During President’s Day weekend, February 15-17th, nine of our travel teams made the annual trip to Washington, DC for the Capitol Hill Classic, one of the largest youth volleyball tournaments in the world with 968 teams, over 11,000 athletes and 2,200 coaches playing on 122 courts spread over 5 exhibit halls and one ballroom.
17 Blue kicked off the tournament Saturday morning with a perfect 3-0 (6-0) record, defeating Beach Elite Red, P3R Platinum and CORE Platinum to advance to the top half of the 17 Patriot Division. On Sunday they ran into some tough competition and lost 3 close matches, including a 2-1 (25-20, 20-25, 14-16) decision to CAVC Elite. They bounced back Monday morning with a 2-1 come from behind win over Sureshots 17 in the Silver bracket, which earned them a rematch with CAVC Elite. The final was another back and forth match, but they lost a close one 2-1 (16-25, 26-24, 13-15) and finished in 11th place out of 32 teams.
17 Gold competed in the 17 Club Division. They lost their first set of the tournament but recovered quickly to defeat Maryland Exclusive 2-1 (20-25, 25-13, 17-15). However, they lost their next two matches and finished in a 3-way tie for second place at 1-2 and lost the tiebreaker based on set percentage. They played much better on Sunday and won all 3 matches over Alpha Warriors, ECE Tsunami and Starlings-DC, including a come from behind 2-1 (17-25, 25-17, 15-11) win over ECE, which advanced them to Flight 1 on Monday. On Monday they lost 2-0 to Baltimore Elite and finished in 37th place out of 64 teams.
16 Blue played in the 16 Patriot Division and won their opening pool on Saturday. After losing their first match 2-1 to South County Juniors, they bounced back to beat Digs White 2-0 and Revolution Cberg White 2-1. This put them in a 3-way tie for first place, with all 3 teams having identical 5-3 set records. The third tiebreaker was point ratio and they edged out Revolution 1.177 to 1.168 to claim the top seed. On Saturday they had an up and down day, losing to Vienna Elite, beating MVSAVBC and losing to Downstate Red, which put them in the Bronze bracket on Monday. There they beat RENAS 2-0 (25-21, 25-14) before falling to RVC Zonal in a heartbreaker 2-1 (26-24, 23-25, 16-18) to finish 27th out of 64 teams.
16 Gold started strong in the 16 Club Division with a 2-1 win over Outbreak Black. They followed that with a close 2-0 (22-25, 24-26) loss to Xperience Destiny and then a 2-0 win over Long Island rival B&B Blue to take second place in the opening pool and earn a spot in the top half of the division. On Sunday they lost a close match to Sparks VBC Blue 2-1 (25-19, 21-25, 8-15), beat Ballyhoo Red 2-0 and lost to Braddock Road to finish in third place and advance to the Bronze bracket. They opened play on Monday with a 2-1 win over MB Volleyball Club, then fell to Baltimore Elite White 2-0 (26-28, 21-25) in the semi-finals. They finished in 29th place out of 96 teams.
16 Black also played in the 16 Club Division. They started the tournament with losses to MB Volleyball Club and Next Revolution but finished the day on a high note with a come from behind 2-1 (22-25, 27-25, 15-12) victory over ECCVBC Black to finish the pool in third place. On Sunday they finished 1-2 with all three matches going to 3 sets, including a marathon with Heat National in which they came up just short, losing 2-1 (25-21, 14-25, 18-20). They saved their best for last, winning 3 consecutive matches on Monday to claim the title in the Flight 4 bracket. They beat Sportime Purple and Outbreak White, both in 2 sets, before defeating MVA Travel 2-1 (27-25, 14-25, 15-7) in the final.
15 Blue competed in the 15 Patriot Division and started with a 2-0 win over CJVA White, followed by a close 3-set loss to Northeast 2-1 (25-22, 22-25, 21-23) and a 2-1 loss to Triangle Silver. They bounced back on Sunday to win all 3 matches, defeating TEVA Gold 2-1, CJVA Diamond 2-0 (25-16, 25-18) and Sportime Black 2-0 (25-12, 25-13) to win the pool and advance to the Flight 1 playoff bracket. On Monday they won their first match 2-1 over Keystone Juniors Black, but lost to Vienna Elite 2-1 (21-25, 25-18, 10-15) in the bracket finals to finish 35th out of 64 teams.
15 Gold played up in the 15 Patriot Division and started the tournament with 2-0 losses to ARVC and Fusion Blue before defeating ODVA National 2-1 (25-21, 20-25, 16-14) to finish third in their opening pool. On Saturday they did the opposite, beating NC Coastal 2-1 (29-31, 25-21, 15-13) and Evo Smack 2-0 (25-23, 25-13) before falling to pool winner Vienna Elite 2-0 in the last match of the night. They finished second in the pool to advance to Flight 2 on Monday, where they lost a close match to Maine Jrs National 2-0 (18-25, 27-25) to finish in 45th place out of 64 teams.
15 White played in the 15 Club Division. They lost their first 2 matches, including a close one to NYC Juniors 2-0 (22-25, 23-25) but ended the night with a 2-1 (12-25, 25-18, 15-13) win over BAVA Cyclones to earn third place in the pool. On Sunday they lost their opener to FAVBC Premiere in 3 sets, then won the next two over Bayside Vipers 2-1 (25-16, 22-25, 15-11) and NYC Impact Black 2-0 (25-19, 25-14). They finished the pool in a tie for first place and won the tiebreaker to advance to Flight 2 on Monday, where they lost to Metro South-FX to finish 53rd out of 96 teams.
15 Black also played in the 15 Club Division and ran into some tough competition in the opening round. They fought hard all day but lost their three matches to South Brooklyn, NVVA Travel and Virginia United. However, they came back strong on Sunday with a 2-1 record and a second place finish in their pool. They started the day with a 2-1 (25-12, 24-26, 15-10) win over NOVA Stars, lost to Essex Volleyball Club, the eventual pool winner, and then ended the night with a 2-0 (25-14, 25-21) win over MVA Travel. They advanced to Flight 3 on Monday, where they lost a close match to VA Volleyball Academy to wrap up the tournament.