Gdale U14 Vball team wins Gorge tourney
Goldendale Volleyball Club
TOURNAMENT CHAMPS: From left to right: Natalie Schroder, coach Jennifer Mitchell, Taylor Fahlenkamp, Olivia Erland, Kennedy Berry, Taylor Rising, Maddy May Randall, Sara Hiebert, Caitlyn Jauken and Rachel Gallagher pose after winning the Midwinter Classic on Jan. 29 in Yakima.
The Goldendale Volleyball Club U14 Gold team returned from the Gorge Sunday with their second tournament championship this year after finishing first in the Gorge League Tournament in Hood River.
The nine-girl team consisting of sixth-eighth graders mostly from the Goldendale area was able to knock off teams from Hood River, Hermiston, Redmond and White Salmon to capture the title in the eight-team, one-day tournament.
"We have players that are incredibly focused and hard working," second year head coach Jennifer Mitchell said, "especially in practice which translated well into games and tournaments."
A few weeks before winning the Gorge League Tournament, the U14 Gold team won the USA Volleyball sponsored Midwinter Classic on Jan. 29 at the West Valley Complex in Yakima. They competed against, and beat teams from Yakima, Sunnyside, Selah and Ellensburg in the 21-team tournament. Last month's tournament win in Yakima also was second straight year that the U14 team from the Goldendale Volleyball Club was able to win the Midwinter Classic.
The team has great chemistry, according to Mitchell, and many of the girls have been competing together since they were seven and eight years old.
The U14 Gold also benefits from great serving, and more often than not reaches Mitchell's goal of 90-percent serving for each game.
The Goldendale Volleyball Club, which also consists of a pair of U12 teams, Purple and Gold, is less than halfway through its season and is set to retake the court at the Sweet Onion Tournament which runs Feb. 26 in Walla Walla. It's another USA Volleyball sanctioned tournament.
They have a few more competitions coming up before regionals late in April, and national qualifying tournaments in June.