Meet the ELITE Northeastern KY ELITE Volleyball Club Springboards Popularity of Volleyball

James Smallwood


   51 young ladies were introduced Thursday night at the KC Diamond sports complex as members of the Northeastern KY ELITE volleyball club. This year, the club competes as four teams based on age (14s, 15s, 16s and 17s) and is led by co-director and coach Katee Neltner, co-director and coach Sarah Linn, coach Eric Bays, and coach Alyssa Young.

   The Northeastern KY ELITE Volleyball Club (NKEV) has continued to grow in number of athletes since its inception in 2018. In its third year, 76 girls participated in tryouts this season with 51 rostered between the four teams.

   The 2020 team rosters represent several Eastern Kentucky schools (Boyd Co, Ashland, Greenup Co, Russell, Raceland, Fairview, Paintsville, Lawrence Co, East Carter and West Carter).

   The growing popularity of volleyball in Eastern Kentucky schools can definitely be attributed to NKEV and their coaches who compete in the pioneer region of the USA Volleyball Organization. In addition, having a home court at KC Diamond for the 2020 season has been a huge asset as well. KC Diamond just installed a versatile multi-use court in 2019 which NKEV has had the benefit of using this season.

   When asked what motivated Katee and Sarah to bring this club to the area, coach Sarah Linn replied, “It was our love for the game and the desire to not only teach the fundamentals, teamwork and sportsmanship, but to get these girls out on the floor competing against top competition from several states in these tournaments.”      

   Their first tournament was held in Louisville, KY at the Union Classic on January 18 and 19. Results were not available at press time. Good luck in 2020, ELITE!