Tournament crowns high school and college beach volleyball champions!
Sammee Thomas of Long Beach State takes college division, while Mima Mircovic of Woodbridge High (Irvine, Calif.) triumphs in high school division.
Hermosa Beach, Calif. (June 26, 2016) —- Sammee Thomas of Long Beach State won the collegiate division, and Mima Mircovic of Woodbridge High School (Irvine, Calif.) won the high school division Sunday at the inaugural tournament.
Thomas beat out 17 other collegiate players over the course of the two-day tournament to win the title. After five matches in Sunday’s finals, it was statistically impossible for any other player to win the crown. Defending NCAA champion Nicolette Martin (USC) came in second, followed by Rachel Nieto of Long Beach State.
In the high school division, Mirkovic came out on top in a field of 52 players to win the competition. Mirkovic was one of two wildcard entries to make it to day two of the tournament and eventually defeated 15 of the country’s best players in the finals to gain the crown.
“I think it was a huge success based on the level of play,” said tournament founder Eric Fonoimoana, who alongside Dain Blanton won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “If we’re looking for the next Olympian, I think there’s a good chance that at least one of the players will come from the tournament.”
The Inaugural tournament was played June 25-26, 2016 north of the Hermosa Beach Pier in Hermosa Beach, Calif. The tournament is a showcase event that allows the top college players to test themselves against the nation’s best competition and the best high school players to do the same while also getting exposure to college coaches from across the country.
Beach volleyball is the fastest growing sport for female athletes at the college and high school levels, with approximately 60 colleges fielding teams this year and the NCAA holding its first national championship in 2016.
The tournament featured separate fields of 20 college players and 52 high school players. Players in each field were seeded and divided into pools of four, with each player playing a game to 21 with each of the other three players in her pool. The top two players in each pool, determined by their won-loss record and point differential, will advanced to the next round. They will continue to play in that fashion until a winner is crowned for the college field and the high school field.
The final results are outlined below:
High School Finals (3 games played to 28):
Lainy Thomas (Frisco High School—Frisco, TX)
Natalie Anselmo (Westlake High School—Thousand Oaks, CA)
Paige Dreeuws (San Marcos High School—San Marcos, CA)
Mima Mirkovic (Woodbridge High School-Irvine, CA)
Mirkovic: 3-0, Plus-21 point differential
Anselmo: 1-2; Minus-1 point differential
Thomas: 1-2; Minus-3 point differential
Dreeuws: 1-2; Minus-17 point differential
College Finals (5 games played to 21, DNP 6th game QOB already determined):
Rachel Nieto (Long Beach State)
Nicolette Martin (University of Southern California)
Samantha Thomas (Long Beach State)
Sierra Sanchez (Florida State)
Thomas: 5-0, Plus-38 point differential
Martin: 2-3, Plus-4 point differential
Nieto: 2-3, Minus-8 point differential
Sanchez: 1-4, Minus-34 point differential
Photos from the finals can be found here and include the winners from each division.
A partial list of committed players in the high school division included:
|Player Name||High School||College Commitment|
|Anselmo, Natalie||Westlake High School (Thousand Oaks, CA)||University of Arizona|
|Bailey, Maddy||Villanova Prep (Ojai, CA)||Undecided|
|Barry, Kelli||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||Undecided|
|Blacker, Sarah||Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, CA)||Undecided|
|Bogust, Morgan||Westlake High School (Thousand Oaks, CA)||LMU|
|Bradley, Taylor||Round Rock High School (Austin, TX)||LSU|
|Campbell, Cate||Marymount High School (Los Angeles, CA)||Undecided|
|Cardoza, Alexis||Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, CA)||Undecided|
|Copeland, Kennedy||Calabasas High School (Newbury Park, CA)||University of South Carolina|
|Doig, Kyla||Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, CA)||USC|
|Dreeuws, Paige||San Marcos High School (San Marcos, CA)||University of Hawaii|
|Esters, Morgan||Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA)||Undecided|
|Forbes, Presley||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||University of Hawaii|
|Frohoff, Rio||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||Tulane University|
|Fulton, Quinn||Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA)||University of South Carolina|
|Gavin, Katie||Laguna Beach High School (Laguna Beach, CA)||Pepperdine|
|Gibson, Haley||The Bishop’s School (La Jolla, CA)||Undecided|
|Goldfarb, Harper||Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, CA)||Undecided|
|Graff, Kalee||Carlsbad High School (Carlsbad, CA)||Undecided|
|Gray, Sadie||Palisades Charter High School (Pacific Palisades, CA)||UC Berkeley|
|Green, Peri||La Pietra High School (Honolulu, HI)||USC|
|Hazelrigg, Avery||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||USC|
|Hill, Haven||Saint Bonaventure High School (Ventura, CA)||Texas Christian University|
|Holtz, Kenzie||Halstrom Academy (Manhattan Beach, CA)||Undecided|
|Inman, Alexia||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||UC Berkeley|
|Justine, Lily||Pleasant Valley High School (Chico, CA)||UCLA|
|Kaiser, Maja||Smithson Valley High School (Spring Branch, TX)||USC|
|Kujan, Laurel||Laguna Blanca High School (Santa Barbara, CA)||Undecided|
|Lanesey, Lauren||Louisville High School (Woodland Hills, CA)||Undecided|
|Lawson, Olivia||Desert Vista High School Phoenix, Arizona||Undecided|
|Lipscomb, Gina||Esperanza High School (Anaheim, CA)||Loyola Marymount University|
|Micheletti, Maddie||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||UC Berkeley|
|Mirkovic, Mima||Woodbridge High School (Irvine, CA)||UC Berkeley|
|Monk-Heidrich, Piper||Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, CA)||UCLA|
|Napoli, Emily||Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, CA)||TCU|
|Ortiz, Sophia||Mount Madonna school (Watsonville, CA)||Cal Poly SLO|
|Phair, Hannah||Edison High School (Huntington Beach, CA)||UCLA|
|Plummer, Kathryn||Aliso Niguel High School (Aliso Viejo, CA)||Stanford University|
|Red-Horse Mohl, Chelsea||Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, CA)||Stanford University|
|Ribiero, Jaqueline||Vandegrift High School (Austin, TX)||UC Berkeley|
|Richardson, Shannon||The Harker School (San Jose, CA)||Undecided|
|Robinson, Charlie||Marymount High School (Los Angeles, CA)||UCSB|
|Sanchez, Cami||Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, CA)||UCLA|
|Sanchez, Kiora||Valencia High School (Valencia, CA)||Undecided|
|Sarber, Kathryn||Pasco High School (Dade City, FL)||Grand Canyon University|
|Sper, Peyton||Westlake High School (Thousand Oaks, CA)||Cal Poly SLO|
|Thomas, Lainy||Frisco High School (Frisco, TX)||USC|
|Walters, Maggie||Soquel High School (Soquel, CA)||UCLA|
Fans can connect with the tournament through Facebook (@QueenOfTheBeachInvitational), Instagram (@QueenOfTheBeachVB), Twitter (@QOTB_VB) and Snapchat (@QOTB_VB).
The tournament is sponsored by USA Volleyball’s Junior Beach Tour, Plaza Bank, Skechers, KIND, Chevron, Wai Koko Coconut Water, Nestle Nesquik and Solar City.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
The tournament is a unique annual beach volleyball tournament set to be played for the first time June 25-26, 2016 in Hermosa Beach, California. Top college and high school players from around the country will be invited to compete, with a single player crowned the winner at the college and high school levels. The event offers young beach volleyball athletes the opportunity to further develop their skills among elite players from across the country following an exclusive program developed by Olympic gold medalist Eric Fonoimoana in conjunction with top professionals and coaches in the sport.