By Noah Miyamae
Seniors Alex Nakagawa, Greg Luck, and Max Luck were selected to compete at the upcoming Boy’s Junior National Championships, or Junior Olympics, for volleyball. The three travelled to Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, June 30 where they will bid for first place against teams from across the nation.
The seniors were able to qualify for the Junior Olympics on their club team, San Gabriel Elite, that played in a three day tournament last January. Success in the tournament, along with an exceptional regular season led them to an automatic qualification for the 17 Open age-division, which is the highest possible competition level.
The first three days of the Junior National Championships will be pool play starting on Thursday. Their success in pool play for the first three days will determine their ranking in the final playoff match ups on Saturday, July 4 . They will play three to five of these games per day.
If they are successful in pool play, then they will remain in the gold division. The gold division consists of the top eight teams that will battle it out in a one-day tournament to eventually be crowned first place.
First place is not an unreasonable expectation for them as they feel very well prepared. Experience will be a valuable factor because the team competed in this tournament last year and placed fifth. Therefore, they will be going into this year’s Junior Olympics with great confidence.
“The core group of our team has been together for many years and we have recently began to click in our last tournament,” Greg Luck said.
The team is packed with talent and is very dynamic due to the years of playing together. This is a combination for success as a well-bonded, talented team is able to communicate well
and perform to its fullest potential. The team will also look for strong performances from the new talents of three recent additions to the team.
The goal for these star athletes in this tournament is nothing less than first. Look for them to carry over this ambition to the SPHS spring volleyball season.
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