SBVC Roundup: 15-Blue qualify for top division in SCVA

Sophie Breathed of the SBVC 15-Blue team swings past the block.

Sophie Breathed of the SBVC 15-Blue team swings past the block.

The 15-Blue team of the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club will start the Southern California Volleyball Association regular season in the top division after going 7-2 in its three qualifying-round tournaments.

After posting 2-1 records in each of its first two rounds, the 15-Blue team swept its pool for a perfect 3-0 (6-0 sets) finish.

“Our middles Grace Johnson and Sophie Breathed had a breakout tournament,” coach John Sener said.

The team beat Epic 15-Todd (25-22, 25-12), Forza1 15-Asics (25-14, 27-25) and Bakersfield Jamba 15-Jessica (25-14, 25-23).

“Winning the passing and serving game equates to usually winning the sets. Danica Minnich, Ady Colburn and Sophia Fay each had service runs of 5-6 points during the day, and Caylin Zimmerman had only one hitting error on the day. She kept every ball in play and gave her team a chance in transition to win points,” said Sener.

The team will start the regular season in division one as it makes its run for a USAV Junior Nationals bid.

The 15-White finished fourth in its silver bracket pool. The team opened up with a close three-set match but lost to Beach Cities 15-Smack 19-25, 25-17, 15-8. The team then finished with back-to-back losses to Rincon 15-Black and So-Cal Jrs 15-Smack.

Coach Cady Chow mentioned that Kelsey Warren was a go-to player throughout the whole tournament, hitting, serving and blocking to save some crucial plays. “After recovering from a wrist injury, Kelsey came to the tournament ready to prove that it would not keep her down. She stepped into both the OH and MH roles and earned major points in both!”

The team will start the season in Division 8.

Coach Sarah Amos remarked that the tournament was an overall success for her 15-Red team. “We had our ups and downs, but starting with the second match, we came out ready to win! The momentum and energy we presented was unstoppable and helped us through the match,” she said.

The team opened up the day with a loss to Legacy 15-Black (25-17, 25-14),but came back to beat OTT 15-Asics in 3 sets (final set 15-13) and LA Premier 15-Black in two sets, finishing second in its bronze bracket pool.

“Kate Willingham led our team with attack attempts at the net while Eliza Leventhal was not too far behind in the stats. Gretchen Neuchter was put into a new role as defensive specialist and led our team with digs. She stepped up to the challenge and showed exemplary leadership. The girls pushed through extremely hard in our last match … we were exhausted, but never let up,” said Amos.

The team will start the regular season in Division 10.

Competing in the 12U gold bracket, the 12-Blue team finished third, losing to Seal Beach 12-Maria and New Wave 12-Platinum and beating Forza1 12-Red, all in two sets. Coach Lindsay Schwartz gave kudos to several players for their aggressive play. “Anabelle Tiller and Taylor Wilson controlled the net well, while Riley Borchardt was bringing some heat from the service line!” Schwartz stated.

The team will start in Division 3.

In the 13U gold bracket, the 13-Blue team will start in Division 3 as well after finishing 1-2 for the day and placing third its pool. The team lost to Sunshine 13-Westside and AIGA 13s before winning its last match of the day over So-Cal Jrs 13 Smack.

The 13-White team also finished third its bronze bracket pool. The team lost to United 13-Black in two sets and lost a barn-burner to Imua 13s (25-27, 25-22, 15-11), but bounced back to beat 949 Athletics 13-White in two sets 25-19, 25-9. The team will start in Division 11 for the regular season.