by Nikki Bernstein for USA Volleyball
Louisville, Ky. (May 27, 2013) - From retired registered nurse of 45 years to assistant commissioner of the Pioneer Region, Nancy Funk has been around to see it all.
Working in volleyball for 30 years, Funk first caught the volleyball bug when her children started playing in grade school.
“I would go to tournaments with my daughter and I had just started to referee high school volleyball, so I then got all my national certifications,” Funk said.
As current manager of Pioneer Mayhem of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), Funk serves as the team liaison and represents the Pioneer Region as they are part of USA Volleyball’s 40 regions.
Acting as a board member with this region since the very beginning 16 years ago, Funk began as the lead scorer for the region, teaching others how to score and register members.
“As one of the smaller regions, we mostly promote volleyball for the junior population of the area and have a lot of club teams,” Funk said. “With 4,500 members in our region, we’re working our way up and continue to grow.”
In its first year fielding a PVL team, Pioneer Mayhem is comprised of four University of Louisville graduates who decided to create a team together with the team captain Kaitlynn James as its front-man working to recruit her teammates.
“I think the girls of Pioneer Mayhem are very competitive and they’ve done very well so far,” Funk said. “I will admit they surprised me, as some of the other teams have been playing together for a while, but we’ve done very well so far.”
The opportunity to play host to this event means great exposure to the city of Louisville.
“We were just glad this competition came to Louisville this year and that we could be the host city,” Funk said. “It’s the first time the adult competition has been held in Louisville.
“It’s great that everyone has come to our city,” Funk said. “Many have never been here and wanted the chance to see what goes on. Some people have visited Churchill Downs racetrack, visited 4th Street Live and many were interested in visiting the bourbon distilleries as well.”
It’s evident that everyone seems to be happy and has been enjoying his or her time here in Louisville. The chance to travel and experience different parts of the country is what makes this tournament so unique.
“USA Volleyball is a great institution and we really support volleyball and the memberships,” Funk said. “It’s a sport everyone should try. You don’t have to be good to play, just go out, get some exercise and have fun.”