It was a Day 1 run that few saw coming. Tampa was well represented in Triple Crown NIT’s Power Pool B as OT 16 T JP swept through matchups with MiElite, TAV, and Legacy to start the event 3-0.
In fact, many would have tabbed another OTVA squad, OT 16 O Roberto, to put up this impressive record on opening day. But it was the team from Tampa (hence the ‘T’) that stole the show in early 16U action, and I got to see some of that firsthand.
On behalf of Triple Crown Sports, I had the opportunity to spotlight the 16s power pool contest between OTVA and Legacy 16-1 Adidas. I selected this contest as a matchup to follow at the end of the morning wave, and it did not disappoint.
A Physical Set 1
Both sides of the net established their attacking prowess right from the first serve. Legacy has evolved into a team that relies heavily on its middle blockers to score, with Olivia Grenadier Olivia Grenadier 6'1" | MB Country Day | 2025 State MI and Addison Williams Addison Williams 6'2" | MB South Lyon East | 2025 State MI doing a lot of heavy lifting at the position. It’s a somewhat different storyline than the pin-heavy onslaught we saw from this group as 15s last season.
But the undisputed leader of the Legacy offense is setter Campbell Flynn Campbell Flynn 6'2" | S Mercy | 2025 State MI . She is a dynamic lefty who is listed at six-foot-three. That, in itself, is usually enough to capture a lot of people’s attention. But perhaps Flynn’s best assets are her feel for tempo and her willingness to make risky sets. Better yet, Flynn’s long frame makes her a constant attacking threat whenever she’s pinched against the net.
Even when facing all that firepower, OT 16 T JP had the tools needed to counter. While we’re discussing elite setters, 2025 prospect Isabella Mogridge was the catalyst for OTVA’s attacking success against a stout Legacy defense. This quick, crafty setter dished with consistent pace and location that allowed her hitters to carve through seams in the block. As long as OTVA could get past the big Legacy frontcourt, it would have a chance.
And these Tampa attackers delivered. Maggie Dostic was the team’s go-to pin hitter who could make plays in all six rotations. When you need a quick side-out, Dostic is a safe bet to get the job done. Her counterpart on the outside, Hannah Hankerson, was also effective on the left and shouldered a major passing role, too.
All these aforementioned stars went toe-to-toe in the early stages of Saturday’s meeting. OTVA eventually build a slim lead behind some key blocks from middle blocker Kaylee Peper. The backcourt got involved, too, as OTVA libero Lily Hayes got involved with an ace to take a 12-7 lead.
Legacy clawed back through the duo of Grenadier and Williams in the middle, but the Florida squad eventually pulled away. Mogridge and Peper sealed the first set with another roof.
OTVA seized the positive energy of a Set 1 win and built an even bigger advantage in the second stanza.
A few more key contributors started to heat up in the 16 T JP frontcourt. Amaiyah Long made her presence felt with some fearless swings on the right pin. When OTVA shifted over to its two-hitter rotations without Long at the net, middle blocker Connore Siler-Nixon promptly stepped in and tallied some huge kills on the slide.
Still, Legacy showed some positive energy that eventually narrowed the deficit late in the match. Molly Reck and Marie Laurio were fearless on the left pin, and both have developed some strong ball control skills. And, in that same ball control conversation, libero Devin Dzienny had a standout day as the anchor to Legacy’s end line.
Flynn put together an impressive scoring run from behind the service line, but OTVA eventually forged an answer. An ace from Mogridge put the final bow on a perfect Saturday morning for OT 16 T JP.
Rest, reset, and do it again.
It’s worth reiterating that these are power pool teams, so both will get a good shot at Elite bracket play. But there’s still work to do because it’s time for the challenge round.
OT 16 T JP has drawn a Sunday morning meeting with Illini Elite 16 Cardinal in Elite Challenge 9. Legacy 16-1 Adidas, meanwhile, will face NPJ Seattle 16 National in Elite Challenge 12. A win in these matches would yield a berth in the Round of 32 in the Elite bracket.
It’s all uphill from there.