Keweenaw Volleyball Club finds success in Twin Cities

Team members of the 18U squad show off their trophy after winning the 18U Classic Division at the North Star Volleyball United President’s Day Challenge in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Pictured in the top row (from left): Assistant coach Leiya Rybicki, Allison Corrigan, Madelyn Torola, Brielle Kero, Allison Bjorn, Laney Johnson, and head coach Cindy Pindral. Bottom row (from left): Abi Codere, Helene Rinkinen, Marisa Hird, Sophia Neves, and Brooke Koskela. (Photo submitted)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Keweenaw Volleyball Club took seven teams to the North Star Volleyball United President’s Day Challenge in the Twin Cities metropolitan area last weekend.

All seven squads placed in the top-20 of their respective divisions, with the 18U and the 13U teams both taking first place.

The 18U team, which is coached by former Michigan Tech assistant Cindy Pindral and Leiya Rybicki, went 6-0 on the weekend. More impressively, they only dropped a single set, wining the 18U Classic Division.

“Every player on our roster contributed in huge ways to our team’s success this weekend,” said Pindral. “We have been working hard in practice to define our playing style, and to gel as a unit. I’m particularly impressed with our serving and net play – both areas allowed us to pull away in tight sets and ultimately come away with a well-earned trophy.”

Setter Laney Johnson, of Houghton, led the team in aces and assists. Outside hitter Brooke Koskela, of Hancock, led the team in kills. Middle hitter Madelyn Torola, of Calumet, led the team in blocks. Libero Marisa Hird, of Negaunee led the team in digs.

The 13U team members pose with their coaches, Katie Schlief and Amanda Caldwell, after winning the 13U Club Division after going undefeated. (Photo submitted)

The 16U team, which is coached by Richelle Winkler and Brynn Arko, went 3-3 on the weekend, finishing 19th overall in the 16U Club Division. They played in the Bronze bracket.

The 15U team, which is coached by Joslynn Perala, went 3-3, winning the Bronze bracket on Day Two, finishing 13th in the 15U Aspire Division.

The 14U Black team, which is coached by Brian and Rachael Lammpa, finished seventh in the 14U Club Division. They went 4-2 on the weekend and competed in the Gold bracket on Sunday.

The 14U Blue team, which is coached by Jeff Henquient and Sarah Bradley, went 5-1 to finish in fifth place in the Gold bracket of the 14U Classic Division.

The 13U team, which is coached by Katie Schlief and Amanda Caldwell, went 6-0, earning the gold medal in the 13U Club Division.

“Our team consistently battled hard against tough teams this weekend,” said Schlief. “These girls showed a lot of growth, mental toughness, and learned what it takes to win. I’m extremely proud of each of them.”

The 12U team, which is coached by Lela Miller and Sarah Semmler-Smith, finished 2-4 for the weekend, taking 14th in the 12U Aspire Division. For several team members, this was their first time completing in organized matches.


The Keweenaw Volleyball Club is a Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) member organization that serves junior players ages 10-18 from across the Keweenaw region. KVBC offers an introductory skills clinic for fifth-sixth graders in the fall, and competitive travel teams for 12U-18U during the winter months.

For those interested in following along or becoming a part of the organization, you can find them on Facebook (facebook.com/keweenawvbc) or email keweenawvbc@gmail.com with any questions.


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