Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Balboa Bay Secures 18 Open Title at BJNCs with Stunning Comeback

Balboa Bay

After years of near misses, Matt Ctvrtlik finally claimed victory as he ended his high school volleyball career with a gold medal. The Balboa Bay 18 Blue team from Southern California produced a remarkable comeback to clinch the 2016 Boys’ Junior National Championship 18 Open title. In a thrilling championship match against Sports Performance B18 Mizuno from the Great Lakes region, Balboa Bay overcame a first-set loss to triumph 22-25, 25-20, 16-14.

A Long-Awaited Triumph

Reflecting on his team’s achievement, Ctvrtlik expressed his joy: “My high school basketball team lost in the state finals, in volleyball we lost in the finals; I’ve had two Junior Nationals second-place finishes… It’s nice to win first place.”

Balboa Bay had been unstoppable throughout the tournament, taking the first set in every match. Yet, in the championship game, they found themselves in unfamiliar territory as Sports Performance dominated the first set with strong serving, relentless blocking, and aggressive attacking. Tyler Mitchem and Zachary Meyer spearheaded Sports Performance’s charge, earning All-Tournament honors. However, Balboa Bay’s outside hitter Noah Dyer and blocker Cameron Kavoosi stepped up, propelling their team to an early advantage in the second set.

A Team Effort

Ctvrtlik played a crucial role in distributing the ball effectively, creating numerous one-on-one matchups and exploiting gaps in Sports Performance’s defense. For Ctvrtlik, the victory had a special meaning as he got to share it with his father, Bob Ctvrtlik, who also served as the team’s Assistant Coach. Bob, a member of the gold-medal-winning 1988 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team, reveled in the opportunity to coach his son.

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“Coaching these guys, who possess such great energy and enthusiasm, has been an absolute joy. They never give up,” Bob said. “Coaching my son and witnessing their growth has made this journey even more rewarding.”

Preparing for the Future

Bob emphasized that winning a national championship was not the only objective for the Balboa Bay coaching staff this season. Their focus extended beyond the tournament itself, aiming to prepare the players for collegiate-level volleyball. According to Bob, this includes developing the mental game, as all the players at this level are physically and technically strong.

“We want to equip them with the skills they need to excel at the next level while having a lot of fun along the way,” Bob added.

A Display of Resilience

In the third set, Sports Performance demonstrated their mental fortitude by battling back from an early 4-0 deficit to level the score on a block by Mitchem. Although they never managed to regain the lead, the Chicago-area team pushed Balboa Bay to raise their level of play with their scrappy defense and blocking. Sports Performance denied Balboa Bay match point with a kill from Mitchem, but their hopes were dashed two points later when a player was called for a net violation during a Dyer attack.

The 2016 Boys’ Junior National Championship, hosted in Dallas for the second time since 2012, commenced on June 29 and will conclude on July 6. With 464 courts spread across 39 venues, the tournament brings together teams from various age divisions.

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How long has Balboa Bay been competing in the Junior National Championship?

Balboa Bay has been a regular participant in the Junior National Championship, consistently showcasing their talent and determination to compete at the highest level.

What sets Balboa Bay apart from other teams?

Balboa Bay stands out due to their exceptional teamwork, strong offensive play, and mental resilience. These qualities have propelled them to succeed in the highly competitive Junior National Championship.

Are there any notable players on the Balboa Bay team?

Yes, Balboa Bay boasts several standout players, including Matt Ctvrtlik, Noah Dyer, and Cameron Kavoosi. These athletes have consistently delivered impressive performances and played key roles in their team’s success.

How does winning the championship impact the players’ future?

Victory in the Junior National Championship provides players with valuable experience, exposure, and confidence. Many players from past championship-winning teams have gone on to play volleyball at the collegiate level and beyond.


Balboa Bay’s stunning comeback in the 18 Open championship match at the Boys’ Junior National Championship is a testament to their determination and skill. Capturing the gold medal after years of falling just short is a momentous achievement for the team, and it marks the perfect end to Ctvrtlik’s high school volleyball career. With their impressive display of teamwork and resilience, Balboa Bay has firmly established themselves as one of the top teams in the nation.

For more information about Balboa Bay and their accomplishments, visit Alpinetgheep.

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