WILMINGTON – As the sport of volleyball has gained popularity in the area over the last few decades, so has the type of player being groomed for success at the highest level.
Since getting Cape Fear Volleyball (CFV) established to its well-known status both locally and statewide, coaches and organizers have been hard at work trying to grow the sport to be able to play on the national stage. One of the ways they’ve been trying to accomplish this feat is by competing in higher level events.
By sending local teams to national qualifiers all over the country, the hope has been to figure out what it’s going to take to earn a spot at the USA Volleyball (USAV) Nationals.
USAV Nationals is the highest level event within the junior level circuit. With different divisions divided up by ages, Wilmington had qualified only two teams since 1988.
“Our 18s qualified last year and played in Indianapolis 2016,” said Larry Salefsky, Master Coach at Cape Fear Volleyball. “This year we qualified four teams. The 18s this year are in Dallas and all of the younger ages are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“The reason they are in two different locations this year is because USAV understands that most 18s in the summer will already be with their future colleges working out. So now they do 18s in a different location in April and all teams 17 and under compete in June and early July.”
This club season, Cape Fear Volleyball has qualified teams for nationals at the 18U, 16U, 15U and 13U age groups.
CFV has been around for nearly 40 years. Established by longtime Hoggard High School Coach Ron Strickland in 1979, CFV has grown from a single team to 26 club teams last season. It’s currently one of the oldest youth programs in North Carolina.
Salfesky has been playing both indoor and outdoor volleyball for 11 years and coaching for eight years. He is the current Volleyball Coach at Ashley High School and also runs the Wilmington Volleyball Series. He was instrumental in bringing Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings during Azalea Festival in April 2015.
18U – Dallas, TX April 21-23, 2017
16U, 15U, 13U – Minneapolis, MN June 25 – July 4, 2017