Congratulations to the Vegas Aces 18 Under Armour team for not only winning a Gold Medal at the SCVA Qualifier, but also qualifying for the USA Junior Nationals. This is the first time in the clubs four year history that a 18s team qualified for Nationals. Over the past 3 years, the 12s, 13s, 14s, and 15s have qualified for Nationals, but never the 18s!
The 18s started the season coming in 2nd in their pool in the first 2 SCVA Power Pool Qualifying tournaments. The season was looking very bright. Then during the 3rd qualifying tournament they started their 11 game losing streak and dropped to Division 4 of the Gold Division. The 18s traveled to Dallas for their first Junior National Qualifier and got beat up by some of the best teams in the Nation. This did not bring their spirits down. They bought into the Vegas Aces Culture and worked extremely hard in the gym. Every practice they were pushed both physically and mentally. After the SCVA Mandatory Tournament #1, they were able to move up to Division 3. Coach Ruben saw how the team was learning how to compete and trust each other on the court.
At the Las Vegas Classic over the Presidents Day weekend, the team finished 5th...getting better each time they stepped on the court. The 18s ended Day 1 of the SCVA Junior National Qualifier 2-1 losing a tough match to SG Elite. Day 2 they went undefeated beating SAVA 18s Black, Epic 18s, and Nevada Jrs. On Day 3, they started the day with a victory over Wave 18s in quarter finals. Coach Ruben was trying hard to control his emotions knowing that the team was only one win away from qualifying for Nationals. The 18s beat SCVC in the semi-finals and earned a bid for Nationals. Coach Ruben was not satisfied just to qualify, he wanted to win. He lead the team to a two set victory over Golden West to clinch the Gold in the USA Division. CONGRATULATIONS on qualifying for Nationals and winning a Gold medal!