Monday, 22 Jul 2024

17s, 13s Finals Conclude 2016 BJNCs in Dallas

After a challenging loss in the 2015 16 Open Final, Balboa Bay’s 17 Blue (Southern California) set their sights on a new season with a clear goal in mind: to reach the championship match and seek redemption against Spectrum Volleyball Club (Southern California).

The team achieved their goal on Wednesday with a spectacular 25-13, 25-23 victory over Spectrum 17s. This accomplishment was the result of a year-long journey that saw the team’s dedication and hard work pay off. Balboa Bay’s opposite player, Garrett Halsey, expressed their determination, stating, “We’ve been training for this all year. We came here with the intention of playing Spectrum in the finals and giving it our all. And we did just that. It’s truly amazing.”

Throughout the match, Halsey and his teammate Cole Pender combined for an impressive total of 22 kills, with Halsey delivering the match-winning point. The team’s solid defense, led by libero Cole Paxson, and dynamic setting by Carlos Rivera-Vega allowed Balboa Bay’s versatile offense to frustrate Spectrum in the first set. However, Spectrum responded in the second set with a strong block and capitalized on Balboa Bay’s errors, forcing the champions to come from behind. It was a test of resilience and adaptability.

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Balboa Bay Head Coach Andy Read commended the team’s efforts, saying, “All year we’ve had to overcome challenges and setbacks against other formidable clubs in our area. We had to keep fighting, and it all came together today. Our players made exceptional reads and adjustments on defense, but they had to do it all themselves.”

As a club, Balboa Bay has achieved an impressive feat by winning all five national championships they played for, solidifying their position as a dominant force in the sport. This undefeated run by Balboa Bay 17 Blue holds even more significance considering that Cole Paxson and Jack Mathews were selected for the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team. These players missed crucial practice time before the BJNCs (Boys’ Junior National Championships) as they represented the U.S. at the NORCECA U19 Continental Championships in Havana, Cuba. Additionally, Pender and Spencer Olivier were members of the Boys’ Youth National Training Team.

“We had to shuffle our lineup and move players to different positions, but our guys stepped up and showed that they can play exceptional volleyball,” Read explained. “Anytime you have the opportunity to represent the USA and wear the USA jersey, it means everything. So I told them, ‘You have to go.'”

In the 13 Club final, 352 Elite 13 Boys Lime (Florida) displayed their determination to defend their national champion title. This young team had previously won the 2015 12 Club title. However, their goal was nearly jeopardized when they fell behind 19-11 against SCVC 13 Quiksilver in the second set. Despite the setback, they rallied and secured a hard-fought 25-23 victory, which fueled their confidence throughout the remainder of the tournament.

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Reflecting on their journey, one of the team members emphasized the significance of defeating Puerto Rico in the semifinals and the joy of forming new friendships within the team.

The 2016 Boys’ Junior National Championships, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, featured over 460 teams competing for 12 division titles. The event, co-hosted by the Dallas Sports Commission, was a celebration of youth sports, including junior national championships for USA Boxing and USA Fencing, as well as three FIVB World League matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team from July 1-3.


Q: How did Balboa Bay 17 Blue prepare for the championship match?
A: Balboa Bay 17 Blue had been training rigorously throughout the year, keeping their goal of reaching the finals in mind. Their determination and hard work paid off when they emerged victorious in the championship.

Q: What challenges did Balboa Bay 17 Blue face during the match?
A: Balboa Bay 17 Blue faced a strong block from Spectrum in the second set, which forced them to come from behind. However, the team showcased their resilience and adaptability, eventually securing the win.

Q: How significant was Balboa Bay’s undefeated run in the tournament?
A: Balboa Bay’s undefeated run in the tournament is a remarkable achievement, especially considering the absence of key players who represented the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team. The team’s ability to overcome challenges and still emerge victorious speaks volumes about their talent and determination.


The 2016 BJNCs in Dallas witnessed thrilling matches and remarkable displays of talent and determination. Balboa Bay’s 17 Blue team emerged as champions, avenging their previous year’s loss and showcasing their exceptional skills. Their journey, marked by hard work and resilience, serves as an inspiration for aspiring young athletes in the world of volleyball.

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