Central Zone: Day 1 Show Stoppers and More

The different format for 15, 16 and 17 Open at the Central Zone Invitational made for an incredible Day 1 at the Indianapolis Convention Center. That’s because it allowed for the top teams to get together in the afternoon while fighting for seeding in the 16-team gold bracket set for Day 2. While 14 and 18 Open uses a more traditional format, those divisions also provided their share of excitement as two rounds of pool play left teams competing for a spot in the gold bracket as well.

There were no shocking results in that all the top seeds made it through and remain in contention on Day 2. The closest thing came with Rock City 16-1 downing Tri-State Elite 16 Blue and eliminating Tri-State from contention.

However, there were big-time slugfests all-around produced by the modified power pool format. One example were two top contenders in 16 Open in Mintonette Sports m.61 and Legacy 16-1 Adidas facing off. Legacy survived that one in three, 23-25, 29-27, 15-10. Another high-level 16 Open encounter saw Team Pineapple 16 Black fending off Boiler Jrs 16 Gold, 25-14, 22-25, 18-16. Team Pineapple then swept NKYVC 16-1 Tsunami, 26-24, 25-20.

There was also a 17 Open clash between MKE Sting 17 Gold and Circle City 17 Purple. Sting prevailed in three, 25-19, 20-25, 15-9. In the other power pool, Mich Elite 17 Mizuno downed Legacy 17-1 Adidas, 17-25 25-18, 15-9.

In 15 Open, Tri-State Elite 15 Blue went toe-to-toe with Legacy 15-1 Adidas and earned the sweep, 25-17, 27-25. Munciana 15 Blue also had a great Day 1, capping it off by sweeping Elevation 15 Tony, 25-23, 25-23.

Most of the drama on Day 1 centered around not the power pools but the play-in pools. Teams not making the power pools had to fight to stay alive by winning a three-team pool to make the 16-team gold bracket. In 17 Open, teams like NKYVC 17-1 Tsunami and Mintonette Sports m.71 took advantage to remain in contention.

In 16 Open, we mentioned Rock City coming through. Other clubs earning a spot in the gold bracket included Elevation 16 Goller, Rev 16-1 Fury, Adidas KiVA 16 Red and Team Indiana 16 Elite.

Circle City 15 Purple, Mintonette Sports m.51, Michio Chicago 15 National and MKE Sting 15 Gold earned spots by winning their three-team pool in 15 Open.

The way 14 Open went was different, as two rounds of pool play led to one more round of pool play Sunday morning before breaking out into a four-team gold bracket. It sets up an exciting morning as clubs like Circle City 14 Purple, NKYVC 14-1 Tsunami, Elevation 14 Molly, Legacy 14-1 Adidas and more are still in the hunt.

As for 18 Open, two rounds of pool play Saturday set up the gold bracket for Day 2. Tri-State Elite 18 Blue took over the No. 1 seed from SPVB 18 Elite. Adidas KiVA 18 Red starts Sunday as the No. 2 seed. Others alive include SPVB 18 Elite, Circle City 18 Purple, Union 18 UA Black, Team Pineapple 18 Black, SPVB 18 Kahl, Team Indiana 18 Elite and Circle City 18 Black.


Below, we highlight the individuals who made us take notice the most with their outstanding play Saturday and feature them in our Day 1 Show Stoppers.


Kelsey Green S Elevation 14 Molly: Green is a smooth disher with a soft touch and clean release. She’s also steady with her location.

Avery Brannon RS Elevation 14 Molly: Brannon brings plenty of offense when she’s front row. She uses her height to her advantage, going over blocks. She also moves around, taking swings out of the middle.

Abbie Powell MB Munciana 14 Chipmunks: There was a different dynamic to the attack with Powell in the front. She has a solid arm and was delivering with consistency when called upon.

Brooke Neale L/DS Munciana 14 Chipmunks: There was lots of defense being played all over and Neale was included in it. She was passing dimes out of serve receive and controlling the ball well.

Vanessa Mancini OH Circle City 14 Purple: Mancini brings size and power to the attack. She carries a big arm and thundered shots to the ground.

Audrey Utterback OH Circle City 14 Purple: A six-rotation outside, Utterback is another key cog in the offense. She has a strong arm and swings front and back row.

Lauren Doney OH Pursuit 14 Elite: Doney was another six-rotation standout. She’s the go-to hitter and for good reason. She has a solid swing and can really connect.

Lucy Waleskowski S/RS NKYVC 14-1 Tsunami: Waleskowski is an up-and-coming player. Her length is an attribute in her two-way role setting and hitting. She does a nice job delivering consistently to her hitters and can also turn around and swing for points.

Tegan Loechler RS MKE Sting 14 Gold: Loechler was among the 14s standout who also has lots of size to impact the match with. She extends well and it allows her to hit over blocks on the regular.

Ashlyn Pelon L/DS Legacy 14-1 Adidas: Pelon brought a defensive edge to the lineup with her steady passing and putting balls on target.


Lola Loncar L/DS AVC Cle 14 Red: Loncar was also a defender who caught our eye with her on-point deliveries and hustle keeping rallies alive.

Grace Regula OH AVC Cle 14 Red: Regula was impressing with her quick arm and ability to rip shots from sideline to sideline.

Carsyn Chitty L/DS Mintonette Sports m.41: Chitty brings tons of energy to the court. She’s a vocal defender and was doing well keeping plays alive.

Lauren Williams MB Tri-State Elite 14 Blue: Williams is a lanky middle with a knack for scoring. She’s a legit threat when the team is in system and defenses need to be ready.

Jillian Turvey MB Elevation 15 Tony: Turvey was a factor in the middle with her ability to impact play on both sides of the ball with her length and reach.

Kendall Hubbard S/RS Elevation 15 Tony: Hubbard did well setting and hitting. She dishes with consistency and is also a scoring threat on the right side.

Carsyn Comer MB Munciana 15 Blue: Comer is a scoring machine with a hammer for an arm. Even when defenses know what’s coming they still struggle to stop her from terminating.

Charley Moeddel MB Tri-State Elite 15 Blue: Another middle who was seemingly scoring at will, Moeddel has a whip for an arm and was letting winners fly from corner to corner.

Francesca Hansel L/DS Tri-State Elite 15 Blue: Hansel did her part supplying the defense and working to keep rallies going by making plays.

Jenna Dittmer OH Circle City 15 Purple: Dittmer was bringing it on the attack with steady aggression and big swings


Lola Waleskowski OH NKYVC 15-1 Tsunami: Waleskowski was carrying her share of the offensive load. The six-rotation outside was taking big swings front and back row while adding a boost to the attack.

Lillian Tierney MB NKYVC 15-1 Tsunami: Tierney was also providing production with her attacking. She has a solid arm and proved a reliable option when her number was called.

Kampbell Niepagen OH SPVB 15 Elite: Niepagen can let loose at times in showing off her lively arm and sending down impressive kills.

Brooke Codey OH Adidas KiVA 15 Red: Codey – Class of 2028 playing up – is a solid six-rotation contributor. She’s a smart attacker with a strong arm and provides lots of offense.

Lilah Anthony RS Adidas KiVA 15 Red: A lefty right side, Anthony has a quick arm and can punish defenses with it over and over.

Taylor Frey OH MAVA 15 Select: Frey is another lefty but plays on the left. She has a nice swing and is a threat in the back row as well.

Allison Riegling OH MAVA 15 Select: Riegling is also a six-rotation outside. She’s a consistent passer and plays defense well.

Cala Haffner L/DS Team Pineapple 16 Black: Haffner was among the standout defenders. She covers and reads well and isn’t afraid to lay out to make a play.

MaryKate Scheumann OH Team Pineapple 16 Black: Scheumann has a powerful arm and can crush balls whether front or back row.

Reagan Baxter MB Union 16 UA Black: Baxter was a factor in the middle. She was a legit threat when in system and was able to produce kills consistently.


Alicia Beers RS MKE Sting 16 Gold: Beers was coming through time and time again on the right. She has a strong arm and was pounding balls down.

Marlee Sivak OH MKE Sting 16 Gold: Sivak has a fluid swing and provides a real scoring punch on the outside.

Madeline Dettling OH Mich Elite 16 Mizuno: Dettling adds size to the lineup. Her height gives her the ability to hit from high angles and put pressure on defenses.

Allie Davison S/RS Mich Elite 16 Mizuno: Davison played her role well as a two-way contributor setting and hitting. The lefty has a nice swing and found ways to score. She also did well connecting with her hitters.

Morgan Heater S/RS Tri-State Elite 16 Blue: Heater is another two-way player who fills a valuable role. She did well locating and putting up a consistent ball. She also can help balance out the offense with her ability to score on the right.

Lydia Stahley OH Team Indiana 16 Elite: Stahley gets after it. She has a big-time arm and can really connect and hurt defenses in many ways.

Faith Jordan MB SPVB 16 Elite: Jordan is only in her second season of volleyball. She’s a tremendous athlete with tons of upside. She puts up a massive block and is a springy, quick attacker.

Abigail Knight RS SPVB 16 Elite: Knight is a physical attacker who hits with lots of power. She’s someone defenses need to track on the right because she gets set a lot.

Brooklynne Brass OH SPVB 16 Elite: Brass is another athletic attacker in the Sports Performance lineup. She gets off the ground well and as a fast arm.

Lily Bosworth MB Illini Elite 16 Cardinal: Bosworth is long and that presents a problem for opponents. She can close gaps in a hurry blocking with her reach. She can also go over blocks on the regular and that makes her tough to contend with.


Caroline Ward RS Boiler Jrs 16 Gold: Ward, from the Class of 2027 and playing up, is a menace on the right side. She’s a big-time attacker with the way she jumps and lets it rip. She’s also a problem blocking with her length.

Kristen Simon L/DS Adidas KiVA 17 Red: Simon is a lights-out passer and defend. She covers a ton of court and passes more than half the court in serve receive.

Campbell Flynn Legacy 17-1 Adidas: Flynn is a next-level setter who controls and commands the offense with high IQ. With her size, she’s a major threat offensively at the net to go over in two and consistently puts her hitters in winnable spots.

Annabelle Groomes S AVC Cle 17 Red: Groomes is another setter in total control of the offense. She does a great job of turning bad balls into hittable sets and still keeping the team in system.

Gabriella Pitcel MB MKE Sting 17 Gold: Pitcel was producing at a high level in the middle when set. She was finding multiple ways to be effective. She also made her presence felt blocking and providing a lift on that side of the ball.

Sakura Codling L/DS Tri-State Elite 17 Blue: Codling is the real deal with her ability to make plays and keep her team in the point. She was making impressive ups of well-struck shots.

Avery Freeman L/DS Circle City 17 Purple: Freeman was also doing her thing on the defensive side of it. She plays under control and doesn’t get rattled in big moments.

Logan Bell OH Circle City 17 Purple: Bell is a springy outside with a lively arm. She can deliver the goods both front and back row with equal effectiveness.

Delaney Steers OH Academy 17 Tsunami: Steers is a bit undersized but she doesn’t back down. She jumps well and swings hard and was a key part of the Academy attack.