To cap off the Fall portion of the season, five of our Bay to Bay teams headed out to the Boy's Winter Championships in Chicago. This 3-day event is the largest boys qualifier in the country with teams from all over the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico competing.
All five Bay to Bay teams had tremendous showings, including four appearances in the Open division finals.
Bay to Bay 18-1:
The 18-1's finished the Boy's Winter Championships in 11th place after winning the Silver division. The boys went 6-3 on the weekend, losing to Spike and Serve of Hawaii (25-17, 18-25, 15-17) and Chicago Bounce (25-21, 21-25, 7-15). Both of these teams went on to finish third in the tournament. When asked about the tournament Coach Steve has the following to say, "We are on the cusp of something great, I can't wait to get back into the gym in May and achieve it."
With their boys playing in the AM wave on Sunday morning, the team was done around 2:00 pm Chicago time. After watching the Niners victory in the NFC Championship as a team, the 18-1's parents returned back to the convention center to help cheer on the 17-1's team in their final match against a top ranked Canadian team. After losing the first set, this energy was exactly what the 17's team needed as they were able to squeak out a three set victory! Hat's off to the 18's parents for setting the new standard for club support 🤗
Bay to Bay 17-1:
With Coach Matt & Arielle at home on maternity leave, the 17-1's were led to Chicago by Coaches Josh Stewart and Joshua Nolan. Coming off of two strong Qualifier finishes (3rd in SoCal and 2nd in NorCal) the 17-1's carried their momentum through to a Championship appearance in Chicago where they lost in two sets to a talented 352 Elite team from Florida (22-25, 19-25). The boys went 8-1 on the weekend and had some tremendous battles against two of the top teams in Canada (Pakmen and Storm Lightning) and SCVC of Southern California.
Bay to Bay 16-1:
After a few players flights were cancelled on Friday afternoon, the 16-1's finished day one in second place in their pool which bumped them into the #1 overall seed Sports Performance's pool on day 2. The team rebounded nicely from their day 1 loss to overtake the #1 seed behind a strong two-set win. From there, the boys won their next 6 matches. Due to a series of delays on the final day of play the 16 Open finals was pushed back late into the afternoon. After winning the first set starting setter Caio Valente had to rush to the airport to catch his flight. This meant that Moses Wagner (usually the starting opposite) got his chance to run the offense. Moses helped lead the boys of 16-1's to a 25-19 second set win and their second consecutive bid tournament victory. (Side note: Caio and company caught their flight with minutes to spare :)
Bay to Bay 15-1:
Coach Frank and Allie's team went an impressive 9-0 on the weekend, securing their second straight Qualifier victory. Along the way, the 15-1's didn't drop a set and showed their teams depth with all players contributing at a high level. Coach Frank lauded the efforts of his team, stating that each player thrived when given the opportunity to step onto the court. The 15-1's will embark into their first high school seasons and reunite in May for the start of the Summer season.
Bay to Bay 14-1:
The 14-1's team was the most affected by Friday's travel delays, as 4 of their players were diverted into Colorado due to winter storms in Chicago. Undeterred, the 14-1's put together a strong showing on day one with just 7 players. On day two, with the whole team reunited and the boys had the opportunity to take on the back-to-back National Champions Vaqueros of Puerto Rico. In a heated 3-set battle, the 14-1's won 25-19, 19-25, 16-14. Less than 24 hours later, the two teams met again in the Championship match where Vaqueros avenged their previous loss in another 3-set contest (28-26, 22-25, 10-15).