Record Eight Teams Earn Trip to Indianapolis to Compete in USAV Nationals at Big South

April 1, 2016 -

A5 Family,                                                             
Aside from the fact that Big South perennially falls on Easter Weekend -- which I hate -- this tournament is one of my favorites.
The incredible season we are having just keeps getting better. Eight teams went home from Big South last weekend with medals and a trip to Indianapolis to compete in the USA Volleyball National Championship Tournament.  Last year a record six teams qualified at Big South; this year nine qualified -- to include five in the highest division (Open for 13's and up; National for 12's).  Truly the magnitude of this accomplishment defies superlatives.
It is possible that two teams coached by the same individual have qualified on the same weekend, but I was not aware of such an instance until Coach Jing Hou did it with his 17's and his 12's at Big South.  Quite the accomplishment!

A5 17-Jing  didn't lose a set until the Championship Match to finish with a silver medal and a bid in the 17 Open division.

A5 12-Jing was undefeated going into their cross-over match with OVA/TBVA, but they fell in two sets in that match largely due to #2 on the opponent's side, who is possibly the best U12 player I have seen in my life.  The two teams met again in the finals, with 12-Jing prevailing to bring home the gold medal and a bid in the 12-National division.

A5 16-Gabe won their second qualifier in a row, dropping just one set to win yet another gold medal.  This team had already qualified in the Open division.

A5 15-Scoba raced to an 8 - 0 record before losing in the Championship Match.  They bring home their silver medals, along with a bid in the 15 Open division.

A5 14-Suzanne was 6 - 3 on the weekend, but won when they most needed to.  They finished fourth in the 14 Open division -- good enough for a bid owing to the existence of trickle-down bids in that division.
A5 13-PC, too, finished the weekend with a 6 - 3 record in the 13 Open division, but also won when it mattered most to finish with a silver medal and the bid.  It is worth noting that A5 South 13 Trina finished 5th in the 13 Open division by winning the silver bracket, and A5 13 Nikki finished 6th.  That U 13 age group is STRONG! 
Last year A5 was one of two clubs in the country to qualify a team from every age bracket in the Open division.  ....and we have already replicated that feat this season, with another month of Qualifying Season to go.  Simply astonishing.

A5 16-Gary was not to be denied the bid and bronze medal, rolling to a 25 - 13; 25 - 18 victory that wasn't as close as the score suggests.  Gary later shared with me that it was the first time one of his teams had earned a bid at a Qualifier (versus the Southern Region Championships).

A5 16-Matt was in a similar situation.  Seeded first of 139 teams, they would need a perfect weekend to win a bid, and perfect they were -- rolling to a 10 - 0 record while dropping just one set. It is worth noting that the second-best record in the 16-American division was posted by GA5 16-Kelsey, who finished 3rd with a 10 - 1 record.  16's is a strong age group in the A5 Family as well, with one Open, two USA and one American bid, along with a near miss.

There will be more opportunities in the month of April for teams without bids to earn them, and for most teams with bids to better them.  




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Over a dozen A5 coaches are currently coaching in college. Though we hate to lose these gifted coaches, we recognize that this dynamic is healthy, and is one of the reasons that we are successful in attracting such a talented coaching staff.

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