SMASH 16s setter Ashley Wang was named the top setter in 17s Open this weekend at the 2017 Capitol Hill Classic in Washington DC. The event, hosted annually on President’s Day weekend, gathers the top East Coast clubs for an early season test of strength.
In addition, Prep Volleyball named 3 members of SMASH 16s to their All-Tournament Team. Joining setter Ashley Wang were middle blocker Natalija Beslic and outside hitter Riley James.
Prep Volleyball also called SMASH 16s semi-final match with Charleston Juniors the most entertaining match of the tournament:
Most Entertaining Match: This one belongs to the Charleston Juniors-SMASH 16s 17 Open semifinal contest that was looking like it would never end — and helped set the day’s schedule back another 30 minutes! SMASH won the opening set 25-23, Charleston Juniors forced the tiebreaker after a 25-16 second set. Once the contest got to 14-13, the teams started trading points until Charleston finally won 21-19.
SMASH sent 3 of the 18 New England teams that attended the tournament and was the highest-finishing New England Club in both divisions the club entered. SMASH 16s and SMASH 17s each competed in 17 Open, the highest level of competition at that age, finishing 3rd and 49th, respectively, out of 64 teams. SMASH 15s competed in 15s open and finished 49th of 64 teams.
The SMASH 13s traveled to the Pumas Friendship Tournament this weekend and had excellent success against 14 and under competition.
The tournament consisted of 7 teams that played a round robin against each other. This format allowed SMASH to try different lineups every set. Coach An Le was pleased with the team's performance.
"We got a nice balance of confidence building and of where and how much more we need to improve," Le said.
Le highlighted the 13s strong serving and said it played a big part in their success.
The team finished the day 5-1 with their sole loss coming by a 23-25 score.
Le said that the team would work on their communication as several balls hitting the floor untouched contributed to the close defeat. Overall, the coaches were proud of the team and have big expectations for the future.
"Sarah and I are very excited for 13s to 'turn the corner,'" Le said.
SMASH achieved unparalleled success this weekend at the 2017 NERVA Open Qualifier, leading all clubs in total teams placed in Open overall as well as teams in Open Gold.
The purpose of the Qualifier is to seed teams for regular season play in NERVA. There are 4 division of Open play (Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper) with 8 teams in each division.
For both 18s and 16s play, SMASH placed 3 teams in the Gold division. In 18s Open, SMASH 18s, 17s, and 16s all will begin the season in Gold. SMASH 18s Titans and SMASH 18s Attack will begin the season in Bronze and Copper, respectively.
In 16s Open, SMASH 16s Kai, SMASH 15s, and SMASH 16s Sparks each qualified for Open Gold. SMASH 15s Power and SMASH 14s will begin in Bronze and Copper, respectively.
The tournament took place over 3 days at the MassMutual Center in Springfield and The Den in Windsor, CT.