TAV players cheer from the sidelines
TAV 18 Open winners (photo by Texas Star)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 30, 2024) – Seven new champions were crowned Sunday at the 2024 Girls 18s Junior National Championship in Baltimore, Md. In its eighth year as a stand-alone championship, the annual event offers club players the chance to compete against the best of the best in the highest age group.

For the second year, the event also included a player prom for those who might have missed their event at home and those who just wanted to dance.

Each of the seven division winners (out of 315 teams) were from different clubs: TAV 18 Black (North Texas Region); Aspire 18 Black (Arizona Region); C1VB ONE Heather (Palmetto Region); VVA 18-1 (North Country Region); AZ Sky 18 Gold (Arizona Region); NIVA 18 Purple (Hoosier Region); A5 18-2 boba (Southern Region).

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18 Open

TAV 18 Black won a battle of undefeated teams in the 18 Open final with a 27-25, 25-22 win over 1st Alliance 18 Gold (Great Lakes Region). TAV lost just two sets en route to the title.

Macaria “Cari” Spears, a member of the 2023 U.S. Girls U19 National Team, said words can’t describe the national champion feeling.

“It hasn’t even sunk in for me yet,” she said. “It’s obviously an amazing feeling. Our team has worked so hard this year to push through and be that team that can win and will win, and so our hard work paid off.”

Spears shared more about TAV’s journey.

“We’ve always been the team that could be good enough to win a national title, or is almost there or is one step away,” she said. “Every year, we’ve heard ‘you guys can do it,’ but it’s about actually doing it. The journey that this team has been on … as you can see, a lot of us are really emotional about this .. [is] because we’ve always been putting our whole hearts in to it, but we just miss it or we just lose one game so this means everything to us.”

Third place went to A5 18-Marc (Arizona) and KC Power 18 Black (Heart of America).

TAV’s Suli Davis was named MVP.

18 National

The 18 National final was another matchup between undefeated teams, with AZ Sky 18 Gold coming out on top over Elevation 18 Toth (Ohio Valley), 25-20, 8-25, 15-8. AZ Sky battled through a tough tournament with three other matches that went the distance, including defeating OP2 18-1 Elite (Oklahoma) 18-16 earlier in the tournament. Sky’s Anna Brauckmiller was MVP.

417 Juniors 18 Elite (Heart of America) and VCNebraska 18 Elite (Great Plains) were third.

18 USA

A5 18-2 boba defeated previously undefeated A4 Volley 18-Joaco (Southern California), 25-20, 21-25, 15-9, to win 18 USA. A5 won seven straight matches to capture gold after losing its second match on Friday to Bakersfield 18-Kim (Southern California). Before the final, A4 had lost just one set in the tournament.

A5’s Grace Agolli was MVP. Roots 18-1 Green (Lone Star) and TVA 18 Smack Katie (Florida) were third.

A5 players cheer from the sidelines
A5 of 18 USA (photo by Texas Star)

18 Liberty

VVA 18-1 out of Fresno (Northern California) went 9-0 to win the Liberty division. Runner-up Untouchables EPA 18 Diamond (North Texas) did not making it easy as VVA went the distance in a 25-19, 23-25, 15-13 win.

All-tourney selection Devyn Castaneda said the team has been together a long time.

“I’ve been playing with these girls since I was in sixth grade and now I’m a senior,” Castaneda said. It’s just been a blast because we’ve been through ups and down through seasons. It’s always rough in the beginning, but then we always push through in the end. I’m just so proud to be on this team.”

Castaneda’s teammate MaKayla Smith was MVP. SG Elite 18 Excel (Southern California) and Texas Fury 18 Legacy (Lone Star) were third.

18 American

Aspire 18 Black lost its first set of the tournament and never looked back, winning the rest of its sets in the next nine matches for the 18 American title. In the final, the 10-0 Aspire team defeated Adversity G18 adidas (Great Lakes), 25-20, 25-15.

Aspire’s Maggie Beauer was MVP. Maverick 18 Elite (Ohio Valley) and VA Elite 18s (Chesapeake) were third.

18 Freedom

C1VB 18 One Heather defeated MPV 18 National (Intermountain), 25-14, 22-25, 15-11, for the gold in Freedom.

C1VB kept the momentum going early in the tournament as four of its first five matches went to three sets, including a 2-1 loss to Kairos 18 Beta (North Country). But the team won four consecutive matches in straight sets to make it to the final.

Ashley Stein was MVP. Third place went to MVC 18-1 (Ohio Valley) and Wolf Pack 18 Black (Sun Country).

18 Patriot

NIVA 18 Purple went 9-0 to sweep through the Patriot division. In the final, NIVA 18 Purple won a close three-set battle with Jersey Jrs 18 National GR (Garden Empire), 25-17, 22-25, 15-13.

Five:1 18-Black (Lakeshore) and SDVBC 18-Danielle (Southern California) were third.