A group of girls celebrate a win on the volleyball court

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 17, 2023) – EXCEL 11 Red (North Texas Region) was the first champion crowned at the 2023 USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship 11-13s on Friday, winning the 11 National Division at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

This is the first year USA Volleyball has run a championship event strictly for the 11-13s age groups. Previously, the 11-17 age divisions competed in one championship tournament. In 2022, USA Volleyball announced a split of the events to provide more opportunities for clubs and junior athletes to compete. The Girls Junior National Championship 14-17s will take place June 28-July 6, in Chicago. 

EXCEL went 9-0 over the course of three days to win 11 National. They only lost one set in the tournament, and that was to two-time defending 11 National champion Madfrog 11 Green (North Texas) in the opening match of the Gold bracket. In that match, EXCEL had the upper hand early with a 25-9 first-set victory, but Madfrog battled back to win the second set 25-23 before losing the final set 14-16.

EXCEL then defeated 1United 11N Cindy (25-18, 25-17) before meeting Elevation 11 Dawn (Ohio Valley) in the final. It was the second meeting between the two teams in the tournament, and EXCEL won 25-14, 25-23. Elevation’s only two losses in the tournament were to EXCEL.

“Oh my god, I didn’t even know it was game point, and we won, and it was crazy!” EXCEL head coach Hailey Erickson said after the match. “We almost didn’t make it here. We got our bid at regionals. We came close; we missed it by two points in two qualifiers, but we went into regionals and ever since then we’ve been nonstop winning.”

1United and TAV Houston 11 adidas (Lone Star) tied for third.

GJNC 11-13 concludes June 17 with finals in the 12 and 13s age division. Matches will be streamed live via subscription on BallerTV.com, or four courts will be streamed for free on the USA Volleyball event website.