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20 Jun 2015

RECAP: International Division

RECAP: International Division

It was the second year that the International Division was incorporated into the AAU Girls Junior National Volleyball Championships. Traveling from all parts of the world, AAU Volleyball had the honor of hosting seven international teams at this year’s competition—Brazil, China Shandong, Dominican Republic, Germany Berlin, Israel, Puerto Rico and Slovenia.

Brazil entered the 2015 tournament as the defending international and world champions, having defeated the Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-22 and later defeating Mizuno Sports Performance (2014 18u Open Champions) in the World Championship match. Brazil fell short in this year’s tournament, going 3-3 and unable to get a chance to defend their titles.

Dominican Republic, on the other hand, found themselves back in the International Division finals facing the undefeated Chinese team from Shandong. The question was, would they be able to improve on last year’s runner up finish?

China came out striking in the first set, putting down kill after kill and orchestrating a killer defensive wall that the Dominican Republic could not penetrate. The Dominican Republic did make a late rally to bring it within one (23-22), but China stayed composed to take the first set 25-22.

In the second set, the Dominican Republic picked things up, countering China’s potent offense. They would go on a 4-0 run to tie things up early, but China was too strong on both the offensive and defensive fronts. In the end, China Shandong stayed undefeated through the tournament and captured the 2015 AAU Girls Junior National Volleyball Championship International Division Championship.

Later in the afternoon China Shandong faced off against Mizuno Sports Performance (2015 18u Open Champions) in the World Championship finals. China got off to an early 2-0 start and would never look back, cruising to a 25-17, 25-20 victory. Execution was the name of the game and China executed their game plan efficiently, creating a wall at the net that could not be penetrated and exploiting holes within the Sports Performance lineup to lay down timely kills. Service errors hurt Sports Performance early on, but China’s precision and technical ability could not be matched. 

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