Seven Division Champions Crowned at HPCs

By Charlie Snyder | July 28, 2018, 11:02 p.m. (ET)

TULSA, Okla. – Seven division titles were claimed on Saturday as the 2018 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships concluded at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa. 

The USA Junior A1 Red defeated USA Junior A1 White in the final championship match of the five-day event, winning the event’s most elite division, the Women’s International Junior, 25-11, 25-11, 25-20.

Setter Mia Tuaniga was named the division’s tournament MVP. 

“I couldn’t do it without my team,” said Tuaniga, a 2018 U.S. Junior National Team member. “It’s more about them then me. I’m just here for the ride. 

“My goal is to play Olympic volleyball USA. That’s where I want to go.”

HPC Event Page | Oklahoma Region takes first title at HPCs

FLORIDA

Head Coach Flavia Siqueira earned her fifth straight Girls’ National Select HP title in the championship match with Aloha, winning in five, after getting down two sets, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 25-10, 15-10. 

“I think the change in the lineup,” said Siqueira. “We were being used, we were being tooled quite often, so we decided to change a little bit of strategy and play defense instead of blocking. That helped us a little towards the end of the second set. From then on, it worked, and the momentum changed.”

How did this team differ from the previous four championship squads?

"In the past we had stronger and taller teams that would come in and not even lose a set," she said. "We didn’t lose a set two years in a row. However, this time it is a younger group and we didn’t have that available to us. So, we were able to play a chess game with these kids and it was just a great experience."

Florida used six different lineups and three defensive strategies with a team only recently assembled. 

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to know that the players are able to adapt so quickly to changes throughout this tournament especially.”

Florida also took the Boys’ National title over Southern California, 22-25, 25-17, 25-10, 15-25, 15-11, and the Girls’ International Youth crown. Florida beat Garden Empire in three, 25-13, 25-11, 25-19. 

Florida’s Kallista Cors was named the Girls’ International Youth tournament MVP. 

“I’m speechless,” Cors said. “This is my first year doing HP and this is one of the greatest experiences ever. I loved it so much. I love all the girls; the coaches are awesome. This tournament was the best part of my summer.”

IOWA

Iowa won the Boys’ Regional title after maybe not such a great start in the HP program four years ago.

“Actually, in our first year, we went 0-24 in sets,” said Max Roquet. “We didn’t win a single set, a single match and this year we didn’t even lose a match, so that’s like how much we’ve grown in four years. It’s pretty cool.”

Iowa beat Texoma, a combination team made up of players from Oklahoma, North Texas and Lone Star. Final results, 25-14, 25-16, 25.17.

“We came prepared every match,” he said. “We just came out ready to play and it was awesome. It’s so awesome to win an HP championship.”

What was the key in that title match?

“We kept hitting the ball down, I guess.”

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Southern California won their first Boys’ International title after finishing second in 2017. SCVA defeated Aloha 25-15, 25-16, 25-19. SCVA lost their opening match against Arizona, then rattled off seven straight wins. The team was led by Alex Knight; he was named the Boys’ International tournament MVP.  

Knight spent the first part of the year recuperating from a nasty ankle injury, before competing representing the U.S. on the Youth National Team in June. 

“I was in physical therapy day in and day out,” he said. “I worked hard and it’s been paying off, so that’s been awesome. Each experience, working with these coaches and playing with these guys, is awesome. We’re super close all the guys and it just makes a lot of fun. I love what I’m doing.

ALOHA

Aloha had two silvers on the day, Boys’ International and Girls’ National Select, a tough five-set loss to Florida. Aloha earned a gold in the Girls’ National Youth division with a victory over Old Dominion, 25-21, 24-26, 26-24, 25-20. 

Aloha captain Aysia Miller said that the team had a good feeling from the beginning that led to their undefeated 9-0 record.

“From the beginning we just trusted each other to just play how we play,” she said. We knew we could play good if we just played together. We built a bond; we all just play for each other, played with our heart and pushed through.

“We’re not a very big team. We knew we could defend well and pass well as long as we got those things down, we knew we were able to beat the other team.”

***

The High Performance Championships is a major step in USA Volleyball’s Path to the Podium. How does USAV develop Olympians? We identify, evaluate and develop talent at events like the HP Championships, where America’s next superstars showcase their talents to over 50 coach evaluators first in training, then in competition. Tulsa hosted this event in 2014.

The program is designed to train those athletes (coaches and officials) with the highest skill level, and potential to represent USA Volleyball internationally in the future.

 

MEDALISTS

Women’s International Juniors
(born in 1999 and after)
Gold:  USA Junior A1 Red
Silver:  USA Junior A1 White
Bronze: Canada Juniors

Boys’ International Youth
(born in 2000 and after)
Gold: SCVA (Southern California)
Silver:  Aloha
Bronze: USA Youth A1 Red

Girls’ International Youth
(born in 2002 and after)
Gold: Team Florida  
Silver: GEVA (Garden Empire)
Bronze: Iowa

Girls’ National Youth
(born in 2002 and after)
Gold: Aloha 
Silver: ODR (Old Dominion) 
Bronze: OVR (Ohio Valley)

Girls’ National Select
(born in 2004 and after)
Gold: Team Florida
Silver: Aloha 
Bronze: Iowa Select Black

Boys’ National
(born in 2001 and after)
Gold: Team Florida
Silver: SCVA (Southern California)
Bronze: OVR (Ohio Valley)

Boys’ Regional 
(born in 2001 and after)
Gold: Iowa
Silver: Texoma Select Black
Bronze: GEVA (Garden Empire)

Girls’ Future Select 
(born in 2006 and after)
Gold: Oklahoma
Silver: Lone Star
Bronze: Puget Sound