Empowered 17 Elite Black wins USA Volleyball Junior National Championship

July 7, 2022

17 Elite Black becomes club's first national champion, Fort Wayne's first club national champ since 1995



Empowered Volleyball Academy's 17 Elite Black team is feeling on top of the world this week after the ladies won the 17 Patriot National Championship on Independence Day.

"We came together as a team better than we ever had," Haley Bidenbach, 17 Elite Black setter from Homestead High School, says.  "Some of these girls were on the 14s team that got second at nationals three years ago. So, it's a big, full-circle moment for them. Finally...we finally got the title!"

17 Elite Black swept Black Swamp (Tiffin, Ohio) to claim the title, avenging a pool play loss to their foes in the championship match at the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Ten girls from across the region make up 17 Elite Black's roster. They are the first Empowered team to win a junior national championship, and the first Fort Wayne club team to win a junior national championship since 1995, according to Empowered management.

"This has been a special team since the beginning of the season," coach Natalie Williams says. "This isthe final stamp on that. They had a really awesome season, and this was just a really good way to end it."

Empowered's 16 Elite Black was national runner-up in the 16 Patriot division.

Empowered Volleyball Academy partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, sports performance training, nutrition, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services for its athletes. Learn more at www.parkviewsportsmedicine.com. 


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