Team Florida won the first-ever Girls Future Select division title at the 2017 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale. The division for players born in 2004 and after was added in 2017 for region teams only.

Team Florida defeated Arizona 26-16, 25-21, 29-27 for the victory.

“Throughout this whole tournament, we didn’t drop a set,” said Brianna Anderson, 13, outside hitter for Team Florida. We went 21-0, but in the last game it was very, very close. We won the first set pretty easily. In the second set we had to battle and come back from 13-9. And in the third set we were up five or six points, and they started coming back. I think it was one of the closest games I’ve ever played.

“My middle had to go back to serve and we were all really nervous, but in the end it was okay because we pulled it through. We were all prepared to play that game and we just went out there and gave it what we had.”

Florida depended on Brianna during key points in the match.

“I really liked that feeling. I feel like it gives me power and it just brings the whole team up. Sometimes it’s scary, but I know I’ve just got to blast the ball and hope it goes in and try my best.”

Both Team Florida and Arizona were 6-0 heading into tonight’s championship match. Arizona won a tight semifinal match over Ohio Valley in five sets, after getting down two sets to one, 25-12, 21-25, 25-27, 26-24, 16-14.

Ohio Valley earned the bronze medal, beating Old Dominion in four sets, 26-24, 26-7, 20-25, 25-14.

Girls Future Select
(born in 2004 and after)

Gold: Team Florida GFS (Florida)
Silver: Arizona Girls FS (Arizona)
Bronze: Ohio Valley Future Select (Ohio Valley)

Football Connections

Robert Griffin III was courtside to watch his finance, Grete Sadeiko’s cousin, Kevin Lamp of USA Youth A1 Red team play USA Youth National Red, the U.S. Youth National Training Team. A1 Red won the match in five sets 20-25, 25-12, 13-25, 25-23, 15-9, an epic battle between some of the best young talent in America. The loss knocked the Youth National Red out of medal contention.

The SCVA Youth International Team defeated the USA Youth A1 White squad in four and will play USA Youth A1 Red tomorrow morning. SCVA demonstrated some serious depth by sitting middle blocker Ian Parish for the match. Parish, a 6-9 middle blocker, attends Loyola High School in Los Angeles that just won the CIF Southern California Regional Division title in May.

Parish is a standout who stands out. He is a 6-9, 250-pounder, who looks like he would be comfortable on the football field, which makes sense because he also played football at Loyola as a defensive end and tight end and because his grandfather is NFL icon and Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.

Last winter Ian made the decision to play volleyball at UCLA with U.S. Men’s National Team head coach John Speraw.

How did he pick volleyball over other sports as a kid?

“Actually my mom told me to play volleyball, because I was playing rugby and football at the time in middle school and she said, ‘You’re not playing two contact sports at once, so we’ve got to find something else for spring.’ I wasn’t giving football up because my family is like a big football family. That’s when I started playing volleyball.

“I’m so happy that I’m going to UCLA. It’s a perfect fit all the guys there are just great. I can’t wait to play at a higher level later.

What does grandpa think of volleyball?

“He loves volleyball. He loves it. He thinks it’s real fast pace and he loves it. He comes to almost all my games. He loves coming to the games.”