Mary Page, Rodrigo Gomes and Juju Quintero after an undefeated first day
Mary Page and Juju Quintero, members of NVVA 14 ICE indoor team and the Bossa Beach - High-Performance Beach volleyball team, ended their first appearance at the Juniors Beach Open Volleyball National Championship in 5th place, after losing to the team that took home first place in the tournament.
The tournament that took place in Siesta Key, Florida started on Sunday with 110 teams fighting for the national title. All teams had to compete in a qualifier in order to participate in this tournament. Juju and Mary qualified by winning the Panama City qualifier back in April. The weather on Sunday was not cooperating at the beginning of the day as thunderstorms and heavy rain delayed the tournament start time by 5 hours. Because of the rain, the courts became flooded, and the sand became hard, making the playing field almost like an indoor volleyball court. Despite all adversities, Mary and Juju had a solid first day, defeating all their opponents in 2 straight sets.
On the second day, the rain and thunderstorms were replaced with bright sunlight and intense temperatures. Mary and Juju were able to keep their pace in the first two matches of the day but ended up with their first defeat in the third match. They took second place in their pool, which still qualified them for the crossover game, later in the day. This game would decide which one of the teams would move forward into the gold division. Despite the long day and high heat, Mary and Juju were able to get back on their game, defeating their opponent in two straight sets, qualifying for the GOLD division finals.
The last day of the tournament started with even higher temperatures. All teams looked tired from the long days of play under the intense waves of sunlight. Matches in the GOLD division would be one set to 28 points until the semi-finals. Mary and Juju started their first match slow and at the technical time out were behind 10x18. After an incredible comeback, the Bossa Beach ladies were able to win their first match 28x25. The second match of the day was just as hard as the first one, against a tough opponent that hadn’t dropped a game all tournament. Mary and Juju stayed focused throughout the whole match, never trailing, and finishing it at 28x26, qualifying for the tournament’s quarter finals. Their opponent was a strong team from Miami, who was also coming from an undefeated first and second day, not even dropping a set. After a tough match, Mary and Juju lost 28x19 ending their participation in the tournament.
“Mary and Juju had a phenomenal performance in their first ever Junior Nationals tournament. They surpassed so many adversities and ended up losing to the team that won the whole tournament. Not bad at all for the first year of our Bossa Beach High-Performance program. They deserve to be among the top 5 teams in the country after working hard all year, training throughout the winter in our indoor sand court. I am confident that after another year of intense training, they will become national champions.” says NVVA President/CEO and Bossa Beach head coach, Rodrigo Gomes.
Mary and Juju took second place at ABT finals
Most athletes would be heading home right after the end of such a demanding tournament weekend, but not Mary and Juju. They packed up their beach gear and headed to Tavares, Florida, for the American Beach Tour finals. There the Bossa Beach ladies dominated the first and second day of the tournament, only being stopped at the final match, earning a second place finish.
The Bossa Beach program is an NVVA high-performance training system that mixes the Brazilian and American schools of volleyball to help athletes to accomplish the next level of playing. NVVA plans to expand the program next season, inviting the top players around to train at the highest level, with the best coaches and facilities. If you are interested in bringing your beach volleyball game to the next level, email firstname.lastname@example.org