Posted On: 02/11/20 5:04 PM

Last year Central Iowa Select 15M made their way up from the Challenge Pools to eventually finish second to Nebraska Premier in the 15 Elite Division.  Got a game, got a chance. At Triple Crown, there are four power pools with 32 teams total that will automatically get a game to advance to the championship side of the bracket.  Teams in the challenge pool must earn their way to a challenge match and defeat a power pool team to have a chance to compete for the prize. What teams have the potential to make some waves that could be a major threat to the power pools teams with hopes of advancing to the championship bracket? 

Illini Elite 18 Cardinal (IL) 

Just outside of the power pools is Illini Elite out of Bloomington, Illinois.  This squad has plenty of high level athletes, with one being middle blocker in Allie TrameAllieTrame6'3" | MBSt. Thomas More | 2020StateIL who is committed to Alabama.  Three other Division 1 commits round out the roster in Mackenzie Houser (Southern Illinois), Alayna CrabtreeAlaynaCrabtree6'2" | OHNormal University | 2020StateIL (Boston College), and Corinna JonesCorinnaJonesSBloomington | 2020IL (VCU).  This group has always been a force in a really strong area for volleyball. Their 17 Cardinal squad features Michigan commit Mira ChopraMiraChopra6'3" | MBChampaign Central | 2021StateIL out of the middle as well. 

CIA 18 Black (IA)

CIA (Club Iowa) out of the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area.

CIA (Club Iowa) will be bringing their top teams to Kansas City with a strong group of athletes on their 18 Black team that is really strong at the pin with Wichita State commit, Morgan WeberMorganWeber5'11" | OHDike New Hartford | 2020StateIA and Northern State commit Avery KrollAveryKroll5'11" | RSWaterloo Columbus | 2020StateIA.  They are one of the top teams out of Iowa for 18s with a few uncommitted athletes who would be ones to keep an eye on in Kirsten GravesKirstenGraves5'10" | SCedar Falls | 2020StateIA, a top Class of 2020 libero, Abby Hamann who is a high flyer with a big arm on the left or right side.  Halia MahiHaliaMahi5'9" | SCedar Falls | 2021StateIA is a 2021 setter who is also one of Iowa’s top beach players and could go to the next level with indoor or beach. 

Kokoro 18-1 (MN) 

This group has always been one of the top clubs out of Minnesota and have consistently been a competitive squad at AAU Nationals which they finished in the Open gold bracket in 2019.  Cianna SelbitschkaCiannaSelbitschka5'10" | OHNorth Branch | 2020State#1NationMN is one of the top outsides from Minnesota in the Class of 2020 and will be heading to Minnesota-Duluth with her setter, Maddi KealyMaddiKealy5'10" | SRiver Falls | 2020StateWI. Emily BanittEmilyBanitt5'9" | OHRiver Falls | 2020StateWI is another top athlete on this team who is a major high flyer on the pin and will head to Loyola-Chicago. 

[player_tooltip player_id="12969" first="Hattie" last="Bray"] of FC Elite is a Class of 2021 Marquette commit.

FC Elite 18 Elite (WI) 

This team has been so close to some big wins and have beaten Arizona Storm recently at the Northern Lights Qualifier.  With a very youthful roster of eight athletes below the 18s level, they are very talented with Brooke MosherBrookeMosher5'11" | SWaterloo | 2021StateWI (Illinois) and one of the top Freshmen liberos in the country in Saige DamrowSaigeDamrow5'8" | LHowards Grove | 2023StateWI (Wisconsin).  A Class of 2022 athlete to take a look at would be Brianna CantrellBriannaCantrellOHAppleton North | 2022StateWI who is coming on extremely strong this club season.

VC United 171 (IL) 

VC United out of Rockford, Illinois is building a strong group of teams who will be in the mix this weekend at all levels.  The 17s squad is strong with a well-balanced group of point scorers that will be a group of 2021 athletes college coaches will be sure to take note of.  Kaitlyn Flynn is a 6’2 outside hitter with a heavy arm along with right side Emma KonieEmmaKonie5'10" | SHuntley | 2021IL who can score points with the best of them with a lefty swing. The first contact in Karina SimatosKarinaSimatos5'7" | MBCrystal Lake Central | 2021IL is always dependable to get the ball to setter Elaina WamhoffElainaWamhoff5'8" | SSt. Bede Academy | 2021IL to get their tempo rolling.  This team also has a familiar face on the sideline in former Penn State setter, Bryanna Weiskircher.

Northern Lights 16-1 (MN) 

This team has some new faces, but give them some time and they will be scary good this season.  Julia HansonJuliaHanson6'0" | OHPrior Lake | 2022StateMN is a high flying outside who is already committed to Minnesota, along with other length and balance across the frontline.  Kendal KempKendalKemp6'6" | MBEagan | 2022StateMN is a middle blocker who looks primed for the Big Ten along with right side Sienna IfillSiennaIfill6'1" | RSEagan | 2022StateMN who touches incredibly high with a big left handed swing.  There is also plenty of depth in the backrow with defensive specialists in Simara AmadorSimaraAmador5'7" | LEagan | 2022StateMN and Jayna BredenbergJaynaBredenberg5'6" | LSouthwest Christian | 2022StateMN. 

Iowa Power Plex 17 Elite Black (IA)

Iowa Power Plex

This is another squad who is relatively new and given some time, will be a dangerous team to compete with during qualifier season.  Layanna GreenLayannaGreen6'0" | MBWaukee | 2021StateIA is one of the more athletic middles in the Class of 2021 in Iowa who can do a variety of things along the net. Lauren HavlikLaurenHavlik6'0" | MBDowling | 2021StateIA will be another weapon to contend with in the middle. On the pin is outside hitter Morgan MiddletonMorganMiddletonOHClarion-Goldfield Dows | 2021StateIA who is a North Dakota State commit and can really provide a punch of power. 

Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold (WI) 

This team will wear down the other side of the net with plenty of ball control.  Adriana StuderAdrianaStuderLLake Country Lutheran | 2022StateWI is a 2022 libero to keep tabs on along with outside Maleah HoweMaleahHoweOHOconomowoc | 2022StateWI who is extremely solid all the way around.  Out of the middle will be Morgan DaughertyMorganDaughertyMBBrookfield Central | 2022StateWI, a 2019 AAU 15 Open All American along with Haley KochHaleyKochMBOconomowoc | 2022StateWI who is extremely quick and dynamic out of the middle as well.