This weekend our girls traveled to Forest Park to partake in an 18’s H2 tournament at St. Louis Community College. This was a big weekend for our girls as we had a rough time in the two weeks leading up to it. Our girls had a lot to prove when they stepped on the court Saturday morning.

Our day started in pools against some solid teams. We went 2-0 vs a very talented H2 16 Columbia. Then we moved on to play a strong Club One team that had big hitters all the way through. We were in both sets, going point for point and ended up splitting 19-17, 17-19. Our girls were disappointed in the result because they knew they could play better. Our pool ended against an undersized Aces team that we were able to sweep 2-0. Our goal for every set is to be the first to five points and we were able to succeed in 5 of the six sets. Starting strong has been a big emphasis in practices and we were able to put it into action.

Coming out of our pool in first place was also one of our goals. We wanted to be 6-0 but it’s hard to complain about 5-1. We played right away against a very talented Top Notch who played much better than someone that got fourth in their pool. We started to get our groove back towards the middle of the second set and were able to pull off a 2-0 victory.

In quarter finals we had a rematch with 16 Columbia who had just upset H2 17 Attack. We could all tell they wanted payback for their loss in pools and came out firing. They had some big hitters and a scrappy defense that played very well, but we were able to play our game and come out on top. We brought a lot of energy to this entire game and that is what made the coaches most excited. Our biggest problem is getting down on ourselves and deflating our own energy. This game we did not do that at all and were able to stay up even when we were losing.

This set up a championship between us and H2 18 UA who had just beaten Club One in the semi finals. We showed excellent resilience this match, another one of our goals. 18 UA played amazing defense and picked up big hit after big hit. But we kept battling and kept swinging and finding ways to get points. We won the first set 19-12 and the 18s battled hard in the second and pushed us to our limits. We worked our way into an 18-18 tie needing two points to take home our first championship. A kill by OH Krista Cummings set up an exciting match point. This point included several big hits and amazing digs and was sealed away by an attack by setter Rachel Verdun into the hole of the defense.

We are very proud of our girls for their efforts this weekend. They learned how to be resilient and fight even when things aren’t going our way as well as the importance of keeping a high energy throughout the match. These things will be important when we head to Saint Louis for the Presidents Day Classic this weekend. We are playing in 17 Open and have a rematch against a Memphis team and Rockwood Mizuno, both games we felt we did not play our best. We’re all excited and we know that win or lose, we’re going to give it our best.

Good luck to everyone this weekend, go H2!