RENO, Nev. (July 4, 2013) - Action at the 2013 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships in Reno, Nev., concluded on Thursday with the championship matches in the 17 Open and Club Divisions. Ka Ulukoa M17 Mizuno (Honolulu, Hawaii) took home the gold in 17 Open, while the Canuck Dinos (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) earned the top spot in 17 Club.
The 17 Open division pitted Ka Ulukoa 17 Mizuno (Aloha Region) against Southern California Volleyball Club (SCVC) 17 Quiksilver (Redondo Beach, Calif., Southern California Region).
| Ka Ulukoa M17 Mizuno takes on SCVC 17 Quiksilver.
The match remained close early in the first set, with Ka Ulukoa 17 Mizuno maintaining a slight lead. SCVC 17 Quiksilver tied the score at 10, but Ka Ulukoa was again able to pull ahead and lead 20-15. SCVC scored several timely points to close the gap to 22-20, but Ka Ulukoa was ultimately able to hang onto its lead and win the set 25-21.
Neither team could gain much of an advantage in the beginning of the second set, and the score was knotted at 15-15. The teams continued to go point for point as the score entered the 20s and came down to the wire. SCVC foiled Ka Ulukoa’s match point twice, but was unable to do it again and Ka Ulukoa won the second set 26-24 and the match 2-0.
“I think it’s a validation of the work, and it was also a testament to trusting in a system,” Ka Ulukoa 17 Mizuno Head Coach Tedmund Maa said. “Maybe not having the best players overall, but knowing that if we all work together, we could get good results. They stayed true to that the whole way, and nobody tried to be a hero. They stuck together as a team and I think that’s kind of been our statement. Team before self.”
Seeded fourth overall in the division, Ka Ulukoa 17 Mizuno went a perfect 11-0 in the tournament. SCVC 17 Quiksilver, seeded third, earned a 9-2 record.
Winning bronze were Trujillo Volleyball Academy 17 Juan (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) and San Juan Volleyball Club 17 (San Juan, Puerto Rico).
In an international championship match on the United States’ Independence Day, Canuck Dinos faced off against Vaqueros 17 Rafy (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) to determine the 17 Club division champion.
The first set belonged to the Dinos at the get-go, as they jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Vaqueros battled back to knot the score at 12 apiece and take its first lead at 14-13. Vaqueros led 19-16, but the Dinos were up to the task with a 5-1 run to take the lead at 21-20. Vaqueros, however, weren’t down for long, and won the set 25-23.
| Canuck Dinos take on Vaqueros 17 Rafy.
It was a seesaw battle to start the second set, as the teams traded three-point leads. The Dinos were ahead first, only to fall behind and battle back to lead 19-15. Vaqueros was unable to close the gap from there and the Dinos evened up by match by taking set two 25-18.
The teams went point for point to begin the third set until the Dinos were able to take a 7-4 lead. Vaqueros fought back and tied the score at 10 all, but the Dinos scored five consecutive points to win the set 15-10 and take the match 2-1.
“Their defense on block was phenomenal, definitely some of the best defense we’ve faced all weekend,” Canuck Dinos Head Coach Kerry MacDonald said. “We underachieved at our own national championships, so we were a little disappointed with our finish there. This is our first gold of the season. We’ve had a couple of silvers and it’s nice to now be at the top of the podium.”
The Canuck Dinos were seeded fourth overall in their division and finished the tournament with a sparkling 12-0 record. Vaqueros 17 Rafy, seeded sixth, went 9-3 and fell to the Canuck Dinos when the two teams faced off the day before the championship match.
Claiming the bronze were Balboa Bay 17 White (Costa Mesa, Calif., Southern California Region) and Trujillo Volleyball Academy 17 Wilfredo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico).
2013 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships
12 Club: Gold – Warriors VC 12 (Puerto Rico); Silver – Vaqueros 12-1 (Puerto Rico); Bronze – Bayou Boys 12 U (Bayou), HVA 121 Young Guns (Lone Star)
13 Club: Gold – Ka Ulukoa 13M Black Mizuno (Aloha); Silver – Outrigger 13 (Aloha); Bronze – Tampa Bay VB Academy 131 (Florida) and MB Surf Nike 13s (Southern California)
14 Open: Gold – Borinquen Coqui 14-1M (Puerto Rico); Silver – Seaside 14 Black (Southern California); Bronze – Spectrum 14’s (Southern California Region), MVVC 14 Red (Northern California)
14 Club: Gold – Southside B14 (Moku O Keawe); Silver – Pittsburgh 14 Black (Keystone); Bronze – Team Rockstar 14-1 (Southern California), Ku’ikahi 14R RoShamBo (Aloha)
15 Open: Gold – SCVC 15 Quiksilver (Southern California); Silver – Balboa Bay 15 Hurley (Southern California); Bronze – WA Lightning B15 (Badger), Pali 15 Nike (Southern California)
15 Club: Gold – Ka Ulukoa 15 Mizuno (Aloha); Silver – SMBC 15 Black (Southern California); Bronze – Ocean Bay 15 Quik (Florida) and NCVC Black 15-1 (Northern California)
16 Open: Gold – The HBC 16-KC (Southern California); Silver – Balboa Bay 16 Hurley (Southern California); Bronze – Coastal B16 Navy (Old Dominion), SMBC 16 Black (Southern California)
16 Club: Gold – HLVBC 16 Nike (Southern California); Silver – NCVC Blue 16-2 (Northern California); Bronze – NCVC Black 16-1 (Northern California), WAVE 16 Asics (Southern California)
17 Open: Gold – Ka Ulukoa 17 Mizuno (Aloha); Silver – SCVC 17 Quiksilver (Southern California); Bronze – TVA 17 Juan (Puerto Rico), San Juan Volleyball Club 17 (Puerto Rico).
17 Club: Gold – Canuck Dinos (Canada); Silver – Vaqueros 17 Rafy (Puerto Rico); Bronze – Balboa Bay 17 White (Southern California), TVA 17 Wilfredo (Puerto Rico)
18 Open: Gold – 949 18 Black (Southern California); Silver – Balboa Bay 18 Hurley (Southern California); Bronze – Coast 18 Quiksilver (Southern California), MB Surf Nike 18s (Southern California)
18 Club: Gold – Guaynabo City Mets 18U (Puerto Rico); Silver – TVA 18U (Puerto Rico); Bronze – AZ Fear 18 White (Arizona), APV 18 Black (Arizona)