New Braunfels, Texas

CenTex Stars 141 Win Bid to National Tournament

The Centex 141 Volleyball team from New Braunfels placed fourth in the USAV Lone Star Regional Tournament during the weekend of May 1st, 2004. The team played a total of 16 games in two days at the Austin Convention Center. When the 14 year old girls won their way into the semi-finals of the tournament on Sunday afternoon, they also won a bid to the prestigious USA Junior Olympic Girls National Championship tournament.After the team won all of their 5 pool-play matches on Saturday and Sunday morning, they beat a tough Spike Sport team from Houston, then an even tougher Texas Tornados team, also from Houston. The excitement of winning the National Tournament bid by defeating the Tornados in 3 close and exciting games may have overcome the players, for they seemed to lose focus and lost their next two matches to Alamo Gold (tournament champs) and Waco Juniors, leaving the Centex 141’s in fourth place in the tournament. But one of the main goals this year for the Centex team was to get a National Tournament bid, so they left feeling very accomplished.The Centex players stepped up to the challenge of losing their two middle blockers to injuries. Jillian Wolpman has been out for several tournaments with leg injuries, and Kelly Witte could not play after the previous tournament due to a knee injury that will require surgery and months of rehabilitation. So Jamie Lewis and Tiffany Kennemer both did an excellent job in the middle, blocking and hitting the middle sets. Left Side hitters Tara “Bean” Smith and Brandie DeBacker both pounded the ball from the power position, while Janey Matulich struck from the right side of the net. Libero Delarry Kraft and defensive specialist Amy Hanlon both played excellent defense in the back court. The team’s setter, Mary Beth Huber, converted the passes into well-placed sets for the hitters to spike at the opposition. This is the third year Mary Beth, Delarry, Janey, Amy, and Tiffany have played on this team, and the second year for Brandie, Tara, and Jillian. Coach Abby Glenn did her usual great job of motivating and guiding the team to victory.The USAV Girls Junior Olympic National Tournament will be played in Houston this year on June 23 – 30. The Centex team will compete against top teams from across the nation at the Houston Convention Center.