SBVC Roundup: 18-Blue wins 5 matches, moves up to Division 1

The Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 18-Blue squad beat three teams in its pool and won two playoff matches to earn a promotion to Division 1 in the Southern Californai Volleyball Association. The team was in Division 2.

The 18-Blue opened with a three-set win over San Gabriel Elite 17s. In the third set, siding out and trailing 10-13, Lexi Rottman went on a lethal four-point serving run until an errant serve into the net to tie at 14-14. Back-to-back stuff blocks by middle Caroline Anderson finished off the set and match in favor of Santa Barbara (25-19,21-25, 16-14).

Allie Sundara of the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club's 18-Blue team sets the ball as teammate Natalie Klapp looks on.

Allie Sundara of the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 18-Blue team sets a hitterl as teammate Natalie Klapp looks on.

The team won the next matches in two tight sets over Orange County 18-Nike (27-25, 25-23) and Bakersfield Jamba 18-Tom (25-22, 25-22).

“Against OC, Natalie Klapp lit up the court,” remarked Coach K.C. Collins. “She was passing and defending well, but at the end of the second set she pounded several kills on the right side to solidify the match. Hillary Bean led the charge against Bakersfield, starting the match with a well-timed block and several key digs to gain a lead and we never looked back.”

The team went on to defeat Sunshine 18-South Bay in the playoff round to boost the team into Division 1. “We came out in full force, winning the first set 25-9. The second set Sunshine made a run to start but we answered back with potent offense due to the great passing and defense by Jackie Starnes and Dane Miller.” Collins finished.

The last two playoff sets were survival of the least exhausted. The 18-Blue outlasted T-Street 17-Ron (25-22), but couldn’t keep up the momentum and fell to Laguna Beach 17s (25-22) to finish second overall for Division 2.

Also competing in Division 2, the 17-Blue started its morning with 6 straight sets. The team battled T-Street 17-Ron and lost in 3 sets (21-25, 26-24, 15-11), but came back to edge out the pool’s first seed San Diego 18s in three sets (10-25, 25-22, 15-13). The team then lost to West Nike 17-Eite in a close two sets (25-23, 25-15) to place third for the day. The team was forced to enter into the “death match” against LAVA North 18-Adidas and lost 25-22, 25-15.

According to Coach David Haan: “A standout player on the day was Dani Abrams who was an offensive force all day from the middle.”

The team will move to division 3 for its next tournament.

On Sunday, the 13-Blue went 1-2 in its pool for the day. The team opened up with a morning loss to SoCal 13-Aly in two sets and returned after a break to play 6 sets in a row. The team won the first match over LAVA South 13-Adidas (22-25, 26-24, 15-10) and dropped the next match to TCA 13-Black (25-15, 13-25, 17-15). The team will remain in Division 3.

“The team was led by Grace Matthews and Reese Kelley on the outsides, and we had solid setting by Ellie Gamberdella. Brynn Sofro and Danielle La Grange did an excellent job in the middle.” said coach Ed Gover.

The 13-White team finished 0-3 for the day, losing some close matches to Over The Top 13-Asics, Santa Monica 13-Asics and Impact 13-Brit. The team will move to Division 12.

In its division 3 pool, the 12-Blue team “…played some of the best volleyball they have all season,” according to Coach Lindsay Schwartz. With all matches going three sets and the scores so close, the team finished with an 0-3 record. The team played against T-Street 12-Colton (25-23, 11-25, 16-14), SoCal 12-Taryn (21-25, 25-18, 25-12) and Orange County 12s (25-19, 20-25, 15-13).

“Tiffany Medel and Paige Doughty were strong for us behind the service line,” Schwartz pointed out.

The three Santa Barbara 15U teams competed in San Diego over the weekend.

The 15-Blue team finished 2-1 in its Division 2 pool. The team beat Coast 15-Woodie (26-28, 25-23, 15-6) and Pacific Jrs 15-Chris (25-17, 25-17) before losing another close battle to Golden West 15-Asics (22-25, 25-19, 152-11) to place second. The team then met with defeat in the playoff match to move up to Division 1, losing to SCVC 15-Roxy (25-15, 25-10). The team remains in Division 2 for the next tournament.

The 15-White team maintained its Division 7 standing by placing third in pool play. The team opened the day with a win over Vision Zone 15-Greg 25-15, 25-22) then lost to Ventura County 15-Cory (25-19, 27-25) and SoCal United 15s (27-25, 25-17).

“Our losses were close. The team managed to pull their way back from a 12-point deficit to give SoCal Untied a run for their money.” said Coach Cady Chow. “We had outstanding passing from Katelyn Mires and great hustle on the court from setter Grace Cozier.”

The 15-Red team went 1-2 for the day in its Division 11 pool. The team started the day with a nail-biter win over Horizon 15-Swift (25-22, 19-25, 15-13) but then lost to Epic 15-DP in 2 sets and lost another long battle in three sets to LAVA Island 15s (25-23, 22-25, 15-11). Due to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the team placed fourth.

“Eliza Leventhal played well throughout the day, she had a strong swing and helped us keep a great energy on the court. She was a strong leader this tournament,” mentioned Coach Sarah Amos.