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JVA West Coast Cup: Day 2 Electrifies Long Beach

If you’re into top-ranked teams playing amazing volleyball, then there was no better place to be Sunday then at the JVA West Coast Cup in Long Beach.

Mekenzi Heckmann (23) and her Wave 16s teammates turned in quite the outing during Day 2 competition.

The tournament would likely be over by the time everything that needs to be said was from Day 2 of the JVA West Coast Cup in Long Beach.

That’s what’s post-tournament coverage is for. We’ll hit Day 2 in much more depth later.

In a nutshell, it was like: 

No doubt there was rust to be worked off Saturday, plus it was like teams and clubs were trying to get a feel for what the tournament was going to be like.

Is as if they went to bed Saturday night understanding that it was the real deal. Showing up Sunday without your game wasn’t going to be a pretty sight.

What followed, was an unbelievable day of volleyball, where everywhere you looked (more realistically walked) a three-set thriller was breaking out.

Throw away the schedule, because on-time starts weren’t happening. It didn’t matter. The action was that good.

Saturday, it was Coast 16-1 getting bounced from contention.

Sunday, it was national No. 2 TAV 15 Black in danger of becoming the next victim to bite the dust. Sunshine, ranked No. 41, pulled the stunner in three, 26-24, 11-25, 15-13. It would have been an even bigger deal, but TAV still took first place in the pool after finishing in a three-way tie at 2-1.

However, Sunshine made it through to the gold bracket after beating No. 17 Mizuno Long Beach, 15-6, in the one-game playoff and that’s a huge accomplishment.

Pool C was packed with national No. 6 Mintonette, No. 7 Coast, No. 8 Seal Beach and Goldenwest. Mintonette beat Seal Beach in three to start the pool, but Coast clipped Mintonette in three, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13, to end it. In between, Coast defeated Goldenwest and Seal Beach, which ended 1-2 and was eliminated.

Pool B was a nerve-wracking affair for the teams involved.

National No. 23 Munciana upset No. 3 Wave in straight sets to open the festivities. San Gabriel, ranked No. 16, topped A4 in three. Wave swept A4 and SG took care of Muncie.

At that point, Wave and Muncie were 1-1. A4 was 0-2 and SG 2-0.

With two matches to go (Muncie v A4; Wave v SG) only one thing was certain. Muncie beating A4 would eliminate A4. But it was still possible for Muncie to end in a three-way tie at 2-1. If A4 won, which it did in three, 25-15, 21-25, 16-14, it was possible for a three-way tie at 1-2 if SG defeated Wave.

Wave didn’t let that happen, sweeping 25-16, 25-19, and taking first based on the head-to-head victory over SG. As a result, Muncie and A4 were done.

Monday’s gold bracket sets up this way:

Upper

San Gabriel v Mintonette (winner faces TAV)

Lower

Coast v Sunshine (winner faces Wave)

As exciting as 15 Open was Sunday, the division I had my eye on the most this weekend was 17 Open. That’s because the likes of national No. 1 TAV, No. 6 Legacy and No. 11 Idaho Crush, plus No. 17 Rage added much intrigue to the best So Cal had to offer.

After Day 2, only TAV and Rage are still standing from that bunch.

Legacy lost out to Rage and No. 10 San Gabriel in pool play and missed the gold bracket. Rage coach Gabe Leal said he felt like he was playing in a pool at Junior Nationals. And basically Rage was.

Pool B was the same way, with No. 8 Tstreet, No. 14 Sunshine and Idaho Crush, plus No. 56 Munciana.

Tstreet and Sunshine were both undefeated on the weekend when they met, with both already guaranteed a spot in the gold bracket. Tstreet escaped in three, 25-19, 18-25, 19-17.

The big upset of the day in 17 Open was No. 45 Forza1 upending No. 13 Wave in three, 24-26, 25-20, 15-13.

Monday’s gold bracket sets up this way:

Upper

Sunshine v Rage (winner faces TAV)

Lower

San Gabriel v Forza (winner faces Tstreet)

Moving to 16 Open, the pool to watch for was No. 4 Tstreet, No. 5 San Gabriel, No. 13 Munciana and No. 18 Sunshine. Only two could advance, so it was game on.

Sunshine turned in a perfect performance, at least in terms of results, going 3-0 overall without dropping a set.

Tstreet beat San Gabriel in three, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11, and it proved a decisive victory. Tstreet ended 2-1 and SG 1-2.

Pool C was also hot, with No. 2 Mintonette, No. 10 TAV, No. 25 Wave and No. 47 K2.

Somehow, Wave went 3-0. It started with Wave rallying past TAV in three, 18-25, 26-24, 15-11. Wave overcame two match points in Game 2. Next Wave came from behind once more, beating K2, 22-25, 25-23, 18-16. This time, Wave survived four match points against in Game 3.

And still, if Wave didn’t beat Mintonette it was staring at a three-way tie with TAV and any one-game playoff that might ensue. Wave ended that notion by sweeping Mintonette, 28-26, 25-21.

With TAV downing Mintonette, 22-25, 25-19, 15-9, Wave and TAV moved on and Mintonette was eliminated.

A4 Volley 16 Purple went 3-0 to win Pool B. Rage, the No. 4 team, went 2-1, as Asics Louisiana and Mizuno Long Beach were knocked out.

Monday’s gold bracket sets up this way:

Upper

TAV v Rage (winner faces Sunshine)

Lower

Tstreet v Wave (winner faces A4)

The big news out of 18 Open was national No. 8 Tstreet getting knocked out after losing to Actyve 18 Mizuno and Goldenwest 18 Asics. Tstreet finished by beating TAV, which had already clinched first in the pool. Goldenwest, at 2-1, was the other team to advance.

Monday’s gold bracket sets up this way:

Upper

Top Select v Temecula (winner faces A4)

TAV v Laguna Beach

Lower

K2 v Goldenwest

Coast v Legacy (winner faces Munciana)

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