INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — SG Elite Roshambo swept through the 12 National ranks at the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships, losing just one set en route to the gold medal on Tuesday afternoon.
SG Elite (Southern California Region) took down Boiler Juniors Gold (Hoosier Region) 25-8, 25-7 on championship court at the Indiana Convention Center. Sport Court is the official athletic flooring for all USA Volleyball national championship events.
For many SG players, the gold medal was a repeat of their 2018 title at 11s.
“We kept working hard all season long,” said head coach William Wong. “We did do a little adjustment here and there (in this tournament) to maximize our strengths against other teams, like Madfrog, who beat us earlier this year in Denver.”
Wong called out every member of his team, from the hitters to the defenders, and to the setters and coaching staff, praising their work.
“That’s the secret to success,” he added. “It’s just practice … keep doing it, even if it’s the same. This is my third year with them, so they hear the same thing over and over again. And as long as they respond, it works out.”
SG Elite was stellar against a strong Boiler team, which won six straight matches to make it to the final. But Wong said his team has been dominant all season, and their performance in this tournament was not surprising.
“We play well when we dominate,” Wong said. “We’re a little more nervous when it’s actually close. We’re not used to that. They know how to close out these types of games. But when it’s a close game, like our quarterfinal match against the Lions, it can get a little rough.”
Third place went to GVA Dark Blue (Puerto Rico) and Madfrog 12 N Green (North Texas Region).
Like SG Elite, Arizona Sky Gold Synergy (Arizona Region) also pushed through the tournament undefeated with just a single lost set in 11 matches.
“We were extremely happy to make it into gold,” said head coach Darci Tilghman. “Our first goal was to make it there, and then to get a medal. We would just try to do the best we possibly could, have fun and play hard.”
AZ Sky defeated Gulfside Navy (Florida Region) in two closely contested sets, 25-20, 25-21. Coming into the final, Gulfside had also not lost a match in the tourney. Tilghman said they made some adjustments to defense in the match to accommodate Gulfiside’s strengths.
“They had a very good hitter that we had to adjust to, but our plan was to serve aggressively and look for their holes, and have good serve receive ourselves,” she said.
Like many other coaches, Tilghman talked about how much she would missing coaching these girls as they move up a division.
“The all click so well,” she said. “No one particular girl stands out so they all trust each other and play as a team. They have this connection that’s just amazing.”
Third place went to Drive Nation 12 Red (North Texas Region) and Rockwood Thunder 12 Elite (Gateway Region).