Back in 2005 a number of local girls clubs merged together to establish the Niagara Frontier Volleyball Club. The goal was to expand Junior Club volleyball in the Western New York region by offering a greater opportunity for competitive play and an expertly-guided volleyball training experience to provide additional opportunities for players to train and compete at multiple levels of play. Vision from the club’s group of great volleyball minds, guided the organization to exercise a six court facility in November of 2007, which helped to bring the players and staff closer together. Working together on adjacent courts brought about unity across the club and its members.
Niagara Frontier is a community-based organization that believes in providing a solid foundation of fundamental and technical skills to help participants develop as athletes. However, teaching individuals positive, lifelong character traits, including sportsmanship, leadership, and cooperative teamwork, is an essential facet of the club’s commitment to developing the entire athlete.
After operating solely as a girls organization for twelve years, the club added boys teams to the Niagara Frontier family in 2017.
“We have found that the collaboration between our girls, boys and youth coaches have proven to develop high level educational discussions, better practice plans, and an increase in technical instruction for all of our members. The diversity and experience of the club’s veteran coaches combined with the alternative ideas of up and coming young coaches have fostered an ideal atmosphere for the development of training methods and processes,” said Club Director Rocco Lucci.
The club administrators confidently navigated through the coronavirus pandemic while providing kids opportunities to safely train and develop their individual volleyball skills. In the past year, the club has seen a gratifying increase in 12U participation as well as in camp, clinic and private lesson enrollment. Niagara Frontier’s current structure, which is unique to volleyball in Western New York, still allows both grassroots beginners and elite level athletes to develop an appreciation for the sport of volleyball. The players of the #NFVBnation look forward to embracing the future.
The Champion Project
In cooperation with The Champion Project, a nonprofit organization focused on providing sport opportunities for children of all abilities in the Western New York Community, Niagara Frontier coaches and club players have been successful in developing clinics and sport sampling for hundreds of inner city and underprivileged youth. The Champion Project works hand in hand with Niagara Frontier to create organized and free play opportunities for youth athletes in the Buffalo area while encouraging lifelong participation in sport. The Champion Project has also been able to offer scholarships and supplemental funding to players in need of financial support so they can be part of a club team roster or simply participate in a camp or clinic.
Niagara Frontier is affiliated with the JVA, USAV and AAU and wishes to embrace and promote a concept of harmony between the associations. Niagara Frontier girls and boys teams have and will continue to participate in events hosted by all three of these organizations.
Our Niagara Frontier Sports facility hosts close to 20 USAV sanctioned junior events each year but recently hosted its first AAU Grand Prix event. There are plans to run more events under the umbrella of JVA and AAU in future seasons in order to maximize competition against competitive clubs regardless of their affiliation.
“The landscape of volleyball event participation is ever changing across the country. The success and future growth of our boys program will surely be attributed to our participation in JVA and AAU events much like our girls program has been doing since the creation of the JVA,” adds Lucci.
Power Leagues and Point Series Events
Northeast Tournament Series (NETS) Power League
This is a re-establishment of the Northeast Power League to allow for the top girls teams in the Northeast to compete at a high level, with less travel expenses. In 2021 the league was composed of clubs from within the State of New York. Future expansion plans to include clubs from the GEVA , Keystone and New England Regions.
The current members, and participants are:
• Niagara Frontier (WEVA)
• VolleyFX (WEVA)
• Paradigm (WEVA)
• Lakeside ( IREVA )
• Whirlwind ( IREVA )
• LVC ( IREVA )
• Syrv (IREVA)
• Syracuse Volleyball Club (IREVA)
• Octane (WEVA)
• Buffalo Volleyball Academy (WEVA)
• Eastside Ice (WEVA)
Northeast Point Series for the 2022-23 club season (Boys)
The Northeast Point Series is a rotating tournament event series developed from a collaboration between Niagara Frontier Volleyball (Buffalo, NY), A-10 Volleyball (Pittsburgh, PA), Phoenix Volleyball (Akron, OH) and A2 Volleyball Club (Columbus, OH) in response to the growing interest of boys’ volleyball in the region. The main objective of the Northeast Point Series is to provide more widespread opportunities for appropriate, tiered competitive play at various age divisions to allow athletes and club programs to participate in tournaments based on their individual competitive level. The series is open to all clubs in the Northeast and beyond to compete in any one event (or the entire series if that club wants to vie for a Northeast Point Series Title) and a FREE entry into AAU Nationals at the 14U through 18U age divisions. This is a JVA/AAU sanctioned series.
“I’ve spent lots of time both on the phone and in person at events with JVA staff members asking for help, guidance and advice,” added Lucci. “As a former college coach and a long time club director, I can confidently say that the JVA has helped our organization to be better and has contributed to the growth of volleyball at all levels over the past decade. The staff and coaches at Niagara Frontier are grateful for the JVA’s commitment to education and sharing of best practices. Our club has benefited by remaining flexible and open to new ideas and have embraced alternative methods to grow, train, and problem solve as well.”
“We certainly appreciate this recognition of the work our club has done and plan to keep giving youth athletes the opportunity to play volleyball for a long time to come.”
Niagara Frontier Volleyball (Buffalo, NY) is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players, and fans.