Kyara Girvan To Play For America’s Team Volleyball In Dominican Republic (05/31/19)

(Photos submitted) Above: Kyara flanked by dad Nate and mom Tracy

Clarion Area libero Kyara (K. K.) Girvan, a 2018 Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association (PVCA) All-State selection, has received another big honor. She has been selected to play for America’s Team Volleyball, in a tournament in the Dominican Republic, in the Summer of 2020. The tournament will be held at Centro Olympico in Santo Domingo.

America’s Team is dedicated to showing kids the world through sports. They have been taking teams oversees for over fourteen years, with volleyball teams traveling for eight of those years. Other teams include baseball, softball, basketball and lacrosse.

America’s Team Coach and President Brigham Joy stated, “I was lucky enough to play baseball in Germany, as a college player, and it is the coolest thing I have ever done! Getting to wear the ‘USA’ and see another part of the world was absolutely life changing! My goal is to simply give other kids the same opportunity I had.”

The players are selected from Allegheny College Coach Kelly Barzak’s recruiting database. America’s Team looks for players who project out to be Division II, Division III or NAIA level type players.

Currently the team is made up of players from all around the state. Coach Joy said, ” It looks like we have kids from Philipsburg, Pittsburgh, Clarion, Altoona, Uniontown, Emporium, Orefield, Allentown, Palmerton and Seven Valleys.”

One of the things that America’s Team looks for is the ability to play multiple positions. Coach Joy sees this in Kyara. K.K.’s ability to move around the court and mix and match lineups is important for us, as we only carry ten players on the court.”

Kyara making a play on the ball

Teams compete from around the USA, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and there will be teams from all over the Dominican.

The teams are also be involved with giving back to the local community, as they join forces with “The DREAM Project”.

K. K. is extremely happy for this opportunity, saying, ” I feel so beyond blessed to have been given the opportunity to play for the AMERICAN TEAM “USA”.

She is playing for more than herself. “I am super excited to see how different the play is in the Dominican Republic.  I hope my team and I can make the USA proud.  I hope I can make our town, my school, my family and especially my coach Shari Campbell proud as I take on this new exciting opportunity. 

Coach Campbell has made a major impact on K. K.’s play and life. “I could never Thank Shari Campbell enough.  She never gave up on me she made me stronger than I ever thought possible.  She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  She gave me the opportunity to play Libero in the 2018 season and she pushed me to be the best I could be.” 

Coach Campbell had this to say, “This USA Team playing in the Dominican is a great opportunity at the right time for Kyara.”

As for the 2019 Clarion Lady Cat Volleyball season and beyond, Coach Campbell said, “I am looking forward to her senior season and know she will contribute greatly in 2019. She had a goal to play collegiate volleyball and this team gives her a chance to play some more volleyball with some great teammates before her freshman season.”

Coach Campbell concluded, “I am so happy that Kyara is being given this opportunity. It is awesome when a sport you love can take you places and broaden your experiences.” 

Her teammates have also been a big support. K. K. said, “I also want to thank you my teammates and school for always believing in me and telling me I can do it.” 

As for her tournament team K. K. said, “My team and I will get the opportunity to play games against many different teams. While we are there, we get to join a community outreach program and explore the Dominican Republic.  I don’t want this experience to be just for me I want it to be our community and to bring us all together and get excited about for sports again.”

Kyara with a dig

And her number one on K. K.’s list? “My biggest thank you is to my family.  My mom and dad and sister and brother. My mom and dad let me accept this opportunity.  They allowed me to continue my volleyball journey to another country. 

“My family has always told me to reach for the stars from the beginning.  They always believed in me and always had faith in me.” 

K.K.’s mother Tracy mentioned that her drive to excel isn’t a recent development. “K. K. stated to us a long time ago when she was in gymnastics, I am going to the Olympics one day. I as a mom said, ‘work hard and give it your all reach for those stars you can do anything you put your whole heart in.’ ”

Mom mentioned a setback and K. K.’s overcoming it. “She then was injured doing gymnastics and was told she shouldn’t go back. She is not the sit down and do nothing type of kid, so we said, ‘let’s try other sports,’ once cleared and she was all for it.

 “Softball was the start and then her best friend introduced her to volleyball and well look where we are today. She is going to be representing the USA not the Olympics. But hey the stars are the limit, right?”   

And father, Nate stated, “Tracy and I are so very proud of Kyara (aka) K.K. for being chosen to play for the Red White and Blue! What a great honor for her! The chance to wear the colors and have USA on your gear is a huge deal no matter what level you are at! K.K has worked so hard the past year and it is paying off!”     

Dad continued, “Last season K.K switched to the Libero position! With no hesitation K.K told coach whatever is best for the team! K.K was scared to try something new! I remember talking to her and telling her to try it out and see what happens!

Dad helped calm K. K.’s fears. “I told her that Shari sees something in her and she feels that she would be great at the position! Shari was right as usual! K.K’s hard work and determination resulted in her making the KSAC team, District 9 team and All-State!

“This amazing experience all began with coach Shari Campbell’s vision of K.K playing Libero!”

The Girvan’s have high praise for their daughter’s high school coach. “Shari Campbell has not only been an outstanding coach but a true role model and friend to K.K! Shari has high expectations as a coach and the ladies reflect that with hard work and grit!

“Every year Shari has Clarion Volleyball at the top, with all the other schools trying to take her and the Lady Cats down! As parents we have seen Shari’s dedication and hard work transfer to the ladies! Shari has been like a second mom to K.K! Always there when K.K needed someone to talk to. Shari truly makes the volleyball team her second family! We as parents Thank Shari for her dedication to K.K. and the other young ladies playing volleyball!”  

As for K. K.’s Lady Cat companions? “K. K’s teammates have been great with her from the day she started volleyball! K. K. loves this sport and strives to be the best! Her teammates have all fought hard on the court along her side!”

The Girvan’s mentioned one teammate in particular, “We have to give a shout out to K.K’s best friend, Kaitlyn Constantino who has been with K.K from the beginning! Kaitlyn has always been there cheering her on. These two play so well together and always have each other backs! They are always smiling and having a good time together!”

The Girvan’s realize, ‘There is no I in Team. “This experience is not only because of K.K! This is just as much for her teammates! They are the ones who are playing out there with her and making her better! Clarion Area Volleyball should be honored and proud! We are as parents.

“This is not only a great experience for K.K or the family but it will be something special for the school and the community! What a great feeling to know that a young lady that went to Clarion Area got to play for America’s team! This will be something that will never be forgotten!

“As parents, we would like to Thank coach Shari and the Lady Cats Volleyball team as well as the American Team Coaches!”

And while she awaits her turn on the 2020 team, K. K. still has a special duty, serving as an ambassador for America’s Team.

Hoping you have great success with America’s Team, K. K. With the great support of your family, coaches and teammates, I’d say you are already very successful!!!!