Intense Volleyball participated in the AAU Volleyball National tournament in Orlando, Florida beginning on June 16, 2019. AAU Nationals is not just any volleyball tournament; it’s the largest volleyball tournament in the world with over 2,800 teams from around the USA and over 18 international countries. The matches are played at ESPN Wide World of Sports HP Fieldhouse, Visa Center, and the Orange County Convention Center.
Intense Director Jerry Dorneker was excited about coaching the Intense 14 Adidas Elite Makaela as Coach Makaela was leading a group of students on a trip in Europe. It was the first time most of the nine players had ever competed in this tournament which had 187 teams in their division. The team was unsure of what to expect and how they would stack up against the competition. After three wins on the first day, Intense 14 Adidas Elite was surprised and energized. Day two brought three new teams and two wins. Capital 14 Navy from Wisconsin brought a huge challenge with a three set match. Intense 14 Adidas Elite overcame the struggle to win going 6-0 in the first two days. Day three began with two Intense wins. Division I handed Intense 14 Adidas Elite their first loss of the tournament. Coach Jerry and the team were in good spirits as they were playing as a team with great serve/receive skills. The crossover match at 7:00PM had Intense fighting Capital 14 Navy again in hopes to stay in the Gold bracket. Coach Jerry and the players did their best but Capital won. Springfield Shock 14-Elite was ready and beat Intense 14 Adidas Elite in two sets ending their journey in AAU Nationals placing 27th out of 187 teams.
Part two of the 12 day tournament brought the arrival of the Intense 15 Adidas Elite Jerry team full of excitement and team spirit. Coach Jerry posed the question to his team- Do you think you can win the National Championship in your division? The team answered yes! The hard work during practice, both regular and extra individual, struggling through tournaments, and growth in skills all lead to the end of season tournament in which the team was ready to reach their goal. Intense 15 Adidas Elite played the first day at Disney’s Wild World of Sports with three strong wins and had the highest scoring percentage of the division on day one. Day two at the Orange County Convention Center saw Intense 15 Adidas Elite Jerry the number one seed on their net. The team won their matches with great team attitude, skill, and togetherness. Day three brought three new teams and three more wins. The crossover match later that day had the parents on edge but the players were calm and ready. With the victory the Intense 15 Adidas Elite team was heading into the Gold Bracket for a chance to play for a National Championship. Each win of the day brought the Intense 15 Adidas Elite one step closer to the finals. Intense was set to play Kokoro in the finals at the ESPN Wild World of Sports. The team was ready as they had been preparing for this all season. Kokoro took the first set while Intense secured the second set with an 11 point lead. Kokoro ended with match with a third set win. Intense 15 Adidas Elite captured second place out of 194 teams. The win happened because each player brought their best to each match and did what they needed to be the best for the team.
Intense 16 Adidas Elite came in for the last 4 day session of the 46th Annual AAU Volleyball Nationals. With two injuries to the team, the players were worried what the tournament would hold for them. The first day was hard with Intense not bringing home a win. Day two brought a positive spin with three wins. The team was adjusting to the new setter and playing together as a team to bring home the wins. Day three was another great day with two additional wins. The team serves were strong and the middle hitters were blocking and crushing the ball. The back row was moving well to pass the ball to the setter. The team was geling and ready for day four. Intense 16 Adidas Elite was set to take on MN Select. The three set match ended the journey for the Intense 16 Adidas Elite team.