ORLANDO, Florida (May 29, 2016) – As the first day of finals at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships came to a close on Sunday, it appeared the best was saved for last. A raucous playoff set between Florida Splash (Florida Region) and Bottoms Up (Garden Empire) in the Men’s BB division saw Florida Splash claim its first Opens Championship, just two months after many of the players joined forces.
Despite falling 25-17, 26-24 to Bottoms Up in the gold medal match, Florida Splash was undefeated through the semifinals; the tournament’s double-elimination format forced a first-team-to-25 playoff set, which the Splash won 25-18.
“After dropping the match we talked about just making some fixes, cleaning up our blocks and making sure to get great passes so we could stay in system,” Charles Shearer of Florida Splash said.
The Splash finished the tournament with an 11-1 record, defeating Cavalier (Chesapeake) 16-25, 25-21, 15-13 in the semifinals and NOTORIOUS BB (New England) 25-23, 18-25, 15-11 in the quarterfinals.
Bottoms Up refused to go quietly, storming back to 15-13 in the playoff set after trailing 15-9. However, a Splash timeout to regroup and slow Bottoms Up’s momentum resulted in a seven point run led by sharp blocking by Skylar Lopas and attacking by Kenny Lawrence.
“The first two sets they were really kicking my butt, but we cleaned up the timing and set the blocks a little bit more inside,” Lopas said. “I feel like once the blockers moved in it helped me close the seam.”
Bottoms Up finished 11-2, also defeating Cavalier 25-19, 25-21 in the semifinals, after topping Yorktowne Soul (Keystone) 25-22, 25-20 in the quarterfinals.
In its 87th year, the U.S. Open National Championships is being played in Florida for the first time. Co-hosted with the Florida Region, the event features 578 teams with 75 foreign teams playing on 55 courts. Pool play began Friday; the tournament concludes Wednesday afternoon.
- Gold Medal: Set to Kill (Great Lakes)
- Silver Medal: T*SST (New England)
- Bronze Medal: Squad Up (Garden Empired)
- Gold Medal: Fog Canada Masters 40 (Canada)
- Silver Medal: No Dinx (Moku O Keawe)
- Bronze Medal: Panama Jack – SD Beaches (Southern California)
- Gold Medal: Fog Canada Masters 50 (Canada)
- Silver Medal: BrasilBlue (Brazil)
- Bronze Medal: REMAZA (Brazil)
- Gold Medal: BRASIL MIX-60 (Brazil)
- Silver Medal: VOLEI BRASIL (Brazil)
- Bronze Medal: Lady GROG-60 (Old Dominion)
- Gold Medal: BRASIL MASTER/MACKSSUD (Brazil)
- Silver Medal: UNIPA-INTER (Brazil)
- Bronze Medal: Pro Combat/Botafogo (Brazil)
- Gold Medal: Western States Laguna (Southern California)
- Silver Medal: King’s Mountain Fog 55 (Northern California)
- Bronze Medal: Blaine Labs/PapaKoa (Hawaii)
- Gold Medal: Quicksilver Legends 65 (Southern California)
- Silver Medal: Sao Paulo Masters 65M (Brazil)
- Bronze Medal: Kings Mountain Fog 65 (Northern California)
- Gold Medal: Outback Steakhouse 73 (Puget Sound)
- Silver Medal: MAC MAGIC 73 (Chesapeake)
- Bronze Medal: SEC 73s (Florida)
- Gold Medal: Highlanders79 (Rocky Mountain)
- Silver Medal: Spike Force 79s (Garden Empire)
- Bronze Medal: Rusty 79 (Columbia Region)
Special Olympics – White
- Gold Medal: Ohio Madison Tigers
- Silver Medal: Texas Allen Spiker
- Bronze Medal: Georgia Kay Center Tigers
Special Olympics – Blue
- Gold Medal: Virginia Seaborne Spikers
- Silver Medal: Virginia NRV Rapids
- Bronze Medal: Florida Brevard Striker
Special Olympics – Red
- Gold Medal: GA HenryCounty Gladiators
- Silver Medal: Wisconsin Bad Pack
- Bronze Medal: Tenn. Chattanooga Chill