Sunday, February 21, 2016: Triangle 18 Blue competed in its first qualifying event of the 2016 season. Beast of the Southeast was held in Atlanta, GA this past weekend [Friday through Sunday]. 18 Blue went 7-2 over the weekend and had to defeat first day spoiler A5 South 18-1 Joe to secure a bid and advance to the championship final. The match went to three sets with 18 Blue coming out on top 27-25, 22-25, 15-7. With bid in hand 18 Blue went on to face A5 Mizuno 18-2 Katie in the finals. The match did not disappoint with 18 Blue winning in three sets [23-25, 25-14, 15-12].
Securing the bid puts 18 Blue among 24 teams in the USA division of USA Volleyball's 18's Girls' Junior National Championship held in Milwaukee over the April 29-May 1 weekend. Coached by Jim Freeman and Caitlin Withers, this is the second year in a row Triangle's 18 Blue team has qualified. "The kids showed great heart and competitive spirit in winning the Beast of the Southeast this weekend." stated Coach Freeman. "We're so proud of their efforts, enthusiasm, and team-first attitude. They were a pleasure and inspiration to watch," he added. Broughton High School standout Tiana Butler was named Tournament MVP.
Members of 18 Blue as pictured are:
Back row [L to R]: Jim Freeman, Bre Andrea, Christa Wilson, Kati Smith, Emma Longley, Caitlyn Michalski, Casey Goodwin, Caitlin Withers
Front row [L to R]: Lauren Grodi, Meredith Colhoun, Tiana Butler, Sydney Wilson