Written by: Amanda Szylin
The 2014 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships concluded in a big way on Monday and Tuesday as the 15, 16 and 17 divisions, along with the 18 Classic, finished up tournament play. The 15 and 17 Open and Premier Championship Games took place on Monday, June 23rd with the 17 Premier teams kicking it off!
Ocala Power United 17 Rox and the Carolina Islanders 17 Elite faced off in the 17 Premier Championship Game trying to take home the crown. Carolina Islanders played their first game at 8AM on Monday morning and then played again at 9AM, 11AM and 3PM. They won every game they played except for one match in pool play and the Championship Game itself, where they lost 25-16, 25-23. Ocala Power United 17 Rox won the game and the division, wrapping up the tournament where they went undefeated.
The 15 Open and 15 Premier Championship Games were next at 4PM. In the 15 Open division Asics Munciana and Mizuno Northern Lights 15-1 battled it out to see who would claim the crown. The match went three sets, with Mizuno taking the third to secure their win. Mizuno also went undefeated in the tournament and won every match in two sets except for the final Championship Game.
In the 15 Premier final, the Mizuno Northern Lights 15-2 team faced AP 15 PHD. Northern Lights had another long road the finals, starting their day at 8AM and fighting for the win in two close games at 9AM and 11AM. In the Championship game, cruised to a first set win, 25-13, and secured the match in the second set with a 25-21 victory.
In the 17 Open Championship Game, Mizuno Northern Lights were in it again, this time with their 17-1 team facing Illini Elite 17 Cardinal. Illini Elite started early, barely beating Avoli 17 Luis 27-25, 25-23 and then going three sets against Mizuno Vision 17-1, but ultimately pulling off the win. The Championship game was close, but Mizuno Northern Lights grabbed another National Championship title, making it the club’s third National Championship of the day.
On Tuesday, competition was tense among the remaining teams. The championship games started at 3Pm with the two remaining 17U divisions.
Texstar and Premier Kayano faced each other in the 17 Club National Championship. Both teams only lost one game each in pool play, resulting in a bye going into the championship bracket. The Championship game was close, by Texstar managed to grab the win in two sets, 25-23, 25-21, becoming the new 17 Club National Champions.
Meanwhile, in the 17 Classic two teams fought their way to the Championship game. Both Mizuno Northern Lights and Tampa U17 Elite started at 8AM and didn’t stop until the championship game was over. Tampa U17 Elite managed to pull out a win over Mizuno Northern Lights in two sets, 25-20, 25-21.
After those games, the 18 Classic and 16 Club divisions were in the hot seat. In a tough 18 Classic bracket that included Mizuno Sports Performance, Asics Munciana and Mizuno Northern Lights, Crossfire 18-1 ended up taking home the gold with a three set victory (20-25,25-16, 15-12) over the Asics Munciana Chameleons.
A court over, Gainesville Juniors 16 Elite and Illini Elite 16 Black were fighting for the gold in the 16 Club division. Gainesville Juniors cruised to a two set win, 25-12, 25-22. Gainesville Juniors 16 Elite won every set in the tournament, going 24-0 in sets and 12-0 in matches. Great job, girls!
In the final games of the day, and the tournament, the 16 Open, 16 Premier and 16 Classic divisions all came to play, making it an exciting end to a great tournament. Skyline 16 RSB Royal and Triangle 16 Black had a tough day to get to the championship game. Triangle went three sets in their first game of the day, ultimately defeating Viper 16 Elite Kat to move on to the semi-finals. Skyline won easily over Union 16 Asics Ken, 25-14 and 25-17. In their semi-final games, both teams went to three sets, with Triangle stealing the win from Mizuno Northern Lights and Skyline moving on after defeating OVA 16 Asics. In the championship game, Skyline took the first set easily, 25-16, and got the match win after winning the second set 26-24, making them the new National Champions in the 16 Open division.
Mizuno Northern Lights took home another gold after winning the 16 Premier division over Asics KIVA 16 White. Mizuno only lost one match the whole tournament, losing just four sets. Asics KIVA made it a close competition but Mizuno pulled through for the 25-21 and 25-22 victory.
Last but not least, the West Florida Waves and Sky High 16 Blue made it through to the championship game after a long day of volleyball. Games started at 9AM and the championship game didn’t start until 7PM. But both teams persevered and made it to the final round, where Sky High claimed the gold with a 25-19 and 25-17 win. Sky High was another team that went the entire tournament without losing a match or a single set.
Congratulations to ALL the teams that participated in the 2014 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships! We can’t wait to see you again next year!
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