On the weekend of January 13-15, 2018, Academy Volleyball teams participated in the first "major" tournaments of this club season. This year all of the boys teams travelled to Chicago to compete in the Boys Winter Championships. The girls 18 Red team also travelled to Chicago to compete in the Girls Winter Championships, which runs concurrently to the boys tournament in the same venue - a rare opportunity to have both boys and girls teams from Academy to compete at the same time.
At the same time as those teams were in Chicago, the girls 13-18 teams were in King of Prussia, PA competing in the East Coast Power (ECP) Invitational.
With nearly all Academy teams playing this weekend, there is plenty of action to go around. See below for a quick recap of all the action.
Sweet Home Chicago
GIRLS 18 RED
The girls opened the tournament on the first day with a record of 1-2, they dropped matches to the Milwaukee Sting and ESVBC, while picking up a straight-set victory over Spiral 18s (Arizona) by a score of 25-23, 25-16. However, since Milwaukee was the only team in the pool to go undefeated and the remaining teams having an identical 1-2 record, the #2 and #3 teams (including Academy Girls 18 Red) had to play a one-set match against each other to determine the following day's pool.
In that match the Academy Girls 18 Red defeated Spiral 18s once again by a score of 25-23. On the second day of the tournament, the girls dropped matches to Metro and Rage, which placed them in the Silver bracket on the final day of the tournament. The girls dropped their first match in the Silver bracket against Michio Chicago and finished the tournament in 9th place overall.
Chicago was a big tournament for the 15s. For many of them, this is their first time competing in a tournament of this magnitude.
On their first day of the tournament, the Boys 15 Red went 1-2 dropping matches to SPVB and Serve City. They picked up a win in straight sets over the Missouri Thunder (26-24, 25-14). On the second day of the tournament, the boys finished in first place in their pool by going 3-1, picking up wins over Epic, CVC, and Chicago Ultimate, while dropping a match to WVA Nightmares. The boys closed the tournament by falling to Pipeline in their playoff bracket.
The Boys 15 White opened their tournament with a record of 1-3 during their first day of pool play, picking up a win over the Chicago Bounce in two straight sets (25-21, 25-19). However, they tied with two other teams in their bracket who also had 1-3 records. Because of this, the boys had to play two additional matches on the first day against MOJO (Florida) and Chicago Bounce, in order to determine their pool for the second day. The boys split the matches, picking up a win over MOJO.
On the second day of the tournament the boys went 2-1, picking up wins over Serve City (25-23, 25-17) and SWVBC - including an epic first set win - (30-28, 25-22). The boys dropped their playoff match on the last day of the tournament to Pipeline in three sets (17-25, 25-23, 15-7)
Great first tournament by both 15s teams!
The Boys 16 Red team found themselves in one of the toughest pools on the opening day of the tournament as they drew both 949 (from Southern California) and RVC (Virginia). The boys played them both tough, but ultimately fell in straight sets.
Despite closing out the day with a record of 1-2 (dropping them out of contention for the medal rounds), the boys remained focused and came back on the second day and winning all three of their matches - picking up wins over Edge, D1 Elite, and Vortex.
On the last day of the tournament, the boys continued where they left off the day before by picking up a win over Southport in straight sets (26-24, 25-22), then falling to the Milwaukee Sting in their playoff match in three sets (27-25, 15-25, 13-25).
The Boys 16 White team also drew a very tough pool on the first day of the tournament as they faced SPVB, Bay to Bay, and the Chicago Hitmen, dropping all three matches. The boys remained resilient on the second day of the tournament - where they also drew a particularly tough schedule. For the day the boys went 1-2, picking up a big win over Motion Volleyball in two sets (25-16, 26-24).
On the last day of the tournament, the boys picked up a win over the D1 Elite in three sets (25-22, 23-25, 15-8) before dropping a match to the Cyclones.
BOYS 17 RED
The Boys 17 Red team entered the Chicago tournament looking to build off the success they had last year as 16 year olds. Things started out well for the boys as they went 2-1 during the first day of pool play, picking up wins over TVP (25-13, 25-9) and Club 1 (25-18, 22-25, 16-14).
The second day of the tournament brought on a tough challenge for the boys as they went 1-2, dropping matches to AZ Fear (Arizona) and MVVC (Northern California), while earning a win over the Cincinatti Attack (25-19, 25-16).
For their play, the 17 Red earned a spot in the Silver playoff bracket, where they defeated Vanguard in the first round (25-16, 25-13), before falling to the eventual bracket winner Ocean Bay in three sets. Overall the boys finished 12th out of 47 teams - and earned their bid to the 2018 Boys Junior National Championships! Congratulations to the Boys 17 Red on a great tournament.
The Boys 18 White team opened the tournament against D1 Elite, SPVB Elite, and the AZ Fear (Arizona). The boys played great during the entire opening round, however they ultimately dropped all matches during the opening round.
The second day of the tournament the boys dropped a match to another SPVB team before picking up a win over D1 Elite in two straight sets (25-19, 25-20). Closing out the day, the boys dropped a match to LIVBC and went 1-2 on the day.
On the last day of the tournament, the boys faced the Cincinnati Attack in the opening round of their playoff bracket. The match featured a lot of action, with the Boys 18 White pulling out a three set victory (25-23, 23-25, 15-10). The boys dropped their next match in the playoff round to the WS Storm.
The Boys 18 Red team has a mix of old and new faces and together they form one of the most dominant squads in the region. This was evident as the boys swept their opening day of the tournament by winning all three matches - picking up wins over the Attack, SPVB, and MVP Academy all in straight sets! On the second day of the tournament the boys went undefeated in their pool, picking up wins over Orlando Gold (29-27, 29-31, 25-21) and Adversity Purple (25-23, 26-24, 19-25).
From there, the boys had to play in a challenge match for playoff bracket seeding. The boys while dropped their challenge match to SPVB Elite. From there the boys 18 Red earned a spot in the Silver Playoff bracket. The boys opened the playoff bracket by defeating the Milwaukee Sting in two straight sets (25-22, 25-22). They then faced Ultimate Gold, who they defeated in three sets (26-24, 18-25, 15-12).
The win over Ultimate Gold sent the boys in to the Silver bracket finals against Adversity Purple. The boys defeated Adversity Purple in straight sets (25-20, 25-15) to win the Silver bracket. The boys finished the tournament in 9th place out of 57 teams - great job!
Meanwhile, southeast of Chicago, the Academy girls where in King of Prussia, PA to compete in the ECP Invitational - a high-level tournament.
The 13 Red had a fantastic start to their first major tournament of the season. On the first day of the tournament, the girls went 2-2 as they dropped matches to Metro and PGH Elite - and posted victories over EC Power Sky (16-25, 25-15, 15-7) and EC Power Galaxy (25-14, 25-19).
On the second day of the tournament, the girls went 1-1, picking up a win over Brandywine Backlash (25-16, 25-23). From there the girls advanced to the Gold playoff bracket where they dropped a match to the NYC Juniors. Overall the Girls 13 Red finished in 3rd place - nice work!
The Girls 14 Red team came out strong on the first day of the tournament by jumping out to a 3-1 record, picking up wins over CJVA, PGH Elite, and EC Power. Their only loss on the day came from the Brandywine BAM. The girls carried that momentum in to the second day as they advanced to the Gold playoff bracket. They picked up a win over EC Power Iceberg (25-17, 25-23) before falling to the NYC Juniors and Metro.
The Girls 14 White team had a tough first day as they dropped matches to the NYC Juniors, EC Power Iceberg, and Metro clubs. They did pick up a nice win over AVVC (25-23, 25-12). The girls advanced to the Silver playoff bracket where they picked up another win over the AVVC club before falling to CJVA and PGH Elite.
The Girls 15 White North team had a tough first day as they dropped their matches during pool play. On the second day, the girls rebounded with a win over AVVC in three sets (25-18, 18-25, 15-6). In their second match, the fell to the NYC Juniors. However in their playoff bracket, the girls defeated the EC Power Dynamic in straight sets (25-22, 25-17).
The Girls 15 Red team opened the ECP Invitational with a record of 3-1 during the first day of pool play. After dropping their opening match to CJVA, the girls defeated EC Power Dynamic (25-20, 25-22), Brandywine Bobcats (25-22, 23-25, 15-9) , and the NYC Juniors Blue (22-25, 25-8, 15-8). On the second day of the tournament the girls dropped two matches to two EC Power teams (True & Mystic). In their playoff bracket, they faced the PGH Elite, who they defeated in straight sets (25-19, 25-17).
The Girls 16 White North team opened the tournament with a record of 1-3 during the first day of pool play. They picked up a nice win over CJVA in three sets (22-25, 25-23, 15-11). On the second day of the tournament, the girls earned a spot in the Bronze playoff bracket, where they defeated AVVC in straight sets in the first round (25-20, 25-15). From there the girls advanced to the finals, where they defeated DIGS in straight sets (25-20, 25-22).
The Girls 16 Red team opened the tournament by defeating AVVC in straight sets (25-13, 25-18) before falling to EC Power and Metro. On the second day of the tournament, they girls picked up a win over DIGS in straight sets (25-17, 25-11), then advanced to the Silver playoff bracket. The girls fell to the PGH Elite in three sets (25-18, 20-25, 15-13) in the opening round. They girls then played in a Silver bracket seeding match vs. EC Power Federal, which they won in three sets (18-25, 25-17, 15-9).
The 17 year old age group is always one of the toughest age groups to compete in. Both the 17 Red and the 17 White teams faced some very difficult competition at this tournament. Both teams played hard throughout the tournament and, in the end, it was a sibling rivalry as both the Red and the White teams faced each other in their playoff bracket. In this match, the Red team came out on top with a straight sets victory over the White team (25-21, 25-22).
Also playing in a tough age group is the 18s. For the Girls 18 White South, the ECP Invitational is a great opportunity to see some of the toughest teams in the region and a chance to further develop as volleyball players. They most certainly did that as they earned a spot in the Bronze playoff bracket. In the Bronze, they feel to the NYC Juniors in straight sets.
The Girls 18 White North team opened the tournament with a 3-1 record as they picked up wins over EC Power Royal (17-25, 25-23, 20-18), NYC Juniors (25-22, 25-11), and AVVC (25-13, 25-19). On the second day of the tournament, the girls dropped a match to the EC Power Sapphire.
With a pool play record of 3-2, the girls qualified for the Silver playoff bracket, where they dropped a match to the EC Power Regal in straight sets. In the second round of the bracket, the girls played a seeding match with DIGS, which they won in straight sets - including a second set thriller that went in to extra points (25-13, 29-27).
Congratulations to all Academy teams for competing in the first major tournament of the season!
COMING UP FOR ACADEMY
Next up for the Academy Girls teams are a few GEVA tournaments followed by the Mid-Atlantic Power Leauge in Hampton Virginia on January 27-28 and the Capitol Hill Classic in Washington DC in February.
For the boys, the Red teams will be traveling to Jacksonville Florida to compete in the Florida Fest. Then, later in February, all boys teams will head to Harrisburg, PA to compete in the Boys Atlantic Northeastern (BANE) tournament.