ANAHEIM, California (April 29, 2018) – Top Select 18 Elite Blake (Florida Region) highlighted the final day of the 2018 USA Volleyball Girls 18s Junior National Championships (GJNC18) by claiming the 18 Open Division title, while four other teams won divisional titles at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
The GJNC18 had a record 296 teams and approximately 3,000 of the top 18-and-under athletes in the country competing for one of five championships. The event was being played in Anaheim, the official host city for the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Volleyball Teams.
Top Select 18 Elite Blake rallied from an opening set loss in the 18 Open Division championship match to defeat San Antonio Magic 18 Elite (Lone Star Region) 26-28, 25-19, 18-16. Top Select needed four championship match points before securing the last point of championship.
Top Select overcame a tournament opening loss and a 2-2 start to pool play, but caught fire when it counted. They defeated the reigning GJNC18 champion KC Power 18-1 (Heart of America Region in the challenge match to earn a spot in the gold bracket. Top Select then defeated SG Elite 18 Roshambo (Southern California Region) 27-29, 25-21, 15-12 in the quarterfinal round. Top Select swept TAV 18 Black (North Texas Region) 25-23, 25-23 in a hard-fought semifinal match to earn a spot in the championship match. Top Select won its last five matches for a 7-2 overall record.
Shannon Crenshaw, who has signed to play with University of Washington next fall, was named the 18 Open Division most valuable player.
“It is amazing,” Crenshaw said of Top Select winning the 18 Open championship. “We came into this just hoping for the best. This is such a great surprise to us. We have worked so hard for the past four years. It is amazing that all the hard work has paid off.”
As she and Top Select were a bit surprised they came through with the title, Crenshaw herself was caught off guard in taking home the most valuable player award.
“It means so much to me,” Crenshaw said. “I would never have expected anything like this. Everything that has happened I think has happened for a reason. I just played my heart out with my girls.”
Crenshaw and her teammates have now concluded their club careers on a high note before heading into college.
“I think I have been well trained and well-prepared. I think I will be ready to go.”
SA Magic 18 Elite, 7-2 in the tournament, reached the title match by downing top-seeded Circle City 18 Purple (Hoosier Region) 18-25, 25-17, 15-12 in the quarterfinals followed by a 25-22, 26-24 victory over Texas Tornados 18 Mizuno (Lone Star Region) in the semifinals.
Texas Tornados 18 Mizuno and TAV 18 Black earned the 18 Open bronze medals.
Alliance 18 Mizuno (Southern Region) collected the 18 National Division gold medal after defeating top-seeded Northern Lights 18-1 (North Country Region) 25-23, 16-25, 15-10 in the title match. Alliance 18 Mizuno, which went undefeated in nine matches as the number-eight seed in the 18 National Division, earned its ticket to the title match by defeating Sky High-Adidas 18 Black (Great Lakes Region) 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 in the quarterfinals and Red Rock 18-1 (Northern California Region) 25-19, 25-21 in the semifinals.
Northern Lights 18-1, which finished the tournament with a 7-3 record, reached the championship match by defeating Renovators 18-1 (Evergreen Region) 25-16, 25-8 in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Metro 18 Travel (Chesapeake Region) 25-23, 23-25, 15-6 in the semifinals.
Red Rock 18-1 and Metro 18 Travel earned the bronze medals in the 18 National Division.
Upward Stars 18 Corey (Palmetto Region) outlasted Bakersfield 18-John (Southern California Region) 25-20, 21-25, 15-11 to win the 18 USA Division gold medal. Despite losing its first match of the tournament and posting a 3-2 record in the first round, Upward Stars caught fire in the challenge round and gold-medal bracket by winning five straight matches to end at 8-2. Upward Stars punched its ticket to the finals by defeating Elite VBTC 18 Chelsea (Ohio Valley Region) 25-19, 25-21 in the semifinals after sweeping Webfoot 18-1 Gold (Columbia Empire Region) 25-13, 25-14 in the quarterfinals.
Bakersfield 18 John, which lost its first two matches of the tournament, defeated Prime 18 adidas (Southern California Region) 25-13, 25-20 in the quarterfinals and IL HPSTL 18 Elite (Gateway Region) 18-25, 25-23, 15-10 in the semifinals. Bakersfield 18 John ended the tournament with a 7-3 record.
Elite VBTC 18 Chelsea and IL HPSTL Elite earned the 18 USA Division bronze medals.
River Cities 18 Jason (Pioneer Region) collected the 18 American Division championship after sweeping ZIVA 18 National (North Texas Region) 25-18, 25-21 in the title match. 18 Jason, 9-2 overall in the tournament, avenged its first loss of the tournament by rallying past Iowa Rockets 18R (Iowa Region) 29-31, 25-14, 15-12 in the challenge round just to get into the gold bracket. After that thrilling win, River Cities 18 Jason defeated Epic United 18 Elite Rox (Great Lakes) 25-22, 25-15 in the quarterfinal round and came from behind to top AVA Texas 18 Team Rox (Lone Star Region) 19-25, 25-19, 15-10 in the semifinals.
ZIVA 18 National, 8-2 on the tournament, defeated fourth-seeded Houston Skyline 18 Royal (Lone Star Region) 25-20, 29-27 in the quarterfinals, followed edging top-seeded Momentous 18-1 Randy (Southern California Region) 25-18, 16-25, 15-10 in the semifinals.
Momentous 18-1 Randy and AVA Texas 18 Team Rox were 18 American bronze medalists.
FORZA1 North 18 UA (Southern California Region) swept second-seeded Kent Juniors 18 Baden (Puget Sound Region) 25-18, 26-24 to win the 18 Patriot Division. FORZA1, which went undefeated in the tournament with a 10-0 mark without dropping a single set as the fifth seed, reached the championship match with defeating Club One AZ 18 Platinum (Arizona Region) 25-16, 25-19 in the quarterfinals before stopping Laguna Beach 18 MS (Southern California Region) 26-24, 25-18 in the semifinals.
Kent Juniors 18 Baden, which had an 8-2 tournament record, reached the title match by defeating V-Hawk Extreme 18 National (Badger Region) 25-17, 25-18 in the quarterfinals and sixth-seeded Brandywine Blackout 18-1 (Chesapeake Region) 25-20, 27-25 in the semifinals.
Laguna Beach 18MS and Brandywine Blackout 18-1 earned the 18 Patriot Division bronze medals.
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2018 USA Volleyball Girls 18s Junior National Championships All-Tournament Teams
18 Open: MVP – Shannon Crenshaw (Top Select 18 Elite Blake). All-Tournament – Emily Dewalt (SA Magic 18 Elite), Carly Graham (Texas Tornados 18 Mizuno), Katie Clark (TAV 18 Black), Lauren Clark (Minnesota Select 18-1), Ellis Dejardin (SG Elite 18 Roshambo), Lexi Hadrych (Coast 18-1), Hannah Jacobs (SA Magic 18 Elite), Grace Ryan (Top Select 18 Elite Blake), Whitney Foreman (Texas Tornados 18 Mizuno), Grace Klepetka (TAV 18 Black), Allison Martinez (SG Elite 18 Roshambo), Jael Johnson (Circle City 18 Purple), Johnna Shamley (Top Select 18 Elite Blake), Kaylyn Winkler (SA Magic 18 Elite).
18 National – MVP – Logan Eggleston (Alliance 18 Mizuno). All-Tournament – Isabella Ratzloff (Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1), Nicole Liddle (Red Rock 18-1), Jade Parchment (Metro 18 Travel), Molly Lambillotte (Sky High Adidas 18 Black), Jenna Brandt (Six Pack 18), Klaire Mitchell (Renovators 18-1), Tori Carpenter (Alliance 18 Mizuno), McKenna Melville (Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1), Madison Lenn (Red Rock 18-1), Jenaisya Moore (Metro 18 Travel), Amber Olson (Sky High Adidas Black), Elizabeth Juhnke (Mizuno M1 18-1), Kennedy Brady (Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1), Garrett Joiner (Alliance 18 Mizuno)
18 USA – MVP – Gabby Easton (Upward Stars 18 Corey) All-Tournament – Perri Starkey (Bakersfield 18 John), Paige Jones (Elite VBTC 18 Chelsea), Kaylee Hanger (IL HPSTL 18 Elite), Amanda Desch (Dynasty 18 Black), Kylee Kinnett (HPSTL 18 Orange), Claire Hoffman (Webfoot 18-1 Gold), Schuyler Benjamin (Upward Stars 18 Corey), Lauryn Burt (Bakersfield 18 John), Maddie Fogg (Elite VBTC 18 Chelsea), Patricia Stokes (IL HPSTL 18 Elite), Asya Harris (Dynasty 18 Black), Jade Blevins (Prime 18 Adidas), Jaleesa Caroccio (Bakersfield 18 John), Lauren Bowers (Upward Stars 18 Corey)
18 American: MVP – Keatan Broughton (18-Jason). All-Tournament – Lindsey Dodson (ZIVA 18-National), Destynie Villamu (Momentous 18-1 Randy), Sydney Sacra (AVA TX 18 Team Rox), Kali Uhl (Temecula Viper 18 Rafu), Rachel Hickey (NIVA 18X), Catherine Clausen (Houston Skyline 18 Royal), Autumn Elswick (18-Jason), Danielle Okeke (ZIVA 18-National), Sarah Ciszek (Momentous 18-1 National), Kennedy Adams (AVA TX 18 Team Rox), Gracie Halley (Temecula Viper 18 Rafu), Peyton Yelich (Epic United 18 Elite Rox), Jasmine Sims (ZIVA 18-National), Megan Taylor (18-Jason).