MINNEAPOLIS — A trio of Glen Rose High School volleyball players brought home some hardware on Independence Day after finishing third overall in the 2017 USA Volleyball Girls Junior Nationals 16 USA Division in Minneapolis. 

Logan Smith, Libby Hinton and Madison Mooney, who will all be juniors at GRHS this fall, were part of the Tejas 16.1 Club volleyball team that went 7-3 in the four-day, 36-team national tournament held July 1-4 in the Twin Cities. 

Tejas 16.1, based out of North Richland Hills and included girls from other Metroplex cities, punched its ticket into the semifinals early Tuesday morning with a 23-25, 25-17, 15-4 win over Triangle 16 Blue (North Carolina) before falling to the eventual national champion ASICS Macs (Kansas City) 25-20, 25-19 later in the day to earn the bronze medal. They entered the tournament ranked sixth overall.

Following the 2016 high school season, Smith was named the Region 8-4A Co-MVP; Hinton was the District 8-4A Newcomer of the Year; and Mooney was a second-team District 8-4A selection for the Lady Tigers.

Glen Rose (40-4) won district with a 14-0 record and lost to eventual Class 4A state champion Bushland in the Regional I-4A final.

“These girls went straight from our regional tourney to club,” said their high school volleyball coach, Sandy Langford. “They have worked since December with their club team, practicing in the Metroplex two days a week, flying all over the U.S. with a really good team and coach.

“(That was) on top of fulfilling their school requirements academically and athletically for Glen Rose. It says great things about our school and future that three Glen Rose girls can play on the same team and excel to those great lengths.”

Tejas 16.1, the fifth-ranked team (of 126 teams) in the 16 division in the North Texas Region, opened the tournament July 1 with a 25-22, 25-23 over Northern Lights 16-2 (Minnesota) and a 25-15, 25-19 win over SA Magic 16 Premier (San Antonio).

They concluded the opening-round, six-team pool play Sunday with a 25-19, 25-21 victory over OT 16 S. Rox Blue (Florida), a 14-25, 12-25 loss to eventual national runner-up VA Juniors 16 Elite (Virginia) and a 25-22, 20-25, 15-9 win over Dead Frog (Michigan).

In Round 2 Monday, Tejas 16.1 held off the Rockwood Thunder 16 Navy (St. Louis) 24-26, 25-17, 15-11 before falling to OT 16 T. Rox Red (Florida) 23-25, 18-25 to finish second in the three-team pool. They earned their berth into the eight-team championship bracket with a 25-23, 25-18 win over Palm Beach Juniors 16 Elite (Florida) late Monday afternoon.

Since early January, Tejas 16.1 played in 12 tournaments in San Antonio, Round Rock, Carrollton, Dallas,and Minneapolis, and national qualifier tournaments in Dallas, Kansas City and Spokane. The team earned its bid to the national tournament in Minneapolis by going 10-0 to win the Pacific Northwest Qualifier in Spokane in late March.