The Viper Volleyball Club and its local teams have been hard at work since the beginning of the year, practicing, playing in tournaments and training for the up and coming fall season.
“With so much focus on the sport itself, we host Viper Night, which is an annual event put on as an ‘open house’ to simply bring our families in for an exciting night of everything volleyball. Volleyball is a really fun sport and we like to use this event to celebrate our growth throughout the season and also re-energize before Nationals,” said Viper Club Director Dana Burkholder.
Burkholder knows the game better than most, not only as a passionate coach but a former USA Volleyball team member and NCAA Final Four participant as well as a 2x First Team All-American setter for the University of Arizona from 1998-2001.
The main event at Viper Night is the Coaches and All-Star player tournament. The All-Star teams are made up of a mix of players from the Elite teams and it’s a great time for all the younger players to see the talent at the higher levels.
“Most of our coaches are former players and still play regularly,” added Burkholder, “so it is a great time for them to get out there and demonstrate their skills too. Watching the Elite players and coaches compete is truly inspiring to our younger players who are still developing and learning about the sport. In addition it can get really competitive because our Elite kids love to play against coaches they’ve had over the years.”
Burkholder started Viper Night when she first became a part of the club because she says she truly believes that sports should be fun and bring families and communities together.
Youth sports are becoming more and more organized and more and more competitive and according to many of the other directors like Burkholder, Viper Night also serves as a reminder that sports are fun and that everyone can participate.
“That is why we have games and contests (like serving at prizes) for everyone to enjoy, and also a parents tournament so they get a chance to show their skills and just have fun playing too,” said Burkholder.
“Volleyball is a great sport and we simply want to grow the sport through fun events like this,” exclaimed Pookie Trimble, director of operations for Viper.
As the director and someone who sees where volleyball is headed, Burkholder also said that she think it’s important to show the Viper families and players what good volleyball looks like, “especially since we don’t have any universities in the immediate area to emulate.”
As an Elite Southern California Club, many of the Viper teams also attend national end of the year tournaments, “which is another great part of Viper Night as it serves as a fundraiser for our teams that will be attending a national tournament in June,” said Trimble. “Different teams sell different things to raise money and everyone gets into the spirit of creating opportunities for our teams to achieve their goals. I think Maui Wowi was the top fundraising booth this year because kids, especially volleyball players, tend to go crazy for smoothies!”
To learn more about Viper Volleyball, visit www.vipervolleyball.org.