Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Rockwood Thunder Hits the Beach

The 2019 National Beach Tour Junior Championships in Manhattan Beach, California continued with the 12-and-under and 16U divisions playing their second and final round of pool play. With over 1,000 players and 505 teams participating in the tournament, there are countless stories of triumph, resilience, and celebration.

Four Missourians Walk onto the Beach…

In the 12U Boys National Open Division, two teams from Rockwood Thunder, a club based out of the Gateway Region, are making waves. Jack McClanahan and Cole Esparza, as well as Luke Schall and Thomas Thoman, both from Ballwin, Missouri, are taking on the competition on the sand. Despite being new to the sport, McClanahan and Esparza have found joy and excitement in facing challenging opponents. Thoman and Schall, who played in last year’s championships, have noticed an increase in competition this year. Despite the challenges, both teams have performed well, with Thoman and Schall advancing to the quarterfinal round and McClanahan and Esparza playing in the play-in match. Another notable team from Rockwood Thunder, Riley Massey and Landon Martin, also pose a potential challenge in the finals.

A Perfect Birthday

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Londyn Stone from Wooster, Ohio, celebrated her 11th birthday in style at the tournament. Teaming up with Sara Snowbarger, Stone achieved an undefeated 4-0 record. Stone’s passion for the sport and the energy she brought to the court were evident throughout the matches. Undeterred by setbacks, Stone and Snowbarger fought hard and emerged victorious. It was undoubtedly an unforgettable birthday celebration for Stone.

Queens of the Court

Gracyn Spresser from Springdale, Arkansas, and Mikayla Benanti from Overland Park, Kansas, representing P4:13 Beach Club, had a strong start to their Friday. They won the day’s King/Queen of the Court competition, defeating competitors from various age groups, including teams of coaches. This victory boosted their confidence as they headed into pool play. Spresser and Benanti are determined to secure the first seed and make their mark in the tournament.

Up, then Down but not Out

Logan Scully from Mukilteo, Washington, and Anika Christensen from Vaughn, Washington, representing Dakine Volleyball Club, experienced a moment of adversity during their match. Scully took a hard fall and had to take a medical timeout. Despite the setback, Scully and Christensen showed resilience and tied the match, ultimately winning with a score of 28-23. Their focus on the present moment and their aggressive playstyle helped them secure the victory.

The tournament will conclude on Saturday, July 20, with the championship round of both divisions. The matches will take place at Manhattan Beach, California. Join us as we witness the thrilling conclusion to the National Beach Tour Junior Championships.

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