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Broken Arrow Express

B.A. Volleyball Players Rave About World Cup

Courtesy BOB LEWIS

LOCAL DIPLOMATS: Members of the Broken Arrow Volleyball Club show off a note they received from Austria fans during this year’s United World Games in Klagenfurt, Austria. It reads: “We love USA.”

Courtesy photo

They didn’t win any medals, but a select group of young athletes from the Broken Arrow Volleyball Club carried home “a ton of golden memories” of what they are calling the most fantastic experience of their lives.

Mycah Miller, age 13; Paige Tyler 13, Brooke Tyler 11, Samantha Peridore 14, Laylah Harvey 13, Skylar Waters, 14, Mattison Williams, 12, Syvanna Romine 14, Madison Swift, 14, and Emily Easton, 15, were selected to represent the United States at the United World Games June 23-25 in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Janet Tyler, founder and director of the Broken Arrow Volleyball Club, said, “This trip was a wonderful opportunity for these girls on many levels. They spent 10 days experiencing new cultures and history. They got to compete on a national stage in the spirit of competition and then make friend connections afterwards. All the kids have come back from this trip with an appreciation of not only other countries but their own. This is an experience that will carry on with them for a lifetime.”

In addition to competitive play, the young athletes had the chance to take in many of the sights in and around Klagenfurt. There were visits to Salzburg, Austria, where the movie “The Sound of Music” was filmed; Munich, Germany, where they received a guided tour of the infamous Dachau concentration camp; and Venice, Italy, where they enjoyed gondola rides along the city’s internationally known canals.

Tyler said this year’s World Games included 400 teams from 40 different countries. The Oklahoma delegation was unique in that no other club or local area had this many kids at once represent the United States in an international tournament. Normally, teams like this are comprised of players from various locations around the country.

“I really enjoyed watching these girls have this experience,” she said. “I had the privilege of seeing kids come out of their shell. I saw them making unlikely friends from other countries and other states in the U.S., shy kids dancing and laughing with kids from other cultures, having fun playing a sport they love, and standing up for the USA.”

While volleyball was the reason for the trip and at the top of the girls’ memories, many of them raved about what happened away from the court.

Laylah Harvey put visiting a castle in Austria in the rain at the top of her favorite things list.

“It was incredible,” she said. “Actually, every place we visited was amazing. Experiencing a different culture was very interesting, especially since we had just studied about it in school. It truly was a trip of a lifetime.”

For Samantha Peridore, the highlight of the adventure was meeting people from different countries and learning about their culture and trying the food. “One of my other favorite things was the players party where we all got together to dance, talk and have fun together. There was so much that you can’t really have a favorite. I would love doing it again,” she said.

The Broken Arrow Volleyball Club was established in 2014 for youngsters from 7 to 17 years old. Skill levels range from beginners just learning the basics of the sport to competitive players.

“My goal is to take more kids next year and expand this opportunity to parents and their players,” Tyler said.

Updated 07-25-2017

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