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10 Feb 2015

Ziggy Ziupsnys: The Man Behind the MVP Award

Ziggy Ziupsnys: The Man Behind the MVP Award

Every year, AAU Volleyball gives out an MVP award at the AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships in remembrance of Zigmant "Ziggy" Ziupsnys. This award is granted to the Most Valuable Player of each division in each age group from 15U – 18U.

Ziupsnys coached and played with the Neris Volleyball Club, which he started in 1955 with women’s and men’s teams. Neris was started as a Lithuanian volleyball club which also won many Lithuanian North American Championships. His teams have toured Europe, Australia and Lithuania and he played into his fifties.

After he was done playing, he won numerous National Championships as a coach and was one of the founders of Midwest Junior Men’s Volleyball, which was the first Junior men’s team in Illinois. Ziupsnys ran most of the first Junior men’s tournament in the Chicago-midwest area.

In 1975, his team that he coached beat a team from California in the final, clinching the first AAU Boys’ National Championship. Ziupsnys’ son, Ritas, also played was the first MVP.

For many years, there was no charge except for registration fees to play for the club. Many times, Ziupsnys would use his own money for players who could not afford anything.

You can find a list of last year’s Ziggy Ziupsnys MVP Award winners below.

To see winners from previous years, please click HERE, and then select “All American/All Star Awards” under the year you would like to view.


15 Open

Halle Johnston

Mizuno Northern Lights 15-1

15 Premier

Payton Nutter

Mizuno Northern Lights 15-2

15 Club

Kloyee Anderson

Xcel 15X Select

15 Classic

Tatum Shipes

ProLink 151 Casey

16 Open

Dana Valelly

Skyline 16 RSB Royal

16 Premier

Delilah Wolf

Mizuno Northern Lights 16-2

16 Club

Jac’Cara Walker

Gainesville Juniors 16 Elite

16 Classic

Isabella Milejczyk

Sky High 16 Blue

17 Open

Jade Tinglehoff

Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1

17 Premier

Reagan Davey

Ocala Power United 17 Rox

17 Club

Ashleigh Traylor

TexStar 171

17 Classic

Sarah Sprague

Tampa U17 Elite

18 Open

Rachel Minarick

Sports Performance 18 Elite

18 Premier

Kimmy Martino

Mizuno Sports Performance 18 Red

18 Club

Amelia Grahn

Capital 18 Navy

18 Classic

Cally Zevnick

Crossfire 18-1


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