Immanuel adult volleyball tourney a success

Nine teams participate in second annual Eagles King Cup Showdown, Team Fountain dethrones fellow Bakersfield team for championship

Bakersfield-based Team Fountain captured the championship of this year’s nine-team field in the second annual Eagles King Cup Tournament co-ed volleyball event at Immanuel High School on June 22. Members of the team are (not listed in order) are Adrianna Fountain, Luke Fountain, Ryan Martin, Cy Hiyane, Nick Hantz and Surenity Cano. (Edgar Baltazar)
Jon Earnest
Published June 26, 2024  • 
12:00 pm

REEDLEY — A co-ed adult tournament at Immanuel High School quickly is developing a reputation as a go-to spot for male and female adult volleyball players.

The second annual Eagles King Cup Tournament at Immanuel South Gym on June 22 attracted nine teams from the Central Valley, most from the immediate eastern Fresno and northern Tulare County regions.

But it was two Bakersfield teams that grabbed the glory in 2024. Team Fountain dethroned defending champion Pickle Juice in a single set afternoon championship match, after teams competed in morning pool plays to determine finals bracketing.

Edgar Baltazar, Immanuel High boys volleyball head coach, said the tournament supports the school’s volleyball programs but also is designed to expose the city of Reedley and the region to competitive men’s and women’s play.

“A winner was crowned, but I just love the fact that players from all over the Valley could come together to play, all while supporting a great cause,” he said.

The majority of teams in the tournament combined seasoned men’s and women’s players, but Baltazar said that three teams were in the field featuring high schoolers from Reedley, Sanger, Dinuba and Orange Cove.

Members of the Team Fountain roster are Adrianna Fountain, Luke Fountain, Ryan Martin, Cy Hiyane, Nick Hantz and Surenity Cano. Pickle Juice — which outlasted Dig This to advance to the finals — has a roster of Sergio Delgado, Ally Garcia, Brayan Ponce, Laurice Hugenroth, Javier Alfaro and Roberto Jost.

While finalists Team Fountain and Pickle Juice are based out of Bakersfield, those rosters included players from the Fresno and Visalia regions.

Baltazar was pleased to see the strong turnout of players participating in friendly-but-competitive two-set matches to 25 points. He hopes to host another similar tournament in December if possible, but hopes to establish the summer event as an attraction for players.

“Volleyball, especially men’s volleyball, is becoming more popular now than ever, so to contribute to that in our city is huge. It really is a joy to witness,” he said.

Jon Earnest