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Prep volleyball: Legacy clubs face the best

Several teams take part in national championships

Posted: July 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Recent Hart High graduate J.J. Mosolf (pictured) was named to the 18 Open All-Tournament Team at the Boys Junior National Volleyball Championships.

 

Quality club volleyball isn’t just a novelty in the Santa Clarita Valley anymore.

“Reputable” might be a good way to describe it now.

Between last week’s Boys Junior National Volleyball Championships in Minneapolis and the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix before that, area club players are going toe-to-toe with some of the best talent in the country.

Legacy Volleyball Club in Valencia sent a total of four boys teams to the Junior Nationals, which concluded on July 6.

Playing in the 18-year-old Open Division, Legacy’s 18-1 team finished tied for fifth overall, the highest finish in club history.

Given the prestige of the tournament and the Open division, Legacy owner Walt Ker said that essentially makes that team among the best in the country.

“That’s really an amazing accomplishment for that team, because they had two starters that were injured the week before they were set to go to the nationals,” Ker said.

The two injured players, Kurt Fults and Griffin Nichols, also played for Valencia High School this past spring.

One of the players that did participate in the tournament was former Hart High standout J.J. Mosolf. For his services at outside hitter, Mosolf was named to the 18 Open All-Tournament Team, which includes the best 10 players in the 33-team field.

“I felt like I just left all that I had on the court. I went into the tournament with multiple fractures in my left foot,” Mosolf said. “I just really didn’t think about that.”

The team completed the tournament with a 5-6 record.

The 17-1 team, also playing the Open division, came in 11th place, while the 16-1 and 16-2 teams finished 19th and 36th, respectively.

“We’ve already established the reputation of bringing some good teams to these tournaments every year, just because the guys that are coming to play for us are very coachable and they’re very athletic guys,” said Kevin Ker, head coach of the 17-1 team.

That goes for both the boys and girls teams.

In late June, Legacy’s 17-1 girls team claimed the championship at the Volleyball Festival, also a club first.

“To win any tournament anywhere is rather substantial,” Walt Ker said. “The 17s team just played really flawless and consistent throughout the five days of the tournament.”

Among the local high school players represented on the team were Sarah Blomgren and Kristen McCord of Saugus, Angel Rutledge and Danielle Thompson of West Ranch and Sydney Striff of Valencia.

It was one of 11 different girls teams that competed at the Festival, which is an annual regional tournament that includes several clubs from Southern California and throughout the Southwest.

Legacy’s teams ranged from ages 13-18.

“We’re really excited to get the kids to touch the ball at a younger age and build the skills and consistency to be successful in future,” Walt Ker said.

Mosolf’s future doesn’t involve Legacy anymore, as his club career has officially come to a close.

This fall, he’ll take his talents to the University of Hawaii.

“It kind of hit me after we lost that (last) game we played there in that center court with all those stands there,” Mosolf said. “It was kind of sad, but it was kind of exciting that I’m going into the next chapter of my life.”

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