2012 USA Beach Junior Tour Hosts National Championship
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug 3, 2012) – The highly anticipated 2012 USA Beach Junior Tour National Championship finally hit Bradford Beach on July 28-29 in Milwaukee, Wis.
The tournament hosted a record-setting 208 boys’ and girls’ teams representing 18 states and 20 USA Volleyball regions.
The teams were divided into nine divisions: Boys’ 18 and under (18U) Open, Boys’ 14U Open, Girls’ 18U Open, Girls’ 16U Open, Girls’ 14U Open, Girls’ 12U Open, Girls’ 18U National, Girls’ 16U National and Girls’ 14U National.
The National Divisions, which hosted a total of 55 teams, were open to any beach junior team wishing to compete at the year-end event.
The Open Divisions hosted 153 teams, which was a 20 percent increase from participation at the 2011 USA Beach Junior Tour National Championship. To compete in this division, a team had to earn a bid by finishing in the top three at a qualifying event throughout the course of the 2012 Beach Junior Tour season.
An exception was made on the boys’ side allowing non-bid winning teams to participate in the Open Division in order to create more competitive pools and elevate the competition level.
The Boys’ 18U Open Division was won by Dayton Arellano and Austin Hartline (Dallas, Texas) after defeating AJ Logosh and Steve O’Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) in the finals. The three-set battle was played on a feature court in front of a full house. Kyle Warfel and Benjamin Hutsell (Hope Mills, N.C.) shared third-place accolades with Ben Plaisted and Alex Podransky (Milwaukee, Wis.).
Following the championship match, Arellano and Hartline were invited to play an exhibition match and earned more bragging rights after defeating local beach pros William Robbins (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Jeff Samuels (Flint, Mich.).
Stefan Mickol and Michael Voelkl (Rochester, N.Y.) claimed gold in the Boys’ 14U Open Division after defeating Zack Pollack and Eli Mordini (Chicago, Ill.) in the finals. Joey Piazza and Gregory Jesionek (Cleveland, Ohio) finished in third place along with Evan Greuel and Andrew Conley (Thiensville, Wis.).
Abigail Hornacek and Aren Cupp (Phoenix, Ariz.) won the Girls’ 18U Open Division after defeating Sarah Agnew and Kelley Koop (Dallas, Texas) in the finals. Kimmy Gardiner and Kylie Goble (Ft. Worth, Texas) shared third place with Emma and Sophie Peel (Portland, Oregon).
After winning the division, Hornacek and Cupp played an exhibition match against local beach pros Heidi Pfeiffer (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Michelle Sobocinski (Hardford, Wis.).
The Girls’ 16U Open Division crowned Jenna Belton and Kristen Mead (Santa Cruz, Calif.) champions after they defeated Amber Davis and Julia Lewkowicz (Coral Springs, Fla.) in the finals. Third place went to Elyse Berlin and Courtney Miller (Red Oaks, Texas) along with Molly Turner and Katja Ostojic (Naperville, Ill.).
Alexis Martinez and Jamie Stivers (Coppell, Texas) shared third place in the Girls’ 14U Open Division with Amy Leonhardt and Victoria Durney-Reyer (Dallas, Texas). Haley Hallgren and Ashley Robert (Dallas, Texas) claimed first-place honors for the second consecutive year after defeating Kylie Grandy and Genna Simpkins (Raleigh, N.C.) in the championship match.
The Girls’ 12U Open Division named Alina Lam and Angelee Ng (Dallas, Texas) champions after the duo defeated Jaiden Chase and Lacey Angello (Kansas City, Kan.) in the finals. Third place went to Isabel Gonzalez and Miles Baker (Dallas, Texas) along with Audrey May and Sasha Jimenez (Dallas, Texas).
The Girls’ 18U National Division was won by the Horton sisters after defeating Emily Aigner and Kristen Webb (Lake Villa, Ill.) in the finals. Miriam McKee and Raven Burns (Naperville, Ill.) shared third-place honors with the team of Curtis and Marsh (Perrysburg, OH).
Lauren Murray and Emily Prystash ( Naperville, Ill.) took third place in the Girls’ 16U National Division along with Catherine Elliott and Francesca Fusco (Milwaukee, Wis.). Elizabeth and Katherine Machi (West Allis, Wis.) claimed first place after defeating Jane Emmenecker and Mady Parks (Toledo, Ohio) in the finals.
The Girls’ 14U National Division was won by Shannon Richardson and Alexandra Kim (San Francisco, Cal.), who defeated Grace and Killeen Murphy (Chicago, Ill.) in the finals. Allysa Wawrzyniakowski and Emma Fettig (Burlington, Wis.) shard third place with Dani Jankauskas and Maxine Kasznia (Chicago, Ill.).
The event was held in partnership with USA Volleyball’s Badger Region, Elevation Management and Todd Gawronski of G1, Inc., with support from Visit Milwaukee!
Tour Director Rick Schanz commented on the success and growth of the 2012 USA Beach Junior Tour as the season comes to an end.
“We would like to thank USA Volleyball and all of the regional event operators for helping to make this our best tour season ever,” Schanz said. “We would also like to thank our long time sponsor, Spalding King of the Beach Balls and Spalding Karch Kourt Net Systems (spalding.com). They worked great at this event. To our first year sponsors, Voolii Lifestyle sportswear (voolii.com) and Honu sandals (teamhonu.com), your participation enhanced our player experience."