posted to Fb afterwards:

“What. A. Whirlwind. I’m drained. To say we’re happy with this group is an understatement! They took on Texas and went to play in a nationally televised match towards a prime ten opponent in a sport only a few gave them an opportunity to win. Not solely did they win…they did so in dramatic trend. They performed so properly as a group and represented the HS sport, their college and the KC VB group so properly. It was an incredible and humbling expertise. Thanks to ESPN for showcasing ladies highschool volleyball. I do know lots of people tuned in as a result of when the sport was over I had 189 unread texts. That was fairly cool.

Whereas it was a tragic and chaotic week in our house, the chaos allowed us to convey our 5 children they usually acquired to be distracted and beloved on by our volleyball household. What a blessing that was to us all. And…our mother was there. Everybody mentioned that was going to occur and it’s loopy the way it does. A number of of my favorites: due to our final minute add on vacationers we had been quick a automobile. And no autos may very well be discovered to hire. Wherever. So a good friend known as in some favors and the one who helped her discover us a automobile’s identify was Cody Bell (Gaga’s final identify).

The opposite second was in the course of the match. We had simply misplaced set 2 and I used to be ready to be interviewed. As I waited, Gaga’s favourite music (Previous Time Rock N Roll) got here on. I went again to the bench after my interview and mentioned “We’re gonna win.” Gaga was there and he or she made it identified…in true Gaga trend.

We arrived house very early as we speak and spent the day in a health club or on a discipline. Tomorrow we face actuality. A tough and unhappy actuality of life with out our Gaga. I’m hoping that figuring out she’s at peace with a physique that ‘works’ (her phrases) will make this tough day just a bit simpler. We miss her a lot however know she is our highest guardian angel. I like you extra mother.”

• On Oct. 3, Middleburg of Florida took on highly effective Bishop Kenny, a group the Broncos had been 0-21 towards all-time beforehand. Connor Rahn and Brooke Forkum teamed for 36 kills on the street as Middleburg swept to victory. The Broncos (18-5) have received eight of their previous 9 matches, together with a Saturday win over Jensen Seaside, the defending 5A state champions, on the Bishop Moore Event.

Gulliver Prep (21-3) swept the host college to win the occasion. Jackie Taylor, a 6-1 senior OH; had 12 kills and Sophia Wong, a 5-4 senior libero, contributed 14 digs for the victors.

What’s occurring at Sultana is so thrilling that even the varsity principal needed to get within the pic!

• Sultana, of Hesperia, California, began play within the Mojave River League by dropping six of its first seven matches, persevering with a current pattern of adversity in league play. Over the previous 2-plus years, the Sultans had received simply 4 league contests whereas dropping 23. It didn’t seem that 2023 was going to be the 12 months that Sultana snapped its four-year playoff drought.

Late in September, Sultana took on league rival Serrano, a group it misplaced to, 3-0, the primary time round. The match went 5 units, with Sultana pulling out the win, 15-13 within the third, on an ace from Mishelle Dominguez, who had a team-high 14 kills and 35 digs. It was Dominguez’ solely ace of the match. Certainly, seven instances in the course of the match she had erred on her serve, a profession excessive! She picked the appropriate time to come back by means of!

5 days later, Sultana performed one other five-set league thriller versus Hesperia, successful behind Maggie Warden’s 12 kills.

The Sultans then completed off a three-match league successful streak on Senior Evening two days later with a sweep of Apple Valley, a match that showcased the group’s depth, as all 16 gamers contributed.

The three-match successful streak put Sultana within the operating for the ultimate league playoff berth, however the Sultans wanted assist. They acquired it when each Serrano and Hesperia misplaced once more, forcing a three-way tie for third place. The tie breaker was finest document over the second half of league, which went to Sultana and created an enormous second for this system!

• Skyline, of Sammamish, Washington, is 7-0 in 4A KingCo play. The Spartans have continued to win robust matches even after dropping 6-3 sophomore center Emma Gutke, the group’s blocks chief, for an prolonged time resulting from an ankle damage suffered Sept. 14. The group began 1-3 however has since reeled off 10 wins in a row, paced by senior OH Rachel McGinnis, her sister, Carly McGinnis, a freshman OH, and senior setter Savannah Fisher.

Grosse Pointe South is on a roll after a troublesome begin

• Michigan’s Grosse Pointe South had had an fascinating 12 months. The Blue Devils began out 2-0 then dropped eight matches in a row, many to state-ranked groups. Since then, the group has gone 13-0-3 and is using its younger group (5 sophomores; three juniors; 4 seniors) to an 11-match successful streak, all sweeps, together with 8-0 in convention play. Two of the convention wins got here versus cross-town rival Grosse Pointe North. Sophomore OH Gabby DiVita and seniors Elizabeth Davey and Eleni Melhem sparked these wins.

Crete HS (Nebraska) defeated Ogallala on Saturday to cap a 6-0 run by means of the Scottsbluff/Gering Twin Metropolis Invite. The win was No. 17 on the season for the Cardinals, matching their complete from all of final 12 months.

Crete is eight matches over .500 in 2023 after ending 17-19 a 12 months in the past

When coaches Makayla Tepe and Annie Gardiner took over this system 5 years in the past, Crete was averaging not more than 4 wins per season. The turnaround is sort of full, behind libero Hadley Swiercinsky, setter Reagan Bessler, 6-2 senior MB Marin Rasgorshek and 5-10 junior OH Sierra Crist. Crete didn’t simply beat pushovers to win the match; the Cardinals received semifinal and remaining matches towards opponents with a mixed document of 37-14.

“This was the primary weekend we actually noticed constant grit and energy, “ mentioned Tepe. “The group confronted many set factors, however one way or the other was capable of construct belief below stress moments and overcome collectively.”

• Search for VolleyballMag.com’s state-by-state Participant of the 12 months Watch Listing on Monday and Tuesday of subsequent week. I’ve been spending all my free time the very best week surveying coaches and membership administrators to provide you with the highest 5-15 (relying on state dimension) gamers.

One fascinating factor: there could also be as many as 5 or extra freshmen who make the lower. Final 12 months there have been solely two.

The freshmen we’re contemplating, and it’s not remaining till revealed, embrace Carson Caraway of Mississippi, Malorie Boesiger of Nebraska, Lydia Chinchar of Florida, Josie Imes of Indiana and Ellyson Randolph of North Carolina. Heck, I’m solely midway by means of the endeavor. There could also be much more kids who discover their method onto my radar!

• At Dots, we’re looking out for gamers who put up outrageous single-match stat traces. We’re asking coaches on our listing to tell us if any of their gamers achieved any of those benchmarks:

55 assists in a match
35 kills in a match
35 digs in a match
10 blocks in a match
15 aces in a match

Right here’s what now we have thus far:

55 assists or extra in a match
58 – Reagan Bessler, 5-8 Sr. S, Crete (Nebraska) – Oct. 5 v. Columbus Lakeview
56– Sophie Mies, 5-8 Jr. S, Palo Alto (California) – Aug. 29 v. Mercy (Burlingame)
56 – Lindsay Hopkins, 5-10 Jr. S, Creekside (St. Johns, Florida) – Sept. 21 v. Christi’s Church Academy


35 or extra kills in a match
48 – Kameron Stover, 5-9 Jr., Highland (Marengo, Ohio) – Aug. 26 v. Jonathan Alder
40 – Julia Hunt, 6-2 Sr. MB, Holy Cross (Covington, Kentucky) – Sept. 5 v. Scott
39 – Charlotte Vinson, 6-2 Jr. OH, Yorktown (Indiana) – Sept. 23 v. Noblesville
35 – Charlotte Vinson, 6-2 Jr. OH, Yorktown (Indiana) – Sept. 23 v. Carroll
35 or extra digs in a match
48 – Sydney Little, 5-4 Sr. libero, Ridgeview – Oct. 5 v. Trinity Christian


Do you will have any gamers who’ve met these benchmarks? Let me know at jtawa@volleyballmag.com.

Till subsequent time …



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