SBVC Roundup: 18-Blue sweep, return to Gold Bracket

Gabi Peoples takes a big swing on the outside for the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club in a recent SCVA Tournament.

Gabi Peoples takes a big swing on the outside for the SBVC 17-Blue team.

The Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 16-Blue, 17-Blue and 18-Blue teams returned to the courts in Anaheim for their second round of qualifying for the Southern California Volleyball Association.

The 18-Blue team did what they needed to do to get itself back into the Gold bracket for the next round last Sunday at the American Sports Center in Anaheim.

“After taking third in our first round of qualifying, the team came in with a purpose to win our pool to get ourselves back in with the top teams,” stated Coach K.C. Collins.

The team opened the morning with a 2-set win over a formidable defensive team SoCal Spitfires 18-Carmen (25-22, 25-20), swept Laguna Beach 17s in 2-sets (25-7, 25-10), then finished the day with a defeat over SCVC 18-Roxy (25-19, 25-17).

“The entire team worked well together in every match. Both setters, Lexi Rottman and Allie Sundara, took turns setting a great offense. They were asked to make some adjustments and run some different plays, and they both responded well and provided great leadership on the court. Jessyca Beksa had an especially strong day providing the team with some big swings!”

The 17-Blue team went 2-1 in its pool on Sunday, placing second for the day.

“The team fought hard and battled all day,” remarked Coach Jon Newton.

The team woke up to a nail-biting 3-set win over Top Gun 18-Red (22-25, 25-17, 16-14) and steadied out with wins over VCVC 17-Ali’I (25-21, 25-15) in the next match. At the end of the day, the team succumbed to Club Troy 18s (25-23, 25-1)7.

Said Newton: “The team was led by Phoebe Madsen in the setting position. She ran a good offense while being aggressive at the net. Other notable players were Chloe Allen and Lourda Weger who played great from the outside position, carrying a lot of the offensive load all day.”

The 16-Blue started its day with a quick win over Surfside 16s (25-12, 25-23) before engaging in a 3-set tough clash with Forza1 16-Red, losing 20-25, 25-17, 15-11. The team ended its day with a loss to TCA-HB 16-Black (25-18, 25-17) to finish 3rd on the day.

Coach Ryan Walthall commented: “I thought this weekend was a good litmus test to see how well we could perform against some of the strongest competition in the region. Although the results were not up to our expectations, it showed some of our strengths and weaknesses. Moving forward, the biggest challenge for this team will be to maintain a consistent level of high quality volleyball for longer and longer stretches of time. We’re looking forward to getting in the training gym and seeing how quickly we can get there!”

All teams will take to the courts in a couple of weeks to complete their qualifying rounds in the Gold bracket, the result of which will give them their ultimate starting divisions and rankings for the regular season.