When the Nebraska One 13 Dynomite walked into the gym at a Topeka, Kan., tournament this season, the opposing coach took one look and said the match was going to be a waste of time.
It was — for his team.
“Our girls are so little, they laugh at us when we go on the court,’’ club director Tonia Tauke said. “I think that’s why we win a lot of time.’’
The Dynomite’s tallest player is 5-foot-9 Callie Kohl, who is usually much smaller than her opponent across the net. The shortest is 5-footer Justine Linscott, with four others at 5-2.
Tauke says they’re small but mighty and relentless about the way they play volleyball. Nothing touches the floor.
They’ll take that philosophy to their first USA junior national championships next weekend in Dallas, where they will face 24 top teams in their division.
“We don’t know how teams are going to handle our serving and defense and passing,’’ Tauke said. “If the other team can handle us, they win. If they can’t, we win. We’re going to nationals with the expectation of playing hard.’’
The Dynomite, made up of players going into eighth grade, have always been good at handling the ball. With the addition of former Nebraska libero Rachel Schwartz as coach, that’s risen to a new level. She’s installed a lot of pride in their passing.
Assistant coach Jason Albers has improved their serving and hitting to certain zones on the court, which is huge in volleyball and something the Dynomite do much better than a lot of older teams, Tauke said.
Their method of playing often frustrates other teams, and that leads to victories.
Tauke, also a former Husker, said coaches from other teams, win or lose, often come up afterward and praise how well the Dynomite dig, pass and serve.
“The reaction of other coaches we play never ceases to amaze me,’’ Tauke said. “It makes me feel like we’re doing something right.’’
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