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updated: 7/29/2013 6:03 PM

Fusion South 14 Red goes undefeated to win national championship

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  • Back row: (l-r)Coach Shannon, Grace Loberg, Erin Burke, Kyla Augustine, Kailyn Williams, Ally Barrett, Taylor Brown, Coach Bui, MICKEY MOUSE. Front row: (l-r)Katie Koehler, Morgan Kull, Kaitlyn Rasmus, McKenna  Connolly, Rachael Garland

      Back row: (l-r)Coach Shannon, Grace Loberg, Erin Burke, Kyla Augustine, Kailyn Williams, Ally Barrett, Taylor Brown, Coach Bui, MICKEY MOUSE. Front row: (l-r)Katie Koehler, Morgan Kull, Kaitlyn Rasmus, McKenna Connolly, Rachael Garland
    Darice Augustine

 
Darice Augustine

Eleven girls comprising the 14 Red team for Fusion South in Batavia recently went undefeated to win the AAU National Championship.

After an opening ceremony in Orlando, FL on the evening of Tuesday, June 18 that was delayed due to thunderstorms, the team started play mid-day Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

These games were played at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Jostens Complex. Their first three matches were played against Front Range Royal from Colorado, Omega from California and UNION Pauly from Indiana.

On the second day of competition, games were played at the Orange County Convention Center, and Fusion Red got off to a rocky 8am start by losing their first game to Derby City from Kentucky, but settled down to win the next two games and secure the match. They continued their winning ways that day by beating Voliview from Puerto Rico and PVA Blue from Pennsylvania in straight sets.

On the third day of competition, again at the Orange County Convention Center, Fusion Red started their day at 8am going up against Impact Craig from California, Ultimate Gold from Illinois and Mizuno Sports Performance Red also from Illinois. Although Fusion still remained undefeated, they had to play a "Challenge Match" against Axis Elite Rox from South Carolina in order to retain their spot in the Gold Division. This match was delayed for more than 3 hours and the girls once again won their match, easily defeating their opponent in 2 games finally ending their day after 10pm.

The final day of competition once again started at 8am back at the Orange County Convention Center, playing against Nitrosas from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The girls knew today was their day to shine. It was now down to the best of the best competition. The girls won their first game 25-22, then lost the second game 19-25. They rallied back in game three to win 17-15. Their second competitor of the single elimination day was against Mizuno Northern Lights from Minnesota. Again this went to three games, but Fusion Red came out triumphant, winning 25-19, 19-25 and 15-10.

The semi-final game was against Asics KIVA White from Kentucky/Indiana easily winning in 2 games 25-21 and 25-18

These two games were streamed live on ESPN 3 adding to the excitement so family and friends who were not at the competition were able to watch online as if they were there.

Excitement ruled the remainder of the day as the girls prepared themselves for their opponent in the finals against UNION Flood from Kentucky.

When the 7:45pm competition began back at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports HP Fieldhouse there were crowds cheering both teams on. Fusion South won game one 25-19 and felt confident going into game two. However, that feeling was soon deflated when UNION took game two 25-22. Nerves were high, by both players and parents, as the close match was finally over, with FUSION RED the triumphant undefeated national champion by a score of 15-12.

Tears of joy were running down the faces of teammates, coaches, parents, siblings and other Fusion teams who came to cheer on the 14 year olds.

When the girls received their team trophy and individual medals who else was their for that honor but Mickey Mouse himself!

The team consists of the following players: Kyla Augustine, Ally Barrett, Taylor Brown,

Erin Burke, McKenna Connolly, Rachael Garland, Katie Koehler, Morgan Kull, Grace Loberg, Kaitlyn Rasmus, and Kailyn Williams.

They are coached by Mike Bui, head coach, and Shannon McGowan, assistant coach

Fusion South 14 Red was the only team out of 154 teams to go undefeated during the tournament.

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