Polk County’s Smith, Xcel teammates place third in national AAU tourney

Polk County's Elysia Smith poses with the third-place trophy she and her Xcel Volleyball teammates earned in June (photo courtesy William Smith).

Polk County’s Elysia Smith enjoyed a successful summer on the volleyball court, competing against some of the nation’s top 12-and-under squads.

Smith and her Xcel Volleyball Performance 12X Premier teammates placed third in the AAU Girls Junior National Volleyball Championships in mid-June. The tournament was held in Orlando, Fla.

Playing for former Polk County head coach Kelly Risley, Smith and Xcel reached the Gold tournament bracket by defeating the top seed, Asics Willowbrook 12 out of Houston. Xcel earned a 25-12, 25-22 win in that match, moving into the tourney quarterfinals.

Xcel captured its quarterfinal match with a 25-22, 13-25, 16-14 win over Pequenas Indias De Mayaguez, but then were defeated in the semifinals by eventual national champion Instinct 12 Lynxes Wild of Dallas.

Smith will be a seventh grader at Polk County Middle School this fall. She has played competitively with Xcel for the past three years.