An essay written by 2016-17 Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year Riley James was chosen from 50 nationwide entries to receive the $10,000 Gatorade Play It Forward Spotlight Grant. The award will benefit the Cape Cod Champs, a local organization of the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
Riley was a powerful OH on SMASH 16s last season, and enters her junior year of high school seeking to add to the back-to-back Mass. D1 state titles won at Barnstable HS, the New England U18 Gold regional championship won with SMASH 18s, and two straight Globe & Herald All-Scholastic selections.
SMASH Volleyball applauds Riley for her contributions as a unified partner with the Cape Cod Champs, and encourages all our student athletes to take advantage of every opportunity to make their teams, classrooms, and communities as strong, inclusive, and positive as they can be!
Reggie Wong Park in Boston, MA was the site of the annual volleyball tournament that is part of the August Moon Festival in Chinatown.
Dozens of current SMASH players and campers (boys and girls), SMASH alumni, and SMASH coaches took part in the unique event that features local volleyball clubs like the Hurricanes, Knights, Freemasons, and more.
In the 9-Man final on Sunday, the Knights overcame the defending champion 'Canes to take the tournament trophy.
Some teams will be headed to Fort Lauderdale, FL over Labor Day Weekend for the NACIVT, where an assembled team of female Boston athletes will take part in the first-ever exhibition match of Women's 9v9 volleyball.
SMASH Volleyball Club had a big presence at the USAV High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, FL, contributing 11 of the 33 players selected to the three NERVA Regional HP teams.
Competing in the Women's International Junior division, the New England Girls Junior team featured Jess Jubb and Haley O'Brien from SMASH 18s.
In the Boys International division, the New England Boys Youth team featured Danny Ho and Cobi Moore from SMASH Boys Volleyball.
In the Girls International Youth division, the New England Girls Youth team recorded the best-ever NERVA HP result, posting a 6-2 match record en route to a 7th place finish. The team featured athletes from four different SMASH travel teams: Ella Kim, Miska Legatova, and Emma Smallcomb from SMASH 18s, Claire Bialek from SMASH 18s Titans, Amanda Gilbert from SMASH 17s, plus Gabby Goddard and Ashley Wang from SMASH 16s.
SMASH also had athletes taking part in USAV national pipeline programs this summer:
Playing for the USA Junior A1 Red team, Athena Ardila from SMASH 18s finished 4th in the Women's International Junior division with a 7-2 match record at the Fort Lauderdale HP Championships.
Chelsea Simmons from SMASH 16s participated in the USA HP National A2 Invitational in Colorado Springs, CO.
Maegan Hladick from SMASH 16s Kai participated in the USA HP National A3 Training Program in New Orleans, LA.