The USA Volleyball Beach National Championship will run July 26-28 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over 320 beach volleyball pairs will compete for a national title.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – USA Volleyball crowned new national champions on the beach last week at the USA Volleyball Beach National Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Eight pairs won Open Division titles and four more won their age-group’s American Division.
Girls 18U Open
Presley Murray/Kendra Brown’s (Florida Region) reunification paid off this summer. In their first season as partners again after taking a few years off, they won a national title.
“We started playing together when we were 13 or 14,” Brown said. “We stopped for a bit but started up again this summer.”
The pair shook off a loss in their first match of the tournament to go undefeated the rest of the way. After a 5-1 pool play record, they began the playoff bracket in the Round of 16. Once in knockout play, they won three consecutive two-setters for a spot in the finals against Jasmine Haas/Kennedy Coakley (Ohio Valley/Florida Regions). Haas/Coakley narrowly won the first set, but Murray/Brown came from behind to win, 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-12).
Gold: Presley Murray/Kendra Brown (Florida Region)
Silver: Jasmine Haas/Kennedy Coakley (Ohio Valley/Florida Regions)
Bronze: Rhea Kohl/Olivia McElroy (Carolina Region)
Boys 18U Open
Like everyone competing in the Beach National Championship, Ayden Keeter/Zadyn LaBreche (Southern Region) faced competition against both their fellow competitors and the weather.
“The heat and humidity are crazy,” Keeter said after winning the Boys 18U title. “If you’re not drinking a lot of water and a lot of electrolytes, you’re going to cramp. We didn’t cramp, so that’s good.”
Playing three matches on finals day, there was plenty of opportunity for cramps. The duo from C2 Attack in Hendersonville, Tennessee, swept through their quarterfinal matchup and set up an intriguing semifinal against club teammates Caleb Blanchette/Tate Colebaugh. Keeter/LaBreche came out on top, earning the right to play another tough match in the finale.
After the C2 pair won the first set, the second went to extra points, which Blake Goodwin/August Brittain (Southern Region) won, 26-28. Keeter/LaBreche bounced back to take the third, clinching the match 2-1 (21-18, 26-28, 15-7) and the bracket title.
“Our finals match was the hardest,” LaBreche said. “That second set was a dogfight.”
It’s the duo’s second medal at a USA Volleyball championship this year; they powered their C2 indoor team to 17U Open bronze at the Boys Junior National Championship in July.
Gold: Ayden Keeter/Zadyn LaBreche (C2 Attack, Southern Region)
Silver: Blake Goodwin/August Brittain (Grand Strand Sand, Southern Region)
Bronze: Caleb Blanchette/Tate Colebaugh (C2 Attack, Southern Region)
Girls 16U Open
Erin Miller/Brianna Luoma (Premier Beach Volleyball, Florida Region) won the Girls 16U title as the playoff bracket’s top seed. After going 7-0 during the two group phases, they swept through the Round of 16, won a 28-26 single-set quarterfinal, and picked up a close two-set win in the semis. In the finale, they lined up against Mollie Thomas/Mia Scanlon (Gateway Region). The first frame went into extra points, which Miller/Luoma won. They cruised to victory in the second set to clinch the title, 2-0 (23-21, 21-13).
Gold: Erin Miller/Brianna Luoma (Premier Beach Volleyball, Florida Region)
Silver: Mollie Thomas/Mia Scanlon (Gateway Region)
Bronze: Aracelys Sanchez/Zoey Matias (Florida Region)
Boys 16U Open
Johnny Dykstra/Garrett Gronbach (Southern California Region) traveled a long way to compete in Fort Lauderdale, but they’re returning to Southern California with some gold.
The duo from MB Surf in Manhattan Beach, California, went a perfect 10-0 to capture the Boys 16U title.
“This feels great,” Dykstra said. “We worked all year toward this, and we got it done.”
They won every set they played, picking up a big 2-0 (21-9, 21-12) win in the Round of 16, winning a quarterfinal single-set match to 21, and then outlasting Riley Massey/Kyle Kubasta (Blue Steel VBC/High Performance, Gateway Region), 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) in the semifinal.
In the final, they beat Malachi Brewington/Titus Lance (Play it Forward, Heart of America Region), 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) for the title.
“We had to keep the consistency up the whole time,” Gronbach said. “The opponents were good.”
Gold: Johnny Dykstra/Garrett Gronbach (MB Surf, Southern California Region)
Silver: Malachi Brewington/Titus Lance (Play it Forward, Heart of America Region)
Bronze: Riley Massey/Kyle Kubasta (Blue Steel VBC/High Performance, Gateway Region)
Girls 14U Open
Bella Scherfenberg/Thais Treumann (Heart of America/Florida Regions) went undefeated in Fort Lauderdale, capping an 11-0 tournament with a national title. During both rounds of pool play, they allowed at most 15 points (pool play at the USA Volleyball Beach National Championship consisted of one-set matches to either 21 or 28 depending on pool size). During the playoffs, they won three straight matches without dropping a set, ending with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) win over (Sandstorm Beach VBC/Vibe Volleyball Academy, Florida Region).
Gold: Bella Scherfenberg/Thais Treumann (Heart of America/Florida Regions)
Silver: Britain Taylor/Zara Stewart (Sandstorm Beach VBC/Vibe Volleyball Academy, Florida Region)
Bronze: Ella Grimes/Isabelle Masten (Ohio Valley VBC/iBeach 31, Ohio Valley/Heart of America Regions)
Boys 14U Open
Sam Young/Brock Harvick (North Texas Region) proved they could win every type of match en route to the Boys 14U title. After dominating in pool play – they held their opponents to seven or fewer points during five of seven single-set matches – they won their first two full matches in two sets (21-15, 21-10; 21-18, 21-14) to clinch a finals berth.
In the title match, they lost their first set of the tournament when Mateo Foronda/Spencer Smith (Florida Region) took the first, 18-21. The Texans bounced back to take the next two sets for the 2-1 (18-21, 21-11, 15-7) win.
Gold: Sam Young/Brock Harvick (North Texas Region)
Silver: Mateo Foronda/Spencer Smith (Florida Region)
Bronze: Myles Jordan/Kyle Chapman (Houston Volleyball Academy, Lone Star Region)
Girls 12U Open
Brooke Codey/Dreya Scherfenberg (Pioneer/Heart of America Regions) won the Girls 12U Open crown, capping an undefeated tournament with a national title. The pair won their pool and playoff matches handily to earn a spot in the title match. In the finale, they faced Caitlin Carrizales/Dakota Richard (North Texas Region). Codey/Scherfenberg were tested, but they pulled out a 2-0 (21-19, 22-20) win for the title.
Gold: Brooke Codey/Dreya Scherfenberg (P4:13/JBVA, Pioneer/Heart of America Regions)
Silver: Caitlin Carrizales/Dakota Richard (TAV Beach/MadSand, North Texas Region)
Bronze: Katie Callahan/Madyson Jacobson (Premier Nebraska, Great Plains Region)
Boys 12U Open
Southern Premier Volleyball Club’s Luca Marcello/Collin Tullis dominated the Boys 12U Open. Of 12 sets played in the tournament, they allowed more than 10 points in just three. The bracket’s top seed, Marcello/Tullis swept the semifinal and final matches, 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) and 2-0 (21-7, 21-10) to claim the title.
Gold: Luca Marcello/Collin Tullis (Southern Premier Volleyball Club, Bayou Region)
Silver: Aiden Tran/Preston Le (OP2 Volleyball, Oklahoma Region)
Bronze: Joshua Lewis/Samuel Reding (P4:13, Heart of America Region)
Girls 18U American
Kaylee Howell/Rebecca Blaydes (S3 Volleyball, Southern Region) were undefeated heading into the Girls 18U American playoffs, but they were not the bracket’s top seed. That designation belonged to Lilly Hafner/Andrea Dietz (Optimum Beach; Florida Region). The two met in the championship match, and Hafner/Dietz struck first with a 15-21 set win, but Howell won the second in an extra point, forcing a third set. Howell/Blaydes won the tightest of third sets and won the division on a 2-1 (15-21 22-20, 15-13) score.
Gold: Kaylee Howell/Rebecca Blaydes (S3 Volleyball, Southern Region)
Silver: Lilly Hafner/Andrea Dietz (Optimum Beach; Florida Region)
Bronze: Lauren Cairo/Brooke Green (BeVolley/Optimum Beach, Florida Region)
Girls 16U American
Grace Jansen/Mykaela Wallen (Progression Beach Volleyball, Great Lakes Region) went undefeated through two rounds of pool play to begin the tournament. After two playoff victories, Jansen/Wallen met the bracket’s top seed, Marissa Peck/Oceanna Roth in the quarterfinals. Playing one set to 28 instead of a best-of-three match, Jansen/Wallen won 31-29 for an upset semifinal berth. A 28-15 semifinal win meant a championship berth, and they beat Sarah Smith/Alexa Smith (Optimum Beach Volleyball) in the final for the title.
Lily Wedman/Brookelyn Hatton (P4:13, Heart of American Region), who lost to Jansen/Wallen in the semifinal, took bronze.
Gold: Grace Jansen/Mykaela Wallen (Progression Beach Volleyball, Great Lakes Region)
Silver: Sarah Smith/Alexa Smith (Optimum Beach Volleyball)
Bronze: Lily Wedman/Brookelyn Hatton (P4:13, Heart of American Region)
Girls 14U American
Olivia Badyna/Amelia Snider (No Name VBC; Florida Region) won the Girls 14U American division after receiving a bye to the Round of 16. The pair went 5-1 in pool play, only losing a one-set match 28-25 on day one. During match play, they didn’t drop a set, sweeping their Round of 16 match, 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) and the bracket championship, 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) and winning one-set matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
In the finale, they faced Madelyn Powell/Alexandra Colon (GCVA Beach; Lone Star Region), who began bracket play in the Round of 32. Powell/Colon’s remarkable playoff run left the pair with a 10-2 record in the tournament. Their only two losses came to Badyna/Snider.
Bronze medalists Caroline Adams/Caylee Young (Absolute Volleyball Academy; Lone Star Region) also reached the podium after beginning bracket play in the Round of 32.
Gold: Olivia Badyna/Amelia Snider (No Name VBC, Florida Region)
Silver: Madelyn Powell/Alexandra Colon (GCVA Beach, Lone Star Region)
Bronze: Caroline Adams/Caylee Young (Absolute Volleyball Academy, Lone Star Region)
Girls 12U American
The Beach National Championship may not have started ideally for Alexa Turoff/Emma Burnside (MadSand, North Texas Region), but it sure ended well.
The pair lost their first match of the competition, 28-23. They rebounded to finish the first pool at 2-1 and swept through their second day of pool play. Despite the opening loss, they were one of three squads that earned berths directly to the quarterfinals. Turoff/Burnside won their quarterfinal, swept a two-set semifinal contest, and beat Whitney Mertens/Reese Pedersen (Nebraska ONE, Great Plains Region) 28-20 in the finale for the title.
Mertens/Pederson – who also earned a bye to the quarterfinals – took second, while Milana Rivera/Kate Bull (TAV, Lone Star Region) took third.
Gold: Alexa Turoff/Emma Burnside (MadSand, North Texas Region)
Silver: Whitney Mertens/Reese Pedersen (Nebraska ONE, Great Plains Region)
Bronze: Milana Rivera/Kate Bull (TAV, Lone Star Region)