Girls 18s Nationals have begun! In this article, we’ll talk about the matches in general and highlight any upsets, no matter how mild.
- POOL 1
- Circle City, the top overall seed, had little issue with its 3 matches Friday, as they swept Manoa Beach out of Hawai’i, Mizuno Long Beach Rockstar and Drive Nation from Dallas. Absolute Black, boosted by a forfeit win over Long Beach, is also 3-0, but needed three sets to knock off Drive Nation, with a 15-12 win in the third. The only mild upset so far here is Long Beach earning a straight-set win over Manoa Beach. A showdown for winning Pool 1 is looming later this morning as Circle City and Absolute play at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
- POOL 2
- The “Midwest Pool”, featuring Legacy (Michigan), Team Indiana, and 1st Alliance (Illinois) has distinct top, middle and bottom tiers. Legacy remains undefeated with wins over Team Indiana, 1st Alliance and Club V (in 3) out of Utah. San Gabriel Elite out of Los Angeles also stayed undefeated on day 1 with wins over 1st Alliance, Club V (in 3) and A5 Mizuno out of Atlanta. Club V is winless so far, but have taken a set off of A5, SG Elite and Legacy. Not too shabby of a showing, but may be overmatched in this pool.
- POOL 3
- The “Pool of Death” is clearly pool 3. Four teams are tied at 2-1 after day 1, with the biggest surprise coming from NORCO out of Fort Collins, Colorado. They knocked off overall 3-seed Aspire out of Tempe, Arizona with a 25-18, 25-19 pasting to start nationals. Aspire, currently sitting at 1-2, will need to win out over Vision (Northern California) and OT (Florida) and get some help from the field to even get out of pool 3 with a chance at gold.
- POOL 4
- Pool 4 seems to be the poorest seeded pool, with Coast (San Diego) going undefeated on day 1. Coast was originally seeded 28th out of 36 teams to start nationals. KC Power, the 4-seed overall, dropped a tight 3-setter to Rage out of Modesto, California to start their national championships. Rage, KC Power and MichioChicago are all tied at 2-1 heading into day 2.
- POOL 5
- The Texas Tornados are the top team in this pool, and have separated themselves early with 3 wins on day 1. A4 Volley out of Orange County, California sits at 2-1 along with Top Select out of Orlando, Florida. Idaho Crush, Minnesota Select and EXCEL out of Texas seem to be fighting for seeding in the bottom half.
- POOL 6
- Similar to pool 5, this pool has one top team and a few others jostling for position. San Antonio Magic has made quick work of Sunshine (Southern California), A5 18-2 (Atlanta) and Milwaukee Sting. SA Magic is one of only two teams in the entire open division that has yet to drop a set. Tied for second at 2-1, however, is a logjam consisting of Texas Advantage, Milwaukee Sting and Sunshine. One of those teams will finish 4th in the pool, all but eliminating their chances at a gold medal.
- In Pool 7, Beach Elite out of Virginia Beach, Virginia has started slowly at 1-2 after being named the 7-seed overall to start. Mizuno M1 out of Minnesota has claimed the early 3-0 advantage over the rest of the pool.
- In Pool 6, Asics Willowbrook out of Texas took an early loss to AZ REV18 of Arizona, but could right the ship Saturday win a win over OT 18 S Tom out of Florida.
- In pool 1, the Vegas Aces, originally the 5-seed in the pool, have claimed an early 3-0 tie for first with #1 overall seed Northern Lights 18-2, with a showdown between the two to decide the pool happening first thing Saturday morning.
- Pool 3 is a jumble, with the 4-seed, Prime 18 adidas out of Southern California going undefeated on day 1. Upward Stars (Palmetto Region), Houston Juniors and Rockwood Thunder (Missouri) are all tied for second at 2-1.
- Pool 4 is also mis-seeded, with the 5-seed Goldenwest out of Southern California going undefeated without a set loss, along with Elite VBTC from Columbus, Ohio. Their showdown is first thing Saturday morning and will decide Pool 4 supremacy.
- Pool 6 has Toledo VBC earning an undefeated mark without a set loss. Saint Louis High Performance 18 Orange is 2-1, while the rest of the pool is 1-2. This pool is probably the “Pool of Death” for the USA division.
- EC Power out of Philadelphia and Dynasty out of Kansas City retain the overall lead in pool 7, even though they were the 2- and 4-seeds in the pool, respectively.
- CVC out of Cleveland, Ohio is the only undefeated team in pool 8, with a showdown with Webfoot 18-1 Gold (Eugene, Oregon) coming later today to win the pool.
Stay tuned to VolleyMob for day 2 updates!