Cactus Classic Invitational update and spotlight on 11-year-old Marlee Ferberby Andy Morales on Jan. 20, 2013, under Sports
The finals for the older girls at the 18th annual Cactus Classic Invitational are set to take place Monday at the Tucson Convention Center.
Close to 100 junior volleyball teams from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico competed in the three day tournament. The Cactus Classic Invitational is a part of the USA Volleyball’s (USAV) National Championship series by being one the nation’s first Ranking Tournaments for qualification at USAV Junior National Qualifiers.
11-year-old Marlee Ferber is in her first year of club volleyball but she has plenty of experience watching from the sidelines since her sister Erin Ferber plays 18U for Club Cactus, is a sand volleyball player and is a standout for Canyon del Oro during the high school season.
“I saw her playing and I just wanted to get on a court and try it for myself,” said Marlee. “I really like it and it’s a lot of fun.”
Marlee is a champion Turkish Cultural Dancer from the Sonoran Science Academy so the fifth grader is also used to competition and travel considering her team won the competition two years ago at a Turkish festival California.
That, and watching her sister play, took away some of her nerves but stepping into the Tucson Convention Center with so many matches going on at the same time was still a bit different. “I was a little nervous because of so many courts, balls and whistles blowing,” she explained.
“I just did my best and focused on my court,” she added.
Marlee sums up her Club Cactus 11-White team as a “nice group of girls who all get along together.” There may be times down the road when that may not always be the case and when competition may get, well, too competitive, but Marlee and her young teammates took their first step at keeping things positive and fun at major tournament this past weekend.
The 12U Division was completed on Sunday afternoon and the results are as follows:
Saguaro Championship: El Paso Wildfire 12-1
Local Team: Sky Islands 12′s (3rd Place)
Golden Barrel Championship: Club Cactus 12-Navy
Local Teams: Club Cactus 12-Silver (3rd Place), Club Cactus 12-Red (4th Place) & Club Cactus 11-White (6th Place).