NewsHillsborough County


Tampa North Volleyball Club celebrates championship

Tampa North Volleyball Club.png
Posted at 5:31 AM, Jul 29, 2022

Volleyball is more than just a game for the girls from Tampa North Volleyball Club; it's their life.

They play for fun, but they also play to win, and this year, they won a lot.

"They're running collegiate plays, they know the game so well, and they're doing things that normal teams aren't," Brenda Winkeler, head coach, said.

These 14-year-olds are a force to be reckoned with on the court.

"A lot of people, when they watch us in warm-ups, they don't understand what we have and what we bring because we're a smaller team, but they make up for it with heart and defense," Winkeler said.

Last month, the team put their skills to the test when they traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the USA Girls Junior National Championship.

"It was very exhausting. It was really scary at first, because like, when you're on that court, it's just so like, it's so much at once. But like once you start playing, it kind of goes away," one player, Estela Gonzalez, said.

After four days of fierce competition, they made it to the final gold medal round, and the heat was turned up.

"The other team was super good. They got all of our hits up. So it was pretty difficult to stay positive when all they like all they did was just like get our heads up," player Lara Matta said.

But in the end, the best team won.

"That was like, amazing. It was just all everybody was so happy because we had worked so hard to get there. And like, it was just amazing," Gonzalez said.

Tampa North Volleyball Club2.png

"We all went to the circle. We started crying, cheering, and all the parents went to the core, and they started playing like music. It was so fun," Matta said.

These girls are the definition of grit and determination. They made history, and not many people can say they're national champions.