Tyrone Volleyball Players Qualify for AAU Nationals

Nationals are held in Orlando, Florida on June 25-26


Front Row: Julia Savino, Anna LeTendre. Second Row: Mattie Cherry, Reagan Irons, Makenna Bauer. Third Row: Emi Shukla, Izzy George, Aly Daley, Courtney Williams, and Jacqui Gordon.

Champions are made in the off-season and much of the recent success of the Tyrone girl’s volleyball team can be attributed to the hard work that some of the varsity players have put in during the winter, spring, and summer.

That off-season work is paying off for several Tyrone athletes who are members of the Horseshoe 16-Red AAU team.  For the second year in a row, they have qualified for the AAU Girls Junior National Competition in Orlando, Florida in late June.

“AAU Nationals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any volleyball player and the fact that we have several girls going for their second year in a row is astounding,” said Tyrone Head Coach Mike Kraft, “Nationals brought in over 40,000 participants last year and is the largest volleyball event in the world.”

AAU Nationals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any volleyball player and the fact that we have several girls going for their second year in a row is astounding”

— Head Coach Mike Kraft

Sophomores Makenna Bauer, Mattie Cherry, and Courtney Williams will be making their second trip to Nationals, and will be joined by a fourth player, current eighth grader Reagan Irons.

“I’m really excited and grateful to be able to play at Nationals for the first time. I can’t wait to have this experience,” said Irons.

The National Competition starts June 25th and the girls are very excited to have this opportunity once again.

“Compared to last year, we’re a totally different team, even through most of us went last year. We know what it’s like now and we’re definitely more prepared, so I think that makes us even more excited,” said Cherry.  

All the girls on Horseshoe 16-Red will be challenged, playing against some of the best teams across the country.

“I’m kind of nervous though to play against some tough competition. It will be a good learning experience, we put in hours of hard work to get here and we aren’t going to leave without that dub,” said Williams.

Nationals is not only a great opportunity to compete, but it is also an opportunity for relationships to strengthen and memories to be made.                                  

“As a former player, I had the opportunity to attend Nationals four years in a row while in high school. I still carry many of my greatest memories during the time spent at Nationals. I got to play with and against some of the best players in the country,” said Kraft.

Horseshoe 16-Red will continue to practice at the Armory in Tyrone three hours a week until their departure on June 24th.

“It’s a long practice, but it is making us a lot better. College players come and play against us in practice and it’s definitely preparing us for the tough competition we’ll face in Orlando,” said Bauer.