Volleyball with a Purpose
Youth volleyball is a sport on the rise, and Forza1 Volleyball Club continues to excel at the highest level locally, regionally and nationally.
This year has been an outstanding one for those affiliated with the club, especially with the 18-1 Under Armour Team earning a No. 1 ranking in Southern California and a No. 9 ranking nationally. They were the best team in the Southern California region and all of the members were from Temecula, Murrieta, Elsinore, Hemet and surrounding areas. These local talents will now move to play college-level volleyball throughout the country at places such as University of Portland, California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, University of San Francisco, Brigham Young University and more.
Since Forza1 began in 2014, over 75 players have signed to play college volleyball, many with full rides at the Division 1 level.
Forza1’s top Under Armour “UA” teams had a plethora of top five finishes in their respective divisions for their final tournaments at the national level. At USA Nationals in Indianapolis where over 13,000 players participated, 14UA finished fifth in Patriot, 15UA placed second in National, 16UA placed third in USA, 17UA placed second in USA and 18UA placed fifth in Open divisions. 12UA and 13UA both finished in second place at Amateur Athletic Union Arizona. For all of Forza1’s top teams to finish in the top five of their national tournament is a sign of how competitive they are in each age division and how much potential there is in southwest Riverside County.
Over 1,300 girl’s teams participate in the Southern California Volleyball Association each year. In 2019, Forza1 had four teams place in the top 3% of their division: 18UA came in first, 17UA placed fifth, 16UA was sixth and 15UA place sixth. They also had eight players receive All-Tournament honors at USA Nationals.
“Success at this level is very hard, and it’s really encouraging to see our top teams in each year of development able to go further and win more,” club director Dana Burkholder said. “This demonstrates an incredible progression of possibility for the players in our valley and is a direct reflection of the commitment Forza1 coaches and players have to the game and to getting better.”
Forza1 also has a boy’s club and had six teams play in 2019, with most of the players young enough to return and continue building the program.
Burkholder said, “After five years we have established a strong boy’s club, and it’s exciting to see players have the opportunity to continue that at colleges like Vassar and BYU.”
Over 75 players and counting have signed to play college volleyball since Forza1 began in 2014.
The professional environment and a top of the line Forza1 training facility, in combination with experienced coaches and high-level athletes, is worth checking out if a child or teen is looking to compete at a high level or is just getting into the sport. In 2020, Forza1 will have three coaches on staff with professional-international coaching experience as well as three coaches with college coaching experience. Many of their coaches also coach at local high schools.
Forza1 is hosting a free clinic for the community Saturday, July 20, with one of the world’s best all time volleyball players, Giba Godoy Filho. Giba was a four-time Olympian and 2014 Olympic gold medalist and MVP. The free clinic is from 8:30-10 a.m. at Forza1 in Temecula. Forza For All is hosting its annual middle and elementary school league this August, and those tryouts will take place Friday, Aug. 16, and Saturday, Aug. 17. Club tryouts for high school age players are Aug. 2-6.