Our daughter is currently a 17 yr old senior who has played club volleyball on the national level for 6 yrs. now and now playing her last year on her high school varsity team.
We are in a dilemma over whether she should play on an 18's club team & possibly get recruited or if it's to late now & we missed the boat. She is also a very good student with college credit already from her last yr. AP exams & don't know if it is much better to just have her focus on the academics. The competition seems so brutal as well & people discourage us yet she sees a lot of her former teammates committing lately.
Any words of wisdom you can shed will be greatly appreciated!
With your initials, it would be funny if your daughter was a back row player!
There is still plenty of time in the recruiting process for Seniors. Right now, things are very slow in recruiting because college coaches are focused on their season (and keeping their jobs).
After the collegiate season winds down in November, college programs start a mad scramble to secure players for the next fall. There are always scholarship/roster openings after a season due to coach firings/hirings, players quitting, players getting cut, players getting hurt, players becoming academically ineligible, etc. This all leads to opportunities for seniors, which were not there 6 months ago.
That being said, the opportunities will only present themselves if the recruit presents themselves to the correct schools. If player does not have NCAA Division I talent (or height), then they should not be writing DI schools. But, there are 1500 other schools outside of DI which can be a great fit for a player/family. If your daughter is academically focused, then NCAA Division III can be a great situation. College volleyball has so much school variety all across the USA, that with a bit of research and being open to attending school any various geographic areas, players can find a great collegiate experience.
If your baby girl wants to play in college, then she should be playing 18's club her senior year. Club is the venue in which college coaches will evaluate and recruit your daughter. But, the player has to promote/market herself to potential schools. There are just too many good kids to hope that a player "gets seen" by a college coach at a tournament. College coaches walk into tournaments with a list of hundreds of players to see, and the majority of these players had previously emailed the program with a recruiting resume and video.
Families that are active in the outreach and communication process, by using video and evaluating their academic/athletic desires, are the ones with the opportunity.