Vancouver volleyball club wins San Jose tournament

Excel NW 16 Rox defeated 3 nationally ranked clubs

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

A team from Vancouver's Excel NW Volleyball Club won a significant tournament in San Jose, Calif.

Excel NW 16 Rox won the Northern California Volleyball Association Presidents Day Tournament, finishing first among 160 girls teams in the 16-and-younger age group.

Excel NW won each of its 10 matches in two games at the tournament, defeating three nationally ranked clubs.

In the championship match, Excel defeated the top-seeded team in the tournament, Absolute 16 of San Rafael, Calif., which was ranked 13th in the nation at the time. The Excel club won that match 25-15 and 25-22, with blocking a key to the victory according to Rox head coach Lisa Van Sickle.

The championship helped the team climb to No. 5 nationally in rankings of teams in the 16-year-olds age division by Advanced Event Systems, which ranks teams based on results in local power leagues and tournaments.

Nine members of the team are from Clark County. They are Brooke Mosier (Union High School), Brooke Van Sickle (Battle Ground), Sammy Nguyen (Union), Sarena Bartley (Ridgefield), Ashley Watkins (Seton Catholic), Hana Wyles (Battle Ground), Haley Yoder (Woodland) and Kaila Robinson (Skyview).

Brooke Van Sickle had 80 kills, 10 blocks and hit at a 50.8-percent rate during the tournament.

Jasmine Gross of Portland led the team with 211/2 blocks and had 51 kills. Nicole Peterson of Portland added 54 kills and hit at 33.3 percent. Gross and Peterson both attend Jesuit High School.

For the tournament, Yoder had 17 blocks and hit 32.6 percent. Watkins had 14.5 blocks and hit 29.7 percent.

Excel 16 Rox also won the University of Oreton tournament. The team is ranked eighth in the division for players age 18 and younger in the Columbia Empire Volleyball Association.

Lisa Van Sickle said her team's passing and hitting was the talk of the tournament in San Jose.

"Powerful hitting, solid blocking and ball control led the team to victory," the coach said. "Great passing allowed our setters to run a powerful offense that had everyone talking in the gym all weekend long."

Excel 16 Rox plays up one age division in the local Columbia Empire Volleyball Association as one way to prepare for junior nationals, coach Van Sickle said.

The team plans to compete in qualifying tournaments at Spokane this month and in Denver in April to qualify for junior nationals, which are played in June.

The team returns to local play in the 18-year-old CEVA division on Sunday at Prairie High School. Its first match is at 9 a.m.