A team in blue is on their knees celebrating with joy their victory
WAVE celebrates its win in 13 Liberty; Photo by Texas Star

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 19, 2023) – USA Volleyball  crowned champions in nine divisions Saturday at the Girls Junior National Championship 11-13s in Minneapolis.

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. 

Full Results

13 Open

Legacy 13-1 adidas (Lakeshore Region) overcame a three-set loss to EXCEL 13 National Red (North Texas) early in the tournament to win the 13 Open division. The team showed grit and determination throughout the event, as six of its 10 matches went to three sets, including the last four.

In the final, Legacy lost the first set to silver medalists Elevation 13 SJ (Ohio Valley), 23-25, but stormed back to win the next two 25-10, 15-12.

“It’s unreal,” head coach Charles Blaha said. “We were an at-large team coming into this. We were ranked 12th going into this tournament and we finished number one. We beat a lot of teams that beat us all year.”

Coast 13-1 (Southern California) and Tribe 13 Elite Cardinal (Florida) tied for third.

13 National

Alamo 13 Premier (Lone Star) lost just two sets en route to the title in 13 National. Those two set losses both came in the Gold bracket, first in a match against TX Storm 13 Smack (Southern) and then in the final against ARVC 13N1 adidas (Southern). In the championship match, Alamo dropped the first set 18-25, but won sets two and three, 25-23 , 15-3.

Alamo head coach Melissa Dahle talked about one of the challenges her team faced during the season.

“We had one of our setters break her ankle right before we went to Vegas, and we had to figure it out,” she said. “We overcame and I’m really proud of this team.”

Third-place finishers were Boss CLE 13-1 (Ohio Valley) and Lions 13-1 (Great Lakes).

13 USA

In the extremely competitive 13 USA division, OP2 13-1 (Oklahoma) emerged on top after a 26-24, 25-17 victory over United 13 Susie (Southern California). Both teams finished the tournament with 8-3 records. It was the second meeting between OP and United in the tournament. In that previous match, United came out on top in three, 18-25, 25-20, 15-11.

After the championship match, Oklahoma Peak coach Haydn Beatty talked about stepping in to the lead role for the team late in the season.

“Our official head coach went down, and she trusted me and my assistant coach to bring these girls and get them to nationals,” she said.

Beatty added that the team faced high-level competition and “lots to battle through.”

Club Ignit Select 13 Blue (Iowa) and Memphis VB Academy 13 Red (Delta) tied for third.

13 American

Absolute Volleyball Academy TX 13 adidas (Lone Star) went 11-0 to claim the 1la3 American division. In the final, AVA defeated SA Xtreme 13U (Lone Star), 25-16, 25-20.

AVA lost just three sets in the tournament, with three matches going the distance against Volt 13 Open (North Country), East Side Blaze 13N (Arizona) and FC Elite 13 Navy (Badger).

“It’s amazing,” AVA head coach Charles Hulett said. “It’s hard to even get on the podium, even harder to get a gold. Everyone who plays 13s volleyball, every day [there is] adversity. Every game we worked through. They’ve done a lot this year. They have overcome a lot of hard seasons; a lot of hard games, and they really pushed through.”

Premier Nebraska 13 Black (Great Plains) and Ultimate Asics G13 Gold (Great Lakes) were third.

13 Liberty

In one of the most exciting tournament matches, WAVE 13-Reily (Southern California) defeated SF Tremors 13 Wolverines (Northern California), 17-25, 25-14, 19-17 for the 13 Liberty title.

It was WAVE’s fourth three-set match of the tournament, and their only loss was a 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 defeat at the hands of eventual third-place finisher EMV 13 National Black (North Texas).

“We were a regional bid team, so we came in first seed overall,” WAVE head coach Reily Buechler said. “[I] wasn’t expecting that much pressure, but the girls played so well the entire week, and we are so proud of them.”

Buechler said they started the season with a really “raw” team.

“A lot of our girls had never played in a championship game before, so we had to just get on the grind. We worked so hard all season. We ended up peaking at the end of the season, and so this was just cherry on top,” she said.

Along with EMV, Gainesville Jrs 13-1 (Florida) also finished third.

13 Patriot

Iowa Power Plex 13U Black (Iowa) went undefeated as they soared to the 13 Patriot title with a 25-21, 25-16 victory over H Skyline 13 BCS Royal (Lone Star) in the championship match. It was the only loss for Skyline in the tournament.

The gold medal was the first for Iowa head coach Amy Hobert.

“We had a few players where we didn’t know where to put exactly,” Hobert said about building her team. “But once we found that rotation that clicked, we went with it, and here we are.”

Third place went to NE Elite 13 Kaehi (Great Plains) and Rancho Valley 13 Premier (Southern California).

A Drive Nation player hugs her father
Drive Nation; Photo by Texas Star

12 National

A5 12-LA (Southern) dominated the competition to sweep the 12 National division. The team went undefeated through 11 matches and did not lose a set.

In the final, A5 faced EXCEL 12 National Red (North Texas), winning 25-23, 25-15. EXCEL was bidding to become the second team from the club to win a title at the event, as its 11 National team won on Friday.

“They worked really hard to earn this,” A5 head coach Laura O’Sullivan said. “We went to Triple Crown and had a really disappointing finish; we lost to EXCEL there. We had to come into the gym and get ready to work, and we’ve been working ever since to get to this point. We earned it. They deserve every bit.”

Miz LB 12 Rockstar (Southern California) and Tstreet 12-Kaila (Southern California) finished third.

12 USA

Drive Nation 12-Red (North Texas) rebounded from an opening match loss to win nine straight matches and the 12 USA title. In the final, they defeated GVA/Mizuno 12U Dark Blue (Puerto Rico), 25-16, 25-19.

“I’m so proud of these girls and how hard they’ve worked,” Drive Nation coach June Boller said. “We got tripped up with some nerves [over the week], but they came back and they fought hard. [We] talked about being disciplined, ‘next ball’ mentality, and rode the highs, rode the lows.”

Third place went to Madfrog 12s N Black (North Texas) and SA Juniors 12 adidas (Lone Star).

12 American

Like A5 in 12 National, LV 12 Team Rox (Lone Star) also ran through the tournament undefeated at 11-0, although they had a trio of three-set wins en route to gold. In the final, LV defeated Iowa Select 12 Mizuno (Iowa) 25-14, 25-13.

“I’m shaking, I’m shaking!” Rox head coach Mallary Moehrig exclaimed after the match. “We went to Vegas and Philly. We got second in Philly, won Lone Star, but we just kept fighting and making progress, and I’m nothing but proud of them. A couple times we went three games, almost lost. And a lot of these games could have gone either way, but we fought it out.”

LAVA West 12 Molten (Southern California) and Premier Nebraska 12 Black (Great Plains) finished third.

See highlights of the winning teams below.