Boys Club Features

Florida Fest Boys Qualifier: Day One Recap/Stars

Check out our recap and stars from the 18 Open Division of the Florida Fest Boys Qualifier!

Well, it’s official. For the first time, we are writing about the boys game, and I can easily say they did not disappoint on day one of Florida Fest. Now, it’s been awhile since I coached men’s college or boys club, so it took me a little bit to shake the rust off and remove the blinders of the girls game. But let’s give it a try. Today we’ve got a recap from the 18 Open Division as well as some stars from the 18’s and a few other age groups. Tomorrow, we’ll have 15’s through 18’s as well as the other divisions. Let’s dive in!

Boys 18 Open Recap

In pool A, 352 Elite 18 Lime Roger soured every opponent in pool play, sweeping A2 18 RedCoastal VA B18 Scott, and MVP FL 18 Black. Middle blocker Cameron Thorne, a Grand Canyon commit, used his insane vertical to bounce balls and put the clamps on the offense blocking, while setter/RS Ryan Peluso (Long Beach State) used a wicked cross-court shot to beat blocks and defenders alike. They play an electric brand of volleyball that could fill a highlight real in one match. 

WPVC 18 Boys Armour Black (out of Winter Park, Florida) laid claim to Pool B, going 3-0 and dropping just a single set on the day against A2 Volleyball 18 Navy. Outside hitter Isaiah Fedd had a field day, and the kid can seriously pound the rock. Combine that with solid serve-receive, and all eyes were on him, and teammate Ketcher Stewart, a 6-6 junior right-side with ridiculous hops and a rifle for an arm. This team plays with an attitude, and that attitude is ‘come and get it,’ but trust me when I say you don’t want it, especially from this squad. 

Now, we have to talk about Vanguard 18 Gold Webb, who not only went undefeated in pool play but did so in the most ridiculously wild uniforms I’ve ever seen. When you have uniforms as unique as Vanguard’s, you have to back them up, and they did. Specifically, setter Josh Culpepper dished the rock like an NBA point guard, pushing the pace of the offense and operating with laser accuracy in his set placement. It also helps when you have a 6-6 middle blocker that can touch 11 feet. That would be Nick Bennison, who touts a hard cross-shot so quick, you’ll miss it if you blink. 

Tomorrow, they’ll mix up the pools and run it back, which makes for some high-entertainment value matchups. You can check out tomorrow’s pools right here on Sportwrench. But now, let’s take a look at some stars from today’s matches and others who shined! 

****

In pool A, 352 Elite 18 Lime Roger soured every opponent in pool play, sweeping A2 18 RedCoastal VA B18 Scott, and MVP FL 18 Black. Middle blocker Cameron Thorne, a Grand Canyon commit, used his insane vertical to bounce balls and put the clamps on the offense blocking, while setter/RS Ryan Peluso (Long Beach State) used a wicked cross-court shot to beat blocks and defenders alike. They play an electric brand of volleyball that could fill a highlight real in one match. 

WPVC 18 Boys Armour Black (out of Winter Park, Florida) laid claim to Pool B, going 3-0 and dropping just a single set on the day against A2 Volleyball 18 Navy. Outside hitter Isaiah Fedd had a field day, and the kid can seriously pound the rock. Combine that with solid serve-receive, and all eyes were on him, and teammate Ketcher Stewart, a 6-6 junior right-side with ridiculous hops and a rifle for an arm. This team plays with an attitude, and that attitude is ‘come and get it,’ but trust me when I say you don’t want it, especially from this squad. 

Now, we have to talk about Vanguard 18 Gold Webb, who not only went undefeated in pool play but did so in the most ridiculously wild uniforms I’ve ever seen. When you have uniforms as unique as Vanguard’s, you have to back them up, and they did. Specifically, setter Josh Culpepper dished the rock like an NBA point guard, pushing the pace of the offense and operating with laser accuracy in his set placement. It also helps when you have a 6-6 middle blocker that can touch 11 feet. That would be Nick Bennison, who touts a hard cross-shot so quick, you’ll miss it if you blink. 

Tomorrow, they’ll mix up the pools and run it back, which makes for some high-entertainment value matchups. You can check out tomorrow’s pools right here on Sportwrench. But now, let’s take a look at some stars from today’s matches and others who shined! 

****

Day One Stars

Joshua Culpepper, Setter, Vanguard 18 Gold Webb – Culpepper brought the heat, pacing the offense like a Formula 1 racecar. His hands are as buttery as large popcorn at the movies, and it showed with the team’s victories on day one. 

Nick Bennison, Middle Blocker, Vanguard 18 Gold Webb – Bennison is a freak athlete, touches over 11 feet, and can hit the ball like he’s got a hammer for a hand. He was nearly untouchable at the net. 

Caleb Collins, Right-Side Hitter, ODVA 18 National – Collins is a highly consistent hitter on the right pin, a steadying pillar of the offense for ODVA. Every time you turn your head, he’s getting another kill, and he’s a solid blocker as well. 

Kenneth Harrison, Middle Blocker, Annapolis 18U-1 – Harrison is slightly undersized in the middle but made up for it with his big vertical and hang time. With that hang time comes patience, enough to wait for the block to start drifting, and that’s when he strikes. He was highly influential on day one for Annapolis. 

Brayden Green, Setter, Ocean Bay Quicksilver South – Green did a great job of quarterbacking the offense on day one with Great tempo and patience with his hands and can defend when needed. 

Isaiah Fedd, Outside Hitter, WPVC 18 Boys Armour Black – What happens when you combine a cannon of an arm with the ability to jump out of the gym? You get Isaiah Fedd, and you don’t want to step in front of him because he will hit over you. 

Ketcher Stewart, Right-Side Hitter, WPVC 18 Boys Armour Black – Stewart uses every inch of his 6-6 frame to reach over the block and has a super-fast arm swing that beats the defenders before they even know what hit them. 

Daniel Hurley, Right-Side Hitter, Coastal VA B18 Scott – Hurley was a machine on the court, a picture-perfect example of consistency. He got a high volume of sets and notched some great kills. 

Bo O’Leary, Middle Blocker, A2 18 Red- O’Leary looked like the center of the offense and can run pretty much anything. He has a high work ethic, which might be part of the reason they feed him the rock so often. He has an endless battery. 

Cameron Thorne, Middle Blocker, 352 Elite, 18 Lime Roger – Thorne was a thorn in the side of his opponents on day one, reaching unfathomable heights with his vertical and swinging over would-be blockers. Needless to say, he was a fun player to watch during pool play. 

Ryan Peluso, Setter/RS, 352 Elite 18 Lime Roger – Peluso is a jack of all trades and excels in all of them. He can set just as well as he can hit, and his block is equally as good. 

Others Who Shined

Carson Barnes, Outside Hitter, Annapolis 18U-1
Jackson Chadwell, Libero, MVP FL 18 Black
David Levin, Setter, Infinity 18 Blue
Micah Tumas, Right-Side Hitter, Ocean Bay 17 Quicksilver White
Josh Oehler, Setter, Ocean Bay 17 Quicksilver White
Bryce Lovell, Middle Blocker, OVC 17 Neptune
William McElveen, Setter/RS, 352 Elite, Lime Tonny
Caden Whiteside, Outside Hitter, 12 16 Red

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