In the 2021 NVA Championship, the Utah Stingers found themselves up against the stiff competition losing 3-0 against the Vegas Ramblers in the semi-final round. The loss came after the Stingers made quick work defeating the powerhouse Team Freedom 3-0, becoming the only team to have a clean sweep during the quarter-finals. Hoping to repeat their last year’s success as the 2020 Champions, the Utah Stingers finished in Third place while last year’s runner-up, the OC Stunners, took 1st.
Still, a 3rd place finish after a long season, where the team missed their star player Jake Langlois during essential matches, was a great success. The players showed up strong for their Bronze medal match with an effortless 3-0 victory over Southern Exposure, making it clear to the rest of the league that they were meant for the podium. With now a championship and a bronze medal, the team still remains one of the premier teams of the entire NVA. The Stingers also had several players rank within the top ten in statistical categories during the season, proving their excellence even more.
After missing all of Event two in Atlantic City and even missing the first day of the championships, 2020 MVP outside hitter Jake Langlois finished as the 4th best scorer in points per set at 4.42 (114/23). While also finishing as the 7th best scorer in total points at 115.
Cuban outside hitter Inovel Romero proved to be one of the best defensive players. He finished as the 5th best defender with 79 digs and the 8th best passer, passing a perfect or positive pass at 90% (159/176).
Opposite Jorge Mencia was an absolute machine at getting the ball to the floor, being the most consistent starter for the team. He finished his season ranked as the 4th best scorer in total points with 144 and ranked as the 10th best blocker in total blocks with 17.
Middle Blocker, Alex Shmelev, came in clutch during the 3rd place match with an outstanding blocking performance. His added numbers pushed him over the edge to become the 2nd best blocker in blocks per set at 0.68 (23/34) and the 3rd best blocker in total blocks with 23.
Then to wrap it all up, Libero, Kai Duqeum, ran right behind Romero to take 6th amongst the best defenders as he tallied up 76 digs.
Being a rag-tag group of “weekend warriors,” this group of players proved to be some of the best talents that can be found in the United States. For the 2022 Season, it will be exciting to see the Stingers push the envelope even more as they look to become the leader of all-time NVA titles. Make sure to follow the Utah Stingers (@stingersnvausa) and the NVA (@nvausa) on Instagram to stay up to date with your favorite team and the league this offseason. Also, be sure to check out the Stinger’s last match against Southern Exposure on YouTube by following the link below!
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE VS STINGERS | 2021 NVA CUP: BRONZE MATCH
“Volley On With the NVA”
- NVA Staff Writer