TAV 14 Black (North Texas) won the Open division as seven champions were crowned in the 14 age division Saturday at the 2023 Girls Junior National Championship 14-17 in Chicago, Ill.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 1, 2023) – USA Volleyball awarded seven championship trophies Saturday in the 15 division at the 2023 Girls Junior National Championship 14-17 in Chicago, Ill.
Saturday marked the first of two championship days in the McCormick Place Convention Center, this time for the 14 and 15 age groups. More “golden balls” will be handed out on July 6 for the 16 and 17 age groups.
The GJNC is the United States’ premier junior girls club tournament and attracts college scouts from across the country.
It is the first year that the 14-17 age divisions have been given a separate tournament and their numbers are greater than ever with 1,368 teams registered. There are now seven competitive divisions for each age group in the 14-17 divisions.
Skyline 15 Royal (North Texas, Dallas) lost the very first set it played in the tournament, 27-29, to AP 15 adidas (Lone Star). But that one loss was enough, as Skyline roared back to win that first match (25-21, 15-11) and never looked back en route to the 15 Open title. Skyline didn’t lose another set and defeated Mintonette Sports m.51 (Ohio Valley), 26-24, 25-21, in the final. It was Mintonette’s first loss of the tourney.
“It’s one [heck of] a ride,” said Skyline’s Madison Victoriano. “We’ve gone through lots of ups and downs. We didn’t always get first, but we fought so hard to get to this final stage, and we’re so happy to be here. This team is brand new. Everyone wasn’t here, except for two players. It was all just a crazy journey.”
Teammate Megan Nguyen echoed Victoriano’s excitement.
“We worked so hard during practice and during tournaments, even if we lose, but we just gave it all at nationals,” Nguyen said. “It feels like a family.”
Skyline’s Keoni Williams was named MVP. Third place went to Arizona Storm 15 Thunder (Arizona) and H Skyline 15 Royal (Lone Star).
Milwaukee Sting 15 Gold (Badger) also went undefeated, losing just three sets en route to winning gold in 15 National. In the final, Sting defeated 1st Alliance 15 Gold (Great Lakes), 25-18, 25-23.
“It means so much,” Sting’s Marlee Sivak said. “We’ve had a lot of loss, and to win this just feels so good. It’s such a good accomplishment and I will always remember it forever. They’re (her teammates) the best people you will ever meet. They are so amazing. They always pick you up when you’re down and I’ve been playing with them for five years. I just have a great relationship with them.”
Mauloa 15s Green (Aloha) and Tstreet 15-Curtis (Southern California) finished third.
Unlike the Open and National winners, A5 15-2 Victor (Southern Region) fought through a tougher road to the 15 USA title. In pool play, A5 dropped a match to MadFrog 15s N Black (North Texas) and also lost to Circle City 15 Black (Hoosier) in bracket play.
They were undeterred, however, and won four straight matches, three of them in three sets, to claim the championship. One of those three-set battles was in the final, where A5 defeated Actyve 15-Black JD (Southern California), 25-23, 22-25, 15-11.
Circle City and STVA 15 Mizuno (Lone Star) finished third.
Ozark Juniors 15 Elite (Delta) rebounded from a three-set loss to FSJ 15 Elite (Delta) in bracket play to win the 15 Liberty title. In the final, Ozark defeated Tampa North 15 Black (Florida), 25-17, 25-17.
“I think we just worked so hard this season,” Ozarks’ Ady Bollinger said. “We put in countless hours of work, and it all just came down to this one game. We fought so hard over these last few days and it all paid off. We’re just so glad that it came to this. This is a dream comes true.”
FSJ 15 Elite and South Central NE 15 Black (Great Plains) finished third.
Pipeline 15-Magic (Southern California) emerged with the 15 American title after a 25-22, 21-25, 15-11 win over TI Elite 15 1 (Hoosier), 25-22, 21-25, 15-11. Three of Pipeline’s final four matches went three sets.
Pipeline’s only loss in the tournament was to Nebraska One 15 Black (Great Plains) during pool play. Surfside 15 Legends Tommy (Southern California) and Texas Fierce Elite 151 (Lone Star) finished third.
Bakersfield 15-Judy (Southern California) joined the ranks of undefeated champions Saturday with a 25-23, 25-10 win over Texas Fury 15 Legacy (Lone Star) in the 15 Freedom division.
Bakersfield went 11-0 and lost just two sets in the tournament; they didn’t lose a set in their final eight matches.
M2 Volleyball 15-1 (Southern) and MN Select 15-2 (North Country) were third.
Two teams dominated the competition in 15 Patriot, and not surprisingly, they faced each other in the gold-medal match.
Both SynergyForce 15 Lisa (Northern California) and H Skyline 15 Black (Lone Star) entered the final at 11-0 without losing a set. But it was SynergyForce who came out on top, 25-10, 25-22, for the title.
Roots 151 Green (Lone Star) and Ultimate Asics G15 Gold (Great Lakes) were third.
Note: Full all-tournament teams will be posted at a later date.