Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Spike and Serve Volleyball Club Wins Title at BJNC 2021


The 2021 USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championship ended on a high note as Spike and Serve Volleyball Club clinched the 17 Open title. The team, representing SAS from Honolulu, Hawaii/Aloha, showcased their resilience by bouncing back from three early defeats to secure a six-match winning streak. In a thrilling final, they emerged victorious with a 25-17, 25-21 win against 352 Elite Boys Adi 17 Lime from Ocala, Fla./Florida.

Head coach Padraic (Rick) Tune expressed his gratitude to be part of this remarkable journey with his team. He highlighted the significance of this achievement for Hawaii, as it has been a long time since a team from the state has captured this title. Coach Tune, who has been coaching this group since they were 8 years old, felt an emotional connection to the victory, especially as it marked the senior year of their libero.

In the 17 USA category, Arizona Fear from Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona dominated their way to the title, losing only one match. They triumphed over Cincinnati Attack 17 Black from the Ohio Valley Region with a scoreline of 25-20, 25-23. Head coach Keith Smith expressed his pride in the team’s success, emphasizing the hard work they put in to achieve this milestone. For many of the players, this was their first experience winning a state or club tournament of this magnitude.

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SMASH 17-1 from Boston, Mass./New England secured their first-ever boys program title in the 17 Club category. With a resounding 25-16, 25-12 victory over Bay to Bay 17-2 from Campbell, Calif./NCVA, SMASH head coach Jeffrey Vautrin praised his team’s ability to come together despite limited practice opportunities. Due to restrictions, this tournament served as their first major event of the year, and they managed to clinch the title even with three missing players. Coach Vautrin hoped those absent were watching and cheering them on.

In the highly competitive 18 Open division, Balboa Bay 18 Blue from Newport Beach, Calif./SCVA reigned supreme with an 11-0 record. Having previously secured silver in 2018 and 2019 after winning gold in 2016 and 2017, Balboa Bay was back on top this year. They triumphed over Pacific Rim 18 Orange from Pleasant Hill, Calif./NCVA with a comfortable 25-14, 25-23 victory. Head coach Andy Read credited the team’s focus on serving as a pivotal factor in their success. The players rallied and prioritized serving pressure to disrupt their opponents’ rhythm and take control of the game.

The 18 USA tournament saw Chicago Bounce 18 Red from the Great Lakes Region emerge victorious against Pipeline 18-1 from Schaumburg, Ill./Great Lakes. Chicago Bounce, participating in only their second tournament of the year due to COVID restrictions, showcased their resilience and skill by winning the 18 USA title. Head coach Steven Wolf highlighted the challenges they faced with limited access to training facilities. Despite these obstacles, the team’s dedication and occasional practice sessions led them to secure eight consecutive wins, including two thrilling three-set matches, to clinch the championship.

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In the 18 Club category, Legacy Boys 18 Elite from Santa Clarita, Calif./SCVA emerged as champions with an impressive 12-0 record. They sealed their victory with a hard-fought 25-20, 31-29 win over 630 Volleyball 18-1 from Darien, Ill./Great Lakes. Head coach Kevin Ker commended his team’s resilience in the face of injuries that plagued them throughout the year. He acknowledged the team’s perseverance, stating that their peak performance at the right time contributed to their success and ultimately crowned them national champions.

Q: How did Spike and Serve Volleyball Club overcome their early defeats to win the title?

A: Spike and Serve Volleyball Club displayed remarkable resilience, bouncing back from three early defeats to secure a six-match winning streak. This determination, coupled with their skills and teamwork, enabled them to emerge as champions.

Q: What made Balboa Bay 18 Blue stand out in the 18 Open division?

A: Balboa Bay 18 Blue’s focus on serving played a vital role in their success. They emphasized creating serving pressure and staying true to their team identity. This emphasis on serving excellence allowed them to disrupt their opponents’ rhythm and dominate the tournament.

Q: How did Legacy Boys 18 Elite manage to win the 18 Club category despite injuries?

A: Legacy Boys 18 Elite faced numerous challenges throughout the year due to injuries. However, their perseverance and belief in their abilities allowed them to overcome these setbacks. Coach Kevin Ker’s guidance and the team’s resilience ultimately led them to go undefeated and become national champions.

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The 2021 USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championship showcased exceptional talent and fierce competition. Spike and Serve Volleyball Club’s triumph in the 17 Open category, along with the success of Arizona Fear, SMASH 17-1, Balboa Bay 18 Blue, Chicago Bounce 18 Red, and Legacy Boys 18 Elite, highlighted the dedication and skill of these teams. These championships serve as a testament to the hard work, perseverance, and passion for the sport exhibited by these young athletes and their coaches. Congratulations to the winners of the BJNC 2021!