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949 Volleyball Turns in Golden Effort at Junior Nationals

The 949 Volleyball Club had several of its teams make spectacular runs at the USA Volleyball Junior National Championship tournament earlier this month, with two local teams capturing gold medals.

In all, 949 Volleyball Club, which draws players from San Clemente, took home four medals at the prestigious event, more than any other club.

The club’s boys 17U and 14U teams placed first in their divisions.

The 17U squad went in as the No. 1 overall seed, and faced the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals. 949 lost the first game, but came back to win the second and erase a five-point deficit in the decisive third set to seal the win and advance.

The boys 14U team earned the title of national champions after defeating teams from Lake Forest, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles in the knockout rounds.

The boys 18U team, which features several recent San Clemente High School grads and former Triton volleyball players, placed second in their division. The club’s boys 15U team won the bronze medal.

Following the excitement of the Junior Nationals, 949’s girls 14U team traveled to Arizona for the Phoenix Volleyball Festival. The seventh-ranked 949 team advanced all the way to the championship match, but lost to a team from Hawaii and placed second.

“Our success this year is a product of the coaches, the families and athletes involved. It is a testament to the culture we have created,” 949 Volleyball Club founder and director Justin DeBlasio said.

Hardman Invitational Bike Race Registration Now Open

Discounted registration for the second annual Hardman Invitational bicycle race in San Clemente is open, and will run through August 1. After the discounted deadline, registration will be open until Sept. 10

The epic endurance race, which takes riders 100 miles around the foothills of Southern Orange County, directly benefits Community Outreach Alliance, an organization that helps local youth. All proceeds raised at the event, which is set to take place on Sept. 16, will go toward the COA’s efforts to grow their cycling activities.

The race, which begins and ends in San Clemente, offers a 100-mile race, a 50-mile race, dubbed the Half-Hardman, and the COA Cruise 10-mile race for beginners.

Those competing in the full 100-mile trek will ride north, through Mission Viejo and toward Trabuco Canyon before circling back south to San Clemente and a barbecue celebration.

Event organizers are suggesting bikers bring their road bikes or mountain bikes to complete the course.

For more information or to register, visit

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