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Covering the Court
The Official Newsletter of the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball

March 2012

Arizona teams open NQ season at Crossroads

Colorado Crossroads Week 1 - Feb 25 - 27

Aspire 14N Black is first Arizona team to net bid to USAV Nationals in 2012.

Forty teams from 14 Arizona clubs descended on the Front Range with eleven teams making appearances in the Gold bracket of their respective divisions, including a 14 American Championship for a perfect 10-0 Aspire 14N Black team. Sharon Vanis’ squad did not lose a single set the entire weekend rolling to the title. Spiral 14 Black also made some noise in 14 American winning their first 7 matches before settling into 4th place in the 99 team division.

Aspire 13N Black nearly joined the bid celebration in 13 National, losing a tough 3 game match in the semifinals. They rebounded beautifully winning the 3rd place game to finish the tourney with a very smooth 8-1 record.

The 13 American Division was well represented as four AZ teams found gold. AZ Sky 13 Intensity (7-1) and AZ Storm 13 Thunder finished tied for 5th while EVJ 13 Navy and Aspire 13 Silver finished T-9. AZU 13 Premier joined the strong Arizona showing winning the Silver Division championship to finish 15th.

The competition in the 14 Open Division was impressive. AZ Storm 14 Thunder battled to a 9th place finish while AZ Sky 14 Adrenaline won the Bronze division finishing 13th.

15 American had it’s own fireworks as Spiral 15 Black and AZU 15 Premier both struck gold. Spiral got to the semi-finals, eventually capturing 4th place, while AZU 15 Premier posted a very respectable 9th place finish in the 98 team division.

Barcelona AZ can be proud as both of their 16’s teams, Barca Ben and Barca Jeff, found the gold bracket in the 16 American division. Ben finished in 4th place while Jeff finished T-9.

Kudos to those AZ teams who finished strong, winning their respective brackets on the final day: EVJ 14 Mizuno (Bronze medalist in 14 National), EVJ 14 Navy (Flight 2A champ in 14 American), EVJ 13 Mizuno (Flight 1 champ in 13 National), and AZU 14 Elite (Flight 2B champ in 14 American)

Colorado Crossroads Week #2 - Mar 2 - 4

Arizona Region teams punch tickets to USAV Nationals

Spiral 17 Black, Club Red 18 Jason and AZ Storm 15 Thunder claim bids in Denver

Spiral 17 Black rebounded from an early first day pool loss to Colorado Jrs. to finish a strong 3rd in 17 Open gaining the first Open bid of the weekend. On day two in the pool finale, Spiral showed their mettle, losing in 3 to eventual champion Payes Black. Spiral would use that momentum to record wins over Vison, NCVC and NorCal when it mattered most, vaulting them into the 17 Open field in Columbus later this summer.

With their bid already in hand Club Red 18 Jason met Vision 18’s in the Crossroads 18 Open final. This was the third straight final these two teams have met. Red won the MLK Speakeasy and Vision fought off several match points in Vegas to capture that crown. Both matches were epic. The final at Crossroads wouldn’t disappoint. For the third straight time it came down to a third game. Red had match points at 14-13 and 15-14 but couldn’t convert. Red fought off a couple of Vision match points before the Californians prevailed 20-18. The Red 18’s were denied a third straight Open title in Denver, having won Open titles in 16’s and 17’s the past two years.

Arizona Storm 15 Thunder might just be the best story of the 2012 Crossroads tourney. They claimed their bid by winning the 15 National title at Crossroads with a perfect 10-0 record, but six of those wins came in three games. The “cardiac kids” gained confidence with a 19-17 third game win over JJVA in an 8:00 match on Saturday and kept their collective feet on the gas pedal, outlasting several worthy opponents en route to the title.

Seven other Arizona teams “sniffed” bids as their qualification dreams fell just short in the gold brackets. AZ Storm 16 Thunder finished the weekend 5-4 winning several key matches to finish 5th in 16 Open. NAZ 17 Black represented the region well in 17 American, also finishing 5th with an outstanding 7-1 record. Spiral 16 Black fought hard in 16 Open to finish 7th with a 6-5 record. A nice win over Virginia Elite helped them advance. Spiral 18 Blue (18 American), Aspire 15N (15 National), Yavapai 18 Navy (18 American) and Zona 18-1 (18 National) all finished 9th in their respective divisions, each losing their opening match in gold bracket play.

Twenty-three of the forty-two teams representing the Arizona region at Crossroads finished in the top half of their respective divisions. Hats off to the following teams for their outstanding performances: EVJ 17 Mizuno (21st 17 Open), EVJ 17 Navy (27th 17 American), AZ Sky 18 Gold (23rd 18 National), AZ Sky 17 Autobots (30th 17 National), AZ Sky 15 Booya (27th 15 National), AZ Storm 18 Thunder (17th 18 Open), AZ United 17 Premier (17th 17 Open), AZ United 16 Premier (15th 16 Open), Aspire 16N (28th 16 National), AZ Desert Sky 17 Octane (21st 17 Open),
Arrowhead 16 X-Factor (21st 16 National), Arrowhead 15 Fierce (21st 15 National), and Eclipse
18’s (29th 18 American).

Four teams can be proud of how they finished, winning their respective Flights on Sunday.
Aspire 17N won Flight 3 in 17 National. Sparks 17 Blackout closed out their tournament with a
championship in Flight 4B of 17 American. AZ Sky 16 K.I.S.S. and EVJ 16 Navy won Flights 3A
and 4B respectively in 16 National.

AZ Region and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are partnering up to fight against children's cancer

 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and The Arizona Region of USA Volleyball are teaming up to take on cancer. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer - and it’s time to fight back. With your help we can conquer this disease. Volleyball Spikes Out Cancer is a joint initiative committed to raising money and awareness for volleyball’s most important fight throughout the 2012 season, players and clubs are encouraged to show their support. “It’s great that our Clubs can give back to our community,” said Harold Cranswick, Commissioner of the Arizona Region. “In the spirit of teamwork we hope by partnering with notable causes like LLS to instill in our young athletes the importance of collaboration, because we know that the sharing of ideas, findings, and funds is going to get us a cure faster.” There are a number of ways for players, coaches, and even fans to get involved.  Register to donate at http://dsm.volleyballspikescancer.llsevent.org

The official Volleyball Spikes Cancer days are scheduled for the Club tournament on March 24th, the Vulture Peak Challenge in Wickenburg on March 30th-April 1st and the Championship and Open tournament on April 7th. The tournaments will fundraise on site and fans are encouraged to sport their red hair ribbons, shoe laces and shirts to show their support. We will announce the top fundraising club and recognize Challenge Award winners. Athletes, coaches and parents; please have fun with this and help support a great cause!

Please feel free to share your story with us at office@azregionvolleyball.org and we will be happy to post your story on our website!

USA Volleyball Moves National Offices

USA Volleyball is moving on up. Up to Suite 200 of 4065 Sinton Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 that is. The offices will be closed from Wed, March 15th - Monday, March 19th to pack up and move. The phone and email system will be down the entire time as they reconnect their servers and make sure all is working. Fingers crossed it will all be working on Tuesday, March 20th when the offices reopen.

Check out the new digs.



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