2018 NVA Championship Recap
Jan 5/6, 2019 at Ball Sports Academy in Angola, Indiana the inaugural NVA Championship Tournament took place. The event featured the top two seeds from each conference, from the Western Conference: Blizzard and Sizzle, from the Eastern Conference Pineapple and Icemen. The tournament started off with the 4th seeded Icemen (3-3) knocking off the 1st seed Blizzard (5-1) in the first round. Led by setter Conor Eaton (35 assists, 8 digs) and outside hitter Andrey Diachkov (15 kills, 423 atk%) Icemen were able to knock off Blizzard 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 27-25). This was the 2nd NVA meeting between the two clubs and the 1st since the Las Vegas Showcase. Icemen still remain undefeated 2-0 over Blizzard in NVA matches. The 2nd match of the first round put 2nd seed Pineapple (4-2) against the 3rd seed Sizzle (3-3). Pineapple took quick advantage of playing on their home court in set 1 winning 25-19. Set 2 Sizzle jumped out to a comfortable lead early going up 12-8 led by Joe Kauliakamoa (7 kills, 2 digs). However an 8 point service run by setter Lloy Ball (27 assists, 2 aces) sucked up all the momentum that Sizzle was able to build. Pineapple was firing on all cylinders the remainder of the match, Jeff Ptak contributed 14 kills as Pineapple defeated Sizzle 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-22). This was the 2nd NVA match between Pineapple and Sizzle, Pineapple stays undefeated against Sizzle 2-0 in NVA play. The 3rd match of the day was the first round of the elimination bracket as Sizzle (3-4) and Blizzard (5-2) in a rematch of the Western Conference Championship Game. Sizzle started off the match hot led by Joe Kauliakamoa (15 kills on 22 attempts), controlling set 1, 25-17. Blizzard made some line up changes moving into set 2 by putting in Vinny Rodriguez (7 kills, 5 digs) and setter Edison Zhou (25 assists, 6 digs). Blizzard controlled most of the 2nd set until a late service run by Srdj Nadazdin (10 kills, 6 digs) help Sizzle steal the set 26-24. Unfortunately for Blizzard, Sizzle controlled the momentum from that point forward, eliminating Blizzard from Tournament 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-23). This was the 5th meeting between the Western Conference rivals this season. Blizzard holds the series lead 3-2, however, Sizzle was able to move on to the semi finals of the NVA Championships. Blizzard finished off their 2018 season with a record of 5-3 with Libero Jake Hurwitz making the 2018 All NVA Team. The 4th match was the NVA Winners Bracket finals between Eastern Division Rivals Pineapple (5-2) and Icemen (4-2) playing for a spot in the NVA Finals. Icemen started off the match right where they left off, earning a huge lead being up as many as 6 points. The Pineapple squad was able to rally back to win the set 25-23. Set two was controlled by Icemen as well, until a late push led by Pineapple Middle Matt Leske (11 Kills, 4 Blocks) against secured the 2nd set 25-23. Icemen made some lineup changes in the 3rd set where they struggled to get things going early. Pineapple controlled a comfortable 6 point lead early but the new Icemen lineup led by Opposite Dan Starky (12 kills, 5 digs) regrouped and managed to take the lead at 22-21. The set went back and forth with Icemen having 4 set points. The set tied at 27 each, Pineapple Middle Andy Sellan (3 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks) stepped back to the service line. In consecutive serves, the Pineapple middle was able to finish off Icemen with an ace sending them to the elimination bracket 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 29-27). This was the 4th meeting between the Eastern Conference rivals this season with the overall series tied 2-2. Pineapple was able to move on to the NVA Finals while Icemen was sent to the elimination round where they would play Sizzle. The 5th match was the semi final match between Icemen (4-4) and Sizzle (4-4). Sizzle carried its momentum coming off their recent victory to control the match against Icemen. Andrey Diachkov from Icemen had a stellar attacking performance with 16 kills, 6 digs, hitting 571% for the match. Unfortunately, the one man show was not enough for the steady balanced attack from the Sizzle offense and the tenacity of their defense. Drew Winterstein contributed 12 digs and 1 assist on the match while Srdj Nadazdin had 11 kills and 2 aces as Sizzle eliminated Icemen 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-22) and earned a spot in the NVA Championships match. This is the 2nd meeting between Sizzle and Icemen, the previous time was the first round of the Las Vegas Showcase. Sizzle is on top of the overall record 2-0. Icemen finished off their 2018 season with a record of 4-5 overall. Setter Conor Eaton, Middle Scott Siwicki and Outside Hitter Andrey Diachkov all earned 2018 All NVA Team honors. The 2018 NVA Championship match was between Sizzle (5-5) and Pineapple (6-2). A rematch of the first round match up from the prior day. Sizzle was on a 2 match win streak sweeping all 6 sets until it ran into the titan Team Pineapple. Sizzle battled in the first set using all the momentum it could, Srdj Nadazdin (5 kill, 11 digs) made a handful of impressive defensive plays including 5 digs on Pineapple Opposite Jeff Ptak (12 kills, 3 digs). Despite the effective Sizzle defense, the Pineapple defense was a step ahead. At the net middle Matt Leske controlled the match with 5 blocks and 7 kills hitting 700 atk%. Off the net, libero JJ Meyer contributed 15 digs to the Pineapple defensive effort. Ultimately, Pineapple outplayed Sizzle in every aspect of the game winning the first NVA Championship match 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-21). This was the 3rd meeting between Sizzle and Pineapple, Pineapple remains undefeated 3-0. Sizzle finished off the season with a 5-5. Outside Hitter Srdj Nadazdin earned 2018 All NVA Team Honors. Pineapple finishes the season as the first ever NVA Champions with a record of 7-2. Middle Matt Leske, Opposite Jeff Ptak both finished with All NVA Team honors. Setter Lloy Ball is the NVA Most Valuable Player Award. Pineapple is the 2018 NVA Champions after going 3-0 in the tournament and winning 9 straight sets. Sizzle battled through the elimination bracket after losing to Pineapple, sweeping both Blizzard and Icemen to make it to the NVA Championships Match. Icemen won a first rough matchup as the 4 seed overall, but ended up being sent to the elimination round by Pineapple and subsequently eliminated by Sizzle. Blizzard came in as the 1 seed overall but was defeated in 4 by Icemen and swept by Sizzle. Up Next for the NVA: The NVA will be taking a short break while they make preparations for the 2019 season. The 2019 season is set to run from May - August. We are excited to bring to you more Professional Mens Volleyball as we grow the sport and the league. Stay up to date with us on the NVAUSA Instagram, app and facebook page. We will be bringing you updates daily including league, team and player info. Look for more updates here on our website www.nvausa.com. Instagram at NVAUSA and our Facebook nvausa. The Legacy Begins Here Also a special thanks to Mikasa Volleyball, Smack Sportswear and Ball Sports Academy.