From Friday, September 30 to Saturday, October 1st, Montverde Academy hosted a twelve team tournament, inviting some of the top teams from the Central and South Florida regions to compete for the championship. The tournament format consisted of four separate courts with three teams playing round robin on Friday afternoon. Top teams came out of their pools into a Gold Bracket to play a single elimination format to try and reach the championship.
On Friday, East Ridge High School went undefeated in their pool taking down Windermere Prep and Gateway High School in straight sets. Steinbrenner High School also came out first in their pool defeating The Geneva School and South Lake High School both in deciding games. Tavares High School took first in their pool defeating Trinity Christian Academy and the Villages Charter School both in deciding sets. Our Montverde Academy Lady Eagles also took a first place on Friday defeating Cocoa Beach High School and South Sumter High School in straight sets with scores of 25-6, 25-14, 25-17, and 25-10.
This put Montverde Academy, Tavares High School, Steinbrenner High School, and East Ridge High School as top seeds going into the gold bracket, while Cocoa Beach High School, The Villages Charter School, The Geneva School, and Windermere Prep came into the gold bracket as lower seeded teams.
Saturday afternoon began the first round of gold bracket playoffs. At 2 p.m., MVA defeated The Villages Charter School, moving them into the semifinals, where they would meet up again with Cocoa Beach High School, after their defeat of Tavares High School. On the other side of the bracket, East Ridge knocked out The Geneva School, while Steinbrenner took Windermere Prep out of the running.
Semifinal matches were a grueling fight, but MVA came out on top of Cocoa Beach High School (25-7, 25-12), while East Ridge took Steinbrenner down with both scores being 25-20.
This put MVA and East Ridge into the finals, and for those who don’t know, there is history in this matchup. East Ridge had previous defeated MVA in the preseason scrimmage in three straight games. However, once the season started MVA took East Ridge to 5 sets and gave them their only loss of the season. East Ridge entered the MVA Classic with a record of 9-1, with their only loss being to Montverde Academy. They wanted payback. The finals were the perfect matchup for East Ridge to earn pack back, but Montverde Academy had a different idea. MVA came out strong, with server Mariana Volponi acing East Ridge outside hitter, and current Team USA member Stephanie Samedy. Mariana racked up 5 serves in a row before East Ridge was able to sideout. East Ridge came hard, but the MVA eagles weren’t backing down. The Eagles took the first set with a score of 25-18.
At the start of the second set, the atmosphere in “The Nest” was getting intense! It was all riding on this one single set. MVA jumped out with a 10-4 lead against East Ridge with stunner kills by MVA’ Jojo Brown, Kaeli Crews, and Beatriz Volponi. Defense became key as East Ridge’s big hitters came to the front line, but MVA’s Jessica Hamel didn’t blink, racking up 5 blocks to shut their offense down. The final score of the second set was 25-11, and Montverde Academy defended their reining title as the MVA Classic Champions! Way to go, Lady Eagles!
Stats for the weekend include:
Final finishes for each team:
1st Place Montverde Academy 5-0* *GOLD BRACKET CHAMPIONS
2nd Place East Ridge High School 4-1
3rd Place Steinbrenner High School 4-1
4th Place Cocoa Beach High School 2-3
5th Place Windermere Prep School 3-2** **SILVER BRACKET CHAMPIONS
6th Place The Villages Charter School 2-3
7th Place The Geneva School 2-3
8th Place Tavares High School 2-3
9th Place Gateway High School 3-2*** ***BRONZE BRACKET CHAMPIONS
10th Place South Lake High School 2-3
11th Place South Sumter High School 1-4
12th Place Trinity Christian Academy 0-5
All Tournament Team:
MVP Kaeli Crews
Kaeli Crews Montverde Academy
Alyssa Keller Montverde Academy
Mariana Volponi Montverde Academy
Stephanie Samedy East Ridge HS
Naomi Caballo East Ridge HS
Vanessa Orozco Gateway HS
Ana Bolger Cocoa Beach HS
Jasmine Kimpel Tavares HS
Erin LeClair Steinbrenner HS
Natalie Work Windermere Prep
Sarah Marble The Geneva School
Shelby Hicks South Lake HS
Anelys Muriel 29
Tristan Tucci 29
Kaeli Crews 24
Kaeli Crews 35
Beatriz Volponi 28
Kaeli Crews 5
Jessica Hamel 9
Anelys Muriel 14
Savannah Swenson 12
Mariana Volponi 104