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Waco Juniors volleyball earns national bid

Posted at 3:54 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 16:54:54-04

WACO, Texas — The entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, will soon host some of the Central Texas community's best.

The Waco Juniors volleyball team earned a bid to the USA volleyball girls junior national championship.

"It was pretty personal because this has always been a long goal of mine to go to nationals and qualify with like people that I'm really close with — so I was very excited," Midway High School's, Maria Herron said.

"We're competing against teams all over the states in every qualifier and we get to see new teams teams that we never, you know, played against before — the quality of play is, is amazing," Dooui Nohe said.

Nohe is the head coach of the team and during Regionals, he underwent major surgery.

"They came back and told me that actually all my arteries were clogged, so they told me we have to do the whole work — so they transport me to Temple, they did a quadruple bypass," he said.

Nohe would make a recovery and show up at one of the team's games.

"I showed up at their gold medal round and they were shocked — so I think that really boost their morale and they were excited to play," he said.

"I actually went and saw him in the hospital and it was just really difficult to see him like that. He couldn't sit up like it was just really weird, but it meant a lot to us that he was able to come because it really showed that he cared for us," Crawford high school's Ella Connell said.

With the team now whole again, they continue practices and Regionals as every day, they get closer.

"I love every single one of them and all the girls I just met this year — like, I'm best friends with all of them," Connell said.

"We have a lot of fun. Whether we're at practice at a tournament ,while we're playing, or like at team dinners that we go on at each tournament. We have a lot of fun together," Herron said.

The team currently has a GoFundMe for expenses. In the fundraiser, it says:

"This team will represent Waco (with players also representing surrounding towns of Crawford, Troy, Lorena, Clifton, and Gatesville) over the course of a 4 day tournament in Las Vegas in July, competing against the best volleyball teams from around the nation. After working towards this goal for four years, our team has big dreams to bring a championship home to Waco. Qualifying for this tournament extends our season by two additional months of training, along with flights to Las Vegas and four nights in a hotel. Our goal is to raise $12k for this team, to alleviate the financial burden as well as share in this excitement with our local community as we travel cross-country to represent Central Texas well. Thank you for your support!"

To support the team, head to their GoFundMe: Support Waco Juniors 15U's Historic Journey

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