Elite Volleyball Academy (EVA) is an Arkansas-based junior elite volleyball club. One of the top volleyball places in the Midwest, EVA states that its primary goal is to find each team’s competitive edge by focusing on teamwork and on fostering a positive, uplifting environment for its players and coaches. EVA seeks to help its members build their confidence and skills so that they will thrive not only as volleyball players, but as young individuals as well.
EVA is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is a member of the Delta Region. Tryouts for the 2021-2022 season were held at the Agape Church Gym in Little Rock. Players on regional and local teams can expect to play in tournaments in the vicinity of Little Rock, while players on national and elite teams will find themselves traveling to matches and competitions all over the country.
Elite Volleyball Academy is not to be confused with two similarly-named volleyball places in the Midwest: Elite Volleyball Club in Missouri and Elite Volleyball Training Center in Ohio.
Tanja Eckart is the club director and a master coach at EVA, as well as the recruiting coordinator for the club. Eckart was named 16s Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2020, and has 24 years of experience coaching at the club level, as well as 7 years coaching D1 college volleyball. Other master coaches include Daniele Moura, Markie Alberius, Paige Gantar, Shelby Byrne, and Alicia Jackson.
The coaches at EVA value growth and improvement as part of their process. They consider themselves to be continuous learners, and will change and adapt their strategies and coaching styles from season to season and from team to team.
EVA is a highly competitive club with 22 different teams. Each team competes in a different age group or at a different level: local, regional, national, and elite. Players ages 11 through 18 may try out for a place on an EVA team.
A rarity among volleyball places, EVA boasts a 100% success rate in sending their teams to nationals. That means that every team they’ve coached with the intention of reaching Nationals has succeeded in reaching that goal.
EVA works in conjunction with its sister entity, Eckart Volleyball, to provide skill and development training for players all year round, regardless of their club affiliation. Eckart offers several mini-camps and clinics targeted at specific skills, such as setting, serving, spiking, and strategy training. You can also sign up for semi-private or small-group training through Eckart.
Though only entering its sixth season, EVA has shown itself to be a formidable presence in the junior competitive volleyball scene. Young players in the vicinity of Little Rock, Arkansas who are interested in a highly competitive club may wish to consider trying out for an EVA team. Alternatively, any youth player can sign up for an Eckart training camp or clinic to hone their skills before trying out for EVA or another competitive club.