Coming off a Silver Medal finish at AAU's, 17 Jing
had gold on their mind,. They demonstrated that their 13th seed was way too low by knocking off Arizona Storm - the first seed and top-ranked U17 team all season long - in a thrilling, three-set, come-from-behind victory in pool play, taking over the #1 seed - at least for a day. They dropped a close match to #3 seed Northern Lights on day 3, setting up another Jing vs. Ping Challange Match-up with #2 seed TAV. A5 hung tough, though, beating the vaunted TAV team 27-29; 25-23; 15-13, earning their way into the Gold Medal Bracket and denying TAV such a spot for the first time since 2011. Prepvolleyball.com called the third set of their match, "quite possibly the best frame of girls club volleyball these eyes have ever witnessed". (To read Prep's write-up, press this link
.) Sadly, A5 lost their first match in the Gold Medal Bracket to finish 5th in the country. Great season, ladies!
17 Marc's challenge match was equally close. They were denied a spot in the Gold Medal Bracket of the 17 National Division when they lost it by the score of 25-23; 24-26; 21-23. They finished the tournament with a 7 - 3 record and an 11th place finish.
17 Lisa was 3-10 in the 17 American Division, finishing 50th
A5 South JMac finished 27th in the 17 National Division, winning four of their last five matches to complete their tournament with a 5-4 record
16 Gabe finished third in their day one pool, remaining in contention, and they followed that up by winning their pool on day 3, as well as their challenge match, to take over the third seed in the Gold Medal Bracket, where they lost to the eventual champion in the first round. They finished 5th in the tourney, improving their seed by 12 places.
16 Liang was eliminated from contention for the 16 National Championship in their initial pool, though they were competitive in every match. They continued to compete with integrity, however, winning three of their final four matches, finishing 27th in the 16 National Division. They were one of two "3" teams in the U.S. that qualified to compete in the Division.
15 Bob(a) tripped out of the gate, losing their first match in three sets (15-17), but they won the rest of their matches in pool play, allowing them to keep their #4 seed. They won their next three matches to make it to the Gold Medal Bracket, where they were eliminated in the first round. The team finished with a 7-2 record and 5th place in the 15 Open Division. Both of their losses were in three sets.
15 JJ dominated their initial pool without dropping a set, and remained in the hunt for the Gold Bracket until losing to the eventual runner-up in a 12-15 heartbreaker, denying the A5 Family of an all-A5 final. 15 JJ finished out their season with character, winning their final three matches in straight sets to win the Silver Division. Closing their season with a 10-2 record, they finished 9th in the 15 National Division.
15 LA remained in contention for the Championship of the 15 American Division until their Challenge match on day 3. 6-3 on the weekend, they finished the event in 13th place out of 64 teams.
A5 14-1 remained in contention through the first two days of the tournament, but was eliminated in a challenge match and finished with a 5-4 record, good enough for 13th place in the 14 Open Division.
14 Karen missed making it out of pool play by one match. They were 4-4 on the weekend, finishing 29th in the 14 National Division.
The first team from Chattanooga to qualify for Nationals in many many years, A5 Chattanooga 14 Duane was eliminated from contention for the 14 American title with a 1-2 record on day 1, but they finished strong, compiling a 5-4 record for the tournament and placing 31st in the 14 American Division.
Playing in the 13 Open Division, 13 Earl knocked off the third seed in the tournament right out of the gate, and remained in contention for the Championship until Day 3. They finished 11th of 24 teams, bettering their seed by eight spots.
A5 South 13 JD was competitive in several matches, but finished the tournament 1-8 in the highly competitive 13 National Division - about where they were seeded. They remain the youngest team in A5 South history to qualify for Nationals, portending a very bright future for these young ladies.
12 Jing was 8-1 on the weekend. The first match they dropped was to eventual Champion Mizuno Long Beach, where, on set two, they fell victim to a hot server and began the set in a 0 - 11 hole. They closed the gap to 21-25, but had to "settle" for 5th place in the 12 National Division - this on the heels of winning a Silver Medal in the 12 Open Division of AAU's. Way to go, girls!
12 Jake finished the tournament with a 4 -5 record in the 12 American Division, good enough for 19th place out of 48 teams. They were seeded 35th, which they bettered by an impressive 16 places. Great way to finish the season, ladies!
11 Walter, playing in the 11 National Division, started the tournament 0-4, but finished strong by winning their final three matches. This team will forever have the distinction of being the first U11 team from the Southern Region to win a match at USAV Nationals.
11 Janet played in the National Division as well. As one of only four '2" teams in the division, They knew that they would be facing an uphill battle, but with no American bid offered for U11's, it was either take the bid or stay home. They took the bid, and were competitive in several matches, but sadly they were not able to bring home a "W". They played with spirit and character, however, and the future is bright for these young ladies. Plus.... hopefully they realize that hundreds if not thousands of girls would gladly have taken their place to compete in Detroit.
Boys are still competing in Phoenix. We'll tell you how they did in our next newsletter.