A5 Runs the Table, Capping Perhaps the Most Prolific Weekend in A5 History ; Wins All Seven Regional Championships
Ten New Bids to USAV Nationals Earned, Bringing Total to 24; Plus Nine New College Commitments to Announce
There's a lot to celebrate in this email, so you may as well pour yourself a cup of coffee or parents might want to grab an adult beverage as you take all of this in.
The enormity of our club's performance last weekend defies words, but we shall try to do it justice in just two short bullet points.
I can't recall a more dominating performance by our club or frankly by any club. Read on for details.
Ten More Teams from the Family Indy-Bound
It was fun to watch the girls, coaches and parents celebrate the achievement of one of their primary team goals for the season - qualifying to compete in the USA Volleyball National Championship Tournament in Indianapolis this June/July. Following is a brief recap of these teas' incredible achievement. It is important to remember that many of these age brackets have 150 - 200 teams, so finishing atop that pack or nearly so is a real achievement.:
With only one other U11 team vying for a bid to Nationals, A5 11 Walter had perhaps the easiest path to their Regional Championship. All they had to do was win one match on Sunday morning, and they took care of business 25 - 12; 25 - 18. They have been the top-ranked U11 team in the region all season long, so earning a Regional Championship was no surprise.
A5 12 Jake's journey wasn't quite that easy. They entered the Regional Championship Match with a 10-0 record in sets. They lost the second set of the match 24 - 26, but built an insurmountable lead in set 3, winning by a 15 - 9 margin to be crowned Champions of the U12 division in the Southern Region.
Despite playing the weekend without their starting libero, whose hand was broken in a freak accident unrelated to volleyball, A5 13 Earl didn't drop a set all weekend, dominating the 13 Bid Division to win a Regional Championship and the honor of competing in the 13 National Division at Nationals.
A5 14 Allison entered the Championship Match of the 14 Bid Division with a 12 - 0 record in sets. They lost the first set of that match ,18 - 25, but came from behind to win the second and third sets, earning the title of U14 2019 Regional Champions. Considering there are 210 U14 teams in the region, this is no mean feat.
A5 15 LA entered the tournament with a USA bid safely in hand, but they wanted to better that bid to the National Division by winning a Regional Championship. They made some parents nervous when they lost their first set of the tournament 18 - 25, but they won their next 14 sets to realize their goal.
A5 15 Victor became just the second "4" team in A5 history to earn a bid to Nationals when they finished 6th in the 15 Bid Division. With two teams from the region entering the tournament with USA bids already in hand, the American bid trickled to 6th place.
Like A5 15 LA and A5 17 Scott, A5 16 Liang earned a bid in the USA Division at a National Qualifier, so their goal at Regionals was to better that bid to the National Division by winning the tournament. They were not seriously challenged in their quest, finishing the tournament with a 14-0 record in sets.
A5 16 Stephen came within a match of qualifying for Nationals at Big South, so their third-place finish at Regionals came as no surprise to many of us. They will compete in the 16 USA Division at Nationals.
A5 South 16 Charlette made history last weekend. Their only losses in the tournament came at the hands of A5 16 Liang and a three-setter versus A5 16 Stephen. Their fourth-place finish qualifies them to compete in the 16 American Division in Indianapolis. They are the first "2" team from a sister club ever to qualify for Nationals.
A5 Chattanooga 16 Duane's journey was a bit more sporty. They were knocked from contention for the Championship in the quarterfinals by eventual Champion A5 16 Liang, relegating them to a two-match playoff for 5th place. They won both of those matches easily, punching their ticket to Indianapolis.
The match between top seeded A5 17 Scott and second-seeded A5 South 17 Joe was much anticipated, as both teams entered the Championship Match without having dropped a set. With both teams of this all-A5 final assured of a bid in the 17 National Division, the match itself was for bragging rights, in addition to the $1000 entry fee for Nationals. A5 17 Scott won the match.
One of the Cinderellas of the tournament, A5 17 Jordan's 4th place finish came with a bid in the 17 American Division. It has been fun to watch that team improve throughout the year!
Additionally, A5 11 Ashley and A5 10 Janet met in the finals of the sixteen-team 11 Club Division. 11 Ashley came out on top of yet another All-A5 Final