ORLANDO, Fla. (WLFI) — Boiler Juniors 14 and under volleyball team claimed a national title this Wednesday. The team defeated Miami Xtreme for an AAU National Championship in Orlando, Florida.
Head Coach John Shondell is confident that the team's success this year is due to their comfort around one another.
"What's special about this team is that most of them started playing together when they were nine years old. and they're so familiar with playing with each other, i think that was really what gave us a great advantage," said Shondell to Sports 18 from the team's Orlando hotel. "The teams that we played were more athletic than we are...but we were better skilled and we just played together really, really well."
This year's tournament was different with Coronavirus restrictions, requiring participants to wear a mask on the sidelines and referees to use modified whistles. Crowds were limited at the tournament as well.
"They adjusted to it well....hand held whistles weren't nearly as loud. But the AAU did an incredible job of putting on this tournament," said Shondell
The 14u Boilers will compete in the 15u tournament next year to defend their national title.