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West Valley City Journal

New volleyball club starts in West Valley

Nov 03, 2022 08:16PM ● By Greg James

By Greg James | [email protected]

A charter school volleyball championship encouraged a team of West Valley student-athletes to form its own club volleyball team.

“We had seventh- and eighth-grade girls on the team. We were the underdogs and pulled it off,” Monticello assistant coach Alberto Magdaleno said. “This was my daughter's last chance to put a banner at her school. Next year she will go to high school.”

The Utah Charter and Small School Athletic League eighth-grade champions were from Monticello Academy in West Valley. They beat Excelsior Academy 15-13 in the championship set in front of an excited crowd. They defeated Intermountain Christian School to advance to the championship match.

“We were not supposed to win. They were very good teams,” Magdaleno said.

As interest peaked from his daughter and her friends Magdaleno began to organize his friends and former players into his own sponsored club team.

He began playing volleyball in Mexico and continued organizing games here at Centennial Park when his older sons expressed interest in the game. In those five years, he put a net up at home and joined volleyball cubs.

“I played with some clubs and anywhere possible,” Magdaleno said.

 In the winter months finding a place to practice and play became difficult. In the past, they signed up for other club programs, but they were far across the valley and expensive.

“We don’t have a place to practice. We have been using a park, but it is getting dark and colder,” Magdaleno said. “It has been a lot of work to put this together. It will be fun to work with the girls.”

Recruiting former players and other girls has become a priority.

“We are a 15 and under team. I have a few contacts and we have asked the girls to find friends that want to play,” he said.

Volleyball clubs in West Valley are scarce. Most interested players travel to Draper, Herriman or North Salt Lake. High Country in Kearns is the closest club to this area.

According to a key to organizing a club team in any sport is volunteers. They can help with scheduling, fundraising and recruiting.

 “It is pricey, we are going to volunteer and try to keep the price down. The players and parents will have to pay some to help us get this team together. Tournaments can be a lot. We want to play 10-12 times starting in January. It averages about $300-$350 to enter a tournament,” Magdaleno said.

The club's first practice was held Oct. 14. When the players were asked if this was something they wanted to do, they all responded yes.

“The parents are excited too. The money they will pay is half what they would pay at a big club. We are not trying to make money from this. We are rooting for these kids,” he said.

Forming a club involves more than just tournament fees. The other expenses can include uniforms, practice facilities, equipment and coaches' fees.

Club V in North Salt Lake has several courts, and boasts several collegiate opportunities for its players.

“Playing club is important for these kids to get better,” Magdaleno said.