Elementary netters compete in Billings

Lisa Kunkel

Greybull’s newest club sports team attended its first official tournament in Billings, Mont., last weekend, the 10th annual Big Sky Volleyfest Super Regional.
First started with 63 teams, the Super Regional has grown. This year saw 236 teams spread over 32 courts in seven locations. The Magic City was bustling with volleyball energy including athletes and fans clad in Buff blue and gold.
The Greybull Volleyball Club (GVC), is organized as an amateur athletic union (AAU), comprising local third, fourth and fifth graders. Coached by Carlynn Dalin and Bobbi Link, the team has 18 young athletes on its roster.
Two GVC teams played in the 12U American Class and while both teams went 0-4 at the two-day tournament both coaches and spectators saw significant improvement from the start of the tournament to the final point of the last game.
“There were some points where frustration was high, but we came away from the tournament excited about what the future holds,” said Dalin. “I told my team after their last game, that even though it didn’t turn out quite like they wanted, we know we can play with these teams. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Some of these teams have played together for years.”
Coach Link echoed Dalin’s sentiments telling her team, “Keep your heads up, you played awesome in our first big tournament. From here I know we will only keep improving because I saw improvement each game.”
GVC’s roster for the tournament saw playing time from every athlete. GVC-1 Aliina Averett, Peytin Cervantes, Mary Fink, Patricia Ray Hoflund, Joslyn Hunt, Kaylynne Kottman, Mackenzie Kottman, Amelia Kunkel, and Emmaleigh Thon. GVS-2 Ruby Dalin, Zoe Gallegos, Elizabeth Good, Paisley Link, Trinity Link, Aurora Pena, Darleh Rios, Norah Thur and Haven Wiggins.
This week’s practices will have a strong focus on serving, “as in many of the games missed serves and serving consistency were significant contributors to the teams’ losses,” said Dalin.
“We want to thank the community for all of your continued support,” she added, acknowledging the numerous local businesses who have stepped-up to donate to the new team, financially for equipment, uniforms, and tournament entry fees. Allowing young athletes opportunities to learn new skills and teamwork, while staying active.
GVC heads to Casper for a one-day tournament on Saturday, May 11. Continued scrimmages with the Basin AAU teams are in the works including a possible summer tournament in Worland.