COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (June 2, 2022) – USA Volleyball concluded another successful Open National Championship this week in Orlando, Florida.
The USA Volleyball Open National Championship, first held in 1928, is the premier adult volleyball tournament in the United States. This year, nearly 350 teams from across the nation and even the world – more on them later – competed in 19 divisions. Athletes from ages 18 to 70+ took the court during the six-day tournament.
“Nationals is something we all point to in our training and getting together to see our good friends,” Greg Close said after captaining Kings Mountain Fog (Northern California Region) to the Men’s 70 and Over division title. “It keeps us healthy. Volleyball’s for life. We give each other incentive to stay in shape, be healthy, and come together and celebrate that as a group.”
The members of Kings Mountain Fog aren’t the only ones who return year after year.
Jean Martin, playing with Volley Culture (Iowa Region) in Women’s BB, has been attending Opens since 1993 and comes back for myriad reasons. “The people, the fun, the new friends, the old friends, just the all-around environment here. It is so much fun. We look forward to it every year,” she said.
Last year, Martin played in the men’s 70 and over division since the pandemic resulted in a smaller competition. “That was so fun,” said Martin, who’s playing with a team of younger players this year. “I was hoping to play on a 70s team this year, and I contacted them but they were all full. So, I tried women’s 55, and they were full.”
The Men’s AA division, the men’s top division offered this year, saw a repeat winner in Dude Wipes (Great Lakes Region).
“We had to battle all weekend, and we had a great time with the guys. There was really good competition all across the weekend,” team captain Timothy Falknor said. “We knew that everyone was going to be coming out for us, and they did. We had to bring our best game through to get the championship.”
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The Women’s AA division saw a new champion: Rise Beyond-1 (New England Region). So new, in fact, the team didn’t even hold a complete practice before the tournament.
“We’d never played together,” team captain Jaidyn Blanchfield said after winning gold. “Half our team practiced for one hour [before the tournament]. We all play overseas, and there’s a language barrier and culture barrier there. Here, we really flowed together, especially for not having played together.”
Opens is an international affair, too. Volei Brasil, from Brazil, won the Women’s 55 and Over division, and participants in both genders’ B divisions even lined up against the Bermuda National Team. The country’s men’s team, under the moniker Ace Boyz, finished 11th, and the women’s team – Devil’s Isle VC – took 26th.
Next year’s USA Volleyball Open National Championship will take place May 26-31 in Dallas, Texas.
Upcoming National Championship Dates
2022 Girls Junior National Championship: June 23-July 4 in Indianapolis, Ind.
2022 Boys Junior National Championship: June 30-July 7 in Las Vegas, Nev.
2022 Beach National Championship: July 26-28 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
2022 Beach Club Championship: July 29-31 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla
2023 Girls 18s National Championship: April 28-30 in Columbus, Ohio
2023 Open National Championship: May 26-31 in Dallas, Texas
2023 Boys Junior National Championship: June 29-July 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah
2024 Boys Junior National Championship: June 26-July 3 in Dallas, Texas