Club Features

AAU 18 Open: Legacy Closes Historic Season With its Eighth Gold

Legacy 18 Elite leaves its mark in the volleyball history books with eight Gold medals in 18 Open; its last in Orlando at AAU Nationals.

Despite the team’s legendary season, when 18s AAU Nationals was all said and done, Legacy 18 Elite coach Ricky Cottrill was still in disbelief when he said, “If you told me that we were going to end this way, I’d be surprised. It’s not easy at 18s to keep the same intensity level throughout the whole season.”

But they did. It earned Gold at Music City, Ohio Valley, and Mideast Qualifiers, Triple Crown, Central Zone, the Can-Am Classic, and Bluegrass. After coming off what was a disappointing ninth-place finish in Dallas at the USAV Girl’s Junior National Championships (GJNC) a month prior, Legacy turned it up a notch in Orlando.

Legacy outside hitter Jessica Mruzik said, “In Dallas, I think it was just the pressure going in. Up to that point, we had won all of our tournaments that we had been in so I think it was sweet winning every single one of our tournaments, but we also put that pressure on ourselves that we were like, ‘Okay, we have to win this one, too.’ And, I think the pressure kind of got to us at that point. We never really got in our groove in Dallas and I think right from the get-go here, we were in our groove, we were loose, and everything was just flowing really well at this tournament.”

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