Marissa Jones/Matt Smith photo

Every Wednesday during the club season, will recognize a Dream Team of eight girls volleyball players (15s to 18s age groups) who were standouts the weekend before.

Players are selected EXCLUSIVELY from nominations. To nominate, coaches will need to get on our bulk email list (info at bottom).

The team, most weeks, consists of the following:

Setter or S/RS
Setter, S/RS or RS

We include our eight-player Dream Team below, as well as others we considered, based exclusively upon nominations received. This week, our team includes three middles, because no defensive specialists were nominated.

Note to coaches and directors: while there is no science to how we choose members of our Dream Team, performing on bigger stages will give players an edge, as will nomination forms that describe with specificity how well a player performed the previous weekend. DREAM TEAM for April 24:
S: Marissa Jones, 6-1 Fr., A5 15 Kelly (GA) – Jones set A5 to the 15 Open title at NEQ and her numbers were astronomical. She averaged 11 assists, 2.3 kills and 1.3 blocks per set for the weekend.  “She is getting better and that is SCARY to think about,” said coach Kelly Audia.

RS: Layla Dunn, 6-0 freshman, A5 15 Kelly (GA) – Dunn hit .425 for the tournament and over .500 in the championship as A5 took 15 Open at NEQ.

Abby Vander Wal

OH: Abby Vander Wal, 6-2 junior, 1st Alliance 17 Gold (IL) – One of the best juniors in the nation, the University of Texas recruit was a beast at the Lone Star Qualifier in Dallas over the weekend. She had 123 kills and hit .373 to send her team to the 17 Open final. “There were many times where the entire gym knew Abby was getting the ball and she still scored,” noted coach Danielle Mikos. In addition to dominating the net, Vander Wal recorded a 2.4 serve receive percentage off of 132 attempts. “No matter what we needed Abby to do, she rose to the occasion!” Mikos concluded.

Taylor Berg

OH: Taylor Berg, 5-9 freshman, 1st Alliance 15 Gold (IL) – Berg was instrumental in getting her team to the bid promised land in the 15 Open division at NEQ. The six-rotation outside can, and did, do it all in Philly, passing a 2.28 with 53 kills, 14 aces and 38 digs. “She is a go-to hitter both in the front row and back, one of our toughest servers and her defense and serve receive helped keep our team in rhythm all weekend,” said coach Trish Samolinski. “Taylor is the complete package and a firecracker who wants the ball in every situation. She has all the intangibles that help elevate our team against the toughest competitors.”

MB: Taylor Harrington, 6-2 freshman, Paramount VBC 15 Nick (VA) – Lauded as perhaps the best freshman middle on the East Coast, Harrington beat triple blocks regularly on offense and was a wall on defense as Paramount qualified in 15 Open at NEQ.

MB: Zoe Humphrey, 6-2 senior, HJV 17 Elite (TX) – Humphrey, a UCLA commit, led HJV’s qualifying effort at Lone Star by leading her team in blocks with 24 and hitting a tidy .415.

MB: Kylee Evans, 5-11 freshman, A5 15 Kelly (GA) – Evans was a terminator supreme for the 15 Open NEQ champs this past weekend. “She thumps balls to the floor so often that it doesn’t really surprise us anymore,” said coach Kelly Audia. “She also had multiple blocks that kept us in or won matches on Sunday.”

Libero: Jules Hernandez, 5-6 sophomore, TAV 16 Black (TX) – Hernandez sparked TAV’s 16 Open win at Lone Star over the weekend. “Jules Hernandez contributed a ton in all aspects,” said coach Paul Baxter. “She continues to keep our offense in check whether it’s first contacts or when she has to step in and deliver the ball for our hitters. She created a ton of great 2nd chances off some crazy covers and just solid defense in general.”

Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
S/RS: Mollie VanDeusen, 6-0 freshman, JJVA 16 Teal (FL) — VanDeusen helped lead JJVA 16 Teal to a third-place finish in the Asics Florida Challenge in Orlando this past weekend. 16 Teal posted huge wins over city rivals Jax Skyline 16 Royal and OT 16 J Will on Day 1. VanDeusen had 51 kills for the weekend (2.42 per set) on .223 hitting, and added 62 digs, 34 assists, six blocks and eight aces.


OH: Callie Gibson, 5-10 freshman, Circle City 15 Purple (IN) – Blessed with a big arm, Gibson hit and served Circle to a qualifying position in the 15 Open division at NEQ on Sunday.


Libero: Aniya Warren, 5-6 junior, 1st Alliance 17 Gold (IL) – Warren controlled the back court, as she usually does, for the second-place finishers in 17 Open at Lone Star. She passed a 2.5 in serve-receive while covering a huge amount of the court, and added 103 digs. “There were multiple times throughout the tournament where Aniya’s amazing defensive plays had spectators in awe, cheering for a player who was not even associated with their own team,” said coach Danielle Mikos. “Her infectious energy and effort kept us going in very difficult rallies and moments. She is truly a fun player to watch!”

Libero: Rachel Megna, 5-6 sophomore, OP2 16-1 Elite (OK) – Megna was everywhere for OP2 at Lone Star, helping her team qualify in the 16 Open division.

Libero: Tiani Shaw, 5-8 sophomore, Mizuno Long Beach 16 Rockstar (CA) – Shaw helped Mizuno take first at the last SCVA regional event. She led her team in digs, passed a 2.2 and chipped in six aces.

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