Nationals for the team was exciting, nerve racking, and memorable. This year before we actually played we got to see the NCAA hall of fame and this definitely got us in the mind set of playing all out because we were at nationals! Seeing what people before us had accomplished was exciting. Even just getting to learn more about other sports was a lot of fun and inspirational. We even got to do some fun little team interactive things that got a little heated because as a team we are very competitive and that shows in our playing.Everyone had a lot of nerves starting out because we were at nationals. But we were eventually able to push those out of the way and we played really well. We learned that pushing our nerves out of the way or channeling them towards our play is really important and makes us mentally tough. Being at nationals is all about being able to perform at your highest level when it counts and being mentally tough the whole time. We made some great memories that hopefully we can carry with us through life. The friends that I have made on this team, I have learned to love as teammates and friends. Our coach Susan Denham helped a lot with focusing on our team chemistry and always making sure we were ok with everyone on the team and helping us realize that on the court they are our family! We had a great trip and played some of the best volleyball of our season. Submitted by Chloe Brown.Nationals is always an amazing experience! This year is one that I won't forget with this team. All year we have all been so close and it's like another family, and it showed on the court. We all trusted each other and everything just would come together when we played. After our first day, we were 1-1. I'd say it was bitter sweet. The next day our first game was very important. It was sort of our ticket into the top bracket. The first set we were down the whole set. Then the next set was redemption time for us. I remember in the third set we were down 12-9 and I was just thinking okay we are going to fight, this is not over. We came back and after we got game point the excitement was unreal. After day two our overall record was 3-2 and we were fine with that because the matches we lost we went down fighting. Now our third day we had a 3 team pool and if we finished 1st or 2nd we were still in the running for the Gold bracket. We lost our first match in a close battle in 3, so our next game we were ready to fight and we did and we won in 2. We got second so we played a first seed from another pool. The team we played was Elevation, who ended up winning the whole thing. They were a very good team. In the first set, it was neck and neck and we really battled but ended up losing 26-24. Sadly we lost in 2 and that means we were out of the running for that national title. The car ride back was quiet but we set our minds on the next day and finishing strong. When we found out we were playing Puget Sound, we were pumped! We had previously lost to them at the very first platinum tournament of the year, 19-17 in the third. So we were ready to go! We lost the first set and in the second set we had a rough start, but ended up pulling it out 26-24. We went on to play great volleyball in the 3rd set and we won! You could say that we were very happy with our season. The next team we played, you could tell after their warm ups that they could really put the ball away. We came out strong and everything was just clicking! We battled our hearts out in that first set and barely lost. The second set was a little tougher but we battled and kept fighting until the very end. It wasn't the ending to our season we had hoped for but we went down fighting and that's all we could do, so we were really proud of ourselves. The whole experience was amazing and nationals is something that every athlete should aim for if you are serious about your sport. Luckily we got to leave Indianapolis with a win after we did the escape room the next day. It really was a true team bonding experience and a great way to end our season. Submitted by Breana Edwards.
Our Nationals Experience
Going to nationals was a whole different experience that nobody on our team had seen before. There was so much hype and energy, and each and every one of us definitely looks forward to getting another chance to go in the future.
Read more about Excel NW 12-1 Rox at USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in Indianapolis, IN here.
Nationals – An Experience I’ll Never Forget!
The Riverview Men’s team had a great time at Nationals in Orlando this year. After a bit of a rocky start in pool play and a few lineup changes later we advanced to the bronze bracket. We continued to fight hard and made our way to the finals where we ended up victorious. Over all a great experience and we hope to do it again next year.
Submitted by Jason Franulovich
Story by Paul Kjos
We arrived to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando excited to get the tournament going but also nervous about how we would stack up against the competition. Day 1 of pool play on Friday afternoon had us begin or experience faced off against the GSA, A division Champions from the past year. Our energy and excitement was too much for ourselves to handle and in the first set GSA throttle us 25-12. It was the wake up call that we needed to settle us into the tournament. It was from that first set on that we were able to play at our expected level. We lost the second set to the eventual 5th place finishing team 22-25 but took the newly found momentum into the rest of day one winning our next two matches against Guapo and Dino Hunters leaving us at 2-1.