The day of July 11th started with rain showers and a lightning delay but that didn’t stop the nearly 100 teams from playing their hardest to earn a bid to Beach Nationals. By 8:00 am 61 teams had made it through the rain to check in and were ready to compete.
The first final of the day was the Boy’s 14U Division. It set the top seed in the pool, Max Roquet and Dalton Dencklau, against the second seed of Nick Slight and Spencer Thomas. The underdog team of Slight/Thomas started off strong taking set one but then dropped set 2. In a close set 3 Roquet/Dencklau could not put anything together giving Slight/Thomas the win.
The next final of the day was the Girl’s 12U Division. This match found the Wisconsin girls of Mackenzie Leach and Samantha Naber facing off with the Nebraska team of Ellie Miller and Kylie Weeks. Similar to the Boy’s 14U Division this match went to three sets but in the end the Wisconsin duo of Leach/Naber was able to edge out the Nebraska pair of Miller/Weeks.
Shortly after the 12U Division was completed the 14U Division final started. Approximately half of the teams that played in the Hawkeye Open were in the 14U Division (46 teams). Needless to say making it to the finals was no short feat. In the final it was Eastern Iowa represented by Maddy Baxter and Raya George facing off against Central Iowa, represented by Mary McGinnis and Camryn Anonson. It was McGinnis/Anonson starting strong taking set 1, but George/Baxter were not going to roll over and took set 2. Just like the finals before it the 14U Division was going to be settled in set 3. While it was a close match McGinnis/Anonson were able to edge out George/Baxter to take the title.
The second half of the day was dedicated to the 16U and 18U Divisions. With 29 teams in 16U and 8 teams in the 18U it was not going to be easy to earn a bid.
In the 16U Division final it was another Non-Iowa showdown. However, this time it was the Nebraska team of Dani Prusha and Taliyah Flores facing off against the Missouri team of Ashley Kekeisen and Sophia Cristiani. In a well fought two set match Prusha/Flores won the championship.
While all the finals were amazing matches, perhaps the most intense was the 18U Division. The finals were a rematch of the Iowa Beach Regional championship game. It was Carlee Beck and Hillmer attempting to take down the reigning Champions of Erin Reysack and Sam Sixta. In set 1 it was Reysack/Sixta taking the early lead. However, Beck/Hillmer were not about to give up and took set 2. In a common Hawkeye Open style it was onto set 3. This set went back and forth with both teams remaining practically equal until the very end. After a few silly errors, Beck passed the ball high to the net for Hillmer to end the match on a pokey to the deep corner to win the Championship.
For the complete list of finishes visit the JBT Tour Website.
Check out video of the finals on our Youtube Page.
Qualifiers at every level were:
- Nick Slight & Spencer Thomas
- Max Roquet & Dalton Dencklau
- Austin Ledesma & Brian McCreary
- Bryn Lipton & James Davenport
- Mackenzie Leach & Samantha Naber
- Ellie Miller & Kylie Weeks
- Skylar McCune & Madi Woodin
- Mary McGinnis & Camryn Anonson
- Raya George & Maddy Baxter
- Sydney Dennis & Sommer Daniel
- Dani Prusha & Taliyah Flores
- Ashley Kekeisen & Sophia Cristiani
- Paige Franck & Jade Henderson
- Sami Hillmer & Carlee Beck
- Erin Reysack & Sam Sixta
- Aubrey Sowers & Haley Weepie