This past Sunday, the ladies of H2 14-3 Illini West took to the court for the first time in STL at the 14U H2 Under Armor #6 tournament. These girls have been incredible. Do to unique challenges from our local school district these girls have been limited to only a couple practices and a couple scrimmage matches that other 14U Illini West teams were kind enough to host. Plus, we were down a couple girls do to confirmations. With all of these challenges in front of them it did not bother them a bit! The game plan for the day was to serve with a purpose, play solid defense, aggressive but smart attacks, HAVE FUN, and be confidante.

The girls started pool play against top seed Harvester Hurricanes 14. With the help of a very strong serve game (97%) and strong balanced attacking. The team recorded an 85% attack accuracy rating that resulted in 23 Kills. The girls took both sets (19-14, 21-19). Next up was 2 nd seed Aces 14. Serving once again was on fire. 89% in set one and 100% in set two with a total of 14 Aces. During this match their defensive skills started to shine. Only 3 balls hit the floor without a touch. The girls took both sets (19-10, 19-17). To wrap up pool play the girls faced off with SLVVC Pink 13. Maybe a younger group but they played good volleyball. The girls won the first set 19-11 but I could see us taking our foot off the gas a little bit. Before the second set I threw down a challenge that we would not allow more than 8. They accepted the challenge and focused back in and took set two 19-4. The girls were ecstatic. Onto the Gold bracket.

After a round one bye we were ready to battle again. We faced off with our fellow H2 team out of Highland, the 14-2 squad. We had scrimmaged them before and we all knew it was going to be a good match. Both sets went back and forth. The girls were putting in max effort. Madison Vieth and Cami Marteeny were doing a great job combining their efforts filling in for one of our missing middles. Team served 91% with 9 Aces, played strong defense, attacked for 81% that resulted in 16 Kills. When they were down they would fight back every time. We came up just short in both sets but we left the day feeling confident in ourselves and can’t wait to get out there again in a couple weeks.

The team ended the day with some amazing stats. Team serving was 92% with 53 Aces. Every girl exceeded the team goal of 85%. Top servers were Kiley (100%), Olivia (97%, 14 aces), and Jill (96%, 7 aces). Team attacking was 83% with 60 Kills. Top dogs were outside hitters Rayna (87%, 15 kills), and Jill (88%, 15 kills). Defense was superb all day from everyone but was led by Jill who was putting on a passing clinic. Jill’s passer rating was 2.3 and did not allow one ball all day hit the ground without getting a finger on it first. Other defensive stand outs were Rayna, Amber, AJ (7 blocks), and Madison (5 blocks).

Overall TEAM EFFORT exceeded expectations. I’m so proud of these girls for the what they were able to accomplish during their first time out. I can’t wait to see what they can do after getting more time together. GO H2!