When competing in the Las Vegas Classic volleyball tournament, the Legacy 17 Elite team, which is part of Santa Clarita’s Legacy Volleyball club, generally is hoping for some looks from the many recruiters in attendance for the national event.
This year, however, the team walked away with a tournament title, too – the first championship crown Legacy 17 Elite had won for that tourney.
“We came in ranked first so expectations were high and we had a lot to lose, but fortunately we were able to hang on to the title,” said 17 Elite coach Jamey Ker.
The 17 Elite team features players from nearly every Foothill League school and several from outside the area. It was one of 128 teams from around the country competing in the tournament, which took place from Feb. 17-19.
Legacy faced a team from Houston in a gritty championship match that extended to five sets. The SoCal team won 15-13 in the final set.
“We got a lot of solid blocks against their tough offense because we were able to identify idiosyncrasies of girls on the other side of the net,” said Ker. “Our blockers were and always have been really skilled, so they did a really good job of floating down their offense.”
The 17 Elite team typically competes against teams comprised of 18-year-olds in most tournaments. The opportunity to play against teams their own age was seized, to say the least.
“We actually were able to prove that we deserve to be where we’ve been ranked in the Southern California area,” said Ker. “That for sure was a good morale boost for us.
“It’s also really good when you have multiple-day tournaments. It really puts a spotlight on what you have to work on.”
The Legacy 16 Elite team also placed in the tournament, earning third place in an age bracket that had 150 teams.
Ker said that the next planned tournament for Legacy 17 Elite will be March 18 in Orange County. Further details have not been confirmed.