Brick City bringing heat to USA Volleyball nationals
A season's efforts, really about five years of work for most of the players, has paid off for the Brick City Volleyball Club's 17's Blaze team.
The club team, made up of juniors from Lee, Moore, Harnett, Randolph and Cumberland counties, qualified for the 35th Annual USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championship to be played in Minneapolis June 29-July 2.
In a year-long process to earn a berth into the national championship, the Blaze finished in the top four of eastern North Carolina, then clinched its berth with its finish in a top-eight state tournament. The Blaze is the second Brick City Volleyball Club team in the club's 11 years to reach the USA Volleyball nationals said head coach Dal Langston, who's been a BCVC coach for eight years.
"This is going to be the best talent we've played against, probably ever," he said.
The trip will include elite-level volleyball and will be a reward of sorts for all the work the players have put in, not only this season, but as a group for years now.
"Most of the girls have been with the club since they were 12 or 13 years old. Most of them have played together for several years now," Langston said.
"Our biggest attribute," he said, "is this is a group of great kids. They get along. They play for each other. They've always been great teammates and do everything they can to make each other better players."
Katy Langston, Emily Stanley and Clay Fowler are Lee County Lady Jackets on the squad while Sydney Elseth and Summer Williams are Southern Lee Lady Cavs.
Continuing the Cape Fear Valley Conference representation, Megan Harris is from Union Pines and Mary Edwards is from Terry Sanford.
Maddie Gray of Western Harnett, Brittany Ter Meer of Cape Fear Christian, Shay Felder of Trinity and Jasmine Tapscott of Fayetteville Christian complete the 11-player team.
Coach Langston credits the Brick City Volleyball Club as a whole, and specifically Bill Carter, who's also Central Carolina Community College's head coach, as this team grew up together.
"What makes this a little more special is for this group to come all the way through the ranks and with coach Carter starting all of this, it's testament that he's doing this the right way," Langston said.
With players, coaches and family, Langston said a Blaze travel party of about 30 is ready and excited for the trip to Minneapolis.