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Top club volleyball sites selected

By Loren Nelson, 10/03/14, 1:15AM CDT

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Michigan-based Legacy earns No. 1 ranking in intensely competitive category

Competition is fierce on the club volleyball circuit, and not just on the hardwood or at the beach. 

Club volleyball sites showcase some of the finest design and content – in any category – on the Sport Ngin platform. 

With so many outstanding options, we had difficulty limiting our list to a Top 5. How many great sites could there be? Check out the lengthy list of honorable mention picks at the bottom of this page.

As part of the judging, we examined all the basics – depth and breadth of content, design, ease of navigation – then honed in on three key categories. We compared coaching, recruiting and team page information on each of the sites, a huge help in determining which ones rose to the top.

Number 1

Legacy Volleyball Club

URL: legacyvolleyballcenter.com

Location: Southeast Michigan.

Webmaster: Jen Cottrill


Coaching Staff page (click to view)

Overview:

Legacy Volleyball Club facilities are located in Novi, Rochester and Ann Arbor. Girls ages 8 to 18 receive instruction and play on four levels of teams – National, National Lite, State and Local.


Athlete Listing page (click to view)

WHAT WE LIKE:

The one-of-a-kind design is an absolute knockout. The banner showcases the club’s 2013 national AAU Open Division championship, which is commemorated with a team trophy-raising photo and banner hanging in the top right (a banner hanging in the banner!). 


Recruiting Videos (click to view)

COACHES, RECRUITING, TEAM PAGES:

The Coaching Staff page is organized by age group, and the bio information for each coach includes categories such as Playing Experience, Coaching Experience and Education. The Recruiting section lists uncommitted and committed athletes by year, so the status of every player in the club is available to recruiters. Team pages are built out with practice and tournament schedules.

NAVIGATION:

The top navigation has all the important links, and the Teams, Training and Resources buttons are repeated just below in larger, custom-designed links. Two more oversized links on the home page direct viewers to information on recruiting services and beach volleyball.

DID YOU KNOW?

Maggie Hannon, a 2011 Legacy alum and middle hitter at Cleveland State University, is a finalist for the NCAA’s 2014 Senior CLASS Award. 

BONUS CONTENT:

Game highlights and skills videos for several players can be found under the Recruiting Videos portion of the site.

Number 2

Capital Volleyball Academy

URL: cvamadison.net

Location: Madison, Wis.

Webmaster: Mark Rushton


Capital Alumni News page (click to view)

OVERVIEW:

The Capital Volleyball Academy is based out of two Madison-area practice facilities – the Sports Enhancement Academy of Stoughton and the Sports Enhancement Acdemy of Verona. The Academy’s list of teams ranges from 12-under to 18-under and includes three boys’ teams.


Team page (click to view)

WHAT WE LIKE:

The red-white-and-blue design is simple but gorgeous in its execution. We’re a big fan of using large photos on the homepage – as long as they are high in quality – and the site generally delivers with sharp group photos that showcase team and individual accomplishments. There’s plenty of updated news rolling down the left side of the site, and the calendar on the right is also loaded with coming events.

COACHES, RECRUITING, TEAM PAGES:

There’s a handy coach directory on the Staff and Directions page, but the site doesn’t have full blown bio information on every coach. Commitments lists go back to 2008 and are updated through 2015. The team pages have all the basics – coach information, rosters and schedules. Some also include team photos.

NAVIGATION:

The top navigation bar isn’t overloaded with options, and additional, oversized links for Tryouts, Fall Clinics and Teams are listed below the main slideshow, enhancing the design and helping guide viewers through the site’s hierarchy of pages. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Waterloo topped the standings of the 23 teams competing in the CVA’s varsity summer league, and the Pirates carried that momentum this fall into the high school season, as they have an 23-3 overall record.

BONUS CONTENT:

The homepage video shows several of the key points – and an increasingly excited crowd – from the 18 Navy team’s AAU national championship match.

Number 3

Premier Academy

URL: premiervolleyball.com

Location: Maumee, Ohio

Webmaster: Stephanie Harms


College Prospects page (click to view)

OVERVIEW:

Premier Academy is located just south of Toledo and has seven indoor volleyball courts and two sand volleyball courts. The academy is volleyball-focused but also has four indoor collegiate size basketball courts and is the home of adult and youth hoops leagues.


International Travel page (click to view)

WHAT WE LIKE:

The distinctive design encourages viewers to check out the site’s many sections, most notably Indoor Volleyball, Premier Training and Outdoor Volleyball. The news aggregator is stocked with fresh content, and the bottom of the home page packs in several links, including one to a Vote Now page that asks members to pick their favorite quote to put on the 2015 club team practice T-shirt.

COACHES, RECRUITING, TEAM PAGES:

We couldn’t find coach listings or bio information. The Alumni page lists club graduates and the college they attended all the way back to 1999. The team pages – among some of the nicest we’ve seen in this rankings category – are topped by professionally shot team photos and provide detailed roster information along with schedules.

NAVIGATION:

There are 11 links spanning the top navigation, leading to smaller font sizes and a tight fit. Recruiting smartly gets an oversized link a bit lower on the home page, as does Basketball and Special Events.

DID YOU KNOW?

Two Premier 18-under teams competed in Managua, Nicaragua last spring. 

BONUS CONTENT:

The Parent’s Corner page is loaded with useful information, including information on topics such as “The Importance of the Big Picture” and “10 Things Every Athlete Can Control.”

Number 4

High Performance - St. Louis Volleyball Club

URL: stlhighperformance.org

Location: St. Louis

Webmaster: Scott Mebruer


Coach bio page (click to view)

OVERVIEW:

St. Louis High Performance Volleyball Club and Team St. Louis Volleyball Club joined forces in 2008 to form High Performance - St. Louis Volleyball Club, a non-profit corporation. The club has an abundance of girls' and boys' teams, starting at the 8-year-old level with a co-ed team.


Our Alumni page (click to view)

WHAT WE LIKE:

The outstanding homepage design incorporates the Gateway Arch (of course) in subtle fashion. There’s a steady flow of news and announcements streaming into the home page aggregators. One recent article did a good job of providing an update on several club alums having success at the college level.

COACHES, RECRUITING, TEAM PAGES:

The long, long list of the club’s coaches can be found under the Our Coaches pages from the Who We Are link in the top navigation. The coaches are listed in alphabetical order, and there is a page devoted to each one. Each bio ends with a favorite quote. The recruiting section provides information about the club for college coaches, and the Our Alumni page in the Who We Are section lists former boys’ and girls’ players from the club who have gone on to play in college. The year-by-year list of classes goes back to 1999. Team pages have the basic roster and schedule information, and some include team photos and parent contact info. 

NAVIGATION:

There’s a top navigation and sub navigation in the left rail, so there’s no shortage of links from which to choose. Unlike many of the sites in this category, there are no custom designed links to the highest profile pages.

DID YOU KNOW?

The club has sent 296 of its alumni on to play in college. 

BONUS CONTENT:

The Awards & Finishes page lists how the club’s boys’ and girls’ teams have fared at various national tournaments over the years.

Number 5

Northern Kentucky Volleyball Club

URL: nkyvc.com

Location: Wilder, Ky.

Webmaster: Kathy Kennedy


Coach bio page (click to view)

OVERVIEW:

NKYVC is based at Town and Country Sports & Health Club in Wilder, Ky., about nine miles south of downtown Cincinnati. The club provides training for age divisions ranging from preschool through grade 12.


Tournament Know-How PDF (click to view)

WHAT WE LIKE:

The homepage design is excellent, starting with the horizontal slideshow spanning the width of the site. The three-column layout underneath the photo gallery houses all the fresh content flowing into the Announcements, Headlines and Upcoming Events aggregators.

COACHES, RECRUITING, TEAM PAGES:

The coach bio pages are well organized and loaded with information -- the Why I Coach section written by each coach doubles as a mini autobiography. The recruiting section includes links to NCAA information and listings of colleges  by divisions. There are team descriptions, team tryout pages and coach info pages for each team, but no all-encompassing team pages.

NAVIGATION:

The links in the top navigation are large and light up when you choose that section of the site. There’s no left navigation on the home page, but it appears when digging into the inside pages – a great way to have both a home page with a full-width slideshow and sub-navigation on the rest of the site.

DID YOU KNOW?

NKYVC was listed as the 36th-ranked volleyball club in the nation (based in part on national results) according to CBS Sports.

BONUS CONTENT:

A Tournament Know-How page links to a PDF that offers five pages of “The Secrets to Getting Through the Season.”


Honorable Mention

Here are more outstanding sites that were in the judging mix but didn't crack the Top 5.


Wondering why your site didn't make the list? Want to put your site in the Top 5? Contact loren.nelson@sportngin.com for a free consultation.

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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