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DeKalb athletes compete for title
by Matt Nascone
mnascone@neighbornewspapers.com
June 06, 2012 05:17 PM | 2183 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Marist freshman Kate Connolly, St. Pius X sophomore Kathryn Maloof and Dunwoody sophomore Paige McKnight.
From left, Marist freshman Kate Connolly, St. Pius X sophomore Kathryn Maloof and Dunwoody sophomore Paige McKnight.
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Winning a national championship is something not many athletes get to attempt, but several DeKalb County athletes will have that chance this summer.

The Atlanta A5 Volleyball Club allows for this opportunity to become reality. The club, based in the Roswell/Alpharetta area, routinely sends multiple teams to compete in the USA Volleyball Girls’ National Championships.

This season should be no different with 11 teams already qualified for the junior nationals. There will be eight athletes from DeKalb County schools competing for a national title.

Seniors Emily Morrison of St. Pius X and Amy Vansant of Lakeside enter as the Southern Region Volleyball Association (SRVA) champions with their 17-Gary teammates.

Marist’s Bailey Weiland and her 16-Jackie teammates won the SRVA, the Big South tournament and the Mideast Qualifier.

Kathryn Maloof of St. Pius X was part of a SRVA runner-up finish with her 15-Earl teammates. Dunwoody’s Paige McKnight and her 15-Mike teammates won the SRVA, placed third in the Big South tournament and placed third at the Mideast Qualifier.

Paideia’s Madison Goldstein and Marist’s Taylor Kurosad enter the national spotlight as SRVA champs. Their 14-Suzanne team also placed sixth at the Northen Lights Qualifier.

Marist’s Andrew Buss took advantage of A5 offering boys’ teams and helped his 16-Marc teammates to a fifth place finish at the 2012 Florida Fest.

A5 has given athletes in the Southeast a place to call home since 2005. Earl Kneessi, one of the club coaches, said the club offers athletes a unique volleyball experience.

“I have been involved with a number of volleyball clubs in my career and A5 is extraordinarily well-organized,” Kneessi said. “They have people at all different levels that allow you to be a coach. That leads to the opportunity for these girls to have positive life experiences while here.”

A5 coach Mike Webster said A5 has established a culture for athletes who want to play a highly-competitive brand of volleyball in the Southeast.

“It allows all these kids who are passionate about volleyball to come together,” he said. “It gives the best players from teams all across the region to compete against some of the best players they can compete against.”
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