The 403 Selects 16U team joined their 15U club mates on a trip south to California over the February long weekend to play in the NCVA President’s Day tournament. The 16s division would be hosted at the San Jose Convention Center.

After a successful season opener at the Rally Pointe tournament, the girls were excited and eager to meet new teams and face the challenge of American competition. The first 2 days included trips to Stanford University to visit with their amazing indoor and beach programs.

Head Coach, Kevin Hambly and his terrific staff provided a once in a lifetime, in-depth look at their practices and facilities and 403 teams are so thankful for this opportunity! Sight-seeing and shopping in downtown San Francisco (cable cars and Lombard Street) were definite highlights of the rest of the day.

Day 1

When Saturday hit, the girls shifted to volleyball mode and the beginning of the tournament. Coming in ranked 27th out of 121 teams, the girls were unsure of how they would stack up against their California counterparts. Day 1 included wins over City Beach Black 16 (Santa Clara, CA) and HCSynergy 16 Hinson (San Jose, CA). A loss to Rage 15 (Ripon, CA) was perhaps overshadowed by the lasting friendships the girls made with their opposition. Pictures and contact exchanges continued long after
the final match and the Selects came away with admiration for their young opponents and even some new superstitions!

Day 2

Day 2 in the Top 28 led to wins against Main Beach Travel 16s (Santa Cruz, CA), Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy Monsoon 16 (Pleasant Hill, CA) and Central Gold 16 (Fresno, CA) and a first place pool seeding for day 3.

Day 3

The final day brought a new format, with challenge pool winners fighting their way up and a trip to the final meant potentially 5 or 6 matches in a row for some teams! The depth and skill of all the American teams was an eye-opener for our girls. Wins against Pacific Riptides 16 Elaine (Santa Maria, CA) and Central Gold for a second time meant a top 8 finish. Coming into the quarterfinal against a storied club, Vision Blue 16s, the atmosphere and intensity of the tournament was ramping up. Despite playing some of their most dynamic and fast-paced volleyball yet, the girls couldn’t find enough gaps in the tough Vision defense to come away with a win.

A 5 th place finish out of the 121 team field was a great accomplishment for the 403 Selects 16s and even better were all the memories, friendships and time together in a beautiful location.

Next up for the 16s is Premier 1 South!