SBVC Roundup: 18-Blue, 16-Blue head to nationals

Emily Robertson of the SBVC 16-Blue passes as Lourda Weger (5) looks on and Chloe Allen (13) gets ready to hit.

Emily Robertson of the SBVC 16-Blue passes as Lourda Weger (5) looks on and Chloe Allen (13) gets ready to hit.

Two Santa Barbara Volleyball Club teams finished ranked among the top 35 in the Southern California Volleyball Association after last weekend’s regional tournament.

The 18-Blue ranked 35th out of 278 teams and the 16-Blue finished in the top 25.

The 18-Blue team “really came together and had a very good weekend,” commented Coach Jacky Yao. The team opened up its first day with a sweep over all teams in the pool, beating Mavericks 17-Black, Elite 17s, and Ventura County 18s.

The team lost the first match on day 2 to Lava South 17-1 but bounced back to beat Mission Viejo 18-Adidas and Wave 17-Courtney to take second in pool and advance to the upper bracket playoffs.

“The team played calmly through every match; there were times when we’d be down 7-9 points, but the girls never panicked once and just chipped away and would eventually find a way to win. We beat a couple of very solid teams and it was nice revenge for some losses from earlier this season.”

In playoffs, the team took a win from Sports Shack 18-Asics 25-23, 28-26, but was ultimately stopped by Prime 17-Asics in the semifinal match 25-10.

“Lexi Rottman and Clara Madsen did an amazing job setting up our hitters and getting our middles to be an integral part of our offense, while Mariah Bell returned from a high ankle sprain and gave us a much needed boost both offensively and defensively,” Yao said. “Also, props to Dane Miller for playing tremendous defense. Generally I was really proud of our whole team defensively as we’re adapting to a new defensive system.”

The team finished ranked 35th out of 278 teams overall in the SCVA. The team heads off to Florida for the week long AAU Junior National Championships next weekend.

The 16-Blue ended its season in the top 25 teams in the SCVA.

“This weekend the team was led with some incredible all-around play by both Chloe Allen and Phoebe Madsen,” Coach Tina Brown remarked.

The team finished fourth in pool play on day 1, losing to West 16-Elite, Club H 16-Blizzard in two sets and Sunshine 16-Westside in a three-set battle. The team turned it around on day 2 and placed first in pool on a head-t0-head tiebreaker, losing to LAVA 16s but beating 951 Elite and T-Street 16-Traci.

“Madsen had a fantastic game competing with Sunshine, posting 11 kills and no errors. Allen had a strong match against 951 with 18 kills and solid defense. And Peyton Shelburne was solid for us, passing great and playing some tenacious defense all weekend,” said Brown.

Entering into playoffs, the team suffered a first-round defeat to Bakersfield 16-Jill 25-23, 25-16. The 16-Blue team also heads off to Florida for the AAU Championships next weekend.

Jordyn Druary’s 16-White team “went out with a bang,” she said.

The team placed first in the pool on Saturday and made it all the way to the finals of its playoff bracket on Sunday. Druary said. “The weekend was a combination of everything we have been working on all season. They all came together and played as a solid team to finish out the season.”

The team beat Golden West 16-Black and Orange County 16-White in two sets, before dropping a barnburner to Saddleback Valley 16-Amanda 25-22, 21-25, 16-14 but placed first on a point-ratio tiebreaker. On day 2, the team finished 4th in pool, losing to Laguna Beach 16-Riva, ECVBA 16-Elite and Nfinity 16s, but rebounded back through playoffs, beating AMP 16-Black 25-23 and Orange County 16-White 25-17 before ultimately losing to Nfinity 16s again 25-21. The team finished their season at Regionals 74th out of 274 teams.

The 16-Red team, coached by Sarah Amos, started its weekend with and afternoon pool going late into the night.

“The girls put their heart and soul into their last tournament,” said Amos. After a long night with the afternoon pool with most matches going three sets the team finished in third losing to San Diego 16-AB and Horizon 16-Nesbitt, and beating United 16-Blue.

Returning early the next morning, the team placed second in pool, beating Triumph 16-Bamboo and Golden West 16-Megan before losing to Bakersfield 16-Derrick. Excited with the pool finish, the team came out swinging in playoffs and beat Temecula 16-JD 25-12 and Club Heights 16-Melissa 25-19 before dropping the final match to Bakersfield 16-Derrick 25-19.

Amos continued: “Come the playoffs, the girls played extremely well. They played with such heart and enthusiasm, it was impossible for the other teams to keep up! Payton Moropoulos and Rose Lebow both were strong leaders in kills on the outside. Maddy Niessen was the leader in back row attacks. The girls were determined to go all the way. Unfortunately, the other team got a handle on us at the end. I am so proud of my girls and couldn’t be happier with the way they played.”