On July 6, the last day of the 2019 USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships, Tstreet’s 16-1 team won gold in the Open Division. That was Tstreet’s second Open gold of the tournament after the 14-1s took gold June 30. It was also the 16-1s’ fifth gold of 2019 and a result years in the making, dating back to the foundation of the club built by Olympic gold medalist Troy Tanner.
“I started Tstreet for my daughter when she was 11, back in 2005,” Tanner said. “There was a lack of teaching and mentoring young athletes in club volleyball that I knew I wanted for her, and a lot of families in the area had similar goals for their daughters. Word spread and Tstreet grew rapidly.”
Fourteen years later, with a gym full of medals, trophies and quotes about positive mindsets, Tanner’s philosophy stretches into every team at every age division. For the 16-1s, it delivered a 66-3 record, No. 1 ranking in the country, and five gold medals, including a national title at GJNC.
Another building block for 16-1 was laid four years ago when libero Lauren Bays joined Tstreet. Now she is a two-time GJNC champion – the same group also took gold at GJNC in 14U – MVP of the national championship tournament and committed to the University of Washington.
Bays remembered, “I started volleyball at Tstreet, and they just taught me everything I know and helped me get to where I am today. Tstreet’s just the best.”
The club has always prided itself on the path it creates for up-and-coming athletes to develop and learn a love for the game before they join the club. Grace Chillingworth joined the Tweens program in 2014, and five years later, she is also a two-time Open champion, committed to Pepperdine University, and a true example of work ethic, diligence and passion for the game.
“I came to Tstreet and did Tweens, and everything about it was just amazing. It’s definitely changed me as a player and a person and improved everything about me,” Chillingworth said.
Elyse Stowell, a BYU commit, had a similar story. “I’ve been [at Tstreet] since I was 11, and it really brought out who I am as a person and an athlete. Everyone on this team has helped me get here.”
No other team or club has accomplished what this 16s teams has: five gold medals in one season. It is a true testament to the dedication and work of Coach Mike Murphy, his assistants Bailey Tanner and Andrew Hein, and club director Troy Tanner. Murphy, a San Clemente, California, native like Troy Tanner, is blessed and humbled by the success of this team. “This season was special – full of quality young women who were driven together and truly enjoyed the ride. The culture of the team from the very beginning was instilled with value, honor and competitive greatness. The girls showed great honor and respect for one another.”
When asked to share what made this team strong and formidable, the common answer was simple: the bond. Team captain Jessie Smith said, “We’re such good friends on and off the court, so when we play, we’re not just playing for ourselves, but the people around us.”
Setter Rachel Fairbanks agreed. “We all have trust in each other, and we value each other as a team and as individuals. When we’re on the court and we all have each other’s backs we all know that we’ll pick each other up.”
Tstreet’s drive stems from Troy’s famous phrase that’s displayed all throughout the gym and on every jersey and t-shirt: Breathe, Believe, Battle.
“Throughout the year, we breathed, believed and battled our way to five gold medals,” Murphy said. “I’m so proud of all that this team accomplished this year and the memories that were formed. It was a privilege to be a part of. It took all 11 players to achieve what we did. We crossed the finish line as one, and we all share the glory together.”
It’s not just the 16s team at Tstreet that found glory, either. In 2019, the club claimed six medals at GJNCs more than any other club. In all, Tstreet won two Open golds (14s, 16s), a silver in 13 National, and three bronze medals (15 American, 15 Patriot, 14 American).
It took years of support from parents, coaches and staff to grow Tstreet into what it was in 2019.
“I trust my coaches to hold the girls accountable to Tstreet systems and standards,” said Troy Tanner. “Our amazing athletes believe and trust the club and our coaches. Families trust the club.”