HPSTL was represented on eight of the seventeen Gateway Region Teams that traveled to Beach Nationals in Siesta Key, Florida. It's great seeing the sport continue to grow and exciting as our athletes are finding success.
The 18U pairing of Flynn and Ochs (coached by Joe Uydess) finished the highest of any Gateway team as they took 4th in the tournament. As both players have another season to progress, things are looking bright to medal in 2018. Kaufman and Wilson (coached by Dan Laure) took 5th in 18U with Lucy Kaufman only being 16, she will be searching for a new partner next year as Sarah Wilson is headed to Missouri Baptist University to play Beach. Rounding out the 18s division are the IL 17 Elite pair of Smith and Hanger, who finished 27th, and Randall/Theiss who were coached by HPSTL's Joe Uydess and finished 61st. Katelyn Theiss was also a member of HPSTL's first hybrid team.
Haley Boliva and Quinn Cage were HPSTL's lone representatives at the younger ages as they competed in the 14U division. The 13 Royal teammates struggled against the older field on their way to a 110th place finish.
On the boy's side, the pair of Campbell/Sabatino finished 13th in the 16U division. At the 14U division, Waller/Miller and Harris/Steinmetz finished 14th and 16th respectively. A great time was had by all the Gateway teams and everyone is excited as rumors are placing nationals in sunny California next year!
Flynn/Ochs pose with Coach Joe
Gateway Region Boys Bonding!
Kaufman/Wilson with Coach Dan
You don’t need to be on the beach to make an impact in beach volleyball, and no one better exemplifies that than the High Performance STL Outdoor Director Joe Deimeke. Through HPSTL's Outdoor Extension Program, Advanced Sand Program, and free open play at the club, he has been responsible for introducing the beach game to over 500 athletes. He utilizes outdoor volleyball to make the indoor players better all-around athletes, and they have a separate training program for those that have shown a commitment to beach. One of his crowning accomplishments this year was playing an instrumental role in bringing the Gateway Open, St. Louis’ first ever beach qualifier, to the region where there were over 80 teams in attendance.
“I am blessed to have a genuine love for the sport,” Deimeke said. “I believe my love was fostered by the coaches I had in third grade up through high school and college. My decision to coach beach volleyball gives me a daily opportunity to echo my love for the game. It allows me to share: successes, failures, good experiences, bad experiences, and life-lessons - as subtle or harsh as they may come, giving an opportunity to learn, and maybe fall in love with volleyball as I did.”