NKYVC 17-1 Tsunami went 7-0 on the weekend with a 14-1 set record to claim the 2023 17 Open gold medal in Louisville. As the overall #2 seed, NKYVC had a challenging path on day one as three of the…
NKYVC 17-1 Tsunami went 7-0 on the weekend with a 14-1 set record to claim the 2023 17 Open gold medal in Louisville. As the overall #2 seed, NKYVC had a challenging path on day one as three of the four Power Pool 2 teams made it to the final six-team gold bracket to battle for the title. The fourth team in Hurricanes (Ontario, Canada) was a tough task as well and nearly made the final round dropping a tough 17-15 3rd set loss to eventual runner-up and overall #1 seed Academy in the gold challenge phase.
Saturday was a brutal day for the tournament with power outages due to the crazy weather. However, the 17 Open event was relatively unscathed as their courts were free from the areas of the facility that left several courts in the dark for several hours. NKYVC won all three of their matches 2-0, including a 25-12, 25-10 result over the pool’s #2 team in Boiler Jrs. They would see some tough match ups through the later rounds on Sunday but advanced to the finals without dropping a set along the way.
The tournament’s two top seeds made for a great final as NKVYC was looking to avenge an earlier loss in the season at Central Zone to Academy. A sluggish start for NKYVC saw Academy take a convincing 25-21 set one win before NKYVC was able to right their game in the middle of set two to force a third set with a 25-23 win. With a collection of boisterous fans supporting both sides, it was back and forth as NKYVC opened up an 8-4 lead before Academy roared back to tie it up. After exchanging points in the middle third of the set, NKYVC claimed the win with a 15-12 finish.
Standout middle Julia Hunt Julia Hunt 6'1" | MB Holy Cross (Covington) | 2024 State #37 Nation KY continues to improve the quality of her spacing and arm work offensively and terminated some timely kills with big power to help ignite NKYVC’s offense late. She also delivered some huge blocks to help force Academy into some errors in key moments. Setter Abby Yoder Abby Yoder 5'10" | S Kings | 2024 State #92 Nation OH , a recent Ohio State commit, found Hunt well on quick options in front of her as well as for some key terminations off one foot overhead. Pin hitter Sydney Barrett Sydney Barrett 6'0" | OH Kings | 2024 State OH was key as well on the left side and with some great service pressure. Also contributing to the service game that helped lift this team all weekend were the trio of key ball control and defensive contributors in Lilly Gillespie Lilly Gillespie 5'8" | OH Turpin | 2024 State OH , Elizabeth Tabeling Elizabeth Tabeling 5'7" | DS/L St. Henry | 2024 State KY , and Kaleigh Frietch Kaleigh Frietch 5'8" | DS/L St. Ursula | 2024 State OH . Setter Macy Lentz Macy Lentz 5'10" | S St. Henry | 2024 State KY was a big factor all weekend with her complete skill set. She delivered a balanced and consistent offense during her three rotations on the floor along with solid defense and service execution to get opponents out of system often.
For Academy, setter Leah Richmond was her terrific self in her tempo delivery and floor presence. She plays with such great composure and confidence that helps her team to be relentless in their effort in all aspects of the game. Outside hitter Alaleh Tolliver was probably the most dynamic and effective arm in this division all weekend as her elevation and range are so tough to slow down, especially given the quick tempo of their offense.
For NKYVC 15-1 Tsunami, the event’s overall #2 seed to open play, they followed up a disappointing first day of going 1-2 in their power pool action to return on day two for a 5-0 record to claim the 15 open gold. Following wins over Union and Carolina Rogue, their championship bracket path included two lopsided results in wins over AVC and KIVA before earning a tougher 2-0 win over Boiler Jrs. in the finals. Middle Audrey Dyas Audrey Dyas 6'1" | MB Notre Dame Academy | 2026 KY had another weekend of showing her progress as a high potential prospect with her dynamic and aggressive presence on both sides of the ball. She is playing with a lot of confidence and is a huge factor towards their success. Fellow middle Maddie Steele Maddie Steele 5'11" | MB Turpin | 2026 OH is a high efficiency option for this team and has good interaction with her setters on the offensive side. Pins Callie Combs Callie Combs 5'8" | OH Seton | 2026 OH and Grace Portwood got a lot of swings and produced well with good range. On the right side was setter/opposite Addie Bianchini and opposite Jenna Kitchens. Both contributed offensively but also were impactful in other areas as Bianchini guides three rotations through her distribution and Kitchens puts up the biggest block for this squad. Anchoring their passing and defense was libero Emma Frietch Emma Frietch 5'6" | DS/L Saint Ursula Academy | 2026 OH , a premier prospect at this position. This team finished 6-2 match record and 14-4 across all sets played.