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The AsicsWillowbrook16Gold competed in the 2018 Girls Junior National Championship this summer. (Photo: Sarah Scafide)
From July 1-4, I had the opportunity to play in the 2018 Girls Junior National Championship, or Junior Olympics, for my competitive volleyball team. The Junior Olympics were held in Detroit, Michigan inside a humongous convention center. Hundreds of teams from across the country contended with each other to try to earn one of the three spots on the podium. Team ages ranged from 12-18 years old and played in four different divisions. My team, AsicsWillowbrook16Gold, competed in the American Division against 63 other teams.
We played a total of 10 games over four days. I played as starting middle blocker for our team for most of the tournament.
People were everywhere! College coaches were walking around, taking note of players who stood out. There were two championship courts that were filmed and had announcers. There was so much noise that you could barely hear yourself think.
Merriam Scafide visited the Henry Ford Mansion in Detroit after finishing her last games in the Junior Olympics. (Photo: Sarah Scafide)
Although the many volleyball games that we played were memorable, the experiences I made with my team off the court were what I enjoyed most of all. We played Family Feud and card games in our hotel, played freeze tag and ate at a fancy Italian restaurant. We spent every moment together including long days of volleyball and all of our minimal free time in the hotel.
I’m extremely proud to say that my team ended up 29th out of the top 63 teams in the nation apart the American Division. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to play with such high level competition, and to have gotten closer to my wonderful teammates this past summer. At my high school, Incarnate Word Academy, I plan to bring the same competitive energy to the court as one of the team captains for the Varsity team! Go Falcons!