BILLINGS – The Expo Center at MetraPark should be packed Saturday and Sunday with thrills and kills.
Big Sky Volleyfest makes its return to Billings with 144 teams from seven states, and one team from as far away as Chicago.
On Friday, some players began taking advantage of free scouting tests at the Expo Center. Standing vertical jumps, wing span measurements and more, it’s all geared for scouts to relay toward collegiate programs.
“There’s some outstanding talent here,” said Robert Cagle, Vice President of National Scouting Report. “And every time we get good kids that have great height, great skill sets, we get them in front of coaches all over the country. They’re amazed at the amount of talent just in this area — Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota. But the volleyball is here (in Billings).”
Due to restricted recruiting budgets and time constraints, college coaches sometimes struggle to hit this region of the country. That’s why Cagle encourages participation in events like Big Sky Volleyfest.
“Truth of the matter is, it’s difficult to be seen,” Cagle said. “But when (players) come to events like this, (scouts) can get our eyes on them, have an opportunity to get with those families and then get them in front of the coaches. It’s a big deal.”
Volleyball matches run Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, teams enter bracket play and challenge for championships. Winners in each division (U12, U14, U16, U18) earn free entry to the AAU Nationals in June.