18s Earn Open Bid at NEQ
March 9, 2020
On March 8th, the VA Elite 18s team capped off a stellar performance at NorthEast Qualifier which culminated in them earning an Open level bid to USAV Nationals! USAV is made up of 5 divisions (Open, National, USA, American and Patriot – in that order of level of competition, except Patriot which is pay to play). Bids to National, USA and American divisions can only be earned through qualifiers and regional bid championships (teams do NOT earn open level bids at regionals). The Open level national championships are the top 48 teams in the country competing for the highest-level national championship and our 18s team has earned their spot! Virginia Elite was the first CHRVA team to earn an Open level bid in 2010 and to date, only us and Metro are the only CHRVA clubs to have ever qualified in Open! NEQ weekend was the 4th weekend in a row of playing multi-day tournaments and the team has continued to rise to the challenge with each opportunity. The 18s came into NEQ seeded 7th and began their quest with a 2-day 7-team pool with the top 2 teams of each pool advancing to the gold bracket on day 3. The team went 3-0 both days to finish 1 st and be the only team in their pool to go 6-0, beating regional competition Metro 18 Travel and CEVA, along with nationally ranked teams such as Academy Cleveland. The gold pool was made up of A5 (Atlanta), Six Pack (Iowa), VA Elite and Metro 18 Travel and was set up as a pool play with the 2 tournament bids going to the teams that finished 1 and 2. We started with a 3 set thriller against Six Pack, ultimately falling short but starting the day with a strong match. Next up was a 3 set win against Metro 18 Travel to head into our final match against A5 with a 1-1 record. The 18s fought hard but were overpowered by a very strong A5 team and ended the pool in a 3-way tie for 2nd with Six Pack, Metro and us all going 1-2. With the new USAV rules, second place was determined by set percentage and Six Pack came out on top. Third and fourth place were determined by head to head competition, since we beat Metro we took 3 rd in the pool with Metro finishing 4th. Since A5 had already earned their bid prior to NEQ, the bids then went to the 2nd and 3rd place teams which were Six Pack and VA Elite 18s! This is by no means a small feat! It is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting to sustain that level of play against very good competition and we are very proud of the accomplishment by our 18s team and staff!