The TAV Houston Volleyball Club continues to fulfill its promise of helping young players further their careers to the collegiate level in 2019 with a pair of products making the leap.
Kenzie Arent had just graduated salutatorian from Oak Ridge High while Nena Mbonu recently earned her diploma from Klein High. Their time as TAV Houston members and teammates a wrap as well, both girls look to be huge contributors for their respective university teams in the fall — Arent for Dartmouth University and Mbonu for the University of Louisville.
TAV Houston club director Joe Lind described Arent, who plays setter, as a leader and a “super” competitive kid. He recalled Arent’s career as a star for the War Eagles.
“She was an outstanding setter and led them to the state tournament [in her junior year],” Lind told Texas Scorecard. “She was in the same position willing to do whatever for her team before she got to set so she played outside hitter the year before just because that’s what her coach wanted her to do. This past year, she led them to the playoffs again.”
According to Lind, Arent will play right away for the Dartmouth Big Green. Arent, who will study law and criminal justice at the Ivy League institution, played on TAV Houston squads that were a national qualifier the past four years, which is the same amount of time the Montgomery County-based program has existed.
“She’s been, for the most part, running the show for those teams and leading them to be successful, “said Lind. “She’s a big part of our growth as a club and on her team.”
Lind explained that Mbonu enjoyed a solid three-year career for the Klein Bearkats. Each season for Mbonu, who will study business at Louisville, ended in a playoff appearance.
“Nena was a big part of [Klein’s success],” he said. “Every year that she’s been there, they’ve been successful, and she’s been a big part of it. She played in the middle and on the outside. She’s a go-to player … she garners a lot of attention but has been able to handle the pressure.”
Lind added that Mbonu has come a long way since joining TAV Houston four years ago.
“[She’s] super athletic, putting in the work and [getting] better year after year,” he said. “She’s had a lot of attention. We’ve asked a lot of her to produce, be successful, and carry her team.”
Mbonu “took a lot of the load” this past year for the club, added Lind.
He further marveled at her warm nature and humility.
Lind wants Arent and Mbonu to thoroughly enjoy the college experience, as well as continue working on their games.
“It goes by fast,” he said. “We can’t go back. College is some of the best times of your life. Just soak it all in… Embrace adversity and be able to learn from it and move on. Enjoy the ride.”