A5 18 Scott Qualifies for Nationals in 18 Open Division
A5 Family Sweeps Beast of the Southeast Championships
March 1, 2019 -
Our Beast of the Southeast tournament came into its own last weekend, attracting strong teams from all over the country and solidifying its reputation as the most competitive volleyball tournament in the South.
Before we celebrate the performance of our teams, we thought our members might enjoy a brief stroll down memory lane. Beast was first envisioned in 2008 as a way to take advantage of Atlanta's central location and A5's emergence as a National power, bringing competitive teams to Atlanta, thereby saving on travel costs. We were the first Invitational tournament in the South. That first year we hosted 48 teams at Suwanee Sports Academy, and instituted several traditions, some of which survive today.
I was reminded by several college coaches of one of my favorites -- the Beastly Chili Cook-off, in which several A5 moms brought Crock Pots full of their favorite Chili and the college coaches served as judges. Alas, Beast has simply become too big to continue that tradition. We outgrew Suwanee in a few short years and moved the event to Cobb Convention Center before settling on the Georgia International Convention Center ("GICC"), a facility we have used for the past five years and have under contract through 2024. In 2016 our bid to host an 18's National Qualifier was accepted by USAV, assuring the event's continued success. Indeed, we've exceeded GICC's capacity now, so we host 12's and 13's at SVC.
One of the advantages of GICC - which we didn't fully appreciate at the time -- is its connection to the airport, which enables college coaches to travel to Atlanta, recruit, and return home in one day. Beast has typically attracted some 100 - 130 college coaches, but we blew through that record last weekend with a record 180 college coaches scouting just 28 courts in GICC. Until someone proves me wrong, I am proclaiming a new World Record in the "college coaches-per-volleyball court" category (180 coaches / 28 courts = 6.43 coaches per court).
You can read Prepvolleyball's recap of the tourney by pressing this link.
OK... enough reminiscing. Let's toot a few horns,
A5 18 Scott Qualifies for USA Volleyball Nationals in 18 Open
It was a dogfight from the first match, which third-seeded A5 18 Scott lost 15-13 in the third set, setting up two, high-pressure, must-win matches on the first day. They won those matches, but lost their seed, entering the second day as the 12th seed (lowest seed in the pool, needing to finish first or second in pool to remain in contention).
The team played inspired volleyball on Saturday, winning their three matches without dropping a set, earning their way into a Championship Pool as the second seed. With two, three-team pools in contention and three Open bids at stake (with no trickle-downs), 18 Scott had to win at least one match to remain in contention, which they did, setting up yet another must-win match for third place and the Bid.