Working under WVBA’s sponsorship and inspiration, Cascade Volleyball Club co-hosted the fourth annual ECC Boys' Tournament. Five teams competed in a two-day event held Memorial Day weekend on the beautiful campus of the University of Washington.
New to boy’s ECC this year was Spokane Fusion. Coach Roland Madany has been building their grassroots program with a variety of out-of-the-box creative strategies. Coach Madany has been working for the past few years with younger guys, training with and against junior girls in Spokane, and as the players matured moving into mixed generational events. They pulled together a travel team from a mix of their U15 and U18 teams to attend this tournament. Although they found the competition stiff, Spokane showed an impressive ability to stay in the moment, adjust, and push their opponents further and further each set.
The Cascade team faced a season of constant challenges and absorbed several punches that would have finished other teams. They worked multiple fund raising strategies from January to May to keep financially afloat. They procured the facilities, equipment and provided the backbone for every Puget Sound Region junior boys' event this season. In April Cascade U18 was finally able to cement a roster of 6 and ensure the continuation of boys’ ECC 2010. A coaching change just two weeks ago was the last curve ball; however, veteran ace Cascade Boys’ Director Gene Lim stepped into his old role of coach and ace closer. New setter, new coach, two practices? Go Cascade! Playing the sport they loved, facing good competition, and upping their game was exactly the finale to their season that they hoped and work so hard for.
Apex Ninjas of BC play fast, powerful and epic matches living up to their ninja warrior billing. The match against Space Needle in the loser’s bracket to determine who would earn the right to return for the championship match-up was the most exciting of the tournament. Time and time again fans uttered “I can’t believe he got that!”, “Did you see how high he gets?”, or “OMG!”. They pushed Space Needle to three before falling 25-19, 22-25 15-13
As the banner carriers of Puget Sound boys’ volleyball to the larger stage, Space Needle used this small but challenging field to tune up for their run at Nationals. Fighting up from the loser’s bracket, after losing to Focus Xplosion, they regrouped and were able to fend off Apex.
Focus, from Canada, was the first team to welcome the Cascade boys’ volleyball team when we traveled to BC, and the first team to accept our invitation to come to play here in Seattle. They have always embraced the motto of "Play Hard and Have Fun". The core of their team has played together since 5th grade and now all will be moving on to play at the university level in Canada. Xplosion decided to top it off together with one last trip to the ECC party. Two players even elected to miss graduation ceremonies in favor of the tournament. This was their fourth year at ECC was their final chance to come away with the title. They did not drop a set until the championship round and came away with the win and the coveted sweatshirts which were sorely needed given their taste in fashion! Congrats guys and good luck as you pursue your futures and the next level of volleyball.
For complete results, visit the official tournament web page.
Tournament Champions: Focus Xplosion
All Tournament Team:
Matthew West, Space Needle Volleyball Foundation (MVP)
Max Elkin, Space Needle Volleyball Foundation
Philip Ngo, Focus Xplosion
Stuart Richey, Focus Xplosion
Tom Logan, Cascade
Brandon Ngai, Apex Ninjas
Jackson Pappin, Cascade
Dustin Szeto, Apex Ninjas
Stephen Ng, Apex Ninjas
2010 ECC Boys All-Tournament Team