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28 Jun 2015

RECAP: 16u teams ‘dig’ deep, finish strong on last day of championship finals

RECAP: 16u teams ‘dig’ deep, finish strong on last day of championship finals

What a final day of matches it was in the HP Fieldhouse at the 2015 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships. The 16u teams in the Open, Premier, Club and Classic divisions hit the courts Friday in quest of the coveted 16u AAU National Championship titles.

The competition did not disappoint.

Three of four championship matches went to three sets. Also, there were no repeat champions in any of the 16u divisions this year. Read below to find out who came out victorious in each of the 16u divisional, championship matches.

16u Open: Nebraska Elite 16 Vici and Club Fusion 16 Black faced off in the first of two televised championship matches on ESPN3. Club Fusion got out to a quick 2-0 lead, but Nebraska Elite quickly countered with a kill down the middle to tie things up. Both teams were pretty evenly matched, but it was Club Fusion’s defense, paired with early service errors from Nebraska Elite, that gave Club Fusion the edge in the first set. Nebraska Elite would go on a 4-0 rally to bring the deficit to within two (24-22), but Club Fusion stayed composed to take the first set 25-22.

Nebraska Elite would be respond in a big way in set No. 2, countering with a quality defensive performance. It looked to be all Nebraska most of the way, going on a 7-0 run to go up 18-14.

But Club Fusion would not back down.

Club Fusion made a late rally to bring the set within on (23-22), but Nebraska Elite held their ground to take the second set 25-23 and push the championship match to a third set.

In the end, Nebraska Elite 16 Vici digs deep after dropping the first set to take home the 2015 16u Open National Championship title (22-25, 25-23, 15-12).

16u Premier: Axis Elite 16 Rox and Oklahoma Peak Performance 16 Smack took center court at HP Fieldhouse in the final championship match aired on ESPN3. The first part of the opening set was evenly matched with both teams exchanging leads 13 different times. Oklahoma Peak Performance got out to their largest lead of the set at 8-6, but Axis countered, going on a 4-0 run to tie things up at 9 all. Axis Elite took the next point to go up 10-9 and never looked back. Axis defeated Oklahoma Peak Performance 25-20 in set No. 1.

To the second set we went.

Oklahoma Peak Performance came out firing on all cylinders, going on a 5-0 to open the second set. Axis was down by as many as five points throughout the set, but would rally back to tie things up at 22 all and 23 all. Oklahoma settled back in to take the second set 25-23 and force a winner-takes-all third set. In the end, Axis Elite 16 Rox would appear too much for Oklahoma Peak Performance as they took the third set 15-11 and the 15u Premier National Championship title.

16u Club: AP16 Legacy and Asics Munciana Cardinals took the court in the 16u Club championship match. Both teams came out firing, exchanging leads on several occasions and giving the crowd a nail-biting first set. Asics Munciana Cardinals would take the first set 25-23. In the second set, Asics Munciana began to pull away, taking the 2015 16u Club National Championship in straight sets (25-23, 25-19).

16u Classic: Mizuno Sports Performance 16 Blue and Mizuno Northern Lights 16 White met on court five to wrap up the 16u classic division. Both clubs came into the match with an extensive AAU championship resume so we knew it was sure to be a great match.

And it did not disappoint.

Sports Performance struck first, cruising to a 25-17 first set victory. Northern Lights countered back, downing Sports Performance 25-18 to push the championship match to a winner-takes-all third set. Back and forth it went, but it was Mizuno Sports Performance 16 Blue who came out on top, defeating Mizuno Northern Lights 25-17, 18-15, 15-10 to take home the 2015 16u Classic National Championship

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