Tag Archives | El Paso Wildfire

2010 SURVA Regional Volleyball

NM Jrs 15-1 OH Lexi Biondi reacts after scoring the final kill in the championship match.

NM Jrs 15-1 OH Lexi Biondi reacts after scoring the final kill in the championship match.

The El Paso Sunspots volleyball club played host to the 2010 Sun Country Volleyball Association (SURVA) regional championships on April 23-24, 2010. The regionals, split into two groups with the 15-18 age groups played in different venues throughout El Paso, and the 12-14s in Lubbock.

For many of the club volleyball teams, the SURVA Regional finals signifies the end of the club season. Depending on many factors, including win/loss ratio and strength of opponents, teams are broken into two groups; the bid and regional brackets.

The bid bracket teams are considered the stronger of the two, and winners of the their respective age group automatically earn a spot to play at the National Junior Olympics and continue their season, so winning is obviously a big deal.

The regional bracket teams, finished for the season after this event, fight for the gold, bragging rights and to end the season on a high note.

This was the end of the club season for me as well, so I decided to go out with a bang and spend a day and a half in the Sun City watching the 15s and 16s bid brackets. Since I hadn’t covered any 15s this season, and the first round brackets were being played at the UTEP gym (close to Las Cruces) Saturday morning, the 15s age group made perfect sense.

In addition to seeing powerhouses NM Jrs 15-1 and APAC 15-1 in the first round, I caught some other great teams like Northern Elite, Guns Up, Artesia Elite and Rapidfire 15 Kaepa. APAC, NM Jrs, Northern Elite and Sunspots all advanced to the finals that were held on Sunday.

The 15s were done by 1:30, so I decided to make the trip clear across El Paso to El Dorado High School to check out the 16s bids. There, I watched the El Paso Heat, Rapidfire, Net Force and the NM Jrs 16-1. The Jrs represent some of the best Albuquerque has to offer, and unlike some other “all-star” teams, this group plays like a true team. It’s easy to see all the players make contributions, and the end result is an amazing squad. It’s really no surprise they earned the bid.

El Paso APAC and NM Jrs 15-1 both won their first game Sunday morning and faced each other for the championship. APAC ended up having a rough game, and the Jrs took the match in two.

I think the Jrs 15-1 squad mirror their 16-1 club-mates; a very well rounded team. The younger players typically fly under the radar until they’re sophomores and juniors, but I look forward to watching and learning more about players from both squads.

Check out the SURVA photo gallery here!

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Chili Spike Qualifier

I headed up to Albuquerque to photograph at the NM Juniors Chili Spike Qualifier last week–a last-minute decision I’m glad I made.

Monica Corrujedo

My primary goal was to photograph the El Paso Wildfire, a 17s team that plays in Division I. There  is a large pool of talented players in El Paso, and the Wildfire has some of the best in the city on its roster; Alexia Heist (Eastwood), Caroline Brown (Coronado), Victoria Foster (Franklin) and Megan Dominguez (Chapin).

There are also some lesser-known players on the roster that will no doubt make their mark; Alysha Blanco, a 6′ hitter from Eastwood and Monica Corrujedo, an outside hitter that plays for Montwood. Monica is only 14 years old and was able to give players four years her senior all they could handle. With the right coaching, her potential is unlimited.

In addition to covering Wildfire, I also got photograph some other great teams in the area.

The NM Juniors 18 – Brad team is a who’s who of New Mexico volleyball; Samantha Brown (signed to Norte Dame), Kylee Terhune (ASU), Miquella Lovata (UNM), Darian Mullin, Jayla Trombley and Gatorade Player of the Year, Hallie Harton (Goddard).

The NM Juniors 16 – Marc team was also amazing. Lead by Julia Warren, Rachael Bradley and Brandi Torr, this team battled it out with the 18-Brad team in the semi-final, but lost after a dramatic third set. I’d have to say that along with the WildfireNM Jr 18 match in the finals, this NM Jrs 18- NM Jrs 16 was my favorite match of the day.  Instead of trying to photograph the whole match, I watched and enjoyed the game.

For the championship match in the Gold Division, Wildfire was able to outlast the NM Juniors 18 – Brad team in three sets.

Related Links

Chili Spike photo gallery

El Paso Wildfire

New Mexico Juniors

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