Go Pro and Team Hurley came away as the U13 and U18 age division winners of the Northern Marianas Islands Volleyball Association's 2nd Kids Training Clinic Tournament held last Saturday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa.
Go Pro is composed of Maile Aldrich, Steven Lee, Colin Ramsey, Negahr Rastguiy, and Troy Young, while Team Hurley members include Chris Cepeda, Tommy Choi, Clay McCullough-Stearns, and Kristle Ogbac.
Go Pro earned a first round bye and went through NO Way and the Wild Cats to advance into the upper bracket semifinals where they downed the Tsunamis, 16-14. The eventual U13 champion then held a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals against Living Like Larry and needed it as the latter upset the former, 11-15, in the first set to force a deciding final match. In the end, Go Pro turned it on under pressure and whipped up a dominating 15-4 win to seize the day. Ten teams made up the U13 division.
Team Hurley advanced past Smack Dat in the opening round and bumped off the Sparks on its way to the upper bracket semifinals where they ousted Flash, 15-10.
Flash battled back through the lower bracket and earned a chance to avenge its loss against its rival and though it fought Team Hurley tooth and nail in Game 1 of the finals, the latter still emerged victorious, 15-13. Fifteen teams competed in the U18 division.
Game point for all divisions was set at 15 with a “must win by two” rule in effect.
Last weekend's event was a training tournament because it featured special ground rules to encourage players to utilize the skills they have been learning at the weekly practice sessions.
Special ground rules for the U13 division include awarding a bonus point to teams that score on a play using a bump or hand-set leading to a spike, in addition to receiving a second opportunity upon attempting an over hand serve.
A point must be credited on a play in order to receive the extra point and a second serve is only awarded if the first sails out of bounds or into the net. The same special rules apply in the U18 division, aside from the second service opportunity.
Notably, all teams must also consist of at least on female player who must remain on the court at all times.
The free tournaments simply serve as a platform for the kids to put their skills to the test in a competitive setting. There will be one more event slated for next month.
NMIVA's youth training practices are still ongoing and are open to anyone at no cost.
Practices are being held beachside at Fiesta on Wednesday's from 4pm to 6pm, and on Saturday mornings from 8am to 10am. NMIVA would like to thank Fiesta Resort & Spa and all the parents and volunteers for their continued support. Visit www.nmivolleyball.org for more information.