Mintonette Sports sent two teams to the 2019 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Volleyball Championship, and came back with two gold medals!
The 46th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships, which is the premier event of the 2018-19 AAU season, was held at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This tournament consisted of more than 2,800 teams from around the world, totaling over 42,000 participants. 18 countries were represented in this tournament, which include China, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic; all of which faced our m.71 team over the course of the weekend.
m.71 started the weekend participating in an International Scrimmage, competing against China, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Coming into AAU Nationals ranked #2 in the country by prepvolleyball.com, the team used this opportunity to warm up and get ready for the tough road ahead of them. After sweeping all three teams and coming out undefeated, the m.71s were ready to start the road to the championship!
Both Mintonette teams fought throughout the three days leading up to the national championship matches, going undefeated all three days.
In the ESPN broadcasted championship match, the m.71s faced Top Select, a volleyball club located in Orlando, Florida. Top Select was the number one seed heading into the tournament, primarily because eight of Top Select's players competed last year in the 2018 16-Open championship match and won the national title. With home court advantage, Top Select was definitely a challenging match. The m.71s fell to their opponent with a score of 17-25 in the first set. After regrouping and working out game strategy with Coach and Club Director, Max Miller, they came back to win the last two sets 25-19, 15-10.
While it was fun to celebrate the victory, kiss the trophy, and take pictures with the championship rings, the team had to quickly refocus and get back on the court within the hour to compete against Dominican Republic (DR) for the AAU World Championship. Having great athletes and competitors on DR team, this was a very tough match with ups and downs throughout. In the end, the DR defeated Mintonette Sports in three sets, with scores of 25-17, 17-25, 15-9.
The m.61s also faced a team with home court advantage in the championship match. Orlando Tampa Volleyball Academy (OTVA) came in fighting, but fell to the 61s in the first set with a score of 25-22. OTVA came back strong, squeaking by a win in the second set, 26-24. Being led by Head Coach Audrey Flaugh, a former member of the Canadian National Team and an All-American setter from The Ohio State University, the m.61s were able to pull away in the third set with a strong lead, and finished the match with a set score of 15-11 to take home the gold!
Along with bringing home the championship hardware, six Mintonette players came home with individual decorations of their own. Scottee Johnson (m.71) and Sydney Taylor (m.61) were named Most Valuable Players. Madyson Chitty (m.71), Emily Londot (m.71), Logan Flaugh (m.61), and London Davis (m.61) all earned a place on the All-Tournament Team.