TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) – For the Tallahassee Juniors 18 Nike Pro Team, it all starts with a lunchbox.
"It’s old school, but that’s kind of the motto that we went," laughed head coach Angie Strickland. "We had to be kind of grind it out, do the extra mile."
"You write down your aces, you write down your errors, your average, how many digs," explained Mia Cotton.
"Inside the lunchbox was the goals for all season," added Strickland. "We would just chip away every time at the goal and break down the stats."
Goals have been accomplished, as this group and their lunch boxes are headed west. This weekend, they’re playing in USA Volleyball’s 18’s National Championships.
"We’ve been trying for so many years and to finally get it, it’s amazing!" exclaimed Hannah Strickland. "This feeling, I don’t know how to explain it! The competition and the thrill of it all."
"This will be my first time qualifying and my last year playing," added Cotton. "High school volleyball is different. Club volleyball, these are more of your good friends. Being with them this last year and qualifying with them because they’re the ones I’d want to with."
They qualified and now they are looking to put Tallahassee on the west coast radar. This group admits they are underdogs, but their passion to play cannot go unnoticed.
"I said to the club, this is going to be the team that qualified," said Strickland. "I said that because of the way they came in."
"We play our other teams a lot and we’re working really hard in practice. We just got done running!" laughed Cotton.
"We’re 18. This is our last club tournament we’re all going to be in together and then we’re all going off to college," added Strickland. "It’s our last hurrah, we’re all excited and when it comes to it, we all have fun with each other, but when we get on that court. It’s all business and we’re ready and we’re there to play."
All business. Kind of like bringing your lunch pail to work, every day