Sioux Falls, SD
AAU and Club teams have become common for high school basketball players, and that trend is carrying over to volleyball as well. While there are a number of club teams in Sioux Falls, one is hoping to bring together the best the area has to offer. Only one year in, they're off to a good start.
The greek word "Kairos" means the right or opportune moment.
Mitch Lunning had been waiting for just that when trying to start a club volleyball team.
"I've always kind of wanted to start my own club team and there's a good group of girls in the Sioux Falls area that were willing to come out to our tryouts and join our team," Kairos Elite Club Volleyball Coach Mitch Lunning said.
Good may be an understatement when talking about this group of athletes. Half of the Kairos Elite Club team played for a South Dakota State Championship last year, including 3 players from the AA champion Lincoln Patriots.
"It's just crazy to have all these different players who are all very talented, who all love volleyball and who all want to play together," Erin Radke said.
Kairos only fields one team, but they've had plenty of success early on. The squad has won 2 of the 4 tournaments they've entered and Lunning hopes the early success helps the program grow.
"If you can see them playing in their high school and then watch them come and play for us and see how they've improved that's really how we have to promote," Lunning said.
And it's not just about promoting the team, it's also about exposure for the players.
"We're really take pride in helping them through the recruiting process. Helping them contact college coaches. Figure out which colleges would be best for them both academically or with volleyball or other sports if they're interested in other sports as well," Lunning said.
"It's an awesome opportunity to get them up into places like the cities where they're going to be seen by so many different coaches and really speed up their recruiting process if thats what they want to do," Radke said.
And while Lunning admits the initial costs of starting a program were surprising, he knows with this group leading the way the potential growth is worth the risk.
"The biggest thing is word of mouth and showing up at tournaments and showing people what these girls can do," Lunning said.
For more information on the new Kairos Elite Volleyball Club visit their website at www.kairoselitevolleyball.com