About two and a half months after the Triple Crown Volleyball NIT in February, the journey to and through the USA Volleyball 18 Open Championships has been completed.
Teams that made the TC NIT a mandatory stop on their schedule have a funny way of turning up on lists of high-achieving finishers, and the story is no different in 2018.
Top Select (FL) took the 18 Open title in Anaheim, CA, upsetting a slew of teams along the way and elevating impressively from its 25th-place effort in Salt Lake City at the TC NIT 18 Elite bracket. The San Antonio Magic took second at USAV (was 17th in SLC), with Texas Advantage placing third (22nd at SLC).
Here’s a look at other 18 Open finishers at USAV, and how they placed with Triple Crown’s tourney:
Tied for fifth in Anaheim: Coast (11th in SLC) and San Gabriel Elite (13th in SLC).
Ninth in Anaheim: Sunshine Westside (14th in SLC).
Tied for 11th in Anaheim: A4 Volleyball (fifth in SLC) and Absolute Black (sixth in SLC).
Tied for 13th in Anaheim: Rage (15th in SLC); Tstreet and Rockstar (both 19th in SLC).
Absolute Volleyball Academy (TX) took third in USAV American (was 23rd in SLC); Red Rock Black was third in USAV National (29th in SLC).
With more than 500 club teams and several hundred college coaches already booked, the 2019 Triple Crown Volleyball NIT will grab the nation’s attention on President’s Day Weekend, with the event moving to Kansas City, MO for the first time.
Here’s a tidbit: coaches noticed 31 of the 36 clubs that are competing in the USA Volleyball 18 Open Championships have committed to play in the 2019 TC NIT.
With the addition of the country’s most impressive AAU and JVA programs, the 2019 TC NIT looks to offer the deepest, strongest event in Triple Crown volleyball history.
Pack a lunch – this is one hefty list!
A5 Mizuno-1 (Bob)
A5 Mizuno-2 (John)
Mizuno Long Beach
San Antonio Magic
San Gabriel Elite
The odds of entering the 2019 TC NIT are getting tough, but for information on getting your team a spot in the 2019 or 2020 TC NIT, please contact Jared Rudiger (970-672-0547, firstname.lastname@example.org)
With the 36 berths now decided for the 18 Open division at the USA Volleyball junior national championships, it’s always interesting to see the geographical mix of teams looking to make a championship run in late May. From Southern California to Florida, from Idaho to Texas, and through the heart of the country in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, there’s depth and skill and talent bursting through these three dozen rosters.
The Triple Crown Volleyball NIT, held over President’s Day Weekend in Salt Lake City, UT., ended up being a solid predictor of 18 Open teams that would eventually make the cut for nationals, as 20 of those 36 squads took their best swings at the Salt Palace Convention Center:
Mizuno Long Beach
San Antonio Magic
Look for the Triple Crown Volleyball NIT to “take the temperature” of every elite-level club that dreams of making noise at nationals. The 2019 NIT will take place in Kansas City, MO., and we already have commitments from other standout clubs (Mintonette, Academy of Cleveland, KC Power, Minnesota Select, Rockwood Thunder and more) that will be at the NIT!
Spots are filling fast! If your team likes the sound of the TC NIT, please contact Jared Rudiger (970-672-0547, email@example.com)
The 2018 Triple Crown Volleyball NIT drew 436 teams to Salt Lake City over President’s Day Weekend, which included multiple squads from the country’s strongest and deepest club programs.
We are pleased to announce the final standings for the Top Club Award, which is based on points accrued depending on team finishes in each division, 14’s through 18’s. To qualify, clubs had to have teams in at least three different age groups, and each club’s three highest finishes were then awarded points:
1. Arizona Storm (300 points) – Winners of 17 Elite, 15 Elite and 14 Elite.
2. Texas Advantage (250) – The 2017 Top Club; was semifinalist in 17 Elite.
3. Orlando/Tampa VB (240) – Winners in 16 Elite, also 15 Elite semifinalist.
4. A5 Mizuno (200) – 14 Elite, 16 Elite and 17 Elite semifinalist.
5. Wave (180) – Runners-up in 14 Elite and 16 Elite.
6. Aspire (170) – Runner-up in 15 Elite, semifinalist in 18 Elite.
7. MadFrog (150) – 14 Elite and 15 Elite semifinalist.
8. Asics Munciana (140) – Winners of the 18 Elite title; that team was 8-0 in the event.
9. Legacy (130) – Runner-up in 18 Elite.
10. Asics KIVA (100) – Steady presence in multiple age groups.
The 2019 Triple Crown NIT will take place on President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 16-18, in Kansas City, MO.
By Kyle Koso
It’s a little crazy to ever question the Munciana Samurai 18’s, even when it seems like they will run out of time before finding an answer.
With a game and a half in the books Monday at the Triple Crown Volleyball NIT, Munciana was down 0-1 and staring at a five-point deficit against Legacy in the title match of the 18 Elite, so calling the situation bleak might have actually been charitable. But the Samurai (who won the 18’s here a year ago) first pulled even, then ahead, then used all their numerous skills and resources to win Game 3, posting a 18-25, 26-24, 15-13 victory at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
After falling behind 16-11 in Game 2, Munciana got a couple aces from Megan Miller (who will play at Nebraska next year), kills from Jonni Parker (Penn State) and Bonnie Bostic (Yale, 2019) and a few timely mistakes by Legacy to take a 19-18 lead. At 23-all, the match’s longest point played out, ending with a Parker kill, and two more kills from her secured the game and the roots of an amazing comeback.
In Game 3, Munciana never allowed itself to get in serious trouble again. A bizarre-looking karate-chop shot from Bostic flipped over the net and to the ground for game point, and an error by Legacy finished the drama.
“It’s the passion that we all have. We are a team full of winners, and we hate to lose,” said Alyiah Wells, whose offensive prowess played a huge role in keeping Munciana in touch. “We owed it to ourselves after winning the second game that we should push to the end. We didn’t put enough service pressure on them early, and they could play in system a lot. It’s a lot easier to set in system, and it’s harder for the defense to read.”
Munciana will practice coming back from deficits as large as 15 points, but to see them pull off this type of comeback in a national-scale championship is a different thing altogether. Legacy certainly made it interesting, featuring a fleet of tenacious and skilled hitters, as well as a rock-wall defense.
“We were able to flip the switch and began to bring the energy we didn’t start with in that second set,” said Parker, who consistently provides the set, kill, block or dig her team needs at a given moment. “We got on a run, and that gave us the momentum we needed. We had to make adjustments and began to get some (good play) under our belt. We are fighting to get to June, our end goal, and this type of competition is definitely good for that.”
Munciana coach Mike Lingenfelter simply thought the refuse-to-lose mindset of his roster, baked into the team from countless hours of preparation, made the difference.
“We finally got a run, we needed three together I told them … that one part of the second game was the only time we had a run, and we needed that,” he said. “I told them this in one of the huddles -- every kid on this team has won a national championship except for one, and that kid has two state championships. That DNA kicks in at some point, and it’s part of the legacy we’ve built.
“This event is second to none. I looked at all the other President’s Day tournaments going on, and kudos to them all … we host one ourselves … but there’s no comparison to this event in regards to competition, event management, hospitality. To win this is a big deal because 90 percent of the big-time teams are in this thing. It’s a special win.”