The 10 members of the Club Rim 16-year-old volleyball team want to play in Dallas.
But to make the trip to Texas for the Lone Star Classic Club Tournament, the players must raise all their travel expenses and entry fees.
The efforts kicked off a few weeks ago with a benefit car wash that earned about $1,000, which paid the entry fees.
Next on the fund-raising agenda is a fry bread dinner to begin at a 10 a.m. today in the Tonto Apache Reservation gymnasium.
The meals will continue to be served “until supplies run out,” said Club Rim coach Victoria Ibarra.
For a fly bread meal and drink, the price is $5.
If the girls are successful in their efforts to raise expense money, they will travel to Dallas April 21 to 24 to participate in the Classic that is widely considered one of the most competitive events in the country.
“I played in it for three of my four years in high school,” said Ibarra. “It’s a real wonderful experience and there are a ton of (college) recruiters there.”
If the team plays well in the tournament, which will be contested in the Dallas Convention Center, it could qualify for a national tournament and eventually Junior Olympics.
Ibarra is confident the team, which is sponsored by the Tonto Apache Tribe, will show well in Dallas partly because the group shined recently in a Valley area tournament where it finished as runner-up, losing only the championship finale.
Ibarra took over the coaching reigns of the team of 16-year-olds in November 2010.
The new coach played collegiately at Cameron University in Oklahoma where, as a first-year player, she was named co-Freshman of the Year. She also captured setter of the week honors three times as a frosh and was second team all-conference.
As a senior, she was all-conference first team, all-conference tournament first team setter of the year, floor captain and honorable mention on the American Volleyball Coaches Association all-region team.
She attended high school in Santa Clarita, Calif. and San Antonio, Texas. Among the club teams she played for were California Magic, San Antonio Heat and Alamo Club.
Ibarra also served a stint as an assistant coach at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.
Club Rim’s banner season
In 2010, Club Rim’s five age group volleyball teams turned in the best overall performance in the club’s five years of existence.
Topping the efforts was the club’s 16-year-old team, which won its division (silver) and placed fifth among the state’s 46 teams.
At the conclusion of the season, club director and founder Donna Moore said, “That was the highest finish of any Club Rim volleyball team.”
The 18-year-old team was first in Flight 1 Division Championships and 13th of 48 teams in Arizona. The 14-year-old Club Rim group also garnered first-place honors and was 25th overall.
The 14-year-old Club Rim Black team and the 12-year-old squad were both third.
From Club Rim, former players Desi Burris and Sarah Donovan earned collegiate scholarships.
Burris went to South Florida Community College and Donovan to Mesa C.C.
Earning college scholarships is a feather in the cap for Club Rim because that was one of the goals of Moore and other founders when the teams were started years ago.