DALLAS, Tex. (July 1, 2016) – Vaqueros 12-1 (Puerto Rico) capped a perfect tournament with a gold medal on Friday, winning the first title of the 2016 Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas.
The team defeated Manhattan Beach Surf Nike 12-1’s 25-14, 23-25, 15-5 that saw thrilling service runs by each team.
“We were a little flat at the start, but the kids did a fantastic job of rallying to stay in the match and give ourselves a chance to win,” Head Coach Marc Walmer said.
Vaqueros’ Inaki Vizcarrondo and Adrian Gonzalez frustrated MB Surf’s defense with strong attacks and serving that was unlike anything the Californians had seen this year, Walmer said. However, following the set one loss, team captain Ryan Sprague rallied his teammates.
“We had to want to win more, and if we were going to go down (in the second set), I wanted us to go down swinging,” Sprague said. “They weren’t going to win without a fight.”
MB Surf (Southern California) finished its first National Championship 6-2, nearly defeating Vaqueros in pool play but falling 28-26, 27-25.
The 12s division is the first of six to play for a national title at this year’s Boys’ Junior National Championships. Hosted in Dallas for the second time since 2012, the 2016 tournament features 464 courts on 39 courts. The 12 and 18 age divisions began competition on Wednesday, June 29; the event concludes on July 6.
Saturday features the 18 Open and 18 Club finals, as competition for other age divisions continues.
In addition to the championship tournament, the U.S. Men’s National Team is playing three World League matches, also in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The U.S. plays Bulgaria Friday night at 7:30 p.m. central. Fans can watch live on NBC Sports.
Gold Medal: Vaqueros 12-1 (Puerto Rico)
Silver Medal: Manhattan Beach Surf Nike 12-1 (Southern California)
Bronze Medal: Bay to Bay 12-1 (Northern California)
Bronze Medal: SASVBC Boys 12 (Aloha)