BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Sashabaw Middle School seventh graders Paige Geightbrock and Kaitlyn Hoffman are going to compete in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships in Detroit this summer.
The two earned a bid with their Legacy Volleyball 13 Elite team during the Minnesota Northern Lights Qualifier, April 20-22.
The USA Volleyball Association gives out only 25 bid for the top teams around the country to compete.
“I was super excited because I haven’t been doing it that long,” Hoffman smiled. “I was excited for our team and our club.”
“I was super excited because of the extra hours we have been practicing and all the time we have put in at practice.” Giehtbrock added. “It was just worth it.”
They shared their team played eight games during the qualifier and most went into a third set.
“It was very intense,” Geihtbrock said. “The teams we were going against were the top in the country, and we fought against them.”
Hoffman began playing volleyball a year and a half ago after participating in gymnastics.
“I thought it would be fun to try it,” she said. “My sister also plays it.”
She added she didn’t think when she first started she would be qualifying to play on such a high level.
“I didn’t think I was going to be that good,” Hoffman explained. “I was horrible at first. I got a lot better from the coaching at Legacy.”
Geightbrock began playing with Legacy two and a half years ago, but started when she was five-years-old.
“I got started from my mom,” she said, adding her mom played volleyball in high school and college before coaching her. “I really loved the game of keeping something alive because when I was little I would keep the balloon alive (up in the air). I fell in love with the sport.”
She added her first coach Calvin Bordine was a big inspiration to her and taught her the foundation she would take on with her.
Both are expecting a lot of tough competition at the meet, held June 25-28 for the 13-year-old divisions, at Cobo Hall.
Hoffman shared her strengths going in is going after every ball.
“I don’t want it to drop,” she smiled.
“You give 100 percent,” Giehtbrock said to Hoffman. “For me, cheering everyone on, getting everyone excited, bringing the energy. Being smart with the ball. Just being grateful we are here representing Michigan.”