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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 21, 2013) The Carolina Grand Slam was accompanied by a few rain showers and a flood of thrilling competition on the second weekend of the 2013 USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour on May 18-19 hosted in Raleigh, N.C.
A total of 143 beach volleyball teams, representing six states, competed in four age divisions at the tournament. The top five teams in each division earned national bids for the Invitational Division at the National Championships on July 27-28 in Milwaukee, Wis. In addition to national bids, the top five will be entered in a raffle for three travel stipends ($400 each) to help cover travel expenses to the National Championships.
Mark Nalevanko, Carolina Grand Slam tournament director, was grateful for another year as part of the USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour.
“This is our third year of hosting a tour stop and first year as a Grand Slam,” Nalevanko said. “We appreciate USAV Beach for recognizing our area as being a hot spot for junior beach volleyball participation and giving us the chance to reward more teams with an opportunity to compete at the national championships. The depth of talent continues to grow each year.”
The girls’ 12-and-under division crowned Kamryn Johnson and Lauren Baumgardner champions after they defeated Skylar Buckley and Logan Mosley, 21-5, 21-8 in the championship match. Third place went to Erin McIndoe and Jordan Gower. Jenna Myer and Megan Boutwell received fourth place and Morgan Flores and Lauren Grooms placed fifth.
The girls’ 14U division had the most teams competing, with 59. Mia Fradenburg and Jasmine Schmidt captured gold after a tight battle (18-21, 21-13, 20-18) against Sydney Rowan and Eliza Gallagher. Kaitlyn Oakley and Lauren Buss grabbed third defeating Gabrielle Alfieri and Katherine Carpenter, 21-15, 21-13. Sarah Gasper and Kara Adams took fifth beating Kayla Resco and Natalie Ferrell, 21-12, 21-16.
Fifty-seven teams competed in the girls’ 16U. Genna Simpkins (N.C.) and Kylie Grandy (N.C.) netted first place after defeating friendly rivals Jamie Stivers (Texas) and Ashlan Cunningham (Texas) 21-19, 22-20. Simpkins/Grandy faced Jamie and a different partner in a semi-final match at the USA Beach Jr. Tour National Championships last year in the 14U division where Simpkins/Grandy squeaked it out too to make it to the finals. Mia Fradenburg and Katja Ehlers earned third after defeating Margot Ruffieux and Allison Beckman 21-12, 21-19. Kaitlyn Smith/Katelyn McCullough took fifth by defeating Ryan Haar and Tiana Butler 21-16, 21-19.
In the girls’ 18U division, 15 teams played point for point to earn a national bid. Kimberly Hovey (N.C.) and Cayce Bell (N.C.) captured first place after defeating Jessica Fourspring (Ga.) and Gretja Otten (Ga.) 21-10, 21-19 in the championship match. Fourspring/Otten beat Hovey/Bell earlier in the tournament during pool play. Stephanie Stieber (N.C.) and Ashley Muench (N.C.) squeaked by with bronze when they defeated Morgan Barker (N.C.) and Cheyenne Tavana (N.C.) in a tight match (25-23). Emily Shults (Ga.) and Madison Kerr (Ga.) finished fifth defeated Allie Elson (Ga.) and Caroline Goerke (Ga.) 25-16 to take fifth.
The NorCal Grand Slam (June 1 in Santa Cruz, Calif.) and the Houston Open (June 1-2 in Houston) are the next two upcoming events in the USAV Junior Beach Tour.
For more information or to register, visit teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Events/Beach/2013-USAV-Junior-Beach-Tour.aspx.