Solomon Berry wrote this preview.
If any tournament this year has been slept on, it’s Coed Nationals. Missing tournament season and wishing it could just be next summer already? Come to Georgia where dozens of teams will be competing and having fun. Too cold to even want to think about going outside? Come to Savannah where it's still sunny and warm. Regardless of why you’re coming, or what division you’re going to play, Coed Nationals is going to be an amazing time with some amazing teams.
Kiwi (Peter Jon Showalter & Ashley Showalter)
Ashley played as part of Trio this year alongside Alli Kaufman, and the pair took third in the Women’s Division at Nationals. While her serve does not come with a lot of ace potential, it is highly consistent which plays well with the fact that she flies around and generates a ton of touches. Consistency also plays extremely well considering who her partner is, arguably the best server in the world. P.J. took first place this year in the Pro Division at Nationals, with two clutch aces to seal the deal in game three of the finals against Boysterous. Expect lots of aces, lots of defensive touches, and lots of winning.
Howdy Doody (Olivia Jenkins & Preston Bies)
When you combine the best women’s player in the world and (at worst) a top three men’s player in the world, nothing but the definition of nasty can follow. Despite an atypical fourth place finish at Nationals, Olivia ascended into the top spot of the women’s game this year with an array of nasty serves that aced just about anybody. Preston took second at Nationals, but played incredibly well in the finals series, including generating highlights that drew millions of views on Instagram. While neither he nor Olivia is renowned for playing a ton of defense, he more than makes up for it with some of the hardest hit serves in the game, generating breaks with either hand. They will look to ride those serves to the championship.
ChizARa (Tyler Cisek & Annelise Rohrer)
Tyler is of course the other half of C/S and is fresh off winning a third national championship and being voted the number one player in the world. While some might question whether he still has enough serving prowess left in the tank, his game is so much more than that. Besides his serving, which will be just fine, he is also one of the best defensive players in the world, and most likely the best serve receiver in the world. Annelise took fifth last month at Nationals as part of Wingin’ It and was a top women’s player all year. She and Tyler will have amazing chemistry, as they always play coed together, which will lead to some great defensive touches and finishes. Watch for ChizARa to be the best all around team and most consistent over throughout the tournament.
Identity theft is not a joke (Ali Jenkins & Patrick Drucker)
A possible upset pick to make the finals, they also have easily the best team name in the field. Ali took seventh at Nationals, and (according to hidden sources) has recently graduated from the Olivia Jenkins’ school of nastiness and has developed a serve that will surprise everyone. Drucker has been playing forever and should provide a lot of experience to this team. Besides that, he has the best drop in the game, especially paired with the rest of his serves that come at you like a cannon blast. At their peak, this team should compete with anyone and everyone.
Get Schwifty (Allie Foster & Kyle Ackermann)
Kyle played a ton this season and sat on the podium six times, albeit all in Advanced. With a great lefty serve and even better length on defense, he should bring a lot to this team. Allie is a great women’s player who plays a lot with Olivia Jenkins and should be ready for anything. With a solid step out serve, and really good setting, her and Kyle should definitely make a play for top eight here.
Left Shark (Harding Brumby & Sarah Boucher)
Harding is another player who has been around for seemingly forever, and is one of the best left handers in the game. With a solid cut serve that is only amplified by the fact that it goes to the receivers left hand, he will more than hold his own along with Sarah. Sarah is a solid player from Canada who hits with power and consistency and is in the process of developing a cut serve. Her and Harding have experience together and recently lost a close three game series to Kevin Bailey and Krista Schrock. If Sarah can get some aces and Harding serves well, they could make their way to the semifinals.
Blame it on Jackie (Kevin Bailey & Krista Schrock)
Kevin’s team Lake Effect went out in the first round at Nationals, summing up a season where they were seemingly always right on the cusp of breaking through. With a good fwango and cut serve, he has the tools to generate a lot of breaks if he can serve at a high serve percentage throughout the tournament. Krista is a top women’s player who took fifth at nationals with Annelise Rohrer. A really great all around player, she makes very few mistakes, and plays solid defense. Her and Kevin beat Harding and Sarah recently, setting high expectations here.
Chattahooligans (David Gonzales & Kate Baker)
David and Kate should be a great team if not super flashy. David took 11th at Nationals last month with Matt Bohnen and will look to place even better here. One of the craftiest players in the game, he pairs a great drop with a solid cut serve and plenty of cheeky finishes. Kate is a great athlete, but is not as experienced against top level competition as some of the other women’s players in the field, so seeing how she receives opposing serves will be very important.
Megaheckin’ Awesome (Megan Esh & Caleb Heck)
While Megan has not played much, everyone knows Caleb Heck, who just took second in the Pro Division at Nationals. With possibly the best singular serve in the game, complemented by a great left hand, he will generate plenty of breaks through aces. The question for this team will be whether or not Caleb will be able to make up for how many aces they give up to other more complete teams.
Goldenface (Maranda Dove & Addison Powers)
While Maranda is less known on the roundnet scene, Addison has really made a name for himself this year, including making the Pro Division at Nationals. He has some amazing serves that will generate a lot of breaks, however he can also struggle against top level serving at times as seen in Power Sweep's round one bracket loss to Spikers Synonymous at Nationals. Similar to a couple other teams, Goldenface will make it as far as Addison’s serve can take them.
Top 8 Prediction1st. Howdy Doody
4th. Identity theft is not a joke
T-5th: Blame it on Jackie, Get Schwifty, Left Shark, Chattahooligans