The AVA 16-1 Hurricanes faced yet another challenging, but beneficial weekend in their third tournament of the season. For hopefully the last time this season, they were without one player for pool play, and it was understandably difficult to find consistency since they have had to incorporate multiple lineups so early on. Although they came out stronger than they have previously, and decisively won the first match against the team that would go on to win gold, they could not maintain that confidence in the following two matches. Both were three-set battles that ended in just two point losses. The team played very hard and despite losing the matches, they showed a new level of maturity as teammates in their support of one another and also displayed many moments of very advanced play. For tournament play, the team had their full roster, but as the result of a tie in the pool, they were bumped down to the bronze bracket. Instead of hanging their heads, the girls took advantage of the situation and played with a confidence that hadn’t yet been seen. They took the opportunity to work on complex plays and try new skills that they had thus far only been bold enough to work on in practice scenarios. Noticeably feeling less pressure, the team played focused, but more relaxed volleyball and found success in ways that they did not know they could. AVA dominated the bronze bracket and came out on top, ending very strongly, even if it was not the bracket they know they could have won. This weekend was a great opportunity to work on the attitudes and skills the Hurricanes will need in order to find success at the upcoming Bluegrass tournament in Louisville, KY. They continue to show an enormous amount of potential, which bodes well for the confidence of the team going into the higher levels of competition that the rest of their season will bring.
The AVA 18-1 Blizzard participated in a 3-day tournament at the St. Louis President’s Day Classic this past weekend. We were seated 15th going into the tournament and after going 4-4 on the weekend we finished 13th out of 40 teams. We were very disappointed in not playing in the gold bracket, but learned some valuable lessons from this tournament. We have to play hard the entire game and not in spurts. We have to do the things that we can control like communicating, serving, keeping the ball in play, having energy, and staying motivated. This team has a lot heart and loves the game. Now we have to put in the work before our next tournament in Indianapolis to make sure we correct our mistakes and finish where we want to finish
This weekend(2/8-2/9) 14 Thunder went to Franklin, TN to play in the Music City Showdown. While we thought we were playing in the Club division we quickly realized we had been placed in the more competitive Power division. Our girls had their hands full with the competition but fought hard and consistently throughout the weekend. We were able to go 2-3 on the weekend but worked to push two losses to 3 sets. The girls worked hard and learned some tough lessons on mental strength and focus under pressure. The ladies remained motivated, determined, and focused to improve making this tournament a success and excellent learning experience. We look forward to our next tournament in two weeks while we are sure we are going to continue to see improvement
The AVA 16-1 Hurricanes continued to show their perseverance in their second tournament of the season. Once again, the team had to work through the difficulty of not having all of their players in attendance for both days. Pool play proved to be very challenging as the girls just could not get in sync to finish their matches. With four of the seven players forced to play partially or completely out of position (including the team’s libero playing as a six-rotation outside), there were moments of greatness and working well together, but the level of competition was just too much and the Hurricanes went 0-3 in pool play. For tournament play, the performance in pool play put the team in the bottom of the Silver bracket. Fortunately, one of the two missing players was able to come, which resulted in two players moving back to their normal positions. The team’s confidence was noticeably higher, and they played much closer to their full potential. They dominated their opponent in the first match of the day, placing them in the Silver bracket championship against the 3rd place team from their pool who beat them in 3 sets the previous day. This time, the Tsunami team across the net was no competition for AVA and they retaliated with a 25-13, 25-12 victory, making them the Silver bracket champions of the 15/16 Power division. The team continues to show progression and determination in overcoming obstacles and understanding the importance of being trained to play in any position. Their success just proves that they will absolutely be very difficult to beat once they are able to use a consistent lineup and solidify their trust in one another. Once again, the weekend was a great showcase of the team’s potential and very encouraging for the parents and coaching staff.
The AVA 16-1 Hurricanes demonstrated a strong display of fight in their first tournament of the season, especially considering they had to learn two different lineups to accommodate for a player who couldn’t be there the first day. Nerves were an obvious factor in pool play, as the team started off facing an 18-1 team due to the combination of the 15/16 and 17/18 pools. That match resulted in a 10-25, 15-25 loss, but the team learned a lot about playing with each other. The next match showed progress, but the Hurricanes couldn’t overcome the opponent and lost 10-25 and 24-26. The final match of pool play once again showed a progression, but resulted in a final loss of 19-25, 20-25, putting them at 0-3 in pool play. Tournament play started early Sunday morning, and with their full lineup and a day behind them, the girls looked much more confident. They avenged a loss from the night before with a 25-20, 26-24 win, which put them back in the winners’ bracket of the 16’s division, as tournament play was separated into a 16 Power Bracket and an 18 Gold Bracket. The second match of tournament play was a true showcase of this team’s potential. They lost the first set 19-25, but came back from being down 10-0 in the second set to win 32-30. The momentum from the second set carried into the third and AVA was able to secure the win 15-13, sending them into the championship match. They fought hard in the match, but lost to a strong Munciana team 18-25 and 11-25. Overall, the weekend was a very strong showing for the team as they learned to overcome different types of adversity and play together to find success.