In a battle of undefeated teams, MadFrog 11 National Green (North Texas Region) took the first title at the 2022 USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Red, white and blue was on display, and gold, silver and bronze were handed out on the 12th and final day of the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship at the Indiana Convention Center on Monday.
Teams played championship matches in seven divisions of the 16 and 17 age groups for a total of 14 first-place trophies handed out.
MADFROG 16 N Green (North Texas) opened the tournament with a loss to MKE Sting 16 Gold (Badger) and lost one more first-round match to NKYVC 16-1 Tsunami (Pioneer). But it pulled together behind tournament MVP Lainee Pyles to win the 16 Open Division. In the final, MADFROG beat A5 Mizuno 16-Gabe 2-0 (25-22, 25-11).
“It has been a really rocky season for us,” MADFROG head coach Nicole Bramschreiber said. “We’ve been plagued by injuries the entire season. For us to battle through that adversity, struggle on day one, and then just grind all the way through the last three days, it’s been great. These kids are just amazing. It worked.”
In the 17 Open final, 1st Alliance 17 Gold (Great Lakes) defeated Minnesota Select 17-1 (North Country), 2-0 (25-20, 25-20). The Illinois team was not dissuaded by losses in the first and second rounds. Kennedy Wagner of 1st Alliance was named MVP.
The Badger Region came up big in the National Division as its teams won both age groups. MKE Sting 17 Gold beat 1st Alliance 17 Silver (Great Lakes), 2-0 (25-14, 25-18) to win its age group. Sting finished the tournament 10-1 and Sylvie Zgnoc was named MVP.
In the 16 National final, FC Elite 16 Navy beat Six Pack 16 (Iowa) 2-1 (16-25, 25-23, 15-9) to finish the tournament 10-1. Peyton Carlson won the MVP title.
AZ EPIC 16-Elite Mike (Arizona) took the crown in the 16 USA Division, beating Miami Hype 16 Emilio (Florida) in the final 2-1 (25-19, 16-25, 15-11). AZ EPIC came back from losing its first match of the tournament and two more after that and finished with an 8-3 record. Raechelle Dykstra was named MVP.
Skyline 17 Black (North Texas) won the 17 USA Division, beating Sky High-adidas 17 Elite (Great Lakes) in the final, 2-0 (25-22, 25-16). Skyline lost to Sky High-adidas earlier in the tournament and also had to recover from losing its first match. Kenna Buchanan earned MVP honors.
Union 16-1 UA (Pioneer) ran the table in 16 American, losing just two sets en route to the title. In the final, Union defeated RockKC 16-1 (Ohio Valley), who had also lost just two sets in the tournament. Union came out on top, 25-17, 25-14. Union’s Lilly Tappel was named MVP.
The 17 American champion was also undefeated. Iowa Select 17 Mizuno (Iowa) defeated previously undefeated NKYVC 17-1 Tsunami (PIoneer) 25-23, 16-25, 15-5 in the final. It was Iowa’s fourth three-set victory in the tournament.
“It’s definitely in indescribable feeling, but we’ve had a rollercoaster of a season so it’s a great way to end it,” libero Megan DePoorter said.
Iowa’s Ava Schubert was named MVP.
In 16 Freedom, Club Ignit Select 16 Blue (Iowa) won four straight three-set matches en route to the title. In the semifinal, they defeated Tstreet IE-16 Andy (SCVA), 14-25, 25-21, 18-16, and came right back to defeat Katy United 16 adidas in the final, 25-13, 18-25, 15-11.
“We kind of struggled in the beginning of the season,” head coach Scarlett Molina said. “We ended up losing our strongest middle; she had an injury. So we had two new middles that had never played with our team before that really had to step up.”
Ignit’s Noelle Sudcliffe was MVP
In 17 Freedom, Wildfire Brian 17 (Florida) only dropped one set in the tournament, and that was the first set of the championship final against Gulfside 17U Prime (Florida). Wildfire came back to win, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11.
“It’s beyond an incredible experience, I’m beyond blessed,” tournament MVP Alexander Bruno said. “This team has been absolutely amazing. We’ve faced so many different types of adversity throughout the entire season between transitioning between coaches and injuries, and players leaving. I think us pulling through and getting this national championship is a testament to how hard we worked in the gym.”
A5 Mizuno 16-Stephen won 16 Liberty with a 20-25, 25-18, 15-7 win over NPJ Salem 16 National (Columbia Empire). A5 rebounded from a three-set loss to WAVE-16 Nick (SCVA) earlier in the tournament, and had a huge battle with Missouri Juniors 16-M (Heart of America) in the semifinal, winning 26-24, 25-27, 19-17.
“All the hard work we’ve done this season and just pushing ourselves constantly, all the tough losses, the outstanding wins…all of our hard work paying off is just amazing,” player Allison Young said. “We feel on top of the world.”
A5’s Gabriela Fullwood was named MVP.
In 17 Liberty, Texas Legacy 17 Elite (Lone Star) defeated Flyers 17 APX-Chip (North Texas), 25-20, 25-19 for the title. Six of Legacy’s 10 wins in the tournament went to three sets.
“They’ve worked so hard,” assistant coach Jim Richardson said. “We’re still a young club. We’re eight years in the making. It fits what we try to drill in them, and that’s ‘leave a legacy,’ not only on the court but in life.”
Olivia Comeaux of Legacy was MVP.
Ozark Juniors 16 Elite (Delta) rebounded from an earlier loss to Empowered 16 Elite Black (Hoosier) to win the title against the same team, 22-25, 25-8, 15-10.
“It’s crazy,” Ozark Juniors player Quincy Schaffer said. “We worked really hard for it. Last year, we lost in the championship…it feels so good to finally finish and win. Club means everything. I’ve been playing since I was 10. I’ve known some of these girls for so long. We just deserve it. We worked every day for it and I’m so proud of it.”
Meanwhile, the Empowered 17 club (Elite Black) picked up the 17 Patriot title.
Empowered battled hard through the tournament to reach the final, dropping matches to Rage 17 Carmelo (NCVA), Club Cactus 17-Mizuno (Arizona) and Black Swamp 171 (Ohio Valley). But they won four straight matches to finish the division, including a three-set victory over Black Swamp in the final, 25-19, 19-25, 15-10.