The 18 Classic division title at AAU Nationals was captured by Areyto Volleyball Academy (AVA) 18s out of Virginia, a team whose players wore masks during every single rally throughout the tournament. That's an extraordinary step above the requirement AAU set forth for players in Orlando.
The 18 Classic tournament was played as planned without combining divisions (unlike 18 Premier) and the field was reduced by just seven teams this year from 2019, to total 18.
To prepare for AAUs, the team practiced two hours per day twice a week for seven weeks. During the last week of preparation, the team practiced four days for two hours each day. The team wore masks the entire time, even in its gym with no air conditioning.
director and 18s head coach Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez said, “We felt
fairly safe [at AAUs] because of that and because the staff was prepared to
control the group (keeping distance, sanitizing hands, etc.). We are happy with
how the event was set up because we felt we were in control of our actions.”
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