Iowa Rockets BLAST tournament
Thanks to all teams for participating in Rockets BLAST 2019!! It was another great year with super competition from the top teams in the state! We look forward to BLAST 2020!
2018 USA Volleyball Nationals Wrap-up: Five Rocket Teams Win Medals
Iowa Rockets volleyball had an unprecedented outcome at USA Volleyball Nationals. Ten (10) Iowa Rocket teams attended USAV National Championship tournament in Detroit, Michigan from June 24 – July 4.
- 11 Black – 29th overall in National Division
- 12 Black – 19th overall in National Division
- 13 Black – 3rd overall in National Division
- 14 Black – 59th overall in American Division
- 14R – 3rd overall in National Division
- 15-1 – 59th overall in American Division
- 15R – 3rd overall in Patriot Division
- 16R – 2nd overall in National Division
- 17-1 – 25th overall in Patriot Division
- 17R – 3rd overall in National Division
Only three clubs in the nation had five or more teams medal at the USAV National Championships. No other club in the Iowa Region has ever had 5 teams to earn medals at Nationals. Congratulations to Iowa Rockets 13 Black, 14R, 15R and 17R on third place finishes. A special honor goes to Iowa Rockets 16R for a national-runner up trophy. Iowa Rockets teams are not strangers to the reaching the Gold bracket with usually one or two teams each year. Including 2011 when Iowa Rockets placed 5 teams in the Gold bracket at USAV Nationals in Atlanta, GA. In 2018, of the approximately 400 clubs who attended USAV Nationals, only 3 clubs (Iowa Rockets, Sunshine, and OTVA) sent 5 or more teams to the medal podium.
Congratulation to Iowa Rockets volleyball for putting Iowa on the national map with outstanding strength across all age groups! See below for pictures and a recap of each team’s performance.
Iowa Rockets 12 Black had a wild and crazy tournament for a young team from Iowa. In their first match of the tournament, they came against an exceptional MadFrog 12 National team (Dallas, TX). With grit, determination, and a little luck Rockets 12 Black defeated the number 2 seed in their pool. Then, pushing through pool play, Rockets 12 Black reached the upper half to remain after the initial pool. They eventually landed in the Bronze bracket where they defeated a talented Club North 12-1 (Kansas City) by 2 points in the 3rd set before losing to Absolute Volleyball Club (San Francisco) to finish 19th in the nation.
Iowa Rockets 12 Black – 19th place overall
Iowa Rockets 14 Black
14 Black and 14R started off their 4-day tournament on June 25th with a couple wins. Rockets 14R went on to secure a 4-1 record in their initial pool. They advanced to the upper half to win their next pool against NKYVC 14-1 and Black Swamp 141. On day 3, Rockets 14R defeated a very talented Circle City 14 Purple in the challenge match to go to the Gold bracket. 14R held steady to outlast Circle City 15-13 in the 3rd set. In the quarter-finals of the Gold bracket, 14R defeated AVA TX 14 Team Rox from Houston, TX. In the semi-finals Rockets 14R lost to a very tough Vegas Aces 14 Under Armour (Las Vegas, NV) who were the eventual 14 National champions.
Iowa Rockets 14R – 3rd place overall
Iowa Rockets 16R took the courts on July 1 with 4 FULL days of volleyball. The 8-member squad played lights out with an amazing 11-1 record. 16R won 9 of their 10 matches in 2 straight sets against teams from Hawaii, Portland, Delaware, Colorado Springs, Springfield MO, and Phoenix. Day 4, in the Gold bracket, Rockets 16R had a sweeping victory against CC Force 161 (Corpus Christi, TX) (25-9, 25-8). Rockets then defeated a very good Elevation 16s (Cincinnati, OH) before losing in the finals for a national runner-up finish. This team has showed determination for the past 4 years. Each of the last 4 seasons the team has improved their national ranking and has steadily climbed from Bronze bracket, to Silver bracket, to Gold bracket, and now to a national medal. They achieved their team goal to earn a medal, but fell just short of taking home gold.
Iowa Rockets 16R – National Runner-up
Iowa Rockets 11s – 29th place overall
Iowa Rockets 15R – 3rd place
Iowa Rockets 17 Bold
Additional Accolades to Iowa Rockets 18R, 18-1, and 16-1 teams
In addition to 10 teams competing at USAV National Championships in Detroit, MI, Iowa Rockets 18R and 18-1 team qualified and competed in the 18s USAV National Championship tournament in Anaheim, CA on April 27-29. Iowa Rockets 18R had a solid 6-3 record versus teams from San Francisco, Charleston, San Jose, El Paso, and Dallas. Rockets 18R lost their challenge match against River City Thunder 18, who was the eventual tournament winner. However, in the Silver bracket Rockets powered through for a 1st place Silver finish (9th place overall). Team members and their college commitments are: Riley Dolphin (Drake), Kennedy Drewis (Western Illinois), Colby Greene (Southeast Missouri), Kami Knutsen (Winona State), Mariah Mitchell (Western Illinois), Elissa Moylan (Southeast Missouri), Kelsey Ruff (Augustana, SD), Caitlyn Smith (Drake), Caleigh Smith (Purdue University Northwest) and Jenna Wagemester (U of South Dakota). 18R was coached by Stacey Ruff, Lauren Hansen, and Caitlin Ward.
Iowa Rockets 16-1 took Orlando by storm at the AAU National Championships on June 25-28. Iowa Rockets blasted through 3 rounds of pool play with a record of 9-0. Rockets defeated teams from Fredericksburg, Odessa, Indianapolis, Connecticut, Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Denver. Rockets 16-1 played solid volleyball with the occasional nail-biter match such as against Inside Out 16 National (Muskegon, MI) when Rockets won a see-saw match winning (25-23, 28-26). Advancing to the Gold bracket on day 4, Rockets faced a tough 1st Alliance 16 Red (Chicago) to finish 9th place at AAU National Championship tournament.
Iowa Rockets 16-1 – 9th place overall AAU Nationals
17R – 3rd Place Mideast National Qualifier
16-1 9th Place Mideast National QualifierIowa Rockets 13 Black – 2nd Place Iowa Regionals – Heading to Nationals!Iowa Rockets 12 Black – 1st place Iowa Regionals – goin’ to NationalsIowa Rocket 14R – 3rd place – Heading to Nationals in Motown!Iowa Rockets 17 Gold – 1st place Sliver – Iowa Regionals