March Madness event still growing

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An ADL player rockets a spike. (Photo by Kyle St. Peter)

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An ADL player prepares to send a shot over the net. (Photo by Kyle St. Peter)

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Aiden Jensen reaches for a ball during the March Madness event April 1. (Photo by Kyle St. Peter)

The Middle School March Madness mini-season hit Chittenden County for the third-straight year, bringing together 46 teams from 12 participating schools and over 420 middle school athletes for a showdown April 1.

Making their first appearance at the event were Edmunds and Hunt Middle Schools from Burlington, as well as Camels Hump and Browns River Middle Schools from the Chittenden East Supervisory Union.

They join middle schools from Essex, Williston, Shelburne, Charlotte, South Burlington, and independent schools Mater Christi and Vermont Commons School.

The event was used by the Vermont Principals’ Association as evidence for the potential growth of the sport at the high school level, organizers say, and is part of the reason high school volleyball is now a sanctioned varsity sport for both girls and boys.

“I knew from day one that this was going to become something pretty big, pretty quickly,” said Essex boys volleyball coach Karen Chesser. “It’s a great way to introduce the sport that is now here to stay.”