Times Sports Editor
The Terre Haute-based 13 Red Cyclones volleyball team comprised of athletes from Vigo and Clay Counties recently qualified to compete in the Junior Olympics in Miami, FL from June 26-30.
The club team, that is part of the Crossroads of America program, includes North Clay seventh-graders, Audrey Clark and Shelbi Morris and sixth-graders McKenzi Kumpf and Whitney Halfhill.
All four girls competed for the 12 Red team last season that reached the Junior Olympics and placed 41st out of 48 teams.
The group earned the national bid after defeating Hoosierland, 25-7, 25-19 in the regional competition on May 2-3.
The team has had plenty of success during the season and most recently placed third at the Indy Juniors Classic with a 2-2 mark with wins over TI 12-3, 25-6, 25-19 and the TI Firebreakers, 25-19, 25-21. The group's two losses came to a team based out of Fort Wayne and a squad from Wisconsin.
In March, the Cyclones went 4-0 in the MPL to claim the tourney championship and over the Feb. 14-15 weekend was 3-3 in the Team Indiana President's Day Tourney to win the Silver Division.
Three other Crossroads of America teams are also headed to Miami for the Junior Olympics and feature Clay County athletes.
The 16 Red team was a regional tourney runner-up and includes Northview's Ashlen Buck, Kaylee Clark and Hannah Hayes along with Clay City's Lynsey Higgins.
The 12 Red team was also a runner-up and has North Clay's Deaven McCrockin and Madison Nevins along with Staunton Elementary student, Ashley Heck and Jackson Township's Morgan Stearley on the squad. Clay City's Emmie Kittle is also a member of the 12 Red team.
The 14 Red team placed third in the regional and includes Clay City's Callie Dayhuff and Chloe Kittle.