COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 7, 2023) – Jumplete 18-1 out of Canada won the competitive 18 Open division Thursday at the 2023 Boys Junior National Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Every team in the division lost at least three matches, but Jumplete won crucial matches to take the title.
It didn’t quite start out as rosy for the Canadians, as they dropped their first three matches. But a seven-match winning streak put them back in the hunt for the title. One of those wins was against Ku’ikahi 18 Red Roshambo (Aloha), who turned around to beat Jumplete in bracket play.
But they met again in the final. Jumplete won the first match 27-25, 25-12, and due to the tournament format, they played another one-set match, also won by Jumplete, 25-15.
“It feels wonderful,” Jumplete head coach Vincenzo Saporito said. “I always give the credit to the guys on the court. I think we played 13 games so it’s all them. I am super proud of them and happy that we got to come out here. I remember a Canadian team … in 2006 coming out here and playing good, and I always wanted to come out here so I’m happy I could be here, too. Our season ends in May so there’s been a lot of off time. They came from not having any volleyball to starting up again and coming out here. They are resilient boys, an amazing group. It’s great to see teams from all over the United States. It’s such an honor to compete here.”
Dynamix VBC 18 Black (Northern California) and Vegas United B18 Black (Southern California) were third.
Twenty-nine teams filled the 18 USA division, and Team Colorado 18 Black (Rocky Mountain) reigned supreme with an 11-0 match record and 22-0 in sets.
In the final, Team Colorado defeated ProPlay 18 Henry (Southern California), 25-18, 25-22.
“It’s a good run with some of these guys,” Colorado head coach Tom Pingel said. “They’ve worked hard and earned it. I am really happy for them and their families on how this ended. It’s such a long season. There are lots of obstacles to overcome. We had some transition with some rosters and had some new guys come in so it was good. Every day we had a good match where we got pushed. It was good. We certainly couldn’t take any matches off.”
Third place went to MVC 18 Black (Arizona) and Pacific Rim 18 Orange (Northern California).
Lakas 18 (Northern California) lost just one set en route to the 18 American title.
That one set loss came in their first match to eventual runner-up #951 Figs Boys 18-1 (Southern California), and 951’s only two losses of the tournament came at the hands of the champion.
“It’s the first time we ended up in the championship. It’s the first time we’re taking a national championship home so it’s a great feeling,” Lakas head coach Jerico Abanico said. “We’re one of the shortest teams in our area. Just coming from where we’re at, first one to take it home to Union City, California, so just really, really happy about this. USA Volleyball really put on a good tournament, so thank you for that.”
Hype 181B (North Country) and NSSC Boys 18 Black (Gateway) were third.
Molten 18 BJ (Arizona) started off the tournament with a loss to Pilipa’a 18 (Moku O Keawe) before running the table to win the 18 Club title.
In the final, Molten beat APEX 18A1 Black (Southern California), 25-22, 25-15.
“It’s always been our goal. Every single practice, all we practice for is to win this national championship.” Molten head coach Brian Hiapo Jr. said. “I’m so proud of these boys; they executed everything perfectly. There were many obstacles. Every single one of them battled something different, whether it was on the court or off the court. I couldn’t be more proud of the way they handled themselves at this tournament. (The tournament) was beautiful. I loved it. Everyone brought a different perspective to the game being from different states. We are just so blessed to be here to be among everyone else.”
Third place went to AZ Summit 18 Gold (Arizona) and Pilipa’a.