H2 Boys 14 UA Place Second in Gold Division at Sportplex Blast

This weekend our H2 14s boy’s started the season with a win.

Coach Andre, Illinois Region Director, with the help of his Daughter Sydney, H2 18U Illini Black setter, took our H2 14 boys team down to Cape Girardeau MO to play their first tournament of the season and bringing back some hardware.

With only six players we marched into the court using a new rotation that our boys never practice before. However, after a little rough start and good instructions, our Magnificent 6 worked their hardest during the pool play. Between Robbie and Flynn’s sets, Andrew, Brayden, Louis and Mackie’s hitting, excellent defense and serves, together they helped our team place first place during the morning pool rounds. We split our first game against Rockwood boys 19-8 and 18-20. Second game against Midwest Elite 14, won both sets 19-10 and 19-7. Our final game against NSSC 14s was split 16-19 and 19-17.

The boys did not stop there. With a bye during playoff time, our Magnificent 6 played against the second seeded team from the second pool division, Stl Crossfire boys’ team, winning the game in three sets. This game was a nail bitter. Splitting the first two sets, we had to go to third set. This game was close. They boys were back to back. But we were not going to give up after taking the lead with a score of 16-15. Mackie’s serving forced the STL Crossfire team to overpass the ball giving Andrew the chance to provide a perfect pass to Flynn so he could set Brayden in the middle and boom, down goes the ball helping us score the final point sending us to the final Gold Championship game.

After some great plays during the championship game we lost against the Kansas team, Sick Pac 14. The boys were tired, you could see it in their faces. But they keep fighting until we finished our championship game. Sadly we lost the two sets placing us second in the Gold Bracket.

The resiliency these young boys demonstrated on the court was impressive. Especially when we were missing a few players. Mackie, our usual libero/DS played all around as our second middle hitter and he owned the spot. Flynn also took a different role for us, helping our team as our second Right Side Hitter and did an excellent job. Between blocks attempts on the net, hitting, tips, serves and helping with the defense both players helped our team during all our games. But it does not stop there. Andrews, Louis, Braden and Robbie had their best moment on the front row and all around. Their spikes, tips, blocks and serves were crucial for our team to take the lead and go all the way to the Gold Championship games.

I just want to say thanks to all the parents for letting me lead our boys’ team. The last time I coached boys was over 30 years ago and this opportunity brought me back into memory lane. As long as I can I will be there to be your mentor during this new venture with H2.

 

H2 14 UA Goes Undefeated in Winning H2 #7 14U Tourney at Forest Park

The theme of the week leading up to this past weekend’s H2 #7 14U tourney at Forest Park for the H2 14 Under Armour team was “finishing”. The prior weekend was a disappointing result in the St. Louis Gateway League as the team went 0-6 against the top teams in the age bracket. Of the 13 sets played, H2 had leads late in the match in eight of them and only managed to finish with one win.

The plan for practices were to work hard on passing and finishing games. Unfortunately mother nature decided that one practice was enough for the week and the team was forced to prepare more mentally than physically.

An early start on a cold Sunday morning would test just how prepared the team was. Like trying to start the cars on the cold morning, the girls were a little sluggish as well. After battling through an error-filled, 19-16, first set victory over the Gemini Titans, the girls responded well winning the second set 19-6.

The second match of the day was a 19-13, 19-12 victory over K Elites 14 to set up the final pool play match against the second seed Top Notch 14 Calde out of Springfield, IL. Top Notch was winning their pool play matches in more impressive fashion with aggressive serves so H2 UA realized that they would need to step up their intensity.

In probably their best set of the day, H2 came out nearly error free in a 19-7 victory. Despite words of caution from their coaches on how the second set would be much tougher, the message wasn’t received. However, with the emphasis being on “finishing”, the team persevered and won the second set 19-16 to move to the playoffs.

H2 14 Illini Black knocked off the top seed, MOVA Gold, in the first round of the playoffs to set up and all H2 match in the semi-finals. H2 UA handled their business in earning a 19-8, 19-13 victory and a berth in the finals, and a rematch against Top Notch.

The first set of the finals went back and forth with both teams making more errors than in their pool play match. Again, H2 UA finished strong and held on with a 25-23 win in the first set. The second set started just as close but a big finishing service run from Ella Middleton sealed the deal at 25-18 for the first tourney win of the year for H2 14UA.

Stats:
Record: 5-0 (10-0 set record), 202 points scored, 132 points allowed
Serve %: 88.3% (Ella Middleton 100%, Ellie Appelbaum 93.8%)
Aces: 37 (Lexie Griffin 9, Rainna Ostmann and Emma Garner 8)
Hitting %: .220 (Gabby Saye .378, Emma Garner .355)
Kills: 74 (Gabby Saye 21, Emma Garner 16, Torie Strange 14)

 

18 Attack Has Big Weekend in Kansas City

18 Attack traveled to Kansas City this weekend for their first National Qualifier of the season. 18 Attack came into the tournament seeded 25th. The starting day of the tournament the team was placed in a three-team pool after the fourth team dropped out. The first match of the day was against the starting first seed of the tournament, Six Pack 18. 18 Attack dropped their first match of the day 2 sets to 1 in a tough battle, just landing Six Pack on top. The girls then rebounded and topped Topeka Saints 18-1 to clinch second place for the day and continue to fight to make it to the gold bracket.

Moving into day two of the tournament, 18 Attack came into their pool placed fourth. Their first match of the day was against Iowa Rockets 18-1. The girls started out their day strong taking Iowa in two sets. They girls then turned around to play Highlands 18 ROX, only to fall in three sets battling hard in the final set. Attack’s final match of the day was against Club North 18-1, whom they battled in two sets and came out on top again seeding second, but continuing on to the gold bracket.

The third and final day of the tournament started bright and early as 18 Attack started their day with CLUB ONE 18 Black. Attack took the first set from CLUB ONE 25 to 21. CLUB ONE was not done fighting and won the second set 17 to 25. In a tough third set both teams battled but with high energy, aggressive defense, and powering kills 18 Attack came out on top winning the set 15 to 9 and moved on to play Iowa Rockets 18R. 18 Attack came out and played their hearts out against Iowa Rockets 18R but were unable to come out on top falling in two close sets. Iowa Rockets continued on in the tournament to take first and earn the American bid for the tournament.

The girls played some of their best volleyball this past weekend. They left their coaches with not enough words to say just how proud of them they were. The girls never gave up in all of their matches this weekend, they battled and left everything on the court. They came into the tournament seeded 25th and left the tournament, with a twenty seed hop, taking 5th overall. We are so excited to see what the season has in store for these girls and to see just how much more they grow.

 

H2 14 Illini West Red Excels in Bracket Play After a Tough Morning in Pool Play

After a slow start on the morning of January 14 at the H2 Sports Under Armour #7 tournament at Forest Park Community College, the ladies of the H2 14 Illini West Red were a new team on the court during bracket play. The morning had been a bit of a set back, with the girls going 0-3 for the morning against MOVA Gold, H2 13 Under Armour, and Top Notch Anslem. After a fun and great bonding time over lunch, however, the girls came back with power and finesse, with Jena Holder going on a 10-0 serving streak against MOVA White. After also overcoming the Gemini Titans, the girls advanced to the Championship for the Silver Division, now 2-3 for the day. Once again taking on H2 13 UA for the silver medal, the girls fought long and hard, with Sydney Sommer dominating in the front row. After losing the first game, they decided that two games were not enough for the Championship, and took them to a third game after winning the second. After a long and hard day full of competitive volleyball, the girls fell to H2 13 Under Armor, taking second in the Silver Division. They received their medals and took a nice group picture, and their coaches could not be happier. Congratulations to the ladies of H2 14 Illini West Red on their success! Let’s keep moving forward!

 

Park Hills – 15 Cardinal Climbing

Saturday at Park Hills started early. Our first tournament as a new team! Seven new girls and one of those new from Kentucky! We have been meshing well in practice and Gateway League week 1. Started off the day with a 5-1 pool play record. Dropping our only set to a very tough Crossfire team.

Gold Bracket:
Started off against a strong Perryville team. They are always tough and today provedto be the same. We pulled it out in two sets.
Next game was against a team we have played once already this season. Show Me Diamond.
We pulled off a two set victory against them. On to the Championship….yes against Crossfire!!

Championship:
Here we are for a little revenge! We split in pool play. Now we play to 25 and have a 3rd set if needed. Well…we needed it.
They beat us in the first set. As the girls came to the bench I told them…its now or never. Lets go get em. That is what they did. We secured the second set. Onto the third…I pulled a little mental help. We won the toss and I had the captain pick side of court. All the sets against them we lost…yes were on the same side. So we started there. And ended on our good side!
Victory in the third set!!! Making us Gold Champs!
First tournament win this season!!

We learned a lot…covering, and cheering. Serving and the importance of teamwork and communication. We will be working on it all in practice. Our goals are to get better every week. So far so good! Keep it up H2 15 Cardinal!!

Coach Jeremie

 

H2 Illinois West Black’s Grit Gets Them to Semis in Gold

On January 14th at the H2 sports Under Armor #7 tournament, taking place at Forest Park Community College, the girls started off strong with taking the lead in pool play with 3-0 in matches. The girls had a great start to the day with their constant talking and energy. The girls of course took some time for team cuddles in between the first two games of pool play, and came back ready to win more. The girls faced the day against Top Notch 14U Black then SLVVC 14 Pink. The girls continued to rally together to beat two MOVA teams back to back! While playing MOVA 14U Gold in the first round of the gold bracket, the girls had the most energy and excitement I had seen all weekend! The girls were extra hyped when Koi had a huge stuff block on their middle. Our front row was on their game. With Lilli and Kloi being a huge force to be reckoned with in the front row, which led our back row to feed off their energy and start making phenomenal plays and saves. However, the girls fell short in the semifinals with the girls finishing 3rd over all. With playing two tough teams almost back to back, the girls came up short in the next match against the number one team. I’m still so proud of these girls and their grit they showed in never giving up. We may have missed the gold medal this past weekend but I’m looking forward to what this weekend will hold for these girls!