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New club team

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35 minutes ago, Osage said:

SJ, we have 2 very different views on all this. The "nonsense" I was talking about was the idea that Alliance wanted to return to the Southern Power League this season, but were denied by those running that circuit. Maybe I am inferring too much, but I think you are saying that not only is that false, but further the denial is attributable to the (now former) Club Director. Do I have that right? If not, please correct me.

If so, I stand by my statement, that it's silly to think that anyone associated with Alliance (parents, coaches, players, admin) enjoyed their experience in the Power league and were pining to return to it. If Alliance is permitted to return next year (and does), I will know I had this totally wrong. As an aside, it might not be the worst decision for Alliance to schedule against TPV more often, to give itself more opportunities to show how far apart the clubs really are in competitiveness. Joining the Power League would do that.

As to the strength of the field in the Sweet Tea event, again, new management had nothing to do with this. These tournaments are planned months in advance. It was billed from the outset as a top-heavy, Open-level event. The field was available in AES even before this club season. Most of all, Alliance wasn't even the host; A5 was.

We do agree that more events of this level are good, long-term, for Tennessee volleyball and for Southern volleyball as a whole.

Buried in one of these threads (maybe this one) is a comment I made that everyone at Alliance was tired of playing the same clubs/ teams over and over. I think I mentioned Choo Choo by name. I am not going to go back and find it. But I am 99% sure I said it. So yes, I agree with you. And so yes, you are inferring too much. That's probably more on me as I was trying to impart as much as possible in few words as possible. A kind of read between the lines thing. What I was being intentionally inartful about is that while Alliance wanted out, the other league members weren't too upset because of the negative relationship with the former director. I don't think Alliance would have been welcomed back even if they had wanted to continue in the SPL. Which as you and I have both correctly stated, they didn't want to continue. That's all I am saying. There were a lot of fractured relationships. Would the league have survived if an equal or better replacement had been found? I don't know, I don't care, and it was highly unlikely any club of note was going to step in and save the SPL. I think it was a case of everyone chopping off their noses to spite their faces. Honestly, I think it's for the best anyway. Power leagues are overrated. 

As for the STS; it wasn't listed on the initial Mizuno/ Molten schedules. Forgive me for not going back and re-checking. And A5 may have been the host, but it's still the first time I can remember the aforementioned clubs coming to Nashville. If that was in place before the director switch, then you win. But I think that we are going to see these types of tournaments more frequently here because of the new director. Even if they have to be held at the Ag Center.

I completely agree with you that these events are good for the health of volleyball in Tennessee and the south.

Club things I am curious about going forward: What will Ethos and Club West look like next year? How will the housing situation affect the number of teams at Alliance? Will TPV be able to hold on to their better players or will this be like 2014 when a lot of quality CW girls switched to Alliance. And what is the future of club ball in east Tennessee? (it seems like Tri-Cities and Chattanooga have fallen off the map)

Lastly, looking forward to watching some quality volleyball in Orlando.



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There was a Pre-Nationals Event in conjunction with A5 on the original schedules, but don't hold me to the exact verbiage. My point is that this had been in the works for a long time. In fact, it almost happened last club season, but A5 got cold feet because of uncertainty around the availability of A-Game.

Hopefully the first of many.

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I am hopeful that the club director change will allow better relationships with other clubs.   There is no reason why K2 and Alliance don't host each other at some point.  Not sure if that was a director issue, but I have heard that it was.    Also, we are such short drives from Kiva, Mava, A5, Circle City etc. We could really pull some great teams that guarantee tope level competition.


Seems like Alliance had a solid showing at Orlando.  16's had a great run. 15's finished about where they were expected (15th I think).  One of the younger teams also really did well.  Maybe 12's?  Overall I feel like it was a good club season for alliance considering the there was a coach that left and the director change.   One of things they HAVE to improve though is recruiting assistance/coordinator and their technology.   There just isn't enough communication around that area. 

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It is surprisingly difficult to compare how Alliance and TPV did at AAU. Turns out there is not a single AAU age / division combination in which both clubs entered teams. So maybe the best way to compare them is to look at how they did against the targets they assigned themselves. The clubs are their own best judges in terms of their teams' competitiveness.

Alliance, as I understand it, does not make any decisions in terms of where to enter its teams. Mizuno teams always play Open, Molten always play the next level down (Premiere, at AAU), and 3rd level teams play Club. Alliance does not enter teams in the lowest divisions (Aspire and Classic, respectively).

The Sports Performance model means you enter teams in divisions where you expect them to win. For this reason, even the Mother Ship in Chicago does not enter younger teams in Open divisions, theory being the training model takes a few years to make the kids competitive.

So long story short: Alliance entered teams in top divisions, TPV did not, and (though there were exceptions, as Clifford points out above), it was mostly a rough tournament for both clubs: less than half of Alliance (6 of 14) and TPV (8 of 18) finished in the top half of their divisions.

Of those that did, there were some pretty good results:

  • TPV placed 9th and 25th out of 75 in 13 Club, and 33rd out of 125 in 13 Classic
  • TPV 18's finished 13th of 74 in 18 Club
  • Alliance 15's and 16's (as mentioned above) had very good results
  • Alliance 18's teams also finished strong (10th of 20 in Open and 13th of 37 in Premiere)

What stands out the most is Alliance weakness in the 13's and 14's, and strength in the 15's and 16's. 9th out of 59 in 16 Open is really, really good for that Alliance 16's teams, placing them ahead of some outstanding teams. The exact opposite is true for TPV, with great results younger, and next to nothing in the middle age groups. If I were TPV, I would be trying hard to poach some kids off those 15's and 16's teams, so keep the illusion of competitiveness alive while those 13's evolve. I would have liked to have seen how those TPV 13's did against better competition, but back to the SPRI model: we'll have to wait a year or 2 to find out. There is certainly open-level potential there.

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at this point you cannot compare the 2 clubs.  Alliance is and should be much better.  The question will be in 3-4 years.   I can't imagine any of the key players from the 15 or 16 teams leaving,   If the 15's had one more good offensive player they would be really, really good. 

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Alliance is still stronger then TPV in the younger ages.  I would put the Alliance 12's up against any TPV 13 team and half of the TPV 14's and the Alliance 12's would win.  The Alliance 14's would handily beat any TPV 14 team.  People tend to forget that the best age for TPV (13) is the same group that was easily the weakest age group for Alliance a couple years ago.  As some of those parents found out this year, it wasn't Alliance, i was their daughters skill level.


TPV will not get a quality Alliance player that is 14-18 to switch clubs.  Those are prime recruiting ages and with TPV playing club and skipping national tournaments, the exposure is not there.

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