By Kirstin Olsen
The 26th annual Las Vegas Classic, one of the top volleyball recruiting tournaments of the season, took place Feb. 18-20 in Las Vegas. The three-day event featured a record 556 teams divided into 18-Open, 18-Club, 17-Open and 17-Club divisions. ESPNHS breaks down the winners in each division.
Third-seeded TAV 17 Black (Ft. Worth, Texas) didn't drop a set all weekend, culminating in a win in the 17-open division final over top-seeded Tstreet 17-Troy (Irvin, Calif.) on Monday. TAV beat 17-Troy 26-24, 25-14, behind terrific play by junior middle blocker and Cal commit Chiaka Ogbogu.
The 17-club division included 140 teams, and seventh-seeded TCA Houston (Houston, Texas) took down No. 1 seed OVA 17 Molten (Orlando, Fla.) 25-21, 22-25, 18-16 in the final.
18s Open Division
Vision Gold 18-1 (Los Gatos, Calif.) and its plethora of talent, including Stanford commit Brittany Howard and Duke commit and Gatorade California Player of the Year Emily Sklar, were able to withstand playing 11 matches in three days. Vision beat Club Red 18 Jason (Scottsdale, Ariz.) in a barnburner of an 18 Open final 22-25, 35-33, 15-8.
“It was a great tournament for us," said Vision coach Jason Mansfield. "Our goal was to get better each match and each day, knowing the competition would get better [each round] as well. I think we did that.
“Club Red is way more than one player, so if you focus on one hitter, someone else will burn you," said Mansfield. "We focused on reading the situation and being ready for anything that was coming at us. “
The largest division of the tournament included 200 teams. No. 2 seed TAV 18 Blue (Ft. Worth, Texas) eliminated intra-state rival and No. 1 seed AJV 18 Cedar Park (Austin, Texas) in the gold bracket semi-finals, then topped No. 4 seed Asics Rainbow 18s (Honolulu, Hawaii) 21-25, 25-18, 15-12 in the title game.