Posted On: 08/12/15 11:08 PM
AMES, IOWA – Nebraska Elite, fresh off claiming Nebraska’s first Open Division national championship in club volleyball in several years, will now be in charge of running a program which won a junior national championship in 2014.
In a joint venture announced this week with Ames-based All Iowa Attack, Nebraska Elite will begin operating and overseeing the program’s volleyball club. Nebraska Elite director Tony Carrow said the venture will not produce any direct changes to how the Omaha-based club operates in Nebraska.
All Iowa Attack, which is better known as one of the best youth basketball programs in the nation, started volleyball in 2013 and immediately began producing high-quality teams. Under the guidance of director Rachel Hockaday, All Iowa Attack, the programs 17s team won a national title in 2014 and its 18s team this year finished the year ranked #18 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. The 18s team also featured current Creighton freshmen Jaali Winters and Megan Ballenger.
Hockaday left her role as the program director, and initially All Iowa Attack had announced it would cease volleyball operations as a result. Nebraska Elite then initiated contact with All Iowa Attack to try and work out a joint venture, which came together quickly.
“We are proud to announce we are working on a joint-venture with Nebraska Elite Volleyball and director Tony Carrow to continue to provide high level volleyball for the state of Iowa and the tradition of success within All Iowa Attack,” reads a release by All Iowa Attack. “Nebraska Elite has the reputation of being one of the best volleyball programs in the Midwest, they have a model that is successful and proven over the years to produce great teams and helps players improve and reach their goals. Most importantly, we feel they do things the right way and in a way that All Iowa Attack has and always wants to represent itself.
“We have begun working on a plan to pull this off, all of the exact details are still unknown and being worked on (coaches, practice times, schedule, hosted tournaments, camps, number of teams in each age group, etc.) From discussions we have had, things appear and all of our desires are to have things ran in a similar fashion to past seasons while making some changes and improvements by learning from the great deal of experience and knowledge that Tony and his staff bring to running an Elite program.”
Carrow said today that it is far too early to speculate what can all come from the joint venture, but said he was excited about the potential. He said many things are in the works and development stages, but he said he’s mostly excited initially about what bringing the two programs together can do to make each of the teams and players better.
He said he envisions Elite teams going out to Ames on a Saturday night and practicing with All Iowa Attack teams and then having Elite players stay with All Iowa Attack families before playing in a Gold-level tournament in Ames. He said the exact same thing would then happen the other way around with All Iowa Attack coming to Omaha. He said in a never-ending quest to get better, the opportunity for iron to sharpen iron was something he couldn’t pass up.
“I’m really excited about the ability to have somebody to compete with on a regular basis that will help make our teams better,” Carrow said.
Carrow made sure to emphasize that nothing would change with how Nebraska Elite operates in Omaha, noting that tryouts, team selections, coaches, etc., will all remain as they have in the past and will not involve All Iowa Attack. In essence, he said, the programs are completely separate even though Nebraska Elite will operate both.