In 2014, A4 Volley was just a vision by Club Director Joaquin Acosta and his wife Coral. In its first season, A4 launched with eight girls teams 13U-18U: one at 13s, two at 14s, one at 15s, two at 16s, one at 17s, and one at 18s. During the inaugural season, A4 rented court space out of a five-court facility that primarily focused on basketball. By the end of the first season, Joaquin, Coral, and their partner John Kao were able to secure their own five court volleyball facility in Foothill Ranch equipped with a 3,000 square foot weight room, a second-floor lounge, and a conference room for video.
The fundamental reason that they started A4 was to build a place where young athletes could learn the fundamental life lessons of integrity, teamwork, leadership, discipline, hard-work, compassion, and family through an elite volleyball program.
Currently, in its fourth season, A4 has grown to 20 club teams (18 girls and 2 boys) and a Recreation League with over 200 participants. A4 credits its success and growth to the quality and experience of the 17 coaches it has on staff.
“Our growth and success is a tribute to our core values, commitment to growth, and the great staff that we have assembled,” says Joaquin. Our coaching staff truly sets us apart. Our core group of coaches has been together since day 1 and we have a very strong bond and great working relationship.”
Coach Paul Baxter, who coaches 14Purple and 16Purple, was the Head coach at the 2016 Rio Olympic for USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena. Coach Juan Figueroa, who coaches A4 17Purple, is the head coach of Cal State University at Los Angeles. Joaquin Acosta, Director at A4, was the Assistant Coach for the 2017 USA Men’s PanAm Cup team. One of A4’s coaches, Dr. JC Zegarra, is a chiropractor and has part of his professional practice at A4.
“At A4, we invest in our staff. If we ask our players to grow and get better, then we as a staff continually look for ways to improve” Joaquin adds.
The past two club season, A4 has hosted a Gold Medal Squared private coaching clinic. The first year Brent Croach, current head coach at USC and Tom Melton led the clinic. The second-year Mike Wall, current USA Men’s Assistant Coach and Chris McGown, former BYU Men’s Volleyball Head Coach, led the clinic.
A4 Core Values that are instilled in all athletes as important to any great achievement:
(1) Growth mindset
(4) Great teamwork
A4 is in the third season of owning a 34,000 square foot facility that includes five volleyball courts, a 3,000 square foot fully equipped weight room with training provided by Alpha Athletics, a second-floor viewing area/lounge for parents and players.
Beach Director and Coach Paul Baxter and Joaquin assist their players with recruiting needs. The club utilizes VolleyMetrics/Hudl to film every match of its top two teams at the16s, 17s, and 18s and select matches for its top 15s team.
A4 launched the Rec program for ages 6-14-year-olds last year and it has been a huge success. Different from other rec programs in the area, the A4 Rec Program is run by the A4 staff with the help of some of the experienced A4 players. With this format, A4 is able to provide an affordable entry-level program while keeping the quality of instruction. The program is offered four times per year. Teams train twice per week, one session is skill development and the second is mostly match play. The first session two years ago consisted of 30 players, and the last two sessions have had 60 players in each.
Next, A4 is launching a Volleytots (K-2) and Mini Volleyball (3rd grade through 5th grade) Program this summer to complement the rec and club programs and continue building at the grassroots level.
“In our short time as a club, our achievements have been more than any anything that we could have envisioned when we first launched the club” states Joaquin.
Between JVA major events, USAV National Qualifiers/Championships, AAU National Championship, and Triple Crown A4 Volley has accumulated 19 medals including Gold medals at the 2017 JVA West Coast Cup (18 Open and 12 Club division), back to back Gold medals at the USAV Southern California Qualifier (18s Division), Gold medal at 2017 USAV Junior National Championships (15 American), and Bronze medal at 2017 AAU National Championship (17 Premier Division). For much of the 2017 season, A4’s 18Purple team was ranked #1 in the country and finished as the #4 rank team according to Prepvolleyball.com. Triple Crown Sports ranked A4 Volley as the #28 club in the country after only its 3rd season of operation.
“The resources provided by the JVA have been very helpful for our club during our initial years. The JVA staff has been incredibly supportive and always ready to assist. We have competed at West Coast Cup and World Challenge these past two club seasons thought the level of competition and organization were outstanding. We look forward to continuing our support of the JVA’s mission of helping the growth of youth volleyball.
A4 Volley, located in Foothill Ranch, CA, is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players, and fans.