| Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno takes on Outrigger 13.
RENO, Nev. (July 4, 2013) - The 13 Club division concluded play at the 2013 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships in Reno, Nev., on Thursday with Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno (Honolulu, Hawaii) taking the top spot.
The championship match saw Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno (Aloha Region) take on Outrigger 13 (Waikiki, Hawaii, Aloha Region) in an all-Hawaii final.
It was nice to face our rival team from Hawaii,” Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno Head Coach Diana McKibbon said. “Outrigger is by far one of the best teams in Honolulu.”
Though the teams faced off on the court, back home in Hawaii the players join forces at the Aloha Beach Volleyball Club in Oahu, Hawaii. Aloha Beach Volleyball is a free, twice-monthly volleyball program for kids ages 7-17. Many players on Hawaii’s competitive club teams serve as coaches.
“As they teach, they learn,” Aloha Beach Volleyball Director Rod Suzumoto said. “They explain why they do things. These kids are out there teaching, and they’re playing in the finals [at Boys’ Junior Nationals]. To me, that’s unreal.”
| Players coach younger children at Aloha Beach Volleyball. (Photo
courtesy of Aloha Beach Volleyball)
“Our model for growing the game is to teach kids to coach so they become better players,” USA Volleyball Coordinator of Sport Development and Grants Andy Pai said. “That’s one of the reasons why they’re in the finals, because they’re out there coaching other kids.”
The program brings out collegiate and Olympic coaches and players from Hawaii to teach participants as well, hoping that the Hawaii connection inspires the kids. Suzumoto also thinks that having children teaching children is one of the most effective ways to get kids to learn.
“And I think the rapport is better when a child talks to another child, versus an adult,” he said. “They’re eye-to-eye. They’re receptive. They understand each other.”
In the championship match, Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno and Outrigger 13 traded points early in the first set, but Ka Ulukoa was able to pull out to an 8-4 lead. It took Outrigger 13 some time to get into the swing of its offense, and the gap would expand to as many as 11 points. Outrigger gained considerable ground late in the set, but Ka Ulukoa won the set 25-18.
In set two, Outrigger jumped out to an early lead, but Ka Ulukoa quickly rebounded to surge ahead to an 11-6 advantage. Outrigger fought to narrow the gap to 15-13 and just as quickly, Ka Ulukoa pulled to a 20-13 lead with five unanswered points. Despite Outrigger’s late efforts, Ka Ulukoa hung on to win it 25-19 and take the match 2-0.
“They’ve worked so hard,” McKibbon said. “The kids battled. Every point was great. And I knew it was going to be a battle and I just said, every point, play point for point. Dig deep, lay it out. It’s pretty sweet.”
Ka Ulukoa M13 Black Mizuno was seeded third overall in the 13 Club division and went 8-0 in the tournament. Outrigger 13 was seeded first overall and finished the tournament with a 7-2 record.
Claiming the bronze were Tampa Bay Volleyball Academy 131 (Clearwater, Fla., Florida Region) and MB Surf Nike 13s (Manhattan Beach, Calif., Southern California Region).
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)