Caldwell leads Balboa to national crown

Cody Caldwell, a recent Newport Harbor High graduate, continued his stellar year as he was named MVP of the 18 Open Gold Division at the 2011 USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships, formerly the Junior Olympics, in Minneapolis, Minn. Saturday.

Caldwell and the Costa Mesa-based Balboa Bay Volleyball Club went 11-0 to win the 18 Open Gold Division title.

Spencer Haly, a recent Corona del Mar graduate, was named to the all-tournament team, as were Zachary Lacavara and Taylor Hammond of BBVC.

Recent Newport Harbor graduates Ian Sequeira and Rusty Sary, as well as recent CdM grads Nick Curci and Evan Dean were also part of the championship team.

The BBVC team also included Robbie McKnight, Michael Brinkley, Ryan Baine and John Henry. John Hawks, a Long Beach State assistant coach and a former UC Irvine assistant, was the head coach.

Caldwell, bound for the Loyola University Chicago, was named the Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year. He was also named the Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year and he earned American Volleyball Coaches Assn. first-team All-American honors, as well as All-CIF Southern Section Division I laurels.

In addition, he was named the Sunset League MVP.

"Cody was unbelievable," Hawks said when reached by phone. "He was determined like I have never seen from him in the past few years."

Hawks was impressed with the balance his team displayed.

"We won all 11 matches with about an average score of 25-15 in our sets," Hawks said. "You have a team of 12 guys you come with and the plan is, 'Let's hope we can play all 12 guys.' We played all 12 guys in nine of the 11 matches we played. Our team morale was high. We steamrolled at times. I felt bad for some of the opponents because we just played with a lot of balance."

— From staff reports

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