Team 2's V.J. Jones and Christen Steinkuller topped the Northern Mariana Island Volleyball Association's 6th Annual Co-ed Grass Volleyball Tournament after going undefeated in last Sunday's competition on the Navy Hill court.
Jones and Steinkuller's victory was a stunner, as the pair just met randomly during some pick-up games at the Fiesta Resort & Spa's sand court last week when they heard details of the co-ed tournament and decided to team up for the weekend event.
The duo then caught the home bunch by surprise and racked up four straight wins to take a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals. Jones and Steinkuller went on to secure their perfect run in the tournament after winning the title game over last year's champions JR Gechig and Charnessa Lizama of Knock Them Out, 21-19.
Team 2 debuted in the co-ed grass with a victory over Mante Teos. It then downed Pala Quan to advance to the upper bracket semis where they bumped down Chim Cham, 21-17, and eventual third placers Tyce Mister and Kathy Winkfield of Rassim Dazzim, 21-15.
Notably, Rassim Dazzim thwarted Gechig and Lizama of Knock Them Out's in the second round, but the 2012 champions triumphed in the loser's bracket, defeating Dos Nick Gross' Nick Gross and Kelly Butcher, Can-Am, Chin Cham, Team 1's Bruce Berline and Jenifer, 21-13, to keep their bid for a return trip to the finals alive. Gechig and Lizama then arranged a rematch against Rassim for the last finals berth and won, 21-14, before losing the championship to newcomers Jones and Steinkuller.
The Top 3 finishers received medals provided by Roc-Ball, gift certificates for Truong's courtesy of Triple J Motors and other prizes from the Ayuda Network, which also provided fruit and snacks during the event. Pacific Trading Company provided refreshments.
Notably, by tradition Jones and Steinkuller also won the responsibility of organizing next year's competition.
Last weekend's event drew 21 teams, which competed for the five first round bye slots. Pool play also determined the ranking on the double-elimination bracket.
Meanwhile, NMIVA would like to thank all the players, sponsors, and volunteers for helping make the event possible.
For The Love of Volleyball Feb. 9
The association also announced that the For the Love of Volleyball (men's and women's doubles beach volleyball tournament) is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the beachside of the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
Entrance fee is only $25 per person and $20 for NMIVA members. Players must be at least 16 years old to be able to compete. Players are requested to bring their own partner in the double elimination event that follows standard Federation De Volleyball (FIVB) two-person beach rules.
Game point for early matches will be set at 15 with a cap of 21, while game point will be extended to 21 with a cap of 25 in the semifinals and finals.
Proceeds from the event will go toward NMIVA's youth development programs and travel for international competitions.
Open registration starts courtside at 8:30am and games tip off at 9am.
For pre-registration or more information, contact tournament coordinator Robin Sapong Eugenio at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com.