Mizuno Northern Lights 2021

Tryouts for 16’s, 17’s, and 18’s have been closed.  We are not accepting any more registrations or walkups in these divisions. 

Tryouts for the 15’s age division is still open for registration.  All players must be pre-registered and pre-paid.  No walkups. 

For high school volleyball participants:   The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) issued a waiver for November 1 that allows high school players to participate in tryouts on November 1 without losing their high school eligibility.

Northern Lights is excited to start our 2021 season; however, we realize that the COVID-19 virus may cause changes in our plans as the year progresses.

All information presented on our website is based on our current knowledge and future expectations of the COVID-19 virus situation.  It is possible that any or all of the events, travel, practices, or other things associated with Northern Lights Junior Volleyball could be cancelled or modified at any time.

All parents and players are advised that participation in the club could result in exposure or infection by health risks such as COVID-19.

Persons who are participating in the club are willingly accepting these risks and conditions.

Northern Lights does have a COVID-19 plan and it may be viewed by clicking here.

Should cancellations occur, Northern Lights will adjust fees paid by participants accordingly.

Northern Lights Juniors was established in 1993 to provide an environment where highly motivated and athletically talented young women could go for the training and competition needed to help them excel at the high school and collegiate level.

Over the past 26 years, our club has grown from 3 to 33 teams and we have trained thousands of volleyball players. Northern Lights players have gone on to be NCAA National Champions, play professionally all over the world, and even play in the Olympics. Our teams have won 30 National Championships and we have trained over 320 All-Americans.  (For a full list of club accomplishments, please see our by the numbers page.)

Northern Lights Juniors is very proud to be able to provide such great opportunities to young women. We are the strongest club in Minnesota and we are nationally recognized as a top program in terms of training, achievements, and collegiate recruiting.

Come be part of the Northern Lights tradition!  Information can be found below for our 2020-2021 tryout.


We plan to support up to 33 teams this season, with the following number of teams in each age division:

Age Division18’s17’s16’s15’s14’s13’s12’s11’s
# Teams35555321


Our 15s, 16s, 17s, and 18s teams (and selected younger teams) will have 3 guaranteed and scheduled practices per week.  Our 11s, 12s, 13s, and 14s will have 2 guaranteed and scheduled practices per week.

The first practice for 10’s – 14’s will be on November 3, 2020.  The first practice for 15’s – 18’s will be on December 7, 2020.


All teams will participate in our SAQ programs before or after practice.


Competition ranges from our home at the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse to International competition in Europe and all places in between.  Teams generally travel in-state to Rochester, Bloomington or Maple Grove and out-of-state to National Qualifiers in cities such as Kansas City, Denver, or Atlanta, to AAU Nationals in Orlando.  This year the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships (GJNC) will take place in a location TBD (it has not been announced yet).  

All Northern Lights players (with the exception of YDT players) will be registered USA Volleyball (USAV) and participate in one or more National Qualifier!

To see the planned schedule for every Northern Lights team, please click here.

Our Facility

All practices take place in one facility – the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse.  The experience of learning from other coaches and athletes becomes the true power of the Warehouse.  Our offices are located right behind the courts, and communication with players, parents, and staff is instantaneous.  

We have no hidden costs, and we deliver what we promise!

  • Player fees are paid in 5-6 monthly installments starting in December.
  • Payments can be made via credit card.
  • Our costs include most planned travel and tournaments.**  This includes the USJNC Championships for qualified teams and AAU Nationals for most of our teams.  For other clubs trips such as these are an added expense!
  • Our costs include all uniforms, clothing and gear needed:
    • Practice shirts (1-3 depending on your practice schedule)
    • Practice & game shorts
    • Game jerseys (1-3 depending on your team’s schedule)
    • Complete Warm-Ups
    • Player Bag
    • Kneepads
    • Socks
    • Shoes

** There may be 1-2 events per year where we ask parents to drive/carpool to a an out-of-town event.  These events can be seen on the individual team schedules.

If you want to play, there is a way!

Even if the costs seem a little high, take the following into consideration:

  • Players and/or parents have the opportunity to earn money/credit during the season*:
    • Work in our concessions area at the Warehouse
    • Fill a role as door security, site supervisor or building supervisor
    • Cleaning duties both at the Warehouse and during events at the Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Save on costs to watch your daughter by chaperoning your daughter’s team at an out-of-town tournament*
  • Special grants may also be available for some participants.

*Many of these positions are available, but none are guaranteed to any specific individual who applies.


Are you interested in playing volleyball after high school?  Northern Lights is known as an elite club among college coaches.  We are recognized as a training ground for future collegiate volleyball players.  Over 465 players have graduated from Northern Lights and gone onto play in college on scholarships.

Check out our list of alumni

Check out where some of our current players are committed to go

Among our most distinguished alumni are:

  • Elizabeth “Wiz” Bachman, who graduated from Northern Lights, played at UCLA, and was on the USA National team for 7 years.  2004 Olympic team member.
  • Cassie Busse, who graduated from Northern Lights, played at the University of Minnesota and played for 3 years on the USA National team.
  • Stephanie Hagen, who graduated from Northern Lights, played at the University of Minnesota, and played for almost 2 years on the USA National team.
  • Lauren Gibbemeyer, who graduated from Northern Lights, played at the University of Minnesota, and has been playing in the USA National Team program for the past 8 years.
  • Tori Dixon, who played at the University of Minnesota and is currently training with the USA National team.  Tori recently helped Team USA qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  • Jordan Thompson (University of Cincinnati) is currently training with the USA National team.  Jordan recently helped Team USA qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  • Sarah Wilhite Parsons, who played at the University of Minnesota and is currently training with the USA National team.
  • Paige Tapp, who played at the University of Minnesota and is currently training with the USA National team.
  • Hannah Tapp, who played at the University of Minnesota and is currently training with the USA National team.
  • Samantha Seliger Swenson, who played at the University of Minnesota and is currently training with the USA National team.

What People Say About Northern Lights

Our consistent success has generated great feedback from over the years!

Here are several of the many positive evaluations we receive each year from our parents/players.


We just wanted to take a minute while we’re catching our breath after club season to THANK YOU for running such an amazing club! What a fantastic experience this past season was for (daughter’s name)…We have found NL to be an amazing club. Every detail is organized and efficient. Coaches are of high quality and consistent. Volleyball fundamentals are actually taught and the lead coach idea is brilliant! The price for everything you get is amazing…We have loved our experience at NL. We will definitely return to the club next season.
From a Facebook Post: (Daughter’s name) played for your club for 3 years. What she learned was invaluable. We are very proud to have been a Northern Lights family. Thanks so much! Her volleyball career was amazing. Her training was top notch. Thank you.
From a Facebook Review: These folks are deeply serious about developing your daughter as an athlete and as a human being. Lights has the best, most comprehensive program in the Twin Cities , and is always a contender, nationally. The Lights leadership is active and fully engaged, even taking their girls to Europe to play and to learn. Northern Lights so clearly respects and loves these girls, and you will definitely respect this group of people for their talent, knowledge, passion and love of the game, and you’ll love them because they work hard, they care a lot, which you will see evidenced every day- and they’re very funny, to boot. You cannot go wrong committing to this program. Go Lights!
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to play for such an amazing club for 8 years. Most of my favorite and most cherished memories come from Lights. It truly is a wonderful program.
Thank you for everything you have done for me in the last 8 years. I have met some of my best friends at Lights and have coaches that honestly changed my life. The past three years at Northern Lights have been the best three years of my volleyball career. Every year I had dedicated, passionate coaches who helped me reach the next level. I have been able to travel across the country and even to Italy all thanks to the staff at Northern Lights.
As a parent I was very impressed with the discipline expectations put on the players. And (daughter’s name) liked it also. I was equally impressed with how well organized the club is. I was never concerned about my daughters safety while she traveled all over the nation. My husband and I were fortunate to be able to chaperone for the Florida AAU tournament and we were very happy with how well organized it was and with the accommodations. The coaching staff is very professional and dedicated to the growth of each of the players.We have been with the club for 3 years. Those three years have been the most memorable volleyball years we have had. It has been a pleasure and privilege to be a part of the number one club in the nation. It is very obvious that from the directors down, every single person involved in the club is very committed and dedicated to making the players the best that they can be.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the quality of the experience my children are having at Northern Lights and I would not hesitate to recommend it to other parent of girls with a serious interest in the sport of Volleyball. Thank you! And keep up the good work!Northern Lights has been wonderful to my daughters and I and we are truly blessed to have so many family members to turn to. My daughters have grown into incredible young athletes with the help of you and your staff. My daughters feel safe and know that they can turn to any Mom / Dad within your club and be treated as one of their own. I never worry about travel as I know that they are in the best care possible. The way that you go through and determine chaperones, so there are no worries. Your top priority is creating incredibly strong athletes and safety for every girl that walks through your doors…. For that, I am truly grateful. I look forward to many more years with Northern Lights.
Another GREAT banquet!!! Truly, Northern Lights is the BEST volleyball program in the state, and I believe in the country! We are sooo thankful to be part of your wonderful program!! Even last year when we had a daughter on both a (XX)’s team AND a (XX)’s team, we were so thrilled to be a part at each level. You made our daughter’s feel important no matter which team they competed on. I have told many people that no matter which team you have a daughter on, Northern Lights supports ALL teams, and EVERY player is important, be it a 1’s player or a 5’s player. The banquet tonight re-iterated this. ALL teams are important! Wanted to send you a note thanking you for all you do. We LOVE being part of your volleyball family!!!
We just wanted to say thank you for the great year. (Players Name) played (another club) last year and it was not a good experience for us, we knew there had to be something better in the cities. We were encouraged to try Northern Lights and one season later, (Players Name) is a “Lights” girl! It has been a growing year for her and she has loved it and so have we as parents. We just wanted to say Thank You for seeing and growing her potential as a vb player, Thank You for setting up the chaperones with great black and white boundaries that make the job enjoyable and keeps the girls safe when they are away from home, Thank You for the coaching staff that puts their hearts into our girls, Thank You for the SAQ staff that encourages and builds the bodies in preparation for court play, Thank You for knowing all the players by name,Thank You for the end of year banquet, and Thanks for having great popcorn! Thanks again for everything, it has been a great season for us!
As a first time parent to Northern Lights, we were very impressed by the banquet put on last night in honor of the girls, coaches and parents. It was a first-class event and made us proud to be part of this organization. This was a huge undertaking, the pictures and videos was an incredible amount of work but made the night very special. (Daughter’s name) commented that this gives them a whole new motivation going into the AAU tournament in Florida. Thanks for a very enjoyable night.
We just got home from the banquet and I personally wanted to thank you all for a wonderful evening! Since this was our first Northern Lights year, we had only heard what to expect. It was obvious that much love and time was spent on all details of the banquet and the video and pictures. Our family thoroughly enjoyed the evening but I can tell you that without the wonderful video and pictures the night would not have been complete. So, I just want you to know that your time and efforts are appreciated. We were also talking on the way home and we are so very happy that we chose to come join the Northern Lights family. Once again, we did not know what to expect and our experience has been nothing but wonderful. (Player’s Names) were blessed to have such a terrific coach and they have both grown as young women and as volleyball players. Kudo’s to everyone at Northern Lights!
I can’t say enough about the Northern Lights program. My daughter has fulfilled her dream of playing volleyball at the collegiate level and it is because of the quality of coaches and club experience she had at Northern Lights. When (daughter’s name) made the XX team last year, she couldn’t believe a short little setter could earn a spot with the top club in Minnesota. We never regretted the decision to keep her on the XX team as she was given the opportunity to set a 5-1 the entire season. She was ecstatic to play again as an 18 even though it meant another year of commuting over an hour each way. We will all tell you that she wouldn’t have traded this experience in for any other. Every coach in the club, (Gene, Doug, Jeff, Jodi, the setting coaches, Trainer Lynn and, of course, Curt) have been so supportive of our daughter. Playing for NL gave her the confidence to take her play to another level. We often talk about how NL is really an extended family. We will never forget the people and experiences you have given our daughter over the past 2 years.
A sincere and special thanks to Curt and the club for allowing us many opportunities to work off much of the fees. No one could possibly understand how hard it would have been for us to say “no” to club ball for (player’s name) this past year when her father was laid off from work. Anyone who thinks NL is over-priced is wrong. NL is truly the best value for club volleyball in Minnesota! The cost is minimal for all the travel, quality coaching, and high level of competition you receive.
I wish I would have taken the time to let you know in writing each time a coach made a difference in our daughters life. You certainly know how to pick the best! I am amazed at the relationships the girls and coaches continue to have after they leave the club.Best wishes with the new construction and I hope our paths cross again in the near future!
As (daughter’s name) mom I was continually impressed with the volleyball skills you were able to show (daughter’s name). She learned a great deal from you! Also impressive were the variety of drills you used to teach these skills. The fun and laughter sprinkled in with the hard work and determination was in my opinion, a large part of the success of this team. Your ability to deal with teenage girls was amazing! Pulling together 10 girls of various personalities into a team takes a special person! Somehow you were able to manage this. I am very proud to have (daughter’s name) a part of your team with this great group of girls. Not only are the girls great athletes, but they too are great people. Thank you both for the great volleyball season! It was fun to watch your team.
Thank you for a great season! We really enjoyed being a part of the Northern Lights Club. Our daughter had participated on two other club teams before Northern Lights. We always heard such negative comments. Well those comments were totally off reality. Northern Lights was, by far, the BEST club we were involved with. Jealousy is a curious beast. If only we would not have believed the comments we heard, perhaps we could have enjoyed years with your outstanding program! We were always impressed with the entire Northern Lights programs. The facility, organization of the club, coaching staff, opportunity for players to be seen by the recruits, the level of play, and the generosity of everyone at Northern Lights. Thank you for giving our daughter the opportunity to play in your premier club.