FAIRFIELD — As the old saying goes, “Play volleyball, see the world.” Or at least meet top players from other parts of the world.
Late last month, three members of Club Solano Volleyball’s Velocity 16-1′s team – Jade Horder, Megan Bohorquez and Kellie Sluga – had the opportunity to take part in the prestigious High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Not only did they get to play with and against some of the top players in the nation, they competed against teams from around the world.
“I liked it. It was really cool,” said Horder, who will be a sophomore setter at Rodriguez this fall and played with the Girls Select A1 team in Florida. “My team played New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. We got to see different styles of play, different cultures brought together for volleyball. Meeting new people from across the country was a lot of fun.”
Bohorquez, who will be a sophomore outside hitter at Rodriguez, played on the Northern California Volleyball Association High Performance team with Sluga, a Fairfield resident who will be a junior middle blocker at Benicia.
“It just felt more special (than other tournaments) because we were playing teams from outside the country, not in the state or outside the state, and it was fun,” Bohorquez said. “We got to see (what) other people are like and how they play.”
“It was really cool to play international teams,” added Sluga. “We played Chile and New Zealand and there was Argentina and a couple other South American teams. It’s cool we got to play people from other countries.”
The coolness included the volleyball itself after being selected to play in the tournament following competitive tryouts.
“I got to play back row,” said Sluga. “Normally I play front row, so that was a lot of fun. And I got to serve a lot.”
“I’ve been on the (Club Solano) same team for seven years,” Bohorquez said. “It was a new experience meeting new people and new coaches. . . . It was the experience of adapting to new people and not just the same.”
Wayne Bucaojit, who formed Club Solano Volleyball in the mid 1990s to give Fairfield High a feeder program and remains the club director, was thrilled to have some CSV players get national exposure.
“First of all, it’s great for their self esteem,” Bucaojit said. “Not only that, it gives them a chance to be looked at by college coaches.That’s where college coaches are. . . . (The CSV players) are in the pipeline. Being in the pipeline there’s the possibility of being recognized and it’s so great for the girls.”
Playing alongside different girls and for different coaches gave the trio a different look at the sport.
“I learned the Olympic system, the system used for the Olympics,” Horder said.”
“It was different than my normal team,” Sluga said. “We played international rules. There are a lot of different international rules, and they had an opening ceremony, so it was like a mini Olympics.”
Bucaojit was pleased the three got to measure themselves against the elite from around the nation and around the world.
“When they get to that level, they’re already there,” he said. “They get a chance to play with girls their own level. The challenge makes them a better player. It definitely raises their level of play.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.