Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

National Beach Tour Junior Championships Conclude

The 2019 Beach National Tour Junior Championships came to a close in Manhattan Beach, California, on July 23, 2019. Six national champions were crowned in the 14U and 18U divisions. Let’s take a closer look at the winners and their stories.

An Extra Advantage

For the second year in a row, Skylar Martin and Rebecca Watkins emerged victorious in the Girls 14U National Division at the NBTJC. Interestingly, they had an unexpected ally supporting them in their journey – a charm known as Brown Cup. Last year, after playing a game of Yahtzee, they brought Brown Cup to the tournament and won. It became their good luck charm. This year, they defended their title in a thrilling three-set championship match. Martin and Watkins attributed their success to Brown Cup and their hard work.

New Partner, New Placement

In the Boys 14U National division, Leandro Cortado and his new partner, Carson Strawbridge, secured the gold medal after a hard-fought three-set victory. Cortado, who had finished second in the 2018 NBTJC, expressed his joy at achieving first place this year. The duo trained extensively for the tournament and their hard work paid off.

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An Extra Special Birthday

John Ziska had an unforgettable 17th birthday as he and his partner, Eric Winn, won the Boys 18U National Open finale. Despite limited information about their opponents, Dominic Hagerty and Hunter Haas, Ziska and Winn triumphed in a two-set victory. The pair had a successful tournament run and highlighted the enjoyable experience of playing beach volleyball in California.

Sweet Home Arizona

Alexis Sweeney and Alina Randall, representing RPM Sand in Scottsdale, Arizona, emerged as the Girls 18 Regional Open Division winners. Sweeney, who recently moved to Arizona, expressed her appreciation for the tight-knit community and the favorable weather for training. They sealed their victory with a strong two-set win and were pleased with their performance.

Fiftieth State, but Number One in Regional Volleyball

In the 14 Girls Regional Open Division, Indigo Clarke and Samantha Okano of Spike and Serve triumphed over Hie Loui and Senna Roberts-Navarro of Outrigger-Hunakai in an all-Hawaii final. Despite never playing together before, Clarke and Okano quickly found their rhythm and secured a comprehensive victory in two sets.

A Long Day, but a Good One

Delaynie Maple and Megan Kraft from San Diego, California, clinched the Girls 18U National Open Division championship. They endured a long, nine-hour day, including a weather delay, but came out on top. The duo played three matches, including two sets to 28 points, totaling 288 points. Despite the fatigue, they were ecstatic to be crowned national champions, having put in a great deal of hard work throughout the season.

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In conclusion, the 2019 Beach National Tour Junior Championships showcased the incredible talent and dedication of young beach volleyball players. These national champions demonstrated their skills, perseverance, and love for the sport. The tournament may have ended, but the beach programming of USA Volleyball continues with the upcoming Beach High Performance Championships in Santa Monica, California.