USAV 17s: Day 3 All Red Hat Team

There are few days like Day 3 at the USAV Girls Junior National Championships. The action in Chicago started with 24 teams in medal contention and ended with just eight in the quarterfinals. With must-win matches taking place all over, it produces high-level and entertaining volleyball and it’s extremely fun to cover and watch. Below, we highlight our favorite 10 players of the day.

The goal is to highlight a daily team consisting of two players from each position – outside, middle, right side, setter and libero who – were our absolute favorite players of the day. Favorite doesn’t mean only a 5-star recruit or a familiar name. These are players who stood out to us for a variety of reasons, from amazing play to great energy or attitude or making key hustle plays. These are daily all-stars who really stood out the most to us for one reason or another.

DAY 1 ALL RED HAT TEAM

Camryn Hayek OH Momentous 17 Dan: Hayek was playing large! She’s a bit undersized but she was coming through time and time again in the clutch, including in Momentous’ big victory over Metro 17 Travel to open pool play. She’s fearless on the attack. She was staying aggressive and as a result was coming up with key kills at key moments, going through or around blocks and pumping up her teammates.

Rachel Van Gorp OH KC Power 17 Black: Van Gorp is similar to Hayek in that she too is an undersized outside who shows no fear and never backs down. She jumps well and has a lively arm. She’s a heady attacker who knows how to score against bigger blocks.

Taylor Walsh MB Momentous 17 Dan: Walsh was another key member of Momentous’ success. She’s a lanky middle who was providing offense for Momentous out of the middle and causing defenses to respect her scoring ability. She also has a nice swing and was hitting with pace.

Allison Legates MB Vision 17 Gold: Legates is a perfect fit for the All Red Hat Team as well. She’s another player who is undersized for her position but she doesn’t back down and stands in with the biggest of middles. It helps she jumps well and can get up, which allows her to deliver kills when set.

Madison Loiselle RS OT 17 Aaron: The AAU 17 Open champs were on the cusp of the quarterfinals but fell in challenge play. We absolutely love what Loiselle brings to the lineup. She’s a physical presence with her blocking and attacking. She can hammer balls down from all across the front row. Even though defenses know she’s getting the ball when she’s in, they still struggle to stop her.

Abigail Mullen RS Dynasty 17 Black: Mullen – a 5-star recruit from the Class of 2025 – is an absolute joy to watch. She’s intense and you can see her competitiveness and will to win in the way she carries herself. She’s also among the top two-way players on the right side in terms of her blocking and attacking. Teams consistently set away from her when she’s front row. On offense, she has a big, booming arm and can punish defenses with it whether she’s front or back row.

Izzy Starck S/RS Co Jrs 17 Kevin: Starck – a 5-star Penn State recruit – is one of the top all-around players in the division. She’s an above-average hitter who can get up and launch balls from corner to corner. But she’s even more fun to watch dish. She can simply sling it from pin to pin without any trouble and has excellent location.

Reese Messer S Dynasty 17 Black: Messer – another 5-star recruit from the Class of 2025 who recently committed to USC – is silky-smooth and is almost never misses her mark when setting. She too is a serious competitor who can make just about any set from anywhere.

Lauren Lynch L SG Elite 17 Rosh: Lynch – a 4-star recruit from the Class of 2025 – simply gets the job done. She’s not flashing and doesn’t play in a way that brings a lot of attention her way, except for her exceptional play. She has great first-ball contact and does well defending and picking up shots in the back row.

Gillian Pitts L TAV 17 Black: Pitts is yet another member of the Class of 2025 who is playing up and starring. She’s one of the more athletic liberos in the division. The way she plays, she makes plays look effortless at times. She’s also a feisty competitor who will meet any challenge in front of her head on.

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