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Draper Journal

Draper’s Club GSL volleyball player invited to national training program

May 08, 2023 09:15AM ● By Catherine Garrett

Volleyball player Kai Sorenson, who trains with Club GSL in Draper, will train with the National Training Development Program this spring. It’s his third invitation to be trained within the framework of USA Volleyball’s philosophy, methods and culture. (Photo courtesy Kai Sorenson)

Skyline High junior Kai Sorenson, along with two other Utah volleyball players, has been invited to the National Training Development Program May 5-7 in Washington, D.C. This is the third year the 17-year-old from Millcreek has been invited to the prestigious Spring Indoor Training Series.

“I am thrilled to have been selected to train with the best players in the country my age.

It is a huge honor to get the opportunity to play and receive coaching at the highest level,” Sorenson said. “There will be about 40 kids there my age from all over the country and about five setters total so I am thrilled to be one of them.”

The NTDP brings selected players the opportunity to train with other top-level athletes and coaches to further their athletic progress within the framework of USA Volleyball’s philosophy, methods and culture.

Warren Van Schalkwyk, Kai’s coach at Club GSL in Draper said, “Kai is one of the most gifted setters we've ever seen come out of Utah. He has amazing hands and is able to run a deadly offense from anywhere on the court. He always works hard and has a natural way of helping his team play relaxed yet competitive. He has so much potential, and I look forward to seeing what his future holds.”

Also invited to the national training were North Ogden’s Tennison Lighthall and St. George’s Corbin Batista.

Kai, the son of Ashleigh and Lance Sorenson of Millcreek, has been playing volleyball for as long as he can remember, following in the footsteps of his father. They both played at Churchill Junior High—27 years apart—and were both coached by Gene Bechtold. Kai’s younger sisters have since been coached by Bechtold, and the tradition started by Lance Sorenson, who went on to play for the Pepperdine University team that competed for the 2002 national championship, continues.

“I started playing competitively in fourth grade with older boys from my neighborhood,” Kai Sorenson said. “At the time there weren’t many boys teams so we would sometimes play against older girls. It has been so much fun to watch boys volleyball explode in Utah since then and now we go to local packed tournaments being hosted at multiple locations. I am so excited that boys volleyball will be a Utah high school sanctioned sport next year for the first time for my senior year of high school.”

Kai Sorenson has played multiple sports over the years, eventually settling his 6-foot-3 frame onto the volleyball court where he has collegiate aspirations. He is also a power forward on the Eagles basketball team.

“I love the life lessons that volleyball has taught me,” Kai Sorenson said. “In volleyball, every point is a new point and a new opportunity to start over and do better. I love that I can apply this to my daily life by learning from my mistakes and not dwelling on things in the past that I can’t change.”

Off the court, the Eagle Scout is a 4.0 student who recently scored a 35 on the ACT and takes multiple Advanced Placement courses. λ