Chobee Volleyball Academy hosts open tournament

If you’re looking to officially kick off summer right, what better way than a sand volleyball tournament right here in Okeechobee?

Chobee Volleyball Academy (CVA) is hosting a sand volleyball tournament on the volleyball courts next to Yearling Middle School on June 8.

The sand tournament is open to any person age 11 and up. Teams must contain four players, with at least two of them being female. There will be two divisions at the tournament, ages 11-14 and age 15 and up.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Chobee Volleyball Academy
Chobee Volleyball Academy held its first sand volleyball tournament back on May 11. Fifteen teams competed in that tournament.

The price to play is $80 per team, which would be $20 per player with a four-person team, and you can register at the event. If you are unable to form your own team, CVA will place you with a team at registration. Ages 11-14 should arrive at 8 a.m. and age 15 and up should arrive at 11 a.m. on June 8.

The tournament is helping CVA raise funds for its 15U team which has qualified to compete in the AAU Junior National Volleyball Tournament later this month in Orlando. The team earned an entry into the national tournament after taking home first place in gold at the AAU Chill Blast tournament held in Orlando at the Orlando Sports Center back on Jan. 26-27.

That 15U team will be helping out at the sand tournament by acting as referee’s and most likely competing themselves.

CVA held another sand volleyball tournament fundraiser last month on May 11. The event proved to be popular as overall, 15 teams competed in the tournament with nine teams competing in the 15-and-up bracket and six in the 12-14 bracket.

Clubs like CVA can pay dividends when their members go on to compete in high school volleyball. Many of the schools that Okeechobee teams face during their season have players who play in their sport year round. This can sometimes lead to an experience gap where Okeechobee players are left behind while other student athletes advance. With CVA earning a spot to compete in AAU National Tournament, that could give many of their players who also play at high school a boost headed into their season.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Chobee Volleyball Academy
Competitors battle it out at the Chobee Volleyball Academy sand tournament held back on May 11.

“There is no question that athletes who play “club” or “travel” volleyball during the school’s off season show and maintain more growth and are significantly more competitive at the school level,” said CVA board member LiAnn Whipple. “Most of our athletes possess a deep love of the game and couldn’t imagine not playing the travel season.”

The CVA sand volleyball tournament kicks off at 8 a.m. on June 8. Bring sunscreen and come out to support the 15U team as they prepare to represent Okeechobee on the national stage.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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