Academy United Wins Both Opens Titles at Nationals

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 28, 2019, 9:40 p.m. (ET)

Academy United won both the Men's Open and Women's Open Divisions of the 90th USA Volleyball Open National Championships
Academy United won both the Men's Open and Women's Open Divisions of the 90th USA Volleyball Open National Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 28, 2019) – Academy United (Northern California) was a double-winner in the 90th USA Volleyball Open National Championships on Tuesday as the club won both the Men’s Open and the Women’s Open, the top division for in each gender, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio.

Approximately 4,000 athletes are competing in the event, which has been held every year since 1928 minus two years during World War II. The Opens, which features over 1,600 matches on 45 courts, will crown 26 total championships. Aside from the Open Divisions, other skill divisions are AA, A, BB and B Divisions. The age divisions start at 40-and-over for men’s and women’s divisions, and go up to 78-and-over for men and 60-and-over for women.

Related: Watch Live Stream | Schedule and Results

Men’s Open
Academy United (Northern California) won the Men’s Open Division title, but it was forced to work extra hard for it just to reach the title match with three consolation round victories. In the end, Academy United defeated Rukkus (Southern California) 25-22 in a winner-take-all golden set.

Academy United (Northern California) forced the golden set playoff by defeating Rukkus 25-19, 25-19, 25-21 in the Open Division finals. Rukkus, which was undefeated in the gold-medal bracket, defeated Team LVC (Iroquois) 25-12, 26-24, 25-23 in the semifinals to advance to the championship match.

Academy United lost to Team LVC (Iroquois) 19-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 15-10 in the quarterfinals on Monday night, then came back through the consolations round with three victories on Tuesday just to reach the championship match. Academy defeated Old Paltz (Garden Empire) 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 18-25, 15-12, followed by a 21-25, 24-26, 28-26, 27-25, 15-11 win over NE Force by Ren Athletics (New England). Academy United clinched its spot in the finals with a 25-23, 26-28, 25-21, 25-21 revenge victory over Team LVC in the consolation final.

Women’s Open

Academy United (Northern California) eased past Arizona Sizzle (Arizona) 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 in the Women’s Open Division gold-medal match. Earlier in the day Academy United edged Arizona Sizzle 25-17, 25-17, 28-30, 22-25, 15-11 in the semifinals to earn its berth into the finals.

Academy United went 6-2 in the tournament with pool play losses to Arizona Sizzle and third-place Iowa Storm (Iowa). Academy Sizzle started the gold-medal bracket with a 25-18, 29-31, 25-18, 25-15 victory over Hoosier Exterminators (Hoosier) in the quarterfinals.

Arizona Sizzle advanced to the title match with a come-from-behind 23-25, 25-22, 25-10, 25-16 victory over third-place Iowa Storm (Iowa) in the consolation bracket finals. Arizona Sizzle went 7-2 in the tournament with both losses coming at the hands of Academy United.

Sitting Volleyball
Sit Happens captured the 12-team Sitting Volleyball Division by rallying past Team Florida All-Stars 21-25, 25-22, 15-7 in the gold-medal match.

Sit Happens advanced to the finals by stopping Team Evergreen 19-25, 25-20-15-8 in the semifinals. The champions went 5-0 in the two-day tournament and lost just two sets along the way.

Team Florida All-Stars, which ended the tournament with a 4-1 record, reached the title match by sweeping Oklahoma Sitting 29-27, 25-19 in the semifinals. The second-place team lost just two sets in the division, both to Sit Happens.

Team Evergreen earned the bronze medal by blanking Oklahoma Sitting 25-21, 25-21.

90th USA Volleyball Open National Championships Podium Finishes:
Men’s Open: Gold - Academy United (Northern California); Silver - Rukkus (Southern California); Bronze - Team LVC (Iroquois)
Men’s AA: Gold - Rusty Nuts (Ohio Valley); Silver - Team Freedom AA (Garden Empire); Bronze - Thumpers (Florida)
Men’s A: Gold - Degenerates (Great Lakes); Silver - Team Bear Claw (Iowa); Bronze - Overkill (Great Lakes)
Men’s BB: Final on May 29
Men’s B: Final on May 29
Men’s 40-and-Over: Gold - Beam Pineapple (Hoosier), Silver - Hustle & Flow 4.0 (Garden Empire); Bronze - Burgess 40 (Northern California)
Men’s 45-and-Over: Final on May 29
Men’s 50-and-Over: Gold - Balboa Bay 50s (Southern California); Silver - Blaine Labs (Heart of America); Bronze - Colorado Masters (Rocky Mountain)
Men’s 55-and-Over: Final on May 29
Men’s 60-and-Over: Gold - Federal Resources (Heart of America); Silver - Kings Mountain Fog 60 (Northern California); Bronze - E’s Club 60 (Southern California)
Men’s 65-and-Over: Final on May 29
Men’s 70-and-Over: Gold - Quiksilver Legends 70 (Southern California); Silver - V&C/Brasil M70 (Brazil); Bronze - Harrisburg Divers 70 (Keystone)
Men’s 74-and-Over: Final on May 29
Men’s 78-and-Over: Gold - Outback Steakhouse 78+ (Puget Sound); Silver - Rusty 78 (Columbia Empire); Bronze - MAC MAGIC 78 (Chesapeake)
Women’s Open: Gold - Volleyball United (Northern California); Silver - Arizona Storm (Arizona); Bronze - Iowa Storm (Iowa)
Women’s AA: Gold - Lady Sorin (Hoosier); Silver - Shots (Southern California); Bronze - NARPS (Ohio Valley)
Women’s A: Gold - Team Bearclaw (Iowa); Silver - Team Freedom A-Red (Garden Empire); Bronze - Sandbox VBC (Ohio Valley)
Women’s BB: Final on May 29
Women’s B: Final on May 29
Women’s 40-and-Over: Final on May 29
Women’s 45-and-Over: Gold - No Dinx 45+ (Moku O Keawe); Silver - San Diego Beaches (Southern California); Bronze - Duck Boat Divas (New England)
Women’s 50-and-Over: Final on May 29
Women’s 55-and-Over: San Diego 55 (Southern California); Silver - Brasil Mix-55 (Brazil); Bronze - Lokahi 55 (Keystone)
Women’s 60-and-Over: Final on May 29
Sitting Volleyball: Gold - Sit Happens (Keystone); Silver - Team Florida All-Stars (Florida); Bronze - Team Evergreen (Evergreen)
Special Olympics: Gold - HC GA Gladiators; Silver - Wisconsin Bad-Pack; Bronze - Chattanooga Chill