The El Paso Sunspots volleyball club played host to the 2010 Sun Country Volleyball Association (SURVA) regional championships on April 23-24, 2010. The regionals, split into two groups with the 15-18 age groups played in different venues throughout El Paso, and the 12-14s in Lubbock.
For many of the club volleyball teams, the SURVA Regional finals signifies the end of the club season. Depending on many factors, including win/loss ratio and strength of opponents, teams are broken into two groups; the bid and regional brackets.
The bid bracket teams are considered the stronger of the two, and winners of the their respective age group automatically earn a spot to play at the National Junior Olympics and continue their season, so winning is obviously a big deal.
The regional bracket teams, finished for the season after this event, fight for the gold, bragging rights and to end the season on a high note.
This was the end of the club season for me as well, so I decided to go out with a bang and spend a day and a half in the Sun City watching the 15s and 16s bid brackets. Since I hadn’t covered any 15s this season, and the first round brackets were being played at the UTEP gym (close to Las Cruces) Saturday morning, the 15s age group made perfect sense.
In addition to seeing powerhouses NM Jrs 15-1 and APAC 15-1 in the first round, I caught some other great teams like Northern Elite, Guns Up, Artesia Elite and Rapidfire 15 Kaepa. APAC, NM Jrs, Northern Elite and Sunspots all advanced to the finals that were held on Sunday.
The 15s were done by 1:30, so I decided to make the trip clear across El Paso to El Dorado High School to check out the 16s bids. There, I watched the El Paso Heat, Rapidfire, Net Force and the NM Jrs 16-1. The Jrs represent some of the best Albuquerque has to offer, and unlike some other “all-star” teams, this group plays like a true team. It’s easy to see all the players make contributions, and the end result is an amazing squad. It’s really no surprise they earned the bid.
El Paso APAC and NM Jrs 15-1 both won their first game Sunday morning and faced each other for the championship. APAC ended up having a rough game, and the Jrs took the match in two.
I think the Jrs 15-1 squad mirror their 16-1 club-mates; a very well rounded team. The younger players typically fly under the radar until they’re sophomores and juniors, but I look forward to watching and learning more about players from both squads.
Check out the SURVA photo gallery here!