Tori Britton is as proud of how her team played to get there as she is of the Cherry Hill Volleyball Club Team 18 Nitro qualifying for the USA Nationals.
“It’s tremendous to see our team coming together,” said Britton, a senior who starred at Moorestown High School.
Like the talented Britton, Nitro is packed with players from high schools in South Jersey: Alaina Santacroce (Cherokee), Veronica Cava (Camden Catholic), Hollie Jones (Paul VI), Shayla Boyce (Sterling), Casee Bryan (Seneca), Sarah Pintel (Cherry Hill East), Alyssa Fooks (Washington Township), Ela Majkut (Cherry Hill East), Camryn Norman (Kingsway), Amber Conley (Cherokee) and Claud Cano Judd (Highland).
Nitro is the first high school team in South Jersey history to qualify for the USA Nationals.
“Going there is an honor and it builds on our club’s reputation,” Britton said.
Nitro will play for the national title in Anaheim, California this weekend.
“It’s kind of crazy because the farthest our club team had traveled was to Boston and Washington, D.C.,” Britton said.
Nitro entered the Northeast Qualifier of 79 teams in Philadelphia as the No. 35 overall seed, but posted straight set wins in three matches to come out at the top of the pool on the first day.
On Day Two in games at the Convention Center, Nitro edged a pair of 2-1 wins over Delaware United and CT Juniors before sealing another first place pool finish with a 2-0 win over ECC.
On the final day, Nitro cruised to 2-0 wins over Valley Jrs. and a pair of teams from Florida to reach the finals. Their win over OT 18 South put them in the gold medal match and sealed their bid to USA Nationals.
“We were coming off a few matches in which we didn’t do as well as we should have,” Britton said honestly.
“We just started winning,” she said, “we started beating good teams.”
The confidence was contagious.
“It was pretty exciting, just to see our confidence rise.”
Nitro Coach Kevin Rivas is the assistant coach at Arcadia University. Scott Mooney founded the club, which is located on Springdale Road in Cherry Hill.
“It’s cool to be part of one of the better teams in the country,” Britton said. “It’s amazing to be in the top tier of completion in the country.”
The 5-foot-11 Britton, who has a standing reach of 7-foot-8, has been playing for Cherry Hill for the last six years
Britton, 18, is a right-handed player whose primary position is outside hitter and secondary position is opposite.
Playing in the West Jersey Interscholastic Volleyball League, Britton helped Moorestown to win 23 matches in 2016 and 18 last fall, including playoff game in the Group 3 tournament, as a senior.
Britton, who led the Quakers with 58 aces, 227 kills and 157 digs in the fall, is the first Moorestown player committed to play Division I volleyball. She will play at the University of Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 League. Britton will major in engineering and will be in the honors program at Rhode Island.
Before going off to college, though, Britton and her teammates are going to California.
“I think it will be a big learning experience for everyone,” Britton said about the trip to nationals, “and what it is like to travel far to play games.”
To help Nitro make the trip to California, check out their GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/chvbc-campaign-for-cali