The Future of Volleyball Starts in Foley

The girls attending the Gulf Coast Region High Performance Tryout Camp at the Foley Event Center, April 26 – 28, are competing for a spot on a bigger stage.

The camp, hosted by the USA Volleyball Gulf Coast Region (GCR), will determine the teams that will represent the region at the High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in July. Once there, the GCR team will compete against more than 100 teams from other regions, international teams, and teams from the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline.

The GCR region hosted the camp regularly from 2005 to 2009, and after a five-year hiatus, was resurrected by High Performance Program Coordinator Nicole Keshock and Gulf Coast High Performance Director Shawn Weaver.

Weaver said 200 players from the region (including Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida) were invited to attend. To earn one of the coveted invitations, a player had to be selected by coaches, club directors, and High Performance staff.

In the past, the GCR fielded three teams from two divisions with a hope to send additional teams this year. Weaver explained it is the region’s chance to be a part of the future of USA Volleyball in a big way.

“The National High Performance Volleyball Department works to advance volleyball talent and build a broader and stronger pipeline of athletes and coaches for our USA Olympic Teams,” Weaver said. “The HP Program bridges the gap between our USA National Teams and youth volleyball programs across the country. The High Performance Program at USA Volleyball is that “Pipeline” for our volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport and is intended to grow the pool of talented young players who may someday compete for a spot on the USA National and Olympic Teams.”

Foley Sports Tourism Event Operations Manager, Angela Sullivan, said while the event is smaller than most of the volleyball events held at the Foley Event Center, it’s a chance to build a reputation beyond the city limits.

“These athletes are the future of volleyball,” said Sullivan. “They could be future Olympians and their journey starts right here in Foley. We are a starting point for memories that can last a lifetime and an athletic career that has no limits.”

The Gulf Coast Region High Performance Tryout Camp is free and open to the public.