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Friday, February 26, 2021

New volleyball academy aims to up the standard

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The players and coaches at Rev Volleyball Academy are gearing up for their first season in what has become a race among clubs to offer the best development and college exposure.

From data analytics to video streaming to recruiting coordinators who work with athletes and their families, Rev’s message to those looking for a club home is that their coaches and leaders can help elevate the volleyball standard in Central Indiana.

At the same time, Carlos Cruz, a club director from Puerto Rico with two decades of coaching experience, said he doesn’t want the club to get too big. Quality is better than quantity, Cruz said, and he wants a tight-knit group of people at Rev.

The academy also has a diversity statement.

“Our environment is built on trust, respect, positivity, and transformational leadership,” the statement reads, “which is the key to creating real change.”

Almost half of Rev’s coaches are non-white, and Cruz said he wants people to know diversity is important in sports academies.

Jennifer Siegel, wife of USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel, is president of Rev Volleyball Academy.

Gene Murray, head coach of the 13-year-old 1s team, said this is a good opportunity for him to grow as a coach. Murray found his way into coaching volleyball in 2012 when he was an administrator at Tindley Accelerated Schools and helped start the volleyball program. He taught himself the basics first and then learned more. His three daughters now play or coach volleyball — his oldest also coaches at Rev, and his two youngest play there.

“It’s giving girls in Indianapolis another avenue to really compete at a high level,” he said.

Tryouts for 14-and-under teams are over, but 15-and-older teams start Nov. 8 at Rev Volleyball Academy, which is housed at Incrediplex, 6002 Sunnyside Road.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

Note: A previous version of this story said Max Siegel is president of Rev Volleyball Academy, but his wife, Jennifer Siegel, is actually the president. The organization’s business filing with the Secretary of State’s office lists Max Siegel as the president, but Jennifer Siegel informed the Recorder that is incorrect.

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