Having enjoyed the spotlight as the 2020 NVA Championship, the Utah Stingers are ready to compete again and show why they’ll be back in the championship final this season. With a stellar team showing, the Stingers effortlessly handled all the competition, going undefeated the entire tournament. Using their home court to their advantage, the BYU Alumni seamlessly worked in unison across multiple generations to show how Cougar blood runs deep. Even with the team coming together on short notice after being on lockdown from the pandemic. With the team together in full since February, the stingers will be in sync come the 2021 season starting at the end of April.
“We were very excited about our results in Salt Lake City for the Championships. We didn’t have the guys consistently together for a pre-season and still managed to get the gold. With more time to get the team prepared and game ready, we expect to have an even better performance this year! The same can be said for every other team in the league, so we have to be prepared for anything.”
– Russel Holmes, Owner.
On top of their practice regiment, the Stingers will also bring in new players and coaching staff to help in their mission to win a second straight championship. With the NVA gaining international recognition, the Stingers look to be bringing in more international players, including some old teammates of their opposite Jorge Mencia. The Stingers will also be eager to bring any of the new BYU graduates into the fold, creating a pipeline for young players to start their professional careers. Just as depicted in the school’s ‘Y Magazine,’ Cougar Volleyball Alumni have been instrumental in leading the USA national team through the Olympics and are sure to show the Stingers another NVA Championship.
The same goes for the team recruitment of their coaches after a successful first season, with General Manager Futi Tavana stepping in as the head coach. The BYU Alum and USA National Player’s international experience was vital in bringing out his players’ best. For 2021 the team has confirmed Head Coach Michael Daniel’s hiring, the Assistant Coach of the BYU Men’s program from 2009-2011. His coaching career has also led him to coach at Penn State, Utah Valley College, the USA Women’s National Team, and even the undefeated 96’-98′ Utah Predators as part of the retired Women’s Professional Volleyball League. With his own company, Volleyfix, which helps volleyball organizations reach their true potential, Mike is more than qualified to lead Stingers moving forward.
Things are looking better than ever for the Utah team and have many people to thank for it, including all of the new fans the Stingers have gained after their last season. To give back, the Stingers hope to share their knowledge and skill with the next generation of players in their community. Fans and supporters can expect to see local youth clinics soon as COVID-19 restrictions begin to allow for more face-to-face interactions.
To find more information about the club and to get weekly media updates, fans can check out the team’s website (https://stingers.nvausa.com/) and follow their Instagram (@stingersnvausa) and Facebook page. Make sure to check out the NVA’s Youtube page to catch reruns of the Stingers 2020 Championship match and live-streamed coverage of the 2021 season, with the first matches starting soon on April 23rd-25th.