Coach Dunning recently announced his retirement from Stanford University after thirty-two years of collegiate coaching. Coach Dunning has five national championships to his credit; the most recent being Stanford's historic win in December, 2016.
Coach Dunning is part of The Art of Coaching Volleyball coaching cadre who presented a two-day workshop at UNC. After the conclusion of his clinic, Coach Dunning extended his stay in North Carolina and joined Triangle for two days of practices and learning sessions for parents, players and coaches.
During his time at Triangle Coach Dunning sat with coaches and administrators for a lunch and learn discussion on culture, education and the future of volleyball. He also held a coaches clinic and parent/player session discussing the importance of teamwork, support and effort within the game. On the second day of his visit, Coach Dunning joined groups 1 and 2 for practice - kicking off practice with a discussion on attitude, hard work and making good choices. He lead the teams in setters training and competitive drills.
We would like to thank Coach Dunning for sharing his time, insight and wisdom with our club and families.
Triangle is pleased to announce the graduation of their Class of 2017. With 30 female and 2 male student-athletes this year's class is largest in club history. Collectively, these athletes have a combined tenure of 120 years at Triangle. Their athletic and academic achievements have earned this year's class over $2.5 million in scholarships at numerous universities and college in the eastern U.S.
Not Pictured: Alysha Mitchell, Allie Lake
The members of the Senior class and their college destination is below:
|Kayla Arthur||Holly Springs HS||Francis Marion|
|Meghan Beck||Holly Springs HS||Northeastern*|
|Gentry Benda||Wakefield HS||University of Bridgeport|
|Rachel Budzinski||Mt. Tabor HS||U.S. Air Force Academy|
|Abbey Crawford||Cardinal Gibbons HS||Furman|
|Zoe Dinkins||East Chapel Hill HS||Newberry|
|Emily Durham||Middle Creek HS||Wofford|
|Daisy Eklund||Princeton HS||Hartford|
|Megan Fuhr||South Granville HS||The Citadel|
|Delaney Hahn||Cardinal Gibbons HS||Franklin & Marshall|
|Katie Huge||Chapel Hill HS||UNC Global Gap Year of Service|
|Courtney Jackson||Person HS||Campbell|
|Caroline Kuhn||JH Rose HS||Wake Forest|
|Allie Lake||Athens Drive HS||James Madison|
|Kailey Macy||Home School||Liberty|
|Grace Maggiore||Carrboro HS||Franklin & Marshall|
|Kyle McCormick||Chapel Hill HS||Elon University|
|Alysha Mitchell||Southwest HS||Campbell|
|Emily Moser||Cardinal Gibbons HS||Baldwin Wallace|
|Faith Murray||North Raleigh Christian Academy||Campbell|
|Kenna O'Brien||Cardinal Gibbons HS||Holy Cross*|
|Olivia Rodriguez||Jordan HS||Wake Tech|
|Sydney Rowan||High Point Christian Academy||UNC Charlotte|
|Thomas Schiltz||Cardinal Gibbons HS||East Carolina|
|Kincey Smith||North Raleigh Christian Academy||Duke|
|Ashley Stroot||Rolesville HS||Bloomfield|
|Ali Thanhauser||North Raleigh Christian Academy||High Point|
|Lauren Tharrington||Apex HS||Converse|
|Kalee Vanderhorst||Broughton HS||East Tennessee State|
|Amaya Williams||North Raleigh Christian Academy||Liberty|
|Brianna Wood||Freedom Christian Academy||East Carolina|
*indicates this athlete has chosen not to pursue collegiate varsity volleyball
At their third and final qualifier Triangle 16 Black achieved one of their season goals; open qualification for USAV Girls' Junior Nationals. After strong finishes in their first two qualifiers, Big South [T5] and Northeast [7th], 16 Black headed to Northern Lights [NLQ] in Minneapolis in search of an Open bid and to demonstrate why they are considered among the top forty 16's teams in the nation.
16 Black entered NLQ as the 6th overall seed and their Day 1 pool featuring previously qualified Top Select 16 Elite German. Coming out very strong, 16 Black does not relinquish a set on day 1 and wins the pool to advance to a Round 2 pool that would feature, A5 Mizuno 161 Gabe, the nation's #1 ranked 16's team. To earn a place in a Gold pool on the final day and a shot at a bid, 16 Black needed to finish in the top two in their Round 2 pool. After a solid win over Crossfire MN 16-1 and in a tightly contested match, 16 Black battles 303 Volleyball Academy 16 Alpha, coming out on top 25-23, 25-23. With other previously qualified teams among the Gold pool participants, 16 Black's day 2 second place finish secures the bid and they ultimately earn a T5 finish.
16 Black will join 15 Black [Open], 16 Blue [USA], and 17 Black [Open] back in Minneapolis in late June early July for USA Volleyball's National Championship.
Members of Triangle 16 Black [includes high school and college commitment if applicable]:
- Gabby Brown, Rockingham County HS
- Skylar Buckley, North Raleigh Christian Academy
- Lexy Cole, Jack Britt HS
- Kayla Dowler, Green Hope HS
- Caroline Dozier, Cardinal Gibbons HS/James Madison
- Jordan Gower, Leesville Road HS
- Daniela McDonald, Leesville Road HS
- Logan Mosley, Cary Christian School/Virginia Tech
- Cera Powell, Northwood HS/Virginia Tech
- Kayla Spells, Panther Creek HS
The qualification scene at Northern Lights Qualifier [NLQ] was captured in a PrepVolleyball.com's headline news story, https://prepvolleyball.com/articles/club-articles/club-features/at-nlq-the-16-open-story-is-saturday/354238 [subscription required]
Twelve Triangle teams aged 13-17 spent Easter weekend on the road seeking high level national competition and pursuing bids to USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships. Six teams headed to the Windy City Qualifier in Chicago; another six attended the Northeast Qualifier in Philadelphia.
The competition was fierce in both cities and Triangle teams posted some exceptional results which included two qualifications and seven top ten finishes.
At both events teams participated in one of three competitive divisions: Open USA, or American
WINDY CITY QUALIFIER |Chicago
After exciting day 1 pools, five teams found themselves in the top ½ of the field and vying for a place in the Gold bracket of their respective division. Of the six teams attending it was 14 White who pushed through their field on day 2 to earn a berth in the Gold bracket and ultimately, a top ten finish.
The Windy City records and results are,
- 13 Black, 2-6, T11/18 [Open]
- 14 Black, 1-4, T11/23 [Open]
- 14 Blue, 3-5, 14/26 [USA]
- 14 White, 5-2, T9/64 [American]
- 15 Blue, 2-5, T23/32 [USA]
- 15 White, 5-3, T23/80 [American]
NORTHEAST QUALIFIER | Philadelphia
The City of Brotherly Love shined favorably on Triangle with all six teams earning top ten finishes. Two teams earned qualifying bids to USAV Nationals; 17 Black in the Open division with a T5 finish and 16 Blue in the USA division with a second-place finish. Also notable was the second-place finish by 17 White in the American division and the top ten finishes by 16 Black, 16 White, and 17 Blue.
The qualification of 17 Black and 16 Blue raises Triangle’s 2017 qualification total to three (3); leading the way among North Carolina clubs in qualification through the national qualifier event process. Only one other Carolina Region team, CHAVC 14 National, has earned a bid through competition in the national qualifier circuit.
The qualification of 16 Blue is the first achieved by a 16 Blue team in Triangle’s history. The bid was earned when 16 Blue won their semi-final match against Maverick 16 Elite [OH] in two dramatic sets 28-26, 25-18. The win was achieved despite the injury sidelining middle blocker, Brooke Hanshumaker.
For 17 Black the field was fierce and included previously qualified A5 Mizuno 17-1 Jing, OT 17 S. Rox Red, and Rockwood Thunder 17 Mizuno. After a second-place finish in their day 1 pool, 17 Black faced a tough cross pool match against Team VB Rags 17N Carly [NJ]. In a dramatic third set, 17 Black grabbed the win 23-25, 25-14, 23-21 allowing them to keep their hopes alive for Gold pool placement for day 3. In their day 2 pool 17 Black finished 2-1 with a tough win in three sets over NC rival CJV [25-21, 19-25, 17-15] securing placement in a final day Gold pool. To qualify 17 Black needed one good win in a pool that featured two of the previously qualified powerhouses [A5 and Rockwood Thunder]. They got the win and the bid by beating Michigan Elite [25-23, 25-15].
The NEQ records and results are,
- 16 Black, 7-2, 7th/24 [Open]
- 16 Blue, 9-1, 2nd/79 [USA] QUALIFIED
- 16 White, 6-2, T9/125 [American]
- 17 Black, 5-4, T5/30 [Open] QUALIFIED
- 17 Blue, 5-2, T9/71 [USA]
- 17 White, 9-2, 2nd/79 [American]
Getting to Philadelphia for the Northeast Qualifier [NEQ] had its challenges. But a canceled flight and tough back-to-back with The Big South National Qualifier just the weekend prior was not going to stand in the way of this young team achieving one of its many goals this season.
Triangle 15 Black began NEQ as the overall third seed after falling just short of qualification at Big South with a 7th place finish. Determined to achieve a different outcome at NEQ they began day one with two solid 2-set wins in pool play and setting up a showdown with Metro 15 Travel. The match with Metro went three sets; 15 Black ultimately triumphed [19-25, 25-18, 15-12] to win their pool. Day 2 would put them in a pool with EC Power [PA], Madfrog [TX], and Rockwood Thunder [MO]. A repeat performance of day 1 puts 15 Black with two 2-set wins and a battle for first place in the pool with undefeated Rockwood Thunder. The match is close but 15 Black falls in two given them second place in the pool but a birth in the 4-team Gold pool on the final day of play. The bid to USAV GJNC's is secured on day two as both Rockwood Thunder and Texas Advantage had previously qualified this season.
Not settling for qualification alone, the team embarks on its Gold pool against overall number one seed Texas Advantage. In an exciting 3-set match Triangle comes up just short [20-25, 25-20, 15-7]. In their second match they turn the tables and defeat Rockwood Thunder in two sets [25-21, 27-25]. Their final match is a repeat against Metro 15 Travel which they drop in three sets [15-25, 25-23, 15-6]. The resulting three-way tie for second place falls to Triangle based on set percentage and the team secures a solid second place overall finish.
Triangle 15 Black's qualification earns them one of thirty-six spots in the prestigious Open division of USAV Girls' Junior National Championships. The event will be held in late June in Minneapolis, MN.
The members of Triangle 15 Black are: Megan Bost [West Johnston HS], Lauren Della [Panther Creek HS], Jade Demps [Broughton], Destinee Dorsey [Carrboro HS], Sydney Dowler [Green Hope HS], Alexis Engelbrecht [Green Hope HS], Adriana Kim [Durham Academy], Kaya Merkler [Chapel Hill HS], Skyler Rogerson [Millbrook HS], Courtney Zwikker [Chapel Hill HS]. The team is coached by Emily Whitsett and Alston Godbold.
The Big South Qualifier serves as the kick off to the qualifier season for teams aged 12-17s. Over the years Big South has grown to ca. 1400 teams and has also become increasingly competitive. It is the one qualifying event where it is possible for Triangle to enter both national and regional plus teams since it is drivable.
Speaking of driving; it is regrettable that our five-bus motorcade was caught up in the I-85 bridge fire and collapse. It is worth mentioning and appreciating the calm manner with which both staff, and especially, our bus drivers responded to this situation. We ended up losing about 1 ½ hours and having a later dinner than hoped for but all were safe. Thank you Calvin and your team from AT&T bus service!!!
Back to the court. The qualifier experience is unique to USA Volleyball; with USAV Junior National bids on the line the Georgia World Congress Center is full of excitement and, often, considerable tension. Teams compete within their age level and at a competitively appropriate division. Open is the highest division; followed by USA and then American. The only exception is the 12’s division which hosts National and American divisions only.
With an overall record of 108-74 Triangle secured seven (7) top ten finishes and sixteen (16) finishes in the top ½ of the field for their respective division. The finishes of our teams are below. It is truly impressive to see the success achieved by teams at all age and team levels.
Additional kudos to Triangle 18U Boys and 14U Boys for their participation in A5’s Battle of the Belligerents. Both teams earned a T3 overall finish.
|12 Black||12 National||9/16||6-2|
|12 Blue||12 American||T31/54||3-4|
|13 Black||13 Open||T15/23||3-3|
|13 Blue*||13 American||T9/108||5-2|
|13 White||13 American||T35/108||3-4|
|13 Silver||13 American||T86/108||2-6|
|14 Black||14 Open||19/22||3-5|
|14 Blue||14 USA||T37/72||7-1|
|14 White||14 American||T41/159||5-3|
|14 Silver||14 American||T106/159||4-4|
|14 Steel||14 American||T29/159||4-4|
|15 Black*||15 Open||T7/31||4-5|
|15 Blue||15 USA||T74/116||6-3|
|15 White||15 American||T24/176||6-3|
|15 Silver||15 American||T50/176||4-4|
|15 Steel||15 American||T50/176||5-3|
|16 Black*||16 Open||T5/35||5-2|
|16 Blue*||16 USA||T9/110||6-2|
|16 White||16 American||T17/176||7-3|
|16 Silver||16 American||T77/176||3-4|
|17 Black*||17 Open||T5/40||7-1|
|17 Blue||17 Open||T19/64||5-3|
|17 White*||17 American||T9/103||5-3|
*Gold bracket/pool participant on final day of play
Over the January 28/29th weekend was the first stop of the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Power League [MAPL, pronounced M-apple] series held in Hampton, Virginia. MAPL is a unique mixed-age division event which looks to bring the most elite volleyball teams along the eastern seaboard together in one event. MAPL events utilize a power-pool format to create competitive match ups throughout the two-day event. MAPL events are big draws for collegiate recruiters and nearly 80 colleges and universities were represented at MAPL Hampton.
Triangle sent fifteen (15) teams to the event held annually at the Hampton Roads Convention Center and the Boo Williams Sportsplex. Teams compete in one of three divisions: Black [16-18’s]; Blue [14-16’s]; and Red [13/14’s].
Triangle records and finishes are:
[Team, Win-Loss Record, Finish/Field Size]
RED DIVISION [13-14’s]
13 Black, 4-3, T7/24
14 Blue, 4-3, 9/24
BLUE DIVISION [14-16’s]
14 Black, 5-3, T27/66
15 Black, 8-0, 1st/66
15 Blue, 2-4, T21/66
15 White, 5-2, T41/66
16 Blue, 6-2, T3/66
16 White, 4-2, T29/66
BLACK DIVISION [16-18’s]
16 Black, 3-4, T5/66
17 Black, 8-0, 1st/66
17 Blue, 2-4, T13/66
17 White, 5-3, T35/66
18 Black, 6-1, T3/66
18 Blue, 5-2, T17/66
18 White, 5-3, T33/66
rall record 72-36
The second stop of the Mid-Atlantic Power League is MAPL Raleigh, hosted by Triangle Volleyball Club on March 11 and 12.