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The Midwest Penguin Volleyball Club, in partnership with ECHO, will host the third annual Big Ball Bash Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at Center Court Sports Complex in Waukesha.
E.C.H.O. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empower change through healthy opportunities.
Proceeds from the event will benefit E.C.H.O. and Midwest Penguin teams headed to Nationals.
Last year, nearly 200 people attended the event and raised more than $5,000. Teams competed in a cross-over type volleyball tournament, and instead of using traditional volleyballs, teams used a giant four-foot inflatable ball for the matches.
"We had such a great time last year," said Anne Slattery, co-founder of ECHO and director of Midwest Penguins. "It was a great event that supports the mission of ECHO and also helps us raise money for our teams headed to Nationals. We're looking forward to making this year's event bigger and better than ever."
“We’re really excited about the turnout this year, it’s sure to be a great time,” said Janice Siebert, club director.
Big Ball Bash will kick off tonight with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and first round of games starting around 6:30 p.m. Teams will compete against each other using a giant-four-foot-volleyball. Games will end at approximatley 9:30 p.m.
“Even if you aren’t on a team, this is a great opportunity to come out and support the Penguins and E.C.H.O,” Siebert said. “It’s fun to watch.”
Food and refreshments will be available throughout the weekend, and Penguins National Teams have donated several themed raffle baskets for the event.
Raffle baskets will be split between the two nights. A silent auction will also take place.
The Badger Region now allows club volleyball programs to recruit players during the off-season. Some may even offer players without going through the tryout process; creating a stressful and sometimes even more competitive process for athletes.
Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club wants the community to know we remain committed to the open tryout process and select teams by evaluating player talent and skill levels during those tryouts.
“Of course we welcome members of our existing Penguin family to join us, but our teams are not predetermined or recruited,” said Anne Slattery, co-director of the club. “The new process will make for a new and interesting environment, but we do encourage anyone and everyone to tryout for Midwest Penguins.”
According to Slattery, some clubs have even hired recruiting coordinators, who get straight work once the club season is over. Offers can be extended, but are not binding until after the athlete’s high school season is complete. Athletes who have accepted any offer must officially accept the offer on the Webpoint website.
If the athlete has not officially accepted the offer on Webpoint it is not official, and athletes are free to attend tryouts at any club.
“Midwest Penguins is a competitive club,” Slattery said. “We build on our team talent with an excellent and experienced coaching staff, and we strive to earn bids to national events at every level. We plan to continue to make the tryout process an important part of our season, and we encourage all athletes; whether being recruited or not, to tryout.”
Midwest Penguins sent several teams to Minnesota and Texas for the 2014 USAV Junior National Tournament.
Teams competed well and learned a great deal from their experiences.
"On and off the court, our athletes represented Midwest Penguins Volleyball club to the highest degree," said club co-director Janice Siebert. "We couldn't be more proud of their performances and the way we've seen each and everyone of them grow during this season."
It's exciting to see, Siebert said.
"As we gear up for another year of Midwest Penguins volleyball we look forward to seeing more of our athletes and teams succeed and represent the club at the National level."
To read individual summaries from each team at this year's Nationals, click on the links below.
The 2014 National and State Rankings from US Club Rankings, an all inclusive rankings platform, have just been released for USA Volleyball. Several Midwest Penguins teams have made the state rankings for Wisconsin.
“This is a new feature, and it’s exciting to see so many of our teams ranked among the best in the state,” said Anne Slattery, co-director of the Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club. “Our teams worked very hard, and competed in several tournaments throughout the season that helped solidify their spots in these rankings.”
US Club Rankings uses tournament finishes from all governing bodies, coaches’ opinion polls and college placement information.
Over 110 tournaments results from all over the country were used in the ranking system.
“Teams are given points for each finish at specific events based upon how competitive the tournament and their division was,” Slattery said.
The final rankings were determined by taking each team’s top three finishes.
Midwest Penguins 12-1 (19), 13-1 (9), 14-1 (5), 14-2(20), 15-1 (29), 16-1 (13), 17-1 (18), 17-2 (27) were all ranked among the top teams in Wisconsin in their respective age divisions.
“We’re very proud of our athletes and our coaches,” Slattery said.
You can click on this link to see National and State rankings. Clicking on the team name will display the 2014 finishes for all the events they participated in.
Recently, the West Allis Lightning Volleyball Club Board of Directors, announced they have made the difficult decision to shut down the club, after 15 successful seasons.
Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club would like to wish the directors of WA Lightning best of luck in their future endeavors, and thank them for their constant competiive spirit, their friendship and their work over the years.
"Our athletes can only get better by facing great competition," said Janice Siebert, co-director of Midwest Penguins VBC. "West Allis Lightning teams provided some of the best local competition our athletes have seen over the years. That is a testament to them and their hard work. We sincerely thank them for that."
The directors indicated that the time committment required to run such a successful club could no longer be sustained by volunteers. The decision to shut down the club, is effective immediately, they said.