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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)

Results:

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)

Results:

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.

CONTACTS

Media inquiries:

Amanda Martinez                               Greg Ball
BZA Public Relations                         BZA Public Relations
amandam@bzapr.com                        gregb@bzapr.com
925-786-1500 office/cell               760-271-9183 office/cell

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