International Volleyball

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: TAV takes advantage to win Natty in 18 Open

Tawa’s Club Volleyball Dots: TAV takes advantage to win Natty in 18 Open

AZ Sky is the 18 National National Champion

This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag’s weekly look at 10 things in club volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Look for Dots through Junior Nationals this summer.

• Junior OH Suli Davis delivered the final swing on Sunday, completing top-seeded TAV 18 Black’s domination of the 48-team 18 Open division at USA Volleyball’s18s Junior Nationals in Baltimore. The Dallas-area squad lost only two sets over three days and swept a very strong 1st Alliance 18 Gold team in the championship match.

1st Alliance played with a different roster and still took second in 18 Open

The national championship completed a championship season for 18 Black, which won three national qualifiers and finished second, barely, at the Triple Crown NIT, while losing just two matches all season long.

• At the start of the club season, after learning what TAV’s roster looked like, I thought that 18 Black would be pretty much unstoppable. With three incredible pins in Davis, Macaria Spears and Jadyn Livings, a National Team-level middle in Favor Anyanwu and great complementary pieces, like libero Gillian Pitts and setter Carson Eickenloff, this was a roster built for prolific winning.

My first impression of the team, however, was very different. It was the first match at Triple Crown, and TAV was going through the motions versus KC Power 18 Black. The team lacked fire. They played like they knew how good they were and just expected to win.

Granted, this was a 7:30 a.m. match, but I wondered whether I’d misjudged this team.

It turns out that my first thought was the correct one. Not only did TAV outlast KC Power in three that morning, it also beat Munciana 18 Samurai, Triangle 18 Black and Club V 18 Ren Reed at Triple Crown to make the final, where it played hard, and well, in a 24-26, 25-23, 17-15 loss to a Coast 18-1 team playing at the top of its game.

As the season progressed, TAV played better and better, capped by successive weekends late in March where Carlos Ramos’ team went 10-0 to win both Music City and Red Rock Rave.

TAV 18 Black wore the favorite’s cloak like a champion

• TAV 18 Black came to Baltimore as the No. 1 seed and played like it from the start.

“The girls showed up and performed at a high level,” Ramos noted.

18 Black dominated pool play without dropping a set. The team passed well, put up a big block and scored both in and out of system. That’s a…

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