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The NoMi volleyball court is heating up
Facebook facebook Alexandra Dailey to contact June 11, 2022

With the beach on top of us, everything was ready for summer and the long hours of the day. Our beach quickly fills up with vacationers and locals alike, but nothing fills up faster than the volleyball courts in the West End in Traverse City. These six stadiums are always in demand, with enthusiastic players ready to participate in this team sport.

Great Meetings
The six courts can extend when players want to touch the sand. Every weekend, you’ll see members of the young community, serious competitors, and spiking fans line up for their time on the net.

The city’s Parks and Entertainment Center provides lions for women and coed teams through its Volley on the Bay program. Mark Wagner has coached the Lions locally for years, and Wagner has 50 pre -registered teams for the 2022 season.

On the youth side, North Shore Volleyball Club, an AAU organization, has provided indoor coaching since 2011 and beach coaching from 2018 for students ages 10-19. Jordan Bates taught both courses. “I grew up playing on Frankfort beach,” Bates said. “It’s good to give young people a love of the game and see them play beach volleyball.”

A league in the AA Men’s home has also been used for competition since the late 2000s, but they don’t have a beach club; rather, they compete on a broad level, the highest level of competitive competition.

Is the new sand coming soon?
Due to local popularity, suggestions for increasing the number of courts in the West End have been submitted to the city commission. Each week, an estimated 700 local players use the six stadiums. Opponents are arguing for more new courts to relax the neck, allow players of all ages and abilities to enjoy the sport. (For example, the courts were booked so North Shore would play its home tournaments in Frankfort.)

The West End’s first court was fought over and maintained by Tim Keenan — the founder of the local AA Lions — and a team of volleyball-centric players nearly 40 years ago.

“It took us years to get a port-a-potty,” Keenan recalled, not hesitating to make a reservation. “I think these things [expanded] the events became a reality because many people, locals and tourists alike, wanted to play the game.

The second conference was first expanded in 2007 as part of “Your Bay, Your Say”, and then taken back to the Parks and Recreation Commission in 2017 which was not available, although many volleyball enthusiasts and swearing golfers. . The increase was canceled in 2020 and rescheduled this year, as $ 20,000 was allocated to the city treasury for Fiscal year 2022-23. Now, the city has agreed to replace the low sands of existing courts, Michelle Hunt, Parks and Recreation Superintendent, confirmed.

“This is a controversial process,” Wagner said ahead of the June 6 general election.[The proposal] it was killed first by the red ribbon behind the scenes. With good intentions, Wagner added: “Given the history of this application, I’m not just going to take anything.”

And while Traverse City is waiting for the next court matches, the players are still in good shape. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the player’s side of things between the leagues.

Former Guardian: Cathy Niedecken
Cathy Niedecken has played volleyball for over 40 years. He played in high school and college and participated in local leagues throughout Michigan. At first he was a competitive player, but now he uses a fun way. In a decade, Niedecken’s best memories on the court have been with injuries, but his best moments are with his top team Traverse City Women B without a win in a year. 2014 and returned to court last summer after COVID.

Together with her partner Paula Smith, Niedecken organized a “pay to play” small soccer club and captained a Women’s 4 beach club called Margaritas on the Beach.

“I love working together as a team, competitive style, meeting people who like the sport, playing in and out, physically – for me, volleyball helps that. body, mind, and spirit! ” said Niedecken.

The Superstar: Weston Buchan
Weston Buchan is the most prominent athlete in the leagues, is currently president of the Traverse Area Volleyball Association (TAVA), a board member of the AA Men’s indoor league, and is a talented athlete with a passion for football. beach volleyball. An ambidextrous player, Buchan played on each side of the court with a knack for defense.

He was introduced to beach volleyball when he was training at Grand Valley State University, but he began to take an active interest in the sport after college. Playing on the field, Buchan has reached high performance, won tournaments, and is eligible for the 2019 Association of Volleyball Professionals tournament in Chicago.

“[Volleyball] a game of highs and lows, “Buchan said.” But moments of holiness in the midst of an ultra-competitive game, making a game or a shot that no one expected of you. , or come up at a time when these are the pieces I love the most. “

The Up-and-Comer: Phoebe Humphrey
Phoebe Humphrey, 16, a teenager entering Traverse City Central, is a rising star. He and his partner, Natalie Bourdo, 16, played freestyle and competed on the beach.

“We don’t have plans to participate in games; we just play as much as we like the game, ”Phoebe said.

He first became involved in beach volleyball because of his teacher, Jordan Bates, who invited Phoebe and Natalie to play in the West End. Not long after that knowledge and learning of someone’s interest, Bates started a beach program on the North Shore. A memorable memory for Phoebe when she and her small group went to a race in Florida, where they took the top 10, was a big deal. Phoebe is a young teacher of indoor and beach projects.

The Future Star: Hadley Humphrey
Twelve -year -old Hadley Humphrey followed in the footsteps of her older sister Phoebe and walked through the courtyards. Hadley enjoys playing tournaments alongside teammate Erica Heffner, 13, both of whom are down.

“We’re trying to find holes in our opponent’s yard and serve the weaker walker,” Hadley said.

Although Hadley had experienced the ups and downs of the game — like holding the sand in his face while diving — he also won with the boys’ teams in the tournament. During his three years playing beach volleyball, Hadley showed the same skill and talent as his older sister.

Grass meeting
If you’re not on the sand, there’s another option for the outdoor volleyball enthusiast — Grand Traverse Social Sports ’4-on-4 coed Grass League. Participants gather at the Civic Center on Monday evenings to play two games, followed by an hour of fun fun. Caleb Brown of Volleyball of the Great Lakes approached GTSS owner Justin Hostetler in 2019 about starting a grasshopper, and since then, it has grown steadily.

“The Grass League is bringing in a lot of locals, but there are a lot of teams and players coming from all over to play,” Brown said.

“We want to provide a welcoming, cozy, cohesive, and easy -to -use place for those who don’t feel at home on the sand but don’t want to stay in the summer months,” he said. and Hostetler.

Registration for the Grass League is open at the end of the summer/first fall season now until August 5— $ 60/single or $ 300/group 4s.

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