MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (July 4, 2017) – Vision Volleyball Club was the big winner Tuesday as the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships (GJNC) concluded its 10-day event being held in Minneapolis with the 16-and-Under age group showing off their own kinds of fireworks on Independence Day inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Mintonette Sports – m.61 earned the 16 Open title, the top divisional bracket for the age group. In addition, Vision 16 Gold won the 16 National Division title, ASICS MAVS 16-1 captured the 16 USA Division crown, Rancho Valley 16 Premier earned the 16 American Division title and Vision 16 Blue finished first in the 16 Patriot Division.

The GJNC consisted of 1,261 teams competed in seven age groups vying for a total of 26 titles with all teams outside the Patriot Division needing to qualify for the national championship. An estimated 13,000 athletes took part in the GJNC with nearly 30,000 family, friends and spectators coming to watch. Approximately 500 hours of the tournament were video streamed live from four courts (17-20).

Sport Court is the official athletic flooring for the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships.

16 Open
Mintonette Sports – m.61 (Ohio Valley Region) captured the 16 Open Division title the hard way against a team that entered the match undefeated in 10 matches. Mintonette Sports – m.61 rallied twice to defeat TAV 16 Black (North Texas Region) 17-25, 26-24, 15-13 in the gold-medal match, with the first coming in the second set after trailing 22-18 in to extend the match. TAV took charge early in the third set with a 3-0 advantage, only to see Mintonette Sports – m.61 again rally for the win and scoring the final two points of the match.

However, Mintonette Sports – m.61 still wasn’t sure about the win for a split second.

“I wasn’t completely sure that the ball was going to drop when she got the ace on the last point,” Mintonette Sports – m.61 captain Machaela Podraza said. “As soon as it happened, I didn’t know what to think. But then my team just stopped for a second, and then we all got together on the floor. I am getting chills thinking about it right now.”

Podraza said winning the championship is the highlight of her career, and to beat a club such as the caliber of TAV, makes it even more special.

“Honestly, this is the biggest accomplishment I think I have had in my entire career,” Podraza said. “That is a good team – we played them at the West Coast Cup this year and we couldn’t pull it out in three sets. Beating that team for the championship is such an honor. They are such a good program and a good team. It means a lot to me and my teammates.”

Mintonette Sports – m.61’s Riley Wagoner was named most valuable player of the 16 Open Division.

Mintonette Sports – m.61 finish the tournament with a 10-1 record and on a nine-match win streak. On the final day of competition, they defeated TeamD 16 Red (Lakeshore) 25-16, 25-15 in the quarterfinals followed by downing SNVC 16 Mizuno (North Texas) 25-17, 25-19 in the semifinals.

TAV 16 Black advanced to the championship match by sweeping A5 Mizuno 16-1 Gabe (Southern Region) 25-21, 25-22 in the semifinals after rallying to defeat Arizona Storm 16 Thunder (Arizona Region) 16-25, 25-23, 15-8 in the quarterfinals. The bronze medals went to A5 Mizuno 16-1 Gabe and SNVC 16 Mizuno by virtue of reaching the semifinals.

TAV, also known as Texas Advantage, was looking to pull off the trifecta of winning the Open Division in the three oldest age groups. TAV had already won the 15 Open and 17 Open earlier in the tournament.

16 National
Vision 16 Gold (Northern California Region) came back to defeat Dynasty 16 Black (Heart of America Region) 21-25, 25-20, 15-8 in the 16 National Division gold-medal match to win the title. Although dropping its first match of the tournament in a three-set nail-biter, Vision 16 Gold came back to win the last 10 match to finish with a 10-1 record. The squad beat Absolute Black 16-1 (Northern California Region) 25-19, 25-17 in the quarterfinals and Nebraska One 16 Titanium (Great Plains Region) 25-27, 25-19, 15-9 in the semifinals to move on to the championship match. Vision 16 Gold’s Selina Xu was named the 16 National Division most valuable player. Dynasty 16 Black, which ended the tournament with a 9-2 record, edged EXCEL 16 National Red (North Texas Region) 25-17, 17-25, 15-11 in the quarterfinals and Crossfire Minnesota 16-1 (North Country Region) 25-12, 20-25, 15-9 in the semifinals. Both Nebraska One 16 Titanium and Crossfire Minnesota 16-1 earned bronze medals.

16 USA
ASICS MAVS 16-1 (Heart of America Region) swept VA Juniors 16 Elite (Chesapeake Region) 25-20, 26-24 in the 16 USA Division gold-medal match. ASICS MAVS 16-1, with a 10-1 record for the tournament, reached the gold-medal match by defeating TAV Houston 16 Black (Lone Star Region) 17-25, 25-21, 15-11 in the quarterfinals and Tejas 16.1 (North Texas Region) 25-20, 25-19 in the semifinals. Kayley Cassaday of ASICS MAVS 16-1 was awarded the most valuable player award for the 16 USA Division. VA Juniors 16 Elite, which finished the tournament 8-3, made its course to the championship by defeating LAVA West 16 Adidas (Southern California Region) 21-25, 26-24, 15-7 in the quarterfinals and beating OT 16 T. Rox Red (Florida Region) 25-20, 25-19 in the semifinals. Both Tejas 16.1 and OT 16 T. Rox Red were awarded bronze medals by reaching the semifinals.

16 American
Rancho Valley 16 Premier (Southern California Region) swept Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite-KW (Lone Star Region) in the 16 American Division championship match, but it was not an easy win with scores of 26-24, 26-24. Earlier in the tournament, Rancho Valley 16 Premier had lost to Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite-KW in the third match of pool play marking its only loss in 11 tournament matches. Rancho Valley 16 Premier, which finished the tournament 10-1 with its only loss in the championship match, swept Mizuno Long Beach Rockstar J (Southern California Region) 25-22, 25-21 in the quarterfinals and rallied to beat Dallas Premier 16 Black (North Texas Region) 14-25, 25-23, 15-8 in the semifinal match to advance to the gold-medal match. Elina Chavira of Rancho Valley 16 Premier was named the most valuable player of the 16 American Division. Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite-KW swept Adrenaline 16 Rox (Iowa) 25-22, 25-19 in the quarterfinals and Eastside Cleveland Juniors 16 Elite (Ohio Valley Region) 24-26, 25-22, 15-12 in the semifinals. Dallas Premier 16 Black and Eastside Cleveland Juniors 16 Elite claimed the bronze medals.

16 Patriot
Vision 16 Blue (Northern California Region) swept Temecula Viper 16 Kevin (Southern California Region) 25-17, 28-26 in the 16 Patriot Division gold-medal match. Vision 16 Blue, which ended the tournament 11-1, reached the championship match by defeating LAVA North 16 Adidas (Southern California Region) 25-16, 25-23 in the quarterfinals and HPSTL 16 Orange (Gateway Region) 25-21, 25-16 in the semifinals. Temecula Viper 16 Kevin, which ended the tournament with a 10-2 overall record, earned its spot into the championship match by defeating Wave 16 Kyle (Southern California Region) 17-25, 25-18, 15-8 in the quarterfinals and Sunshine 16 Elite (Southern California Region) 25-19, 25-7 in the semifinals. By reaching the semifinals, HPSTL 16 Orange and Sunshine 16 Elite were bronze medalists.

USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships Results
11 Patriot: Gold – OTVA 11 S. Rox Red (Florida); Silver – Madfrog 11s N Blue (North Texas); Bronze – SG Elite 11 Roshambo (Southern California) and Abejitas (Puerto Rico)
12 National: Gold – Dynasty 12 Black (Heart of America); Silver – Boiler Juniors 12U (Hoosiers); Bronze – TAV 12 Black (North Texas) and Madfrogs 12s N Blue (North Texas)
12 American: Gold – Gainesville 12 Elite (Florida); Silver – ASICS MAVS 12-1 (Heart of America); Bronze – Tstreet 12-Taylor (Southern California) and Skyline 11 Royal (North Texas)
13 Open: Gold – OTVA 13 S. Rox Red (Florida); Silver – Arizona Storm 13 Thunder (Arizona); Bronze – Absolute Black 13-1 (Northern California) and Madfrog 13s N Blue (North Texas)
13 National: Gold – Wave 13 Tammy (Southern California); Silver – Rockwood Thunder 13 Mizuno (Gateway); Bronze – Nebraska Elite 13 Thunder (Great Plains) and Rockford 13 Black (Great Lakes)
13 American: Gold – A2 13 Green (Ohio Valley); Silver – Gulfside 13U Navy (Florida); Bronze – JJVA Team Rox 13N Julie (Florida) and H Skyline 13 Royal (Lone Star)
14 Open: Gold – Tstreet 14-Carson (Southern California); Silver – TAV 14 Black (North Texas); Bronze – Rockwood Thunder 14 Mizuno (Gateway) and OTVA 14 S. Rox Red (Florida)
14 National: Gold – A5 Mizuno 14-2 Karen (Southern); Silver – A5 South 14-1 Trina (Silver); Bronze – Wildfire 14 Nike Albert (Florida) and AZ Sky 14 Gold Allegiance (Arizona)
14 USA: Gold – Mizuno Long Beach Rockstar M (Southern California); Silver – PVA 14 Elite (Heart of America); Bronze – Instinct 14 Leopards Wild GP (North Texas) and Mintonette Sports – m.42O (Ohio Valley)
14 American: Gold – Tampa Elite U14 Columbia (Florida); Silver – Forza1 North 14 UA (Southern California); Bronze HJV 14 Elite (Lone Star) and Texas Pistols 14 Black (North Texas)
14 Patriot: Gold – Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club 14 Lisa (Southern California); Silver – Rancho Valley 14 Premier (Southern California); Bronze – Forza1 14 UA (Southern California) and Sunshine 14 Elite (Southern California)
15 Open: Gold – TAV 15 Black (North Texas); Silver – ASICS MAVS 15-1 (Heart of America); Bronze – Mintonette Sports – m.51 (Ohio Valley) and AVC Cleveland Rox 15N Harvey (Ohio Valley)
15 National: Gold – Kokoro Volleyball 15-1 (North Country), Silver – HPSTL 15 Royal (Gateway), Bronze – CC Force 151 Crossfire and Ka Ulukoa Black 15-1 (Aloha)
15 USA: Gold – LIVEWIRE 15 Adidas (Arizona); Silver – OP2 15-1 EP (Oklahoma); Bronze – SA Magic 15 Elite (Lone Star) and Rockwood Thunder 15 Navy (Gateway)
15 American: Gold – A4 Volley 15-Purple (Southern California); Silver – OTVA 15 T. Rox Red (Florida); Bronze – Tstreet 15-Curtis (Southern California) and A2 15 Green (Ohio Valley)
15 Patriot: Gold – Momentum 15 Elsa (Rocky Mountain), Silver – Forza1 15 UA (Southern California); Bronze – Forza1 North 15 UA (Southern California) and Wave 15 Dave (Southern California)
16 Open: Gold – Mintonette Sports – m.61; Silver – TAV 16 Black; Bronze – SNVC 16 Mizuno (North Texas) and A5 Mizuno 16-1 Gabe (Southern)
16 National: Gold – Vision 16 Gold (Northern California); Silver – Dynasty 16 Black (Heart of America); Bronze – Nebraska One 16 Titanium (Great Plains) and Crossfire Minnesota 16-1 (North Country)
16 USA: Gold – ASICS MAVS 16-1 (Heart of America); Silver – VA Juniors 16 Elite (Chesapeake); Bronze – Tejas 16.1 (North Texas) and OT 16 T. Rox Red (Florida)
16 American: Gold – Rancho Valley 16 Premier (Southern California); Silver – Woodlands Revolution 16 Elite-KW (Lone Star); Bronze – Dallas Premier 16 Black (North Texas) and Eastside Cleveland Juniors 16 Elite (Ohio Valley)
16 Patriot: Gold – Vision 16 Blue (North Country); Silver – Temecula Viper 16 Kevin (Southern California); Bronze – Sunshine 16 Elite (Southern California) and HPSTL 16 Orange (Gateway)
17 Open: Gold – TAV 17 Black (North Texas); Silver – AJV 17 Mizuno (Lone Star); Bronze – Texas Tornados 17 Mizuno (Lone Star) and SG Elite 17 Roshambo
17 National: Gold – Mizuno Long Beach 17 Rockstar (Southern California); Silver – EXCEL 17 National Red (North Texas); Bronze – Michio Chicago 17 National (Great Lakes) and OT 17 T. Rox Red (Florida)
17 USA: Gold – Houston Juniors 17 Elite (Lone Star); Silver – TAV 17 Blue (North Texas); Bronze – Pgh Elite 17 Premier 1 (Keystone) and Asics Willowbrook 17 Gold (Lone Star)
17 American: Gold – Northern Lights 17-2 (North Country); Silver – SIVBC 17 Storm (Puget Sound); Bronze – Momentum 17 Shane (Rocky Mountain) and PSVA 17 Black Gokhan (Florida)
17 Patriot: Gold – Zona 17-1 (Arizona), Silver – LAVA North 17 Adidas (Southern California); Bronze – Colorado Juniors 17 Aneli (Rocky Mountain) and Rancho Valley 17 Select (Southern California)