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Locals help three PVC teams to impressive Reno tourney showings

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The U17 Gold team, featuring Lake Oswego’s Ali Grauert, won a national title in Reno and didn’t lose a match in the process.

A trio of Portland Volleyball Club teams, each of which prominently featured Lake Oswego players, had phenomenal showings in one of the biggest and most competitive tournaments in the nation recently in Reno, Nev.

Each tournament consisted of between 84 and 180 teams from around the country. Most impressively, the U17 Gold team captured the national title and did it in impressive fashion.

The team, which featured Lake Oswego resident Ali Grauert, not only won all of its matches, it didn't drop a game during the tournament.

It was a perfect showing on all accounts as the team rolled to 10 consecutive victories.

The Gold team got off to a quick start winning its first four matches without breaking much of a sweat. It won with scores of 25-13, 25-13; 25-9, 25-9; 25-7, 25-5 and 25-11, 25-9.

Then the squad ran into one of its toughest opponents, the Oregon Volleyball Academy. In the first set of that match, PVC trailed 17-6 at one point but rallied to win the set and the match.

The closest match of the tournament came against a team from Santa Monica but, again, the local team won in straight sets 25-21, 25-21.

The PVC's victory marked the only win in a division by a team outside of California.

All tournament long the team was praised for how well it got along on and off the court. Former West Linn head coach Jim Kirby led the team and dubbed it the 'Eleven from Heaven.'

The PVC U16 team also had a terrific tournament, taking third place in its tournament which featured 180 total teams.

That team, which came extremely close to capturing a national title of its own, featured Lake Oswego's Katie Waters.

Finally, the PVC U14 team also had a stellar tournament, taking fourth out of 140 teams. The team was the highest finishing team in its division outside of California.

That team featured six Lake Oswego players including Anna Spalding, Kristin Beyrle, Catherine Strauser, Abby Gray, Taylor Copeland and Kristine Nguyen. Beyrle was named the team's outstanding libero.