COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 7, 2023) – Winning one title at nationals is difficult enough; winning two is testament to hard work and a club’s commitment to excellence.
NCVC (Northern California) showcased that dedication as the club picked up its second title of the 2023 Boys Junior National Championship on Thursday when 17-1 Blue won the Open division. Last Saturday, 15-1 Blue won gold in 15 Open.
“It feels incredible,” NCVC head coach Tyler Salcedo said. “That was a grind. That double elimination was unreal. There was a four-way tiebreaker just to get into the top four. We snuck in at fourth. Just an absolute grind of a tournament. That was unreal. It was insane. Everybody could beat everybody. Any of those eight teams could have won the tournament.”
Salcedo’s assessment summed up the competitive nature of the 17 Open division. NCVC won the tournament with a record of 7-4. Their main competition throughout the tournament turned out to be ACAD Boys 17 Red (Garden Empire), who finished 9-3. ACAD won the first matchup between the two teams (25-23, 26-24), but NCVC won their second meetup in bracket play (23-25, 30-28, 15-7).
In the first championship match, ACAD won another three-set marathon over NCVC (25-22, 20-25, 17-15), but NCVC won the “extra” set in double elimination, 25-23.
SMBC West 17 Molten (Southern California) and Vegas United B17 Black (Southern California) were third and fourth.
Slainte Platinum 17-1 (Northern California) lost just one set en route to the 17 USA title. Last year, coach Aaron Adams led the same group of boys to fifth place in the 16 USA division.
That lone set loss happened in an exciting title match showdown with Ku’ikahi 17 Red Roshambo, with Slainte emerging victorious, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13.
Red Rock Boys 17 Taylor (Northern California) and SG Elite 17 Select (Southern California) were third.
AVC 17-1 (Northern California) avenged an earlier loss to Victory 17-1 (Arizona) to win the 17 Club title, 25-23, 25-16.
“That was a tough battle,” AVC head coach Scott Okada said. “We actually played those guys the first match of the tournament and they got us in three, so this was great. We improved so it was a lot of fun. We had a bloody nose, we had a little cramping this morning, and we battled through. It was pretty awesome to see them do it.
“Both of these teams are high school groups so this was a great battle to see,” he continued. ‘There were some really tough teams in the bracket today so I was really proud of our guys and how they battled; especially that last match. Those guys were really good.”
Third went to Beach Cities 17 Black (Southern California) and Bravo 17 Legion (Southern California).